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Using a credit card to buy gold
You can do it, but you’ll pay for the convenience.
Many gold dealers won’t accept credit cards, such as Amex and Discover, for two main reasons: high processing fees and increased risk of fraud. However, you’ll find some dealers who will. If you’re trying to move fast on your gold investment, a credit card might be your best option for pure speed.
If you’re looking to use a credit card to buy bullion, watch out for potential restrictions:
- The dealer may set purchase limits. For example, they may require a purchase between $100 and $5,000.
- Some card networks may not be accepted. Some dealers bar Amex and Discover, for example, citing high fees.
- You may pay a credit card surcharge. When you use plastic, the dealer pays a processing fee to their bank. They could choose to pass this fee along by adding a surcharge of up to 4% on your order.
To avoid a credit card surcharge, consider paying with a personal check or wire transfer. A possible perk: Your dealer might give you a discount for paying this way.
How to buy gold with a credit card
Buying gold with a credit card is similar to paying for any other online purchase.
- Fill out the checkout form with your name, contact details and shipping and billing addresses.
- Enter your credit card information
- Complete your purchase.
Buying gold with a credit card securely
Make sure whoever you’re purchasing gold from has some security measures in place for your credit card purchases. Check for whether your dealer is verified by Visa or Mastercard when it comes to security measures and ask them about their security practices.
You might also read reviews of the website or company or see if they’re recognized by the Better Business Bureau. Since purchasing gold isn’t an especially mainstream practice, you’ll want to do your due diligence to make sure your purchase is secure.
Why you should — and shouldn’t — buy gold with a credit card
Buying gold with a credit card can often be summed up in one phrase: fast but expensive.
Why you might want to buy gold with a credit card:
- Speed. It could take several days for a check to arrive and clear, but a credit card payment often clears within a business day. Paying by credit card is also faster than a bank wire transfer, which requires more work to set up.
- You’re trying to meet your card’s minimum spend for a signup bonus. Many signup bonuses require a minimum spending requirement — sometimes thousands of dollars over a specific period. Buying gold with your credit card could help you get closer to a bonus. Just make sure the processing fees don’t erase what you’ll earn in points, cash back or miles.
Why you might not want to buy gold with a credit card:
- Surcharges. You may pay a “convenience fee” of up to 4% just to use your credit card. If you want to avoid this, consider paying with a personal check or wire transfer. Your dealer might even give you a discount for paying this way.
- You want credit card rewards. It may be fun to accumulate rewards, but credit card processing fees will likely erase what you earn. The exception is signup bonuses, which can give you a big win in points, cash back or miles.
- Purchase restrictions. Many of the places that accept credit card payments for gold will restrict the amount of gold you can buy in a given transaction. For example, they may require a purchase between $100 and $5,000. This means you might get locked into purchasing an amount you hadn’t intended for your investment.
When I buy gold with a credit card, will I need to provide ID?
Dealers may require government-issued ID to authenticate your purchase. When you buy gold with a credit card, most dealers manually review your order before shipping it to you.
Other payment methods to buy gold
Here are a few other ways to purchase gold. Not every gold dealer will necessarily accept these forms of payment.
- Debit card
- ACH or wire transfer
- Personal check or e-check
- PayPal or other P2P app
- Cash deposit at a participating bank branch
- Money order
Compare credit cards
With enough research, you’ll be able to find a reputable, secure gold seller that accepts credit cards as payment. Just watch out for the big fees to make sure your purchase is worth the investment.
Frequently asked questions
Picture: Getty Images
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