UPDATED: OCTOBER 2023
Hello there, are you here in this APMEX Review for some important information about the company? Well, we have it all for you!
American Precious Metal Exchange (APMEX) is one of the most well-known precious metals dealers in the industry. That is why, maybe when you were researching precious metals companies you stumbled upon the company’s name.
As it goes it big and popular companies, they are always tied with controversies and questions asking whether they are a gold scam. If this is what you are here for, we will shed the truth to you, including many more information.
At Your Gold IRA Guide, we always value unbiased reviews to help investors find the best companies for them. We’ve given American Precious Metals Exchange our personal rating, and after you read this review, you will understand why.
APMEX Review Quick Summary
Founders: Scott Thomas and David Melker
Price: Varies depending on your investment
What is APMEX?
The company APMEX, also known as American Precious Metal Exchange, is a precious metals company that has been operating since its founding by Scott Thomas and David Melker back in 2000.
American Precious Metal Exchange started began as a small business comprised of four employees, selling various precious metals. Over time, APMEX grew into an 80,000-square-foot building, housing 300 employees.
Over the past 20 years, APMEX claims to have sold over 130 million ounces of gold and silver to more than 1 million customers in over 100 countries. They are arguably the largest precious metals dealers in the world.
In 2017, the company was named "Best Bullion Dealer" by the American Coin Treasures Awards and in 2018, APMEX was named "Best Precious Metals Dealer" by the International Precious Metals Institute.
APMEX Review: Products
APMEX, being one of the largest precious metals dealers in the whole world, has expectedly a wide variety of precious metals. If you want the updated list, be sure to check out the complete product catalog on the website!
These include a catalog of gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and rare collectibles. Each of them comes is available in forms of coins, bullions, and bars.
The precious metals dealer has a wide variety of options when it comes to gold products. They currently offer:
- Gold Bars and Rounds
- Gold Coins
- U.S. Mint Gold Coins
- Royal Canadian Mint Gold
- The Perth Mint Gold
- Mexican Mint Gold Coins
- Coins and Currencies from regions of the world
The gold products also include IRA-approved bars and rounds such as the 10 oz Credit Suisse Gold Bar, Gold Buffalo, 1 oz Canadian Maple Leaf and 1/2 oz .9999 Gold Krugerrands.
For those interested in silver, they also offer a variety of these products, their long list include:
- Silver Bars
- Silver Coins
- U.S. Mint Silver Coins
- Silver Rounds
- Royal Canadian Mint Silver
- Movie and Licensed
- The Perth Mint Silver
- Junk Silver Coins
- Industrial Silver
- Mexican Mint Silver Coins
Their silver comes from variety of mints, including the U.S. Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint, and the Perth Mint. And of course, they also offer IRA-approved products such as Morgan Dollar, Walking Liberty and 1 oz American Eagle.
Platinum and Paladium
The precious metals merchant also offers platinum and palladium products. The following are what's available:
- Platinum Bars & Rounds
- Platinum Coins
- American Eagle Platinum
- Palladium Bars & Rounds
- American Eagle Palladium
- Canadian Palladium Maple Leaf Coins
APMEX also offers a variety of palladium, platinum, and other metals jewelry. What will excite some customers is the availability of rare coins and commemorative products, which not only retain intrinsic value, but value as collectibles.
APMEX Branded Products
Apart from the precious metal products indicated above, the Oklahoma City-based company also has its own branded precious metals. And yes, they do fit all of the fineness requirements to be IRA-eligible!
Among these products are the following:
- Gold bars (1/2 oz. to 1 kilo)
- Silver bars (1 oz. to 100 oz.)
- Silver rounds (1 oz. to 10 oz.)
- Platinum round (Only available in 1 oz.)
APMEX also has its own digital precious metals called OneGold. It is similar to an ETF (exchange-traded fund), which allows clients to benefit from valuing the gold and silver prices without physically holding them in inventory.
Do APMEX Have Gold IRA Services?
Unfortunately, APMEX gold IRA services are currently not offered since it is not an IRA custodian; they only offer IRA-approved precious metals. However, they have partnered with several IRA custodians to cater to its customers' precious metals IRA needs. These entities include:
IRA fees vary depending on which IRA custodian you would choose if you wish to start an IRA account. Therefore, you should compare fees, services, and security features before making a decision.
How To Open A Gold IRA With APMEX?
Wondering how to open a gold IRA with APMEX? You’ll be pleased to discover it is actually fairly straightforward. We’ve summarized the process for you into three easy steps:
Choose an IRA custodian and open an account with them. You can opt to choose from APMEX's partner custodians. Once you have opened your precious metals IRA account, you can start funding it. You can also rollover your existing IRA or former employer 401(k).
You can start purchasing IRA-eligible products from APMEX for your account. Whenever you have purchases, APMEX offers a variety of storage options for your gold, including self-storage, third-party storage, and home storage.
APMEX Review: IRA Costs
First things first, you need to know that APMEX has a $2,000 minimum purchase requirement for gold IRAs. It is indeed considerably high for an initial precious metal investment.
When you open up a precious metals IRA, you will not be charged any fees. However, the chosen IRA custodian may impose their own fees, and these can vary depending on the chosen custodian.
The process of transferring funds to your APMEX IRA partner custodian usually takes up 3 months. Keep in mind, they will charge $110 for every gold IRA transfer. This is a bit expensive compared to most companies.
However, you can avoid this fee if you pay through electronic check or wire transfer through your bank. Lastly, APMEX will charge you $35 per precious metal purchase, which is actually cheaper than many other comparable companies.
APMEX Review: Storage Services
f you choose to store your precious metals through APMEX, this is done by their storage partner, Citadel Global Depository Services, which is protected by Brinks Security.
Gold IRA storage fees vary depending on your account. However, below, you can see the non-IRA standard storage fees.
Are APMEX fees A Scam?
If you are unsure of how much fees you will be paying for according to your portfolio value, you can utilize APMEX's slider feature. It is a straightforward tool that they have to easily calculate how much fees you will be paying.
Where is APMEX Located?
APMEX is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Their complete mailing address is 1111 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 100 Oklahoma City, OK 73107, which is also their physical location.
Take note that APMEX does not have any other physical offices aside from this. They do have a network of authorized dealers located throughout the United States and Canada.
If you want to transact face-to-face, these dealers can provide in-person assistance with purchasing, selling, and trading precious metals with APMEX.
Are APMEX Shipping Insured?
They company has a QuickShip program, which guarantees fast shipping. The company will process the shipping of your products the moment they receive your payment. They ship every day, excluding weekends and holidays.
You should take note that if you placed your order before 1 pm CST, it will be shipped the very same day. Otherwise, it will be shipped the next business day. All shipping methods are fully insured, ensuring your products are safe and secure.
Moreover, all of your purchases will come with a $25,000 insurance policy against loss or damage during the shipping – something to keep in mind if you are shipping more than that amount at a time.
APMEX will give you a tracking number so you will know where your products are located at all times. You also have the option to receive notifications through text or email.
Orders of $199 or more come with free shipping. While there is no minimum order amount, anything under $199 will come with a $9.99 shipping surcharge. Also, if you have Citadel orders under $500, a $9.95 shipping fee will be charged to you.
APMEX Membership Club
APMEX also has a membership feature called "APMEX Club". It aims to award its most loyal clients. In order to join, you need to make at least two purchases totaling at least $5,000 in precious metals. Becoming an APMEX Club member costs nothing beyond that initial gold investment.
The Club has four different membership tiers with their own respective benefits. These include:
- Select - Make at least 2 to 5 orders or purchase or sell at least $5,000
- Premiere - Make at least 6 to 9 orders or purchase or sell at least $10,000
- Elite - Make more than 10 orders or purchase or sell at least $10,000
- VIP - This is for invitation only
The APMEX Membership Club is a great way to save money and get more for your money when you buy precious metals from APMEX. Below, you can check out the perks that come with each tier level.
APMEX Features, Resources and Tools
Other than the features we have discussed above, there are several other features, resources and tools that APMEX can offer to its clients.
In a first for the industry, the company offers AutoInvest, which allows you to purchase precious metals at a schedule and amount that works best for your precious metal investment portfolio.
With AutoInvest you can choose to make purchases daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly or quarterly. AutoInvest is available for many, but not all products. Look for the “Start AutoInvest” feature when you add items to your cart.
The Bullion Card is a credit card managed by Visa and comes with some nice perks for clients. Interestingly enough, this is actually the first precious metals rewards card in the market and is an APMEX-exclusive.
Benefits of the Bullion Card are the following:
- Introductory 4% back in gold or silver for APMEX purchases
- 1% back in gold and silver for all other purchases
- 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 worth of precious metals (about a $150 value)
- 0% introductory APR
- 0% balance transfers
- Exclusive offers for cardholders
The points that you earn from using the Bullion Card for your purchases are redeemable. You can use them for buying precious metals from APMEX.
APMEX has alert tools that help its clients be updated on opportunities.
- Custom Spot Price Alerts - notifies you when a specific product reaches a set price.
- AlertMe - Notifies you when an out-of-stock product becomes available in the store.
- Portfolio Tool - Allows you to see and track all your precious metals in your account in one place.
How to Buy From APMEX?
Curious how to get started and buy from APMEX?
It’s actually easier than you probably imagine, and you have several options. You can call them on the phone to discuss your transaction, or you can do everything online thanks to their robust e-commerce platform.
To buy online, you need to create an account and sign in. Afterward, you can scroll through its product catalog to see which precious metal you want to purchase. Then you can confirm your order and pay for it.
You can have precious metals delivered to your house or have it stored in its storage facility. As we mentioned previously, all orders above $199 receive free shipping, while orders under that amount incur a $9.95 shipping charge.
APMEX Review: Payment Options
The company APMEX accepts several types of payment. These include:
- Credit/debit card (excluding prepaid cards) - Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express
- Paper check
- Bank wire
- PayPal - Only available for orders shipped to a valid U.S. address and for U.S. dollar (USD) transactions only.
- Cryptocurrency - Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), and 5 USD-pegged stablecoins (GUSD, USDC, PAX, DAI, and BUSD
Note: APMEX no longer accepts money orders.
APMEX Against Other Platforms
Before you invest in precious metals, it is important to do your research and understand the risks involved. There are many reputable precious metals companies, but there are also some scams out there.The following below is how APMEX fares against major competitors like Money Metals Exchange, JM Bullion, and SD Bullion:
Gold, platinum, silver, copper, palladium
Buying, selling, storage
Free shipping on orders over $199. Shipping is $9.95 for orders under $199.
Gold, Palladium, silver, platinum, and rhodium
Buying, selling, storage, loans
Free shipping for orders over $500. $7.97 shipping for orders under $500.
Gold, platinum, silver, copper, palladium
Buying, selling, storage, loans
Free shipping on orders over $199. Shipping is $7.99 for orders under $199.
Gold, platinum, silver, copper, and palladium
Buying, selling, storage
Free shipping for orders over $199. $9.95 shipping for orders under $199.
APMEX Review: Frequently Asked Questions
There are no minimum orders on domestic orders. However, you will be charged a $9.95 shipping fee on orders below $199.
However, there is a minimum order amount of $250 for international orders when you pay via credit card, Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash (that is, orders outside the United States).
If wish to conduct an international order with bank wire transfer, there is a $1,500 minimum.
APMEX does not have any maximum orders on domestic purchases. However, if your orders total more than $500,000.00, the company recommends you to contact its Sales Department. This will determine if a deposit will apply to your order.
It’s also worth noting that APMEX has a $25,000 per-transaction limit on international orders placed via credit card.
Yes, if you are a domestic customer, you can actually sell precious metal to APMEX!
The company accepts bullion, numismatics, semi-numismatics, rare coins and currency. If you wish to sell your precious metals, create an account on the website and call the company.
Once the price is locked in, you can send your products to APMEX. Internal customers can sell their products so long as the items are being held at a Citadel Depository.
The company has stated that once a confirmation number is issued, the prices are locked-in. However, they are sympathetic to situations where a cancellation is unavoidable and they are willing to work with you.
If you wish to cancel or modify your order, we recommend doing so during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST), Monday through Thursday, or 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (EST) on Fridays.
Keep in mind that al cancellations are subject to their Market Loss Policy and you will likely be charged a $35.00 cancellation fee.
Yes, APMEX ships products internationally. Below are the list of countries they ship to.
- Asia: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand
- Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
- North America: Canada, Mexico, United States
- Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
- South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay
APMEX Reviews and Ratings (October 2023)
As of October 2023, these are some ratings of APMEX from different websites. Overall, they are not that great, especially since APMEX has received quite a few complaints and negative reviews. You can see some of them below:
- BBB - 3.86 out of 5 rating based on 182 reviews, rated A+, BBB accredited since 2004, 103 complaints closed in last 3 years
- BCA - "BBB" rating with 2 out of 5 stars (based on 5 reviews)
- Consumer Affairs - 3.7 out of 5 rating based on 246 reviews
- RipOff Report - 23 reports
- Trustpilot - 1.9 out of 5 rating based on 7,867 reviews
- Trustlink - a 3.5 out of 5 rating based on 3 reviews
This is quite alarming since it has 23 reports in Ripoff Report. Most of the complaints were clients not receiving their items. Some received empty boxes!
It also received a low rating in BBB, due to its complaints as well as its government action. You can see it for yourself below.
Nevertheless, APMEX also received good reviews from several clients. Most of them expressed their satisfaction after ordering products from APMEX.
APMEX Review: Reddit
Reddit is a go-to-place where people can easily ask for opinions regarding a certain company. Fortunately, APMEX does have good reputation on Reddit with users mostly saying the company has a wide selection, fast shipping, and good customer service.
But, recent comments show users having dislike because APMEX's prices have raised, and some complain about authenticity issues.
APMEX Fake Gold and Silver Accusations
Unfortunately, APMEX has been involved in a serious case regarding the authenticity and legitimacy of their products. In 2016, a lawsuit was filed against APMEX for alleged counterfeit gold bars. Interestingly, it was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
In 2017, APMEX again was accused of selling counterfeit silver rounds. Up to this day, the said lawsuit is still pending. The company has denied all allegations and are strongly defending that all of their products undergo tight testing processes.
There you have been warned about APMEX dark history. If you still want to buy from them, be wary and if able, always ask for a certificate of authenticity. This should state the weight, purity, and serial number of the product.
Is APMEX Silver and Gold Reputable?
The company has said that it has a rigorous testing process in place to ensure the authenticity of its products. But as shown earlier, the lawsuits have raised concerns about the company's authenticity standards.
The company has denied all allegations, so these lawsuits could be isolated cases. It still stands that APMEX is a reputable dealer of silver, gold, and other precious metals as they have been in business for over 20 years.
The company is a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). Their products are also insured by Lloyd's of London. I would say, yes, their products are reputable.
APMEX Review: Pros and Cons
APMEX Leadership Team
Scott Thomas (President and Founder)
Since the company’s founding, Scott Thomas has served as the company's president.
His grandfather was a mail-order coin dealer, who influenced his interest in coins and precious metals. After his grandfather passed away, he found his coin inventory and decided to sell these in eBay in the late 90s.
Over time, he worked hard to grow his business and in 2000, he founded American Precious Metals Exchange. He bought the former Federal Reserve building in Oklahoma City to use as both a storage facility for precious metals and as a storefront.
Scott garnered attention from various organizations, including the Presidential Award from the American Numismatic Association, the world's largest and most reputable numismatic organization. Additionally, Scott is a member of the International Precious Metals Institute (IPMI) and the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA).
Kenneth Lewis (Chief Executive Officer)
Having more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry, as well as leadership in retail organizations (many of which are Fortune 500 companies), Lewis have been a valuable asset in their growth. Lewis joined the company in 2011 and served as its EVP of Operations, and also became its Chief Operation Officer for two years.
Lewis acknowledges the importance of customer satisfaction, as well as employee development. Due to this, he is considered a vital part of the company’s success.
Doug Sterk (Chief Financial Officer)
With 20 years of experience in the worlds of finance and accounting, Sterk is highly adept in managing the company’s multi-billion dollar transactions per year.
He started as a controller with Paycom Software, Inc., where he demonstrated his budgeting, forecasting and strategic planning skills. Sterk is considered a vital part of what makes American Precious Metal Exchange so successful. As the company’s CFO, Sterk oversees the company’s financial and project management aspects of the company.
Sterk is a member of Financial Executives International and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Ryan Boyles (VP. merchandizing)
Lastly, we have Ryan Boyles, who joined APMEX in 2011. With his leadership roles in Business Development, Business Intelligence and Merchandizing, Boyles continues to play an important role in growing and developing the company’s financial instruments.
Boyles led various initiatives within APMEX, such as the launch of the company's e-commerce marketplace on Amazon and Walmart and third-party inventories.
Boyles also leads the development of exclusive product lines, including service and maintenance of merchandizing, inventory, planning, tools and dashboards.
In addition to its broad selection of products and services, APMEX has also garnered quite a number of awards over the years.
- #45 on Internet Retailer® magazine’s Top 500 Guide in 2017
- #1 Specialty E-retailer according to Internet Retailer
- Scott Thomas won the Presidential Award in 2009 from the American Numismatic Association
- Voted Best Place to Work by The Journal Record in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022
Is APMEX a Scam? Final Verdict
While we cannot say that APMEX is a scam, per se, they have received their fair share of negative reviews.
The company has also been around for a number of years, which means you will be working with an around for quite a while. Moreover, it does offer legit precious metals. It also has its share of positive reviews.
While it is common for a company of their size to have negative reviews, this should serve as a warning that not all APMEX customers come away happy. Whether or not you decide on choosing this company or another is entirely up to you.
However, we at Your Gold IRA Guide does not recommend APMEX for a number of reasons. We invite you to check out our top-recommended precious metals company.
Have a comment or question? Feel free to leave your question or comment in the field below. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions!