It’s not a secret that gold and silver make a profitable investment – they’ve been considered one of the most stable and fruitful tangible assets for a long time now.
If lately, you’ve been contemplating investing your money, you might want to consider pouring it in precious metals. This kind of investment is highly beneficial in the long term, which is why more and more people add gold and silver to their retirement accounts.
Currently, there are many precious metals dealers that offer the service that adds precious metals into retirement accounts. One of them is a world-famous company called Kitco, a pioneer in the industry. If you’ve ever researched gold or any other precious metal, you’ve probably stumbled upon Kitco.
Popularity doesn’t necessarily mean high-class service and products. What is the case with Kitco? Is this company trustworthy, or should you buy gold and silver elsewhere?
In this Kitco review, you’ll find the answers to these questions and more as I go deep into the heart of the matter.
Let’s begin, shall we?
About Kitco Metals Inc
Kitco is a global precious metals retailer. Their website is visited by millions on a daily basis for helpful, up-to-date, real-time market information, analysis, news, and other online precious metals services. For many, Kitco is a leading source of information regarding global bullion markets.
Kitco was founded in Canada, with the headquarters based in Montreal, but they currently have offices in Hong Kong and New York too.
The company has several services, including Kitco Media, Kitco Refining, and Kitco Precious Metals Divison. For the purpose of a comprehensive review, I’ve discussed each of them separately in the Products and Services section, so scroll down if you’re intrigued to learn more.
In the late 1970s, Kitco was a small business started by a McGill University student Bart Kitner. At the time, Kitco’s founder was collecting scrap gold from jewelers across Eastern Canada, refining it, and selling the pure gold jewels to bigger players.
Eventually, he spread his business into other areas, and by the 1990s, into the precious metals industry. Kitner made the most significant breakthrough with his company in 1995, when he launched the website kitco.com. This step ensured Kitco an online presence long before the Internet became what it is today.
The website kept the general public informed about the latest precious metals market news and prices, helpful information that was previously guarded to protect the knowledge advantage of a few big names who held the monopoly in the industry.
Kitco paved the way for many bullion dealers today with its strong online and offline presence and large audience. It was the first Canadian bullion dealer that supplied investors with silver and gold that’s eligible to be held in their RRSPs (Registered Retirement Savings Plan).
Today, after more than four decades in the business, Kitco is one of the most renowned bullion dealers.
Products and services
It’s time to break Kitco’s products and services down to the nitty-gritty.
Kitco Precious Metals Division
Starting with gold in 1977, and moving on to all precious metals in the 1990s, Kitco has been a trusted bullion dealer for decades. The company delivers a range of products to individuals and corporations alike. Their clientele includes a global network of investors, corporate and institutional buyers, as well as small businesses and solopreneurs looking to invest in bullion.
The Precious Metals Division entails:
- Bullion products
- Coins and collectibles
- Gold and Silver IRA/RSP
Kitco’s bullion offer consists of the most popular coins and bars produced by the world’s famous mints:
- US Mint
Kitco sells American Eagles and American Buffalos. The Gold American Eagle is the official bullion coin of the United States. The Gold American Buffalo is the only 24K gold coin minted in the US. Both coins exist in other metal versions too.
- Royal Canadian Mint
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is one of the most sought-after gold coins in the existence. This is a pure 24K gold coin with an awe-inspiring design.
The Maple Leaf comes in other metals too. Besides the coin, the mint produces bars of different sizes and metals.
- British Royal Mint
The British Royal Mint produces a beautiful coin called Britannia. Kitco sells the silver and the gold version of this exquisite coin.
- South African Mint
Krugerrand is a well-known coin minted by the South African Mint. Kitco offers it in gold and silver, although it’s important to note that Krugerrand isn’t pure gold; it’s always been made to be a 22K gold coin.
- Perth Mint
Kitco carries the Kangaroo, a coin minted by the Australian Perth Mint in both silver and gold versions. The Perth Mint also produces gold bars sold by Kitco.
- Austrian Mint
Gold or Silver Philharmonic are magnificent coins minted in Austria. Kitco’s offer includes a 1oz version of the coin.
Besides silver and gold, you can also get palladium, platinum, and even rhodium bullion. However, it’s not easy getting your hands on these precious metals, especially palladium. In the past few years, palladium has been in high demand that cannot meet the supply, resulting in palladium prices rocketing like never before. The fact that it’s 30 times rarer than gold makes it even more valuable.
Rhodium is also rarer than gold, which makes it super hard to get. That’s why, most of the time, rhodium and palladium bullion are out of stock.
One thing you should know is that if you decided to purchase physical bullion, there is a minimum amount you need to buy – for online orders it’s 2,000 USD/CAD, and for store purchases in Montreal it’s 1,000 USD/CAD.
If you’re more interested in coins and collectibles rather than bullion, Kitco has some pieces in their offer. You can check out the entire assortment here.
Kitco also allows you to sell your precious metals to them. If you’ve decided to get rid of some of your precious metals holdings, know that you can sell them for a good price at Kitco. To get all the details on how to do this, you can send them an e mail or contact them via phone.
The Precious Metals Division also has an IRA/RSP subdivision. This means that Kitco offers their clients to buy precious metals and invest them in their retirement accounts.
For precious metals to qualify for retirement accounts, they have to be manufactured by a recognized national mint or they have to be made by refiners that either has ISO 9001:2008 certification or are named on an industry-standard list.
Kitco is able to service physical gold and silver into 15 different Canadian registered accounts, including:
For clients from the United States, Kitco has the option to add precious metals into their IRAs. They don’t explain the process of adding gold and silver to your retirement account, so it’s best to contact them directly and ask about your specific needs.
Another part of the Precious Metals Division is the VaultChain™. If you digitally buy and sell precious metals, Kitco will keep all your holdings at the Royal Canadian Mint. Kitco claims all the transactions are completed via a blockchain distributed ledger for data accuracy, auditability, and real-time tracking.
Kitco calls this “the original division of Kitco” as it was the only thing the company offered back in 1977. Today, Kitco helps their industry partners by recycling their precious metals through competitive prices, many payment options, and convenient shipping to their doorstep.
They serve businesses from various fields – dentists, pawnshop owners, antique dealers, jewelers, manufacturers, and others use Kitco’s refining service.
I mentioned that Kitco delivered regular updates and real-time prices on their website to millions of visitors. They have a special division dedicated specifically to this purpose called Kitco Media.
Kitco Media has three subdivisions:
- Kitco News
Kitco News is a subdivision that entails a team of dedicated journalists who report on the precious metal markets with objectivity and accuracy, according to Kitco. The news includes helpful information like daily market roundups, interviews with important industry figures, coverage of industry events, and similar.
- Kitco Mining
The second subdivision of Kitco Media is dedicated to reporting on the mining industry. Their reports revolve around real-time base metal and mining stock prices, mining trends, exclusive interviews with CEOs, etc.
- Kitco Crypto
Kitco Crypto provides a proactive take on how the cryptocurrency market, an $800+ billion financial system, impacts the commodities market and investor sentiment. They keep the customers and investors informed with data-driven analysis on breaking news and trends.
Payment options at Kitco vary depending on your location. For customers in the United States and Canada, these are the available ways to pay:
- Cleared funds on a Kitco account (FOA) – no limit, no holding period, accepted currencies are USD, CAD, EUR, GBP.
- Credit card (Visa, MasterCard) – $25,000 limit, no holding period (USD, CAD).
- PayPal – $25,000 limit, no holding period (USD, CAD).
- Bank wire – no limit, no holding period, (USD, CAD, EUR, GBP).
- Bank check/draft/money order – $10,000 limit, 3 business days holding period (USD, CAD).
- Personal/company check – $10,000 limit, 6 business days holding period (USD, CAD).
- Online bill pay – no limit, no holding period (CAD).
You have to hand it to Kitco for providing so many payment options to their clients. Well, at least to their clients in North America. For the rest of the world, these are the options:
- Bank wire
- Cleared funds on a Kitco account (FOA)
If you pay via bank wire, bank check, personal check, online bill payment, or funds on your account, you are eligible for a 4% discount.
And one more thing – Kitco accepts cash, but there are a few conditions. Firstly, cash payments can only be made in their retail store in Montreal. Secondly, they accept only USD and CAD. Thirdly, the limit per day per transaction is 9,500 CAD or 7,000 USD. And lastly, 85% of the note denominations in a transaction have to be in $50 and $100.
If you intend to purchase Kitco’s products, you can always reach out to their customer support team and they will answer all the concerns regarding a sale, transaction, and so forth.
Just like with payment options, Kitco has two delivery options:
If you live in the United States or Canada, you can choose between three delivery options:
- Ground shipping – 15 USD/CAD or FREE on orders above 5,000 USD. This one takes up to 30 business days.
- Standard shipping – 30 USD/CAD, you will receive your order within 3-4 business days.
- Express shipping – 50 USD/CAD, you will receive your order within 1-2 business days.
Kitco also has different rules if your purchase is large or non-standard, as they call it.
For example, if you buy over $100,000 worth of products, 700 oz or more of products, and similar, you will have to pay special prices. It’s important to note that if your special order needs to be delivered via an armored car, it can be delivered only to banks, businesses, or depository services, never to residential addresses.
One great thing is that Kitco insures all shipments. This means that their insurer is liable if your order is lost or stolen while in transit.
For international delivery (outside the US and Canada), there is only one option:
- Standard shipping – minimum 135 USD, you will receive your order within 5-10 business days.
The same rules about large/non-standard shipments are in motion for international shipping.
Kitco has a strict no refund policy in place – they do not accept returns of precious metal bullion items. However, they can buy the product back from you at the prevailing market price.
Although they don’t offer refunds, you can exchange products. Items are viable for exchange if they are damaged or “not in an acceptable condition as stated in the related product description.”
Due to the nature of precious metals, small scratches and similar damages don’t affect the metals’ value, so Kitco is happy to exchange them. In all other cases, exchanges are not possible.
Kitco Allocated Storage Program
Kitco offers to their customers a service called Kitco Allocated Storage Program. This allows you to store gold, silver, and platinum in secured vaults in a crown corporation in Canada, a COMEX-approved depository in the United States, or in Hong Kong.
If you opt for the Allocated Storage Program, you can enjoy the many benefits that come with it:
- Your metals are allocated in a highly secured facility but they’re at your disposal at all times. You can always add, withdraw or sell them.
- You can track your holdings 24/7 online via your Kitco account.
- All your belongings are fully insured against loss, damage, and theft.
All bullion sold by Kitco is eligible for storage, but there is a minimum amount:
- Gold – minimum increment 10 oz
- Silver – minimum increment 500 oz
- Platinum – minimum increment 10 oz
If you add gold or silver to your retirement account, you will have to pay certain fees. The exact amount is not publicly available, so you have to contact Kitco through e mail or phone to get the details. The only thing they say is that the fee depends on your custodian.
Another type of fee you’ll have to pay is the storage fee if you decide to use their Allocation Storage Program. These fees are based on the type and quantity of the precious metal, meaning they are personalized according to your holdings. The storage fees are monthly payments.
A few more fees regarding storage are:
- Precious metals transfer fee – $35 plus applicable taxes. This one applies to each sale of precious metals from your storage.
- Administrative withdrawal fee – $75 plus applicable taxes. This fee applies each time you withdraw precious metals from the storage.
But that’s not all – additional shipping, handling, and insurance fees may apply too.
Kitco Customer Service
Based on customer reviews and feedback on reputable review sites, Kitco has professional customer service.
Their phone support service gives potential or existing customers a chance to speak with a representative who can help them with any concerns.
Whether you have a question regarding investments, products, or a simple technical issue with payments and similar, you can always call customer service, and they will be happy to help.
There is also the option to contact them via email or visit their store in Montreal.
One downside is that Kitco doesn’t have 24/7 live chat support, which comes in handy with concerns that don’t require a lot of attention and could be solved quickly. Luckily, the customer service team is responsive, but you can only reach them during working hours.
Pros And Cons
Each company has its merits and shortcomings. These are the main complaints and praises about Kitco from their customers.
- User-friendly website
One thing most Kitco’s clients say is that they like the website. To tell you the truth, I liked it too. It’s informative, well-organized, simple to navigate, and it’s easy on the eyes. It features many useful categories and information that you can seldom find elsewhere. When buying precious metals, it really helps to have all the necessary info in one place, and that’s what Kitco’s website provides.
- Reliable information
You can count on all the info provided by Kitco to be accurate and up-to-date. The company puts enormous effort into bringing all the details, breaking news, and trends to their customers on a daily basis.
- Professional customer service
As I mentioned earlier, Kitco’s customer support is not only responsive and polite, but they’re also quite professional and knowledgeable. Their agents are able to give you advice and help you with administrative issues.
The main complaints about Kitco include:
- Absence of live chat support
Many people argue that live chat support would be really useful in certain situations, like when they experience a minor problem that can be solved in a few minutes.
- Lack of clients review
For a company that’s been in business 40+ years, the lack of reviews is shocking. A company with a large user base like Kitco should have more online reviews, which begs the question: Is Kitco removing client’s reviews, or is something else going on?
- Not suitable for numismatists
Collectors of rare coins and other collectibles may not find what they’re looking for at Kitco. Although they do offer some coins and collectibles, they’re not rare, hard-to-find pieces that some other providers offer.
Kitco Metals Inc Customer Reviews
Feedback from customers is how you know whether to trust a company or not. What do Kitco’s clients have to say about this dealer?
Business Consumer Alliance – BCA
Well, this one will be short – Kitco Metals Inc is NOT listed with the Business Consumer Alliance.
Truth be told, I find it odd that Kitco is not listed on BCA. It is a very popular bullion dealer, and the fact that there isn’t a single customer review on BCA is a bit suspicious. Not to be listed at all is even more suspicious, especially when you consider some smaller companies are on BCA.
Better Business Bureau – BBB
What about BBB? Is Kitco Metals Inc listed on this reputable site?
Well, yes, but I reckon the company would be better off without a BBB page.
Namely, Kitco’s BBB rating is A+. However, the customer rating is 2.3 out of 5 stars, and the business is NOT BBB accredited.
There are two customer complaints in total. One complaint is about a late delivery, and the other is about issues with the transaction and Kitco refusing to honor the customer’s purchase. Both were read and answered by the company pretty quickly. According to BBB, the matters seem to be resolved now.
Kitco Metals Inc has a page on Trustlink, but there isn’t a single user review, rating, or complaint there.
Kitco Review – Final Verdict
If you would like to invest your money in precious metals, Kitco might be the right dealer for you. One of the pioneers and giants on the current market, Kitco is a trusted dealer and a source of accurate, up-to-date information about all things related to precious metals.
Based on the few reviews I managed to dig (and I dug deep), the company did receive some backlash from past users for a few things, the most recent being an issue with late delivery.
What shocked me the most is the lack of feedback and customer reviews. With a large company such as Kitco, you’d expect to be finding reviews left and right. But that’s not the case.
While this isn’t a good thing, it’s not a deal-breaker either. Kitco has been in the business for decades, they have built a large user base, and it’s kind of old-school in many aspects which could explain the absence of online reviews.
Hopefully, this super-thorough Kitco review has helped you to better understand the company and what’s going on behind the curtains, so you can make a smart choice if you decide to get into IRA investing.