iTrustCapital provides a platform for buying, selling and holding crypto, gold and silver within tax-advantaged IRAs, making it an appealing option for retirement investors seeking opportunities in alternative assets.
This iTrustCapital review examines how the company’s self-directed IRAs work, including the fees and account minimums. We’ll also talk about the account’s security provisions, as well as how it compares to competitors.
iTrustCapital provides a straightforward, affordable platform for adding cryptocurrencies and precious metals to IRAs. Its competitive 1% trading fee on crypto with no account fees, solid security protections, and support for major coins makes it stand out among self-directed crypto IRA providers. However, a limited coin selection may be a drawback for some. For basic tax-advantaged buy-and-hold crypto and metals exposure, iTrustCapital is a solid choice. Active traders may prefer competitors with more coins or lower per-trade costs.
- Low 1% crypto trading fee.
- No account setup or monthly fees.
- Can transfer existing crypto held within an IRA.
- Just 30 coins offered.
- $1,000 minimum.
iTrust Capital at a Glance
|Trading fees:||1% fee for buying and selling crypto.|
|Monthly fees:||No monthly account or maintenance fees.|
|IRA types:||Roth, traditional and SEP.|
|Minimum investment:||$1,000 to open and $500 for additional contributions.|
|Trading:||24/7 crypto trading platform.|
|Security:||Provided through custodial storage.|
How an iTrustCapital Crypto IRA Works
The IRS has few restrictions on what types of assets can be held within an IRA, with exceptions like art and life insurance.
While most mainstream brokerages limit IRA investment options to stocks, bonds, funds and cash, investors can open a self-directed IRA (SDIRA) to invest in a much wider array of assets.
By using an SDIRA structure and an IRS-approved custodian like iTrustCapital does, investors can hold these alternative assets in a tax-advantaged account despite the limitations of traditional IRA providers.
After creating your account with iTrustCapital (and selecting the type of IRA you’d like to open), you’re able to fund your account in a few ways:
- Direct transfer. Transfer assets from an existing IRA into your new iTrustCapital IRA.
- 401(k) or employer plan rollover. If you have 401(k) funds from a previous employer you haven’t consolidated into an IRA yet, you can transfer those funds to an iTrustCapital IRA.
- New cash contributions. Deposit new funds via bank wire or check. Keep in mind that you must stay within the annual IRA contribution limits.
You need a minimum of $1,000 of funds transferred or cash deposited to open an account.
While you can make an in-kind transfer of cryptocurrency from one IRA provider to another without selling, you cannot transfer cryptocurrencies held in a regular taxable account or a private wallet into an IRA without selling them first.
Because IRAs only allow cash transfers, selling cryptocurrency outside an IRA could trigger taxable gains.
Once your assets are transferred to iTrustCapital, they’ll be available in your account for trading within two weeks.
iTrustCapital offers 34 crypto assets that can be traded 24/7 directly on its platform.
The selection includes popular coins like:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Ripple (XRP)
You can place buy or sell orders 24/7.
Analysis: With its limited selection of around 34 cryptocurrencies, iTrustCapital is best suited for passive crypto investors looking to buy and hold blue chip assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum. While sufficient for basic diversification, active traders looking for small and mid-cap crypto assets may prefer platforms like Alto IRA, which offer hundreds of coins through integration with exchanges like Coinbase.
Overall, the straightforward 1% trading fee makes recurring investments cost-effective. This allows dollar cost averaging into positions without excessive transaction fees.
However, there is a $500 minimum for additional contributions after opening the account. This minimum amount could be restrictive for smaller investors or those just starting out who want to make regular recurring investments. For example, someone may want to invest $100 monthly, which is impossible with iTrustCapital’s $500 minimum.
Buying Physical Gold and Silver
In addition to crypto, investors can diversify their iTrustCapital retirement account with physical gold and silver bars.
Trades are executed through precious metals dealer Kitco. Bars are stored at the Royal Canadian Mint’s vaults, which you can visit in person.
The fees for buying and selling gold and silver are:
- Gold: $50 over the current spot price per ounce.
- Silver: $2.5 over the current spot price per ounce.
If gold trades for $1,800 per ounce, your total cost would be $1,850 per ounce, including iTrustCapital’s transaction fee.
Analysis: Compared to specialty precious metals IRAs, such as industry leader Augusta Precious Metals, iTrustCapital provides much lower account minimums but fewer metal options. Augusta requires a $50,000 minimum purchase for gold or silver, whereas iTrustCapital only has a $1,000 minimum to open an account. However, Augusta offers platinum and palladium in addition to gold and silver.
So while iTrustCapital has much lower minimums, Augusta caters more to dedicated precious metals investors who can shift at least $50,000 of existing retirement assets into precious metals and want more options to invest in.
Staking Cryptocurrency to Earn Rewards (No Longer Available)
In the past, iTrustCapital enabled staking of the Polkadot (DOT) cryptocurrency held in accounts.
Staking involves temporarily locking up coins to help validate transactions on proof-of-stake blockchains.
In exchange, stakers earn rewards, akin to earning interest.
Although the trial was successful and all investors received staked rewards, this feature is no longer available on iTrustCapital.
Due to stringent regulatory oversight, many platforms, including iTrustCapital, have retracted staking features within crypto IRAs. This cautious approach is likely to persist until clearer regulatory guidelines emerge.
iTrustCapital Fees and Account Minimums
One of the biggest advantages of iTrustCapital is its straightforward, competitive pricing structure.
There are no common fees like:
- Account setup costs.
- Monthly account maintenance charges.
- Fees for storing physical gold/silver bars.
The only fee on crypto assets is a 1% transaction cost whenever you buy or sell cryptocurrencies in your IRA.
There are no commissions or premiums when buying and selling physical gold/silver beyond the built-in processing fees.
Analysis: The 1% crypto trading fee is reasonable but can hinder those who frequently trade larger amounts.
Their free structure is very similar to competitor Alto IRA, which charges no annual fee but a 1% transaction fee when buying or selling cryptocurrencies. One advantage of Alto, however, is that they don’t have a $1,000 minimum or $500 minimum additional contribution limit.
Choice IRA, another competitor, offers two account structures: self-custody with monthly fees and cold storage with a 1% annual account fee but no trading fees. Read our Choice IRA review to learn more.
How iTrustCapital Compares to Other Crypto IRA Providers
Founded in 2018, iTrustCapital was among the first dedicated crypto IRA investing platforms. But the space has grown more competitive as crypto IRAs gain popularity.
iTrustCapital vs. Bitcoin IRA
Bitcoin IRA offers similar services (cryptocurrencies and precious metals within IRAs). You can open an account with a $3,000 flat amount or a $100 monthly contribution.
Fees for Bitcoin IRA, while not displayed on the website, are higher than iTrustCapital. When I called to inquire, I was quoted a 12.5% front-loaded fee on any cash I transferred. There was a 5% fee on any additional buys, with a 1% fee to sell. There was no monthly fee.
ITrustCapital vs. Alto IRA
Compared to iTrustCapital, Alto IRA offers a lower minimum investment and lower minimums for additional contributions.
Alto only requires a $10 minimum to open an account and start trading, versus iTrustCapital’s $1,000 minimum.
This makes it more accessible for smaller investors. Alto also has no minimum for subsequent contributions, providing more flexibility.
The 1% crypto trading fee matches iTrustCapital’s.
A key advantage is Alto IRA supports investing in any cryptocurrency available on Coinbase (which is over 200 coins), compared to iTrustCapital’s 34.
For security, Alto uses a combination of hot and cold storage through Coinbase custody solutions to secure crypto assets. In contrast, iTrustCapital stores cryptocurrencies with institutional third-party custodians.
See our Alto IRA review to learn more.
TrustCapital vs. Other Alternatives
For experienced active crypto traders, Rocket Dollar is likely the best alternative IRA. Though RocketDollar has a higher account setup and monthly fees, it gives you full control over your crypto assets. You can even use decentralized exchanges, unique in the IRA space. See our our Rocket Dollar review for more info.
Choice IRA has a 1% annual account fee for cold storage and a 1% trading fee. One unique aspect is the ability to invest in stocks, ETFs and other assets through Integration with Interactive Brokers. So Choice IRA offers a strong combination for buy-and-hold crypto traders who won’t make frequent contributions but want to consolidate other investment accounts. Read our Choice IRA review for a full analysis.
Security: Is iTrustCapital Safe for Retirement Accounts?
iTrustCapital utilizes a third-party qualified custodian called Fortress Trust to hold client assets in individual retirement accounts for each client’s benefit.
Fortress uses technologies like Fireblocks and BitGo to securely provide custody of digital assets in cold storage. These providers undergo regular audits and have SOC 2 certifications. There is also commercial crime insurance coverage.
For cash deposits, iTrustCapital uses the FDIC-insured Cross River Bank. This protects cash holdings up to $250,000 against bank failure, not investment losses.
Physical gold and silver bars are stored at the Royal Canadian Mint’s vaults. The metals are not mixed with company operating funds.
iTrustCapital and Fortress Trust maintain a business continuity plan if a wind-down were ever needed. Client assets would remain under their control and need to be transferred to a new custodian, as they are always segregated from company funds.
Like most self-directed IRA providers, iTrustCapital is not an SEC regulated entity, but its custodian Fortress Trust is a state-chartered trust company overseen by regulators.
Who is iTrustCapital Best For?
First things first: crypto IRAs should only be considered if you’re on track for your retirement goals with traditional assets, such as index funds.
Crypto is extremely risky, and you shouldn’t be betting your retirement on the asset itself.
Once you’ve secured your retirement basics, iTrustCapital ranks as a top crypto IRA platform worth considering.
Its straightforward 1% trading fee and lack of monthly maintenance charges are big advantages.
Alto IRA edges it out slightly with our highest rating among crypto IRAs thanks to lower minimums, no annual fee, and more coin selection.
But iTrustCapital remains competitive.
The crypto IRA space has shockingly high fees among some providers, making due diligence critical.
iTrustCapital’s transparent, low-cost structure is appealing relative to the field.