Acre Gold Review: Is This Gold Subscription Worth It?

GOBankingRates Score

4.0
Quick Take: You may have monthly subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, AppleTV+ -- but did you know that you can also subscribe to gold? That's exactly what Acre Gold lets you do. Acre Gold describes itself as a layaway program for bars of gold -- meaning that you buy a fraction of a bar of gold with your subscription fee each month, and then an actual bar of gold ships to you each time you've paid for one in full. But is this really a subscription worth having?
  • Innovation
    5.0
  • Service
    4.5
  • Flexibility
    3.0
  • Value
    3.5
How did we calculate this?

    Pros

    • Aims to be an industry disruptor
    • Offers a low barrier to entry
    • Seeks to make gold investing approachable
    • Has a flexible subscription model

    Cons

    • No clear path to liquidation
    • No clarity around how much a bar of gold costs
    • Limited customer service
    • No focus on building community

    What Is Acre Gold?

    Acre, the company behind Acre Gold, describes itself as a brand dedicated to helping people discover and acquire precious metals. The company believes that the available methods for buying gold are outdated, often relegated to obscure e-commerce sites or pawn shops. Acre, based in Santa Monica, California and Boise, Idaho, believes that possessing actual gold can provide valuable security and peace of mind in uncertain economic times.

    What Does Acre Gold Cost?

    You’ll pay a $12 one-time membership fee at sign-up, and you’ll pay the shipping and fulfillment charges every time a new bar of gold ships to you. There are two available monthly subscription plans — one for $50 per month that will ship you a bar of gold weighing 2.5 grams, and a second for $100 that targets bars of gold weighing 5 grams.

    How It Works

    Once you initiate and activate an Acre Gold membership, you’ll begin the process of paying monthly dues and earning bars of gold, which will ship to you as you earn them. It’s unclear how much a bar of gold will cost, however — and that may be because it depends on market value.

    Acre Gold’s Cancellation Policy

    According to Acre Gold’s website, cancellation or account modification is possible at any time. However, should you return any of its products or fail to receive a shipment, you’ll need to report it within a few days or so and could face fees or potential refusal of the transaction if not completed to the company’s specifications.

    How Is Acre Gold’s Customer Service?

    There is one route to customer service at Acre Gold, and it’s an email address listed quietly at the bottom of its home page. Given that the service is intended to get people doing something that they’ve never done before — buying actual bars of gold — some customers have found email communications to be slower than desired or not ideal for communicating about this unfamiliar kind of transaction.

    Additionally, the company maintains stringent terms of service and reserves the right to change a customer’s terms at any time, even without notification. If you’re a customer or you plan to become one, you’re best off checking the company’s terms of service prior to each monthly subscription fee or transaction.

    Is the Acre Gold Product Legitimate?

    Acre Gold appears to care about the quality of its product. It claims that its bars are 99.9% pure gold. They’re designed in California and minted in Switzerland. Each bar comes with a card certifying its authenticity, which lists the weight and authentication of the bar by the person who evaluated it, called an assayer. The bars ship in discreet packaging that is designed to reveal tampering, also known as “tamper-evident,” so you’ll know if it has been interfered with in shipment.

    To date, there are 30 complaints about Acre Gold on the Better Business Bureau’s website. Each of them has been addressed by the company — so if you’re pondering a subscription, you may want to go to the site and read through the customer experiences that have been reported and evaluate Acre Gold’s responses.

    Is It the Right Investment for You?

    The answer to that question depends on your risk tolerance and investment goals. If you want to invest in precious metals without going through the stock market to do so, for example, then buying bars of gold might make sense for you.

    On the other hand, if you’re not where you want to be in terms of liquid assets, or you foresee a need or desire to liquidate the gold in the shorter term, you should probably weigh your other options, since gold is not a particularly bearish asset, and you may lose money if you resell it quickly.

    Good To Know

    A more common way to invest in gold, for those open to trading equities, is to purchase exchange-traded funds that specialize in gold metal. There are several of these on the market and due to the spread of commission-free trading, you’ll likely be able to enter these low-cost investments without paying any fees.

    In comparison, with Acre Gold, you’ll pay a membership fee, fulfillment fee and shipping fee, creating more frictional costs to investing in gold as compared to ETFs.

    Does It Work? A Good Idea That Needs Development

    The premise of Acre Gold is that you should be able to invest in precious metals without scouting for them on obscure e-commerce websites or making a visit to your local pawn shop. Does it work, though?

    No Clear, Safe Path to Liquidation

    Although at first glance this seems like a win, it’s unclear how you would liquidate your investment if you ever wanted or needed to. Seemingly, the liquidation process could land you in the exact spots that Acre Gold is trying to keep you away from — seedy pawn shops and obscure, niche websites that you may find difficult to trust. If Acre Gold is really devoted to making Gold more approachable, as its website claims, one could argue that it should introduce a buyback program.

    A Missed Opportunity To Build Community

    Additionally, the company could build an online community into its subscription offering — giving its customers a way to connect with each other and exchange best practices for safe storing and liquidation. Instead, Acre Gold’s current program would like to sell you gold without giving you much to go on.

    Buyer Beware: Do Your Homework

    Although holding your savings in the palm of your hand may be comforting, as one Acre Gold customer testimonial suggests, we recommend that you do extensive research on this potential investment. If you decide to try it, consider starting slowly, monitoring your account carefully and proceeding with caution.

    Consider Security at Every Step

    Know upfront what your approach to securely storing and selling your bars will be and understand any potential risks associated with buying and selling bars of gold. Also be sure to protect your anonymity in any online forums you may visit about buying gold; it’s still a niche way to invest and you should guard your privacy carefully.

    Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

    About the Author

    Kelli Francis is a writer and content strategist. She started her career with a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and went on to work in some of the industry’s busiest newsrooms, from The Seattle Times to MSN.com, WebMD and Yahoo. In nearly a decade at Yahoo, she worked as an assistant managing editor at Yahoo Finance, specializing in personal finance content; a producer for Yahoo News; and a managing editor on Yahoo’s home page team. A perennial seeker, Kelli is currently expanding her knowledge of all things finance as a student at The American College of Financial Services. She is also the very proud mom of a wonderful and unstoppable 7-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  

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