How to buy gold online

Gold is one of the most popular commodities and is used for a range of purposes. Buying it online has never been easier and in this guide we’ll explain how to buy gold online in 2022
By:  &  James Knight
Reviewed by Richard Stutely
Updated: Jul 6, 2022

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This beginner friendly page explains what you need to know about buying gold online. We explain the different ways you can buy it, offer a step-by-step guide on how to buy it, and explore what makes it a good investment. Read on to learn more about buying gold online. 

Compare the best platforms to buy gold

If you want to buy gold you’ll find it easiest to use an online brokerage. Below, our commodity experts have selected some of the best platforms around where you can buy gold right now. Click on any of the links to get started in just a few minutes.

1
Min. Deposit
$ 10
Promotion
User Score
10
Up to $240 bonus!
Award-winning trading platform
Regulated and trusted broker worldwide
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Payment Methods:
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full Regulations:
CySEC, FCA
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2
Min. Deposit
$ 0
Promotion
User Score
9.5
World's biggest online bullion market
High-security vaults based Zurich, London, Toronto, Singapore and New York
Next-day withdrawals
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Full Regulations:
3
Min. Deposit
$ 10000
Promotion
User Score
9.5
Quotes for precious metals 24hrs
Secure storage in Switzerland
Physical gold and silver (high-quality bullion bars and coins
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Full Regulations:

How to buy gold online – a step-by-step guide

There are a few different ways you can buy gold online and all require you to use a broker. Below we’ve included the steps you need to take to buy gold online. 

1. Choose your broker

You can either buy physical gold or buy gold derivatives like futures or CFDs. Either option will require you to use a broker. When selecting your broker you’ll need to consider their fees and commissions. If you’re buying physical gold you’ll also need to think about storage costs. 

2. Decide on your budget

Gold is usually priced per ounce and its value fluctuates daily. When investing in gold you should carefully consider your budget and stick to it. Allocating a portion of your portfolio to gold is a good way to gain exposure to it and it goes without saying to never invest more than you can afford to lose. 

3. Do your research

As gold is such a popular commodity there is lots of information about it online. You should take the time to research it and its potential before moving forward with any purchases. There are times when its price will rise faster than other assets and times when its value may fall. Good research will help you time your investment. 

4. Decide how to buy

There are lots of ways you can buy gold. From physical bars delivered to your front door, to futures contracts, or gold mining companies. Each way to buy has its own benefits and drawbacks and you should decide which method you want to use. 

5. Register your broker account

You’ll have already selected your broker by now and will be ready to register an account. This is a quick process and all you need to do is fill in your contact information on your brokers sign up page. You may have to provide a form of identification before you can deposit funds. 

6. Make your purchase

Now you can go ahead and buy your gold. First you need to log into your brokerage account and find the method of investing you want to use (futures, etfs, stocks, bullion etc.) Next if you are happy with the price you can enter how much you want to purchase and click the buy button. 

What is gold?

Gold is a precious metal commodity that has a range of uses. From jewellery, electronics, and safe haven investing among others, gold has been used for thousands of years as a form of currency. Buying gold and holding it for a long period of time is considered a safe investment by many experts and, at times, it has outperformed other assets.  

Types of gold you can buy online 

When buying physical gold online you have a few options of the type of bullion you can purchase. Here’s a rundown of the types of gold you can buy online:

Gold bars

Gold bars are probably what comes to most people’s minds when thinking of gold. Below are the pros and cons of gold bars.  

  • Pros: Gold bars offer the least expensive price per ounce way to buy gold. A gold bar also takes up less storage room on a per-ounce basis. Buying gold bars offers a long-term store of value, making them a good asset to hold on to, especially as a hedge against economic turmoil and stock market crashes.  
  • Cons: Physical gold is always vulnerable to theft. Also, if you buy a larger gold bar you might have trouble selling it, simply because you’ll need to find a buyer who can afford it. Bigger bars come with the added expense of requiring an official assay before they can be sold and you’ll need to pay for its secure storage. 

Gold coins 

Gold coins are minted in a number of different places, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Australia. Here are the pros and cons associated with buying gold coins:

  • Pros: Gold coins are value-dense, easy to store, portable, and can be liquidated anywhere in the world. They’re low maintenance, impossible to hack or erase, and a great hedge against market volatility. Their smaller size compared to bars makes them more accessible to all ranges of budgets.
  • Cons: Coins have a more intricate design, making them prettier than plain bars…but also more expensive to produce and thus more expensive on a per-ounce basis to buy. They’re also more vulnerable to theft, and don’t produce interest or dividends. 

Different ways to invest in gold

Buying physical gold is not very practical and there are alternative options available. Here are the different ways you can buy gold online. 

  • Stocks. Buying companies that are involved in the production or mining of gold is one of the easiest ways to invest in the metal. There are lots of different stocks that focus on gold and their share prices rise and fall in line with how the commodity is performing. 
  • Futures. If you want to buy gold for a short period of time then futures contracts are your best option. You can speculate on the near term price movements of gold through futures. Although it is worth noting that futures contracts can be complicated and are best left to experienced investors. 
  • ETFs. Exchange traded funds are similar to stocks, although they include a collection of companies that are involved in the gold market. There are lots of gold ETFs around, each focusing on a different asept of its mining or production. ETFs are a cost effective way to indirectly buy gold and speculate on its price. 
  • Mutual Funds. Funds are similar to ETFs and their main difference is they are managed by a professional who buys stocks according to their expertise. Like ETFs, there are lots of gold focused mutual funds around. However it’s worth noting that funds charge annual fees and are generally more expensive than ETFs. 
  • CFDs. Buying gold using CFDs is another way to bet on its short term price movements. When you buy gold CFDs you don’t actually own the commodity and are placing a bet on if its price will go up or down in the short term. CFDs are usually commission free and can work out cheaper than futures contracts. 
  • Physical gold. If you want to invest in the real deal, then buying physical gold online is the way to go. It’s very easy to find gold brokers selling bullion or coins online. One thing to note with physical gold is you will need to consider storage fees, unless of course you plan to keep your gold at home. 

Which method is right for me?

Your own circumstances, risk appetite, and goals may determine which method of buying gold is right for you. You can find a brief rundown of each below:

  • Physical. Buying gold bars or coins is best suited to investors staying for the long term. Physical gold comes with storage costs so you’ll need to consider that when deciding. Gold has a broad range of uses in its physical form, so rather than speculating on its price, you’ll also benefit from buyers wanting it in the future. 
  • Digital. If you want to buy gold to add it to your portfolio as a way to diversify or hedge against inflation then digital is the best way. You have lots of options to buy gold online from stocks, ETFs, funds, and CFDs. Buying gold using one of these methods is an easy way to speculate on its price over the long or short term. 

Is buying gold online a good investment?

It can be and historically its price has risen providing investors strong returns. When global economic conditions are poor, gold tends to perform well and is a good investment to hedge against inflation. It’s also an excellent way to diversify your portfolio and its numerous uses means demand in the coming years will continue to grow. 

Unlike lots of other investments, when buying gold online you have lots of options as to the way to buy. You can buy physical gold which can be delivered directly to your home, or kept in secure storage. You can also buy it through online brokerages using stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, or CFDs. 

Its versatile use, different ways to buy, and store of value features makes it a good investment for anyone wanting to protect their portfolio while benefiting from long term growth prospects. 

How to buy gold stocks

Gold stocks refer to companies that operate within the gold industry. This can include a wide range of businesses from miners to refineries and many more. Buying gold stocks is a top way to invest in the metal. Businesses operating in the gold industry, especially miners, see their share prices mimic that of the price of the commodity. 

There are lots of gold stocks to choose from and picking the best ones is no easy feat. If you want to learn more about the best gold stocks to buy in 2022, you can visit our in depth guide. To buy gold stocks you’ll need a broker that lists them. Our comparison table above has a selection of brokers that all allow you to buy gold stocks. 

Should I buy gold online now?

It depends on your goals and investment circumstances, however its performance over the past 2 decades means it has rarely been a bad time to buy. If you want to hedge against inflation, diversify your portfolio, or want an alternative to traditional investments, then buying gold online could be a good decision.

FAQs

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Risk disclaimer

Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

Prash Raval
Financial Writer
When not researching stocks or trading, Prash can be found either on the golf course, walking his dog or teaching his son how to kick a… read more.
James Knight
Editor of Education
James is a lead content editor for Invezz. He's an avid trader and golfer, who spends an inordinate amount of time watching Leicester City and the… read more.