When you are purchasing silver bullion, whether in person or online, you may be wondering what payment methods are best to use. Some payment methods are known for being fast and secure. Others tend to be slower. Still others are best to be avoided, especially when buying a large amount of silver.
Often, new investors automatically assume that paying with a credit or debit card is best. Most silver sellers do accept Visa and MasterCard; many also accept American Express or Discover cards. However, using a credit card to pay for silver bars or coins incurs a processing fee. Some dealers pass this on to the buyer in the form of a fee for paying with credit; others offer a discount for other forms of payment, like bank wires and checks. This fee can add a substantial amount, up to 5%, to your purchase price.
Paying with a credit card does have benefits. Transactions are processed quickly. In addition, the chargeback option gives investors peace of mind, in case their coins are not in the condition stated.
Bank wires are an electronic payment method in which funds are transferred directly from your bank account to the seller’s. This payment method is commonly used within the precious metal industry. To initiate a bank wire, you will contact your bank with the dealer’s banking information. This is a fast, relatively inexpensive way to pay for silver coins and bullion. Often, the payment is processed the same day it is submitted. This is considered to be among the most secure ways of sending large payments.
A personal check or money order can be used to purchase silver coins or bullion. Writing a personal check means there is no transaction fee, making it among the least expensive ways of paying for silver. However, it can take a significant amount of time – up to 10 business days – for the check to clear. This can mean a significant delay between the date of purchase and the date your silver is actually mailed. Investors concerned about timeframes should consider another payment option instead.
PayPal is familiar to many online shoppers. However, it is not commonly accepted by precious metal dealers. While convenient for buyers, it is risky for sellers, as the rate of chargebacks is higher with PayPal than with other forms of payment. In addition, sellers incur relatively high fees when accepting PayPal payments. As a result, this is not a common payment method accepted by silver dealers.
Locking in Purchase Price
The purchase price is typically locked in once the buyer reaches the checkout stage on the website. Then, you have a set period of time to submit payment. Pay attention to these deadlines; if you are paying by check, you may need to send it overnight in order for it to reach the dealer within this period. If you do not send a wire transfer, pay via credit card, or send a check by this deadline, the order price may be recalculated based on the current spot price of silver, which may change the purchase price.
The payment method you choose will affect the timeframe of the transaction; some payment methods take longer to process than others. Bank wires are among the fastest payment methods. Credit and debit cards are also processed quickly. Meanwhile, paper checks and money orders can take several weeks to process, so you will not receive your coins as quickly.