When paying for a large purchase, many people automatically pull out their credit card. However, this is often not the best way to pay for purchases of silver coins and precious metal bullion. Although many dealers do accept credit cards, they often incur an additional fee over other payment methods, such as paper checks and bank wires.
About Bank Wires
Many customers prefer paying with wire payments because it is fast and secure. Also known as a bank wire or credit transfer, this is a method of electronically transferring money from your checking account to the seller's account. The seller provides their banking information, and you contact your bank to arrange the transfer.
About Paper Checks
For many precious metal buyers, writing a paper check is the easiest way to pay without incurring the fees of credit card transactions. Most people are more familiar with the process of writing a check than with sending a wire payment, making this a convenient payment method.
In general, wire transfers and paper checks incur lower fees than paying via credit card. Some banks do charge a fee for sending a bank wire, though this fee is still substantially less than the fee charged by many dealers for credit card transactions.
Locking in Purchase Price
In most cases, the purchase price is locked in when a deal is reached. The buyer is then given a set period of time to remit payment. Some online dealers require the check to be received within 3 days of the order; this may require overnight postage. If you fail to arrange a wire transfer or send a check within that time period, the price of the order may be recalculated based on changes in the spot price of silver. This could significantly impact the purchase price.
Both bank wires and paper checks are considered to be among the most secure forms of payment for precious metals. Bank wires, in particular, are among the most secure ways to move large amounts of money. If you are concerned about the privacy of your banking information, it is possible to send wire transfers through Western Union, instead of using your own banking institution.
Wire payments tend to result in a faster transaction than sending a paper check. The process of electronically transferring funds works faster than sending a check in the mail, so the coin dealer is able to send your coins faster. This immediacy reduces the risk of market fluctuations significantly affecting the value of your purchase between the purchase date and the date you receive your metal. On the other hand, a paper check must be received by the dealer, and clear the bank – a process that can take a week or longer – before your coins are shipped. When purchasing large amounts of precious metals, the seller will not risk having your check bounce after the coins have already been mailed; as a result, paying with a paper check can add several weeks of processing time to the order.