How much does it cost to get trading cards graded by psa

Complete Through Dates and Estimated Turnaround Times

by Service Level

A service level’s Complete Through Date is the day before the date of the oldest open order in the PSA system for that service level. The CTD is based on order entry date, which means the day the order was formally entered into the PSA system for authentication and grading.

Estimated Turnaround Times are estimates only and not guaranteed. A service level’s Turnaround Time is the estimated number of calendar days that an order will be completed and shipped back, once scanned into our facility. These times are based on, and may be impacted by, PSA’s submission volume and capacity and other unforeseen circumstances. Turnaround Times may change rapidly without notice as conditions change.

Check the progress on your order by comparing the “Entered” date on your My Orders page to the service level’s Complete Through Date to get an idea as to the remaining time before your order will be completed.

Posted CTDs update daily and you can follow along as the CTD advances closer to your order’s Entered date. Learn more about PSA Complete Through Dates on our CTD FAQ.

Service Level Estimated Turnaround Time*

(in calendar days)

Premium + 3 Days Walk-Through 3 Days Super Express 7 Days Express 14 Days Regular 15-30 Days Economy 45-90 Days Value** 90-120 Days Bulk** 120 Days Reholder 90 Days

* Estimated Turnaround Times are estimates only and not guaranteed. These times are based on, and may be impacted by, PSA’s submission volume and capacity and other unforeseen circumstances. Turnaround Times may change rapidly without notice as conditions change.

PSA grading costs range anywhere from $22 per card all the way up to $10,000 per card, depending on the value of the card, the age of the card, how many cards you’re submitting at one time, how fast you want the turnaround to be, and other factors.

Below is a complete rundown of the PSA grading cost levels.

(Note: As of June 2021, most of PSA’s services were temporarily suspended as the company worked to chew through a huge backlog of submissions. PSA announced late in 2021, though, that some of their basic services were being reinstated, and they were mostly back to full speed by . Check the PSA site for the current status of their services.)

Basic Options

Bulk

Cost: $22/card

Maximum declared value: $199 per card

Turnaround time: 120 days

(This option available only to PSA Collectors Club members.)

Value

Cost: $20/card for a minimum of 10 cards

Maximum declared value: $499 per card

Turnaround time: 90-120 days

(This option available only to PSA Collectors Club members.)

Economy

Cost: $50/card

Maximum declared value: $499

Turnaround time: 45-90 days

Regular

Cost: $100/card

Maximum declared value: $1499

Turnaround time: 15-30 days

Express

Cost: $150/card

Maximum declared value: $2499

Turnaround time: 14 days

Super Express

Cost: $300/card

Maximum declared value: $4999

Turnaround time: 7 days

Walk-Through

Cost: $600/card

Maximum declared value: $9999

Turnaround time: 3 days

Premium Options

Premium 1

Cost: $1000/card

Maximum declared value: $24,999

Turnaround time: 3 days

Premium 2

Cost: $2000/card

Maximum declared value: $49,999

Turnaround time: 3 days

Premium 3

Cost: $3000/card

Maximum declared value: $99,999

Turnaround time: 3 days

Premium 5

Cost: $5000/card

Maximum declared value: $249,999

Turnaround time: 3 days

Premium 10

Cost: $10,000/card

Minimum declared value: $250,000

Turnaround time: 3 days

(If you want to start learning about how much PSA cards are worth, check out our rundown on how to use the PSA price guide here.)

Of course, PSA also grades items other than cards, and they also do more than just grading things.

Among their other offerings:

  • Card authentication
  • Ticket authentication and grading
  • Pack authentication and grading
  • Card and autograph dual grading (for autographed cards)
  • Card reholdering (placing previously PSA-graded cards in new holders)
  • Card and autograph dual reholdering
  • Ticket reholdering
  • Pack reholdering

PSA’s service offering change on occasion, and their pricing changes a bit more often. It’s always a good idea to check out their services page for the most up-to-date information.

PSA also offers a “Collectors Club” that you have to join in order to get the “Value” pricing list above.

psa grading cost

Should You Get Your Cards Graded?

So, given the prices above, is it worth it to get your cards graded?

That’s the million-dollar question … or at least the $20 question, depending on the service level you’re looking at.

The answer deserves a full article of its own, but some points to consider can help get you closer to a decision:

  • What grade do you *think* your card would receive? Be brutally honest, and then lop off a number or two.
  • What would your card sell for if it received that grade? You can always check the “sold” prices on eBay (affiliate link) to get an idea.
  • How much more — or less — is the potential selling price than the price you paid for the card PLUS the cost of grading?
  • How hard would the card be to sell? How much commission or shipping or other fees would you incur?
  • What is your purpose for getting your card graded?

That last question is probably the most important of all.

If you want to get a card graded for aesthetic reasons, or for posterity because you intend to keep it for a long time, then it the rest of the bullet points above probably don’t matter. Grading would enhance your enjoyment of the hobby, and that’s what this whole thing is all about.

If, on the other hand, you want to turn a profit, then you really need to hone in on what a realistic margin might be for you if you do get your card graded.

So …

Should you get your card graded? It’s ultimately up to you, but just make sure you’re making an informed decision. Grading a card is an investment, and, like any investment, it can pay handsome dividends, or it can bite you in the nalga.

If you want more help in deciding whether to get your cards graded or not, check out our eBook, available on Gumroad. You can also get that book for free with a paid subscription to our Baseball Card Market Report newsletter.

(You might also enjoy our articles about BGS grading costs and SGC grading costs.)

graded card icon on green background

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to eBay, Amazon, and other platforms within the content, sidebar ads, and in other areas. As I am part of the eBay Partner Network and other affiliate programs, if you follow these links and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. Likewise, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Please note: Due to the regularly changing details and price updates from each of the card grading companies, some of the information below may be out of date from time to time. Thus, if you’re considering grading your cards and weighing the costs of each service, please consult each company website directly for the most accurate information. This latest update is as of October 14, 2022.

If you’ve never graded a card before, the process can seem daunting and overwhelming, right? I mean, you’re basically sending off what is presumably a valuable card – either monetarily or in terms of worth to your personal collection, or both – to someone else for handling.

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If that wasn’t enough, there are certain “rules” and guidelines to follow when doing so—pack the card this way, put this barcode here, write this on the outside of the box. Declare the value by guessing, oh, and we actually aren’t going to charge you until we send the card back.

And we haven’t even gotten into the wait times and lack of transparency, especially these days.

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Simply, Alt offers a new exchange (among other things) where you can buy and sell cards. It’s easy to use and has some nice data features, and while I’ve only purchased and sold a few things, I’m looking to do a lot more. (Learn more about Alt.)

If you’d like to give Alt a shot, you can grab a free $25 spending credit—simply visit this referral link, and sign up for an account. Then, once you make a depsoit, you’ll receive $25 in promo credits to buy cards with, and I will as well.

All of that said, grading cards can still be an enjoyable experience. Should you get your cards graded? The full answer requires another day and time, but cost is a big piece of that equation, so let’s jump in.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Card Graded?

The cost of getting a card graded depends on many different variables, making it a difficult question to definitively answer. Above all else, the company with which you’re grading the card will make the biggest determination, as each has it’s own fee schedule and unique selling points.

While this post has a ton of info, and you might just want a few comparison points, the type of card, desired turnaround time, and other factors will all also determine cost. Here is a snapshot of per card costs:

And no, as you can see, you can’t get cards graded for free. And if you do in fact want the cheapest card grading service, you really have to think through what that means for the value of your card. If it’s a PC card and you just want something slabbed for the collection, then it really doesn’t matter. But, if your goal is to resell, while you might pay less upfront to have a card graded, you’ll most likely be leaving money on the table when it comes time to sell.

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But again, keep reading to learn more about the different costs and things to look out for.

So, with that said, the best way to figure out how much it will cost to get your card graded is to start with the grading company. Meaning, figure out which company you want grading your card and then dive into how much it might cost to get it done.

Outside of the actual grading cost, some people also “prep” their cards for grading. In full transparency, I’ve sent in a few cards to be graded and I can’t say I’ve ever “prepped” them with additional products, so please do your research here, but here are some items others suggest:

This card grading kit seems to have all of the above and then some, like handling gloves and more. It’s currently $35.99:

Now, you might be asking, “Well, won’t cost play a big factor in me deciding which company I ultimately want to grade with?”

In my opinion, the answer is no. There are many reasons to get a card graded, but let’s look at this question under a few different scenarios.

If you’re getting a card graded because you prefer a slab for ultimate safe-keeping in your personal collection, then the actual look and feel of the case might play more importance. Meaning, you might prefer the timple and straightforward look of a PSA slab, or, you might want a slab that has subgrades like that of BGS.

On the other hand, if you’re grading a card knowing that you’re ultimately going to re-sell that card, then you might want to opt for the company that offers the best resale value for that card, and thus, the cost of grading isn’t of utmost importance.

See what I mean? We can go on and on in this fashion. Really, the only time cost might be the biggest determing factor is when you don’t care of what the slab looks like, don’t care which company offers the most value, don’t care which company is the most strict or lenient, etc. And in that case, then I might ask why even get the card graded in the first place!

Anyway, you can go about it whichever way you choose, but answering the question of how much it costs to grade a card is most easily answered by looking at how costs differ within each company’s different grading options.

(Please also note that the listed turnaround times with different companies are probably all greatly impacted at the moment. Nevertheless, you’ll still pay the same price, but just know it might take months beyond the stated times to receive your cards and grades.)

PSA Grading Cost

To grade cards with PSA:

  • Special: $18/card
  • Value: $30/card
  • Economy: $50/card
  • Regular: $100/card
  • Express: $200
  • Super Express: $300/card
  • Walk-Through: $600/card

Keep in mind there are a number of other PSA services depending on your needs. For instance, to get a card reslabbed or as PSA refers to it a “reholder” (put in a new case), the cost of standard cards and tallboys is $10/card (turnaround times vary).

You can also choose to get a card authenticated and slabbed, but not graded, as you can see from the options below:

BGS Gading Cost

To grade cards with Beckett:

  • Economy: $35/card, (30-60 business days as of 8/1/22)
  • Standard: $50/card, (20-30 business days as of 8/1/22)
  • Express: $100/card, (10-20 business days as of 8/1/22 )
  • Premium: $200/card, (2-7 business days as of 8/1/22)

Note that prices are less if wanting a grade without subgrades.

You might also see BCCG cards floating around, which is also a Beckett grading operation, but separate from BGS. Learn more about what a BCCG 10 is when compared to PSA, BGS, and others.

SGC Grading Cost

To grade cards with SGC:

5-10 business day turnaround:

  • $24 for 1-9 cards
  • $22 for 10-19 cards
  • $20 for 20-49 cards
  • $18 for 50+ cards
  • Check website for more

Read more: What is “A” With SGC Grading?

Quick note—as you can see, it’s not that SGC is the cheapest card grader around, but the combination between affordability and lightning quick turnaround is a big draw for some people.

HGA Grading Cost

To grade cards with HGA:

  • Best Value: $20/card, 60 business days
  • Popular: $35/card, 30 business days
  • Very Fast: $50/card, 10 business days (1-20 cards)
  • Fastest: $75/card, 2 business days (1 to 20 cards)

ISA Grading Cost

Here is a look at how a company like ISA compares to PSA:

  • $20/card for 20 business days
  • $28/card for 5 business days
  • $45/card for 2 business days

Other Grading Options

All of that said, you might find different pricing if you’re able to submit with groups of others. For instance, if you’re a StarStock member, you can submit your StarStock cards for grading with PSA. It’s Economy 20-Day Service ($499 Maximum Declared Value per card) at $30 per card.

Note: it looks like StarStock has suspended grading submissions.

All in all, there are more grading options than ever, so let your answer to the “why” help guide your decision.

Written by Jane