Here’s How to See If Your Old Pokemon Cards Are Worth Something

The resurgence of Pokemon — thanks to a new movie and video game set for release soon  — has young adults rummaging through their closets in hopes of finding their old collection of trading cards.

And, if they’re lucky, a rare card that could make them a fortune.

The 1997 Japanese anime-turned-trading-card-game-turned-video-game series holds a special place in the hearts of ‘90s kids, who cherished the furry creatures with elemental powers that could be traded and battled and hoarded for years to come.

For Scott Pratte, a Pokemon enthusiast and card-trading expert, the hobby never dimmed. Pratte, 31, collects and sells some of the most treasured Pokemon cards in the world.

“I’ve done 7-figure deals,” Pratte says. “That’s just one deal, not even my lifetime” earnings.

Due to nondisclosure agreements, he can’t say exactly which cards have made him the most money, but he says that his trophy cards, aka the rarest Pokemon cards on the market, easily rake in upwards of $ 1 million.

Only a select few people hold these trophy cards, usually those who won Pokemon tournaments in the early 2000s and were awarded ultra limited edition cards. But there are a fair amount of more common Pokemon cards that could sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Pokemon Cards Worth Selling

The two biggest value factors to consider about old Pokemon cards are their rarity and condition.

In terms of rarity, “base-set” cards are where the money is for most collectors, and these cards are the most traded ones in the hobby. Set cards are “any card you can pull from a pack” bought from the store, says Pratte. The base set comprises the original 102 cards printed in 1999 and includes classic Pokemon like Pikachu, Blastoise, Charizard and Venusaur.

A complete first-edition base set in mint condition sold for $ 100,000 in December 2017. If you have a base-set card in your collection, there are a few visual indicators of its worth.

A graphic compares rare and common Pokemon cards
  1. Holographic cards: These are the most discernable at first glance. The background of the Pokemon illustration is shiny and reflective — not the whole card, only the picture of the monster. They’re typically referred to as “holo” cards, and only 16 of the original 102 are holo.
  2. First-edition cards: Directly next to the left corner of the illustration appears the “edition 1” logo. These cards were bought up shortly after initial release and remain some of the rarest and most sought-after cards.
  3. Shadowless cards: This version is almost identical to the first-edition prints but exclude the first-edition logo. If you don’t have a newer card for comparison, this is particularly hard to notice: the illustration box appears 2D. On newer cards, the picture box has a shadow along the right border to give it a 3D appearance.
  4. Unlimited cards: These cards are still old and rare, but they do not include the first-edition symbol and have an added shadow behind the illustration to give the picture box a 3D effect. To check if your card is part of the base set, look at the bottom right corner of the picture box. If you do not see one of the many later-added set symbols, then you have a base-set, Unlimited card.

The second important factor in a card’s value is the condition. If you do happen to have a first-edition, holographic base-set Charizard, you’re not guaranteed thousands of dollars. The price it fetches depends on how well the card has been taken care of.

If you have a card that you expect is worth more than $ 100, Pratte recommends getting it graded by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA).

Despite its name, the PSA grades all kinds of trading cards, including non-sports cards like Pokemon. PSA’s 10-point grading scale is accepted as the industry standard, and the company also publishes price guides to help determine a card’s worth.

According to its current valuations, first-edition cards in perfect condition are valued at a minimum of $ 40. Those aren’t rarer, holographic cards either. A first-edition holo in mint condition can rake in between $ 1,000 and $ 24,000.

So why Pratte’s $ 100 limit? Well, the number isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but the card-grading services offered by PSA will cost $ 20 or more per card, meaning a lower-value card doesn’t always merit the cost to get it authenticated.

“It’s a process,” says PSA spokesperson Terry Melia. “But it’s something that could reap big rewards in the end.”

In addition to grading the condition of the card, PSA ensures the card isn’t a forgery by using high-powered lights and magnifying equipment to check for tampering.

“There are a lot of forgeries and bogus merchandise out there,” says Melia.

Especially so online.

Where to Sell Pokemon Cards

After you’ve done some homework — checking the type of card, estimating its value and sending it in for authentication, if needed — you’re finally ready to sell.

“The main marketplace is for sure going to be eBay,” Pratte says. “Even if you’re someone who just stumbled upon your childhood collection, it’s really easy to take a couple of pictures [and] make a decent listing.”

The PSA’s grading system and authentication make selling online much easier. This process allays fears that the card is a fake and curbs arguments over its true condition. Each authenticated card comes in a protective case with the grade and barcode clearly visible at the top.

As Pokemon re-enters mainstream culture with the release of new video games and movies, expect to see an uptick in buying and selling activity of old cards. But interest doesn’t pick up overnight.

“It’s not binary in that sense,” Pratte says.

Instead, it’s a more gradual process where each new Pokemon-related release reminds twenty- and thirty-somethings of their childhood: the crinkling sound of ripping open a new pack of cards followed by a strong whiff of ink as they shuffle through the set, hoping to find something rare.

Pratte offers this caution about getting rich overnight: “Be realistic.”

“If you put in little or no effort back in the day,” he says, “you probably don’t have the homerun card.”

But as you rummage through your collection, remember that there’s no rush to purge now. Spend some time with your cards. See if they’re valuable. Consider getting them authenticated. Then decide if they’re worth selling.

After two decades, Pokemon — and its card-collecting hobbyists — aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Credit cards with the coolest perks: Wine tastings, museum admission, free hotels

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Your first credit card probably lured you in with a free beach towel and a promise of 1% cash back. Is that still the card you’re carrying in your pocket? If so, you’re missing out on one of the best parts of the modern economy: credit card perks.

Credit card perks and rewards can be worth literally thousands of dollars every year, and you don’t have to be a big spender to enjoy these big rewards. In some cases, simply being a cardholder is enough to give you valuable perks and discounts. 

Whether you’re looking to fund your retirement, pay off your debt, travel in style, or take advantage of freebies and discounts, we’ve got the credit card with the coolest perks and rewards for you. Read more…

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Write Reviews and Turn Your Opinions Into Gift Cards on G2 Crowd

Have you ever wanted to get paid in mocha Frappuccinos? G2 Crowd can help with that. Well, sort of.

G2 Crowd is a business software review website, and it wants your opinions badly — so badly that it’s willing to pay for them with gift cards. Each review will typically net you a $ 10 gift card to Starbucks or Amazon. Sometimes you can get more. For niche software, the company can pay more than $ 25 per review.

And if you don’t like those two gift-card choices, you can use our guide to sell gift cards for cash or exchange them for better ones online.

How to Get Paid to Write Reviews for G2 Crowd

Writing reviews for G2 Crowd is fairly straightforward. You follow the corresponding link for an Amazon or Starbucks gift card (see below), select what software or app you use for work, then rate the software and answer a few short questions about it.

Be honest in that you actually use the software. Provide a screenshot of you using the software with identifiable information, where possible. This will speed up the verification process.

For example, you can log into many software services with your Gmail, LinkedIn or Facebook account. For my reviews, I logged into the software using my Gmail account, and my email and avatar were visible in the corner of the screen, making the screenshot easily verifiable.

If you can’t provide decent proof that you use the software you’re reviewing, G2 Crowd will probably reject your review. That means no gift card.

Here’s what you’ll need to start reviewing:

  • A LinkedIn account or business email address.
  • Corresponding promotion links for Starbucks and/or Amazon.
  • A screenshot to verify that you use the software or app.
  • About five to 10 minutes to complete the review questions.

If you don’t have a business email address or LinkedIn account, no worries. Making a LinkedIn account is easy and free. You can follow our guide to make your LinkedIn profile shine.

Be aware that if you go to G2 Crowd’s website and start reviewing products without following the promotion links, your reviews won’t qualify for the gift cards.

 

The company will pay for the first five verified reviews. After that, you can gain points or other incentives for additional reviews.

What Is G2 Crowd, and Is It Legit?

G2 Crowd, a business software review website, displays on a laptop.

G2 Crowd is a popular software review platform. Five former employees from BigMachines, a customer relationship management software company, founded G2 Crowdin 2012. Since then, the company has reached a reported valuation of nearly $ 500 million, according to TechCrunch.

So the business is doing well. And in short, yes. It’s legit.

I maxed out my paid reviews in one day, totalling $ 50. The website says it takes 48 business hours for the digital gift cards to appear in your account’s reward section. I got all the gift cards within a few hours. Some came the next business day.

By offering people gift cards, G2 Crowd is actually solving a problem with online reviews: polarization. An analysis published by Harvard Business Review states the reviews are typically biased, meaning people don’t often take the time to review things they don’t love or hate.

Think about it. What was your last online review for? A so-so experience? Not likely.

You were probably elated (five stars) that your server at Texas Roadhouse was hilarious and comped your dessert, or maybe you were furious (one star) that the courier left your package from Aunt Lisa outside in the rain.

So, hopefully, a few gift cards to Amazon or Starbucks can get you to give a more honest review and a rating somewhere in between that evening at Texas Roadhouse and the package-delivery debacle of 2017.

Adam Hardy is a staff writer on the Make Money team at The Penny Hoarder. He lives off a diet of stale puns and iced coffee. Read his full bio here , or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Hospitals are now posting prices but it doesn’t look like it will actually help consumers right now; Car theft is on the rise mostly because drivers are leaving their key fobs in their cars; Contactless credit cards are coming to your mailbox this year in droves.

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Scouted: What To Spend Your Gift Cards On This Year

Some people say that gift cards are a copt out when it comes to gifts. I say it’s as good as money, if you’re smart about it. Yes, there are services that can exchange a gift card into cash, but if you have a certain amount of money to spend at a place you actually shop, it’s a great way to offload everyday costs of things you need, but may not have been giftable.

Here are a few ideas of what to spend your gift cards on, from everyday items like toiletries and knives, to furniture and TVs.

$ 25-$ 50

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The best travel rewards credit cards of 2019

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Traveling can be pretty expensive, you’ll have to pay for flights, hotels, transport, and food. The costs soon add up, but there are ways that you can save money by spending money. Many financial companies will offer travel rewards credit cards to encourage their customers to spend money while they are on vacation. Here are the best of the bunch that are worth investing in.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

Many travel rewards cards require you to pay an annual renewal fee, but that is not the case with this card from Bank of America. You earn points on everything that you buy with this card, 1.5 points per dollar spent and if you spend $ 1,000 in the first 90 days of signing up, you will get a free bonus of 20,000 points, which adds up to $ 200 worth. It’s a pretty quick return on signing up with the credit card service as you can book your vacation after signing up and pretty much make yourself $ 200 in points just spending money were going to spend anyway. If you are a Bank of America customer, you can earn a bonus ranging from 10% to 75% when you redeem your points, all depending on how much money you have in your bank account.

The Platinum Card, American Express

The Platinum Card doesn’t come cheap, but you get some incredible perks for your money. It’ll cost $ 550 to renew each year, but some will say that is money well spent. Using your card within your first three months can earn you up to 60,000 reward points, allowing you to make $ 5,000 worth of purchases. You’ll get $ 200 worth of Uber credits each year and also $ 200 worth of credit for airline fees. For every dollar you spend using your card you’ll receive five reward points, meaning the rewards will soon add up if you travel a lot. The Platinum Card will gain you access to over 1,000 airport lounges across the world, meaning you’ll be able to grab some food and a drink in peace away from the masses in the main airport lounges of the world.

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card

For many people, they don’t really care about how they get to their vacation destination as long as they can enjoy their stay when they are there. For those people, the hotel they stay in is more important than pretty much anything else. For those who spend most of their travel budget on their hotel then the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card is for them. It has a low annual renewal fee of $ 95, and for each year that you remain a customer, Marriott will gift you a free stay in one of their hotels. Each dollar that you spend at a Marriott Rewards participating hotel will earn you 6 reward points, meaning you can rack up the points pretty quickly on vacation. You’ll be upgraded to silver status on renewing your account, giving you exclusive offers, late checkout options and a 20% bonus on rewards points earned.

The cost of travel soon adds up, so it is often worth getting a rewards card if you travel pretty regularly. You’re going to be spending that money anyway so you might as well try and get some rewards for doing so.

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SanDisk Memory Sale

If you’re in the market for digital storage — and we do mean just about any type of digital storage you can imagine — today is your lucky day. Amazon is running a massive one-day sale on digital storage from the biggest name in the business: SanDisk. You’ll find everything from ultra-fast microSD cards and full size SD cards to portable external SSD drives and wireless flash drives that work with your phone or computer. You can shop the full SanDisk sale right here on Amazon’s site, or check out a few of our favorite deals below.

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Why Your Credit Cards May Deserve A Second Chance

(AP Photo)

While paying off $ 1,700 in credit card debt in 2014, Jamie Griffin cut up his card. To tackle the remaining $ 90,000 in student loans he and his wife carried, he read personal finance experts’ tips and turned to cash and a spreadsheet to budget. Now that most of their debt is paid off, he’s giving credit cards a cautious second chance.

Griffin has come to see credit cards as a way that he and his wife, Jenna, who are both teachers, can potentially defray the costs of travel. Instead of immediately applying for a travel credit card, though, the 31-year-old from Duluth, Minnesota, let his wife’s longtime rewards credit card lead the way as they transitioned from using cash to credit for most purchases.

“We wanted to practice to make sure we could actually do it rather than reverting back to our old spending habits of just swiping a card because we could,” Jamie Griffin says. “We haven’t had to pay any interest. We haven’t had any late payments.”

If you, too, have developed new spending habits — and potentially higher credit scores — since paying off debt, you might be a good fit for rewards credit cards that earn cash back for your emergency fund or miles for a vacation. Here are factors to consider.

REWARDS CAN HELP WITH EXPENSES

Rewards credit cards generally require a credit score of 690 or higher. They can earn cash back, points or airline miles in specific categories or on everyday spending. Rewards rates vary by card and some also offer sign-up bonuses with introductory zero percent interest rates for new cardholders.

Depending on the card, rewards can be redeemed for things like cash, statement credit, travel, gift cards or merchandise — all of which can help with household expenses, as long as you pay credit card bills in full every month to avoid interest charges.

Since early 2017, the Griffins have collected 38,000 points — that’s over $ 300 in cash back. They redeemed 20,000 points (about $ 200) into their bank account earlier this summer.

YOUR CREDIT MAY DEPEND ON IT

Paying off debt is a worthy goal. But if you later stop using a credit card, it can hurt your credit scores. That’s because credit utilization and length of credit history are key factors in the calculation of those scores, according to FICO.

Say you were to close an older high-limit credit card after paying it off — or that you use the card so infrequently that the issuer ends up closing the account for you. Shutting down the account would not only decrease your amount of total available credit; you would also lose the card’s account history.

Another factor in your credit scores is credit mix — the combination of different kinds of credit accounts. A healthy credit mix might include a mortgage or car loans, for example, and also credit cards.

“If you have a healthy mix of credit, and you’re using them wisely, and you have a good history, that should reflect in your credit score,” says Jeffrey Arevalo, financial wellness expert at GreenPath, a credit counseling agency.

Of course, without piles of cash on hand, you’ll need good credit if you want to qualify for a home or car loan at the lowest interest rates. Keeping a credit card active and using it responsibly is an easy way to maintain good credit.

But if the temptation to overspend is too great, closing a credit card account may be the way to go, Arevalo says.

CREDIT CARDS CAN HELP YOU PLAN

Before moving most of their expenses to credit, Jenna Griffin asked the issuer about benefits for longtime customers. The couple secured a six-month safety net with a zero percent interest rate that they didn’t have to use.

Recently, the couple was approved for a credit card that earns miles to help them save money on travel expenses. Jamie Griffin continues tracking all of their expenses on his spreadsheet.

If you’re ready to give credit cards a second chance, here’s how to use a rewards credit card and maintain good credit:

– Pay your bill in full and on time every month.

– Don’t stray from your budget just to earn credit card rewards.

– Keep charges below 30% of your available credit.

– Use your credit card as a budgeting tool to track your spending and review your purchases.

– Keep your no-annual-fee accounts open and active to avoid hurting your credit score.

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