How phone cards are graded

Value is determined by the desirability of a phone card.
Quality is determined by the condition of a phone card.
Personal interest, theme, company, and visual impact are important considerations when determining the desirability of a phone card. Some people collect by country of issue; some collect strictly by topic (airplanes, animals, brand logos, etc.); others collect by other individual factors. Rarity affects supply and demand. Easy to locate or common cards won’t command the same price as rare ones. Two different people may assign different values to a phone card based on their personal opinions.
The condition of a phone card is the major consideration in determining its quality. Phone Card Grading examines cards and evaluates each by the same objective criteria, many of which are unique to phone cards. A higher grade may help you choose between two specimens of the same card or determine what you are willing to spend. You can depend on the fact that any two cards, even if they are graded years apart, will be evaluated by the same unchanging professional standards and fixed criteria.
In the end, quality, value, personal taste, and market price all influence whether purchasing a phone card make it worth the cost to you, the collector.

Criteria That Determine The Value Of A Phone Card To A Collector

These factors can change with market fluctuations and are often highly personalized. An image of the Eiffel Tower may have more value to a collector who got married there than to one who has never been to France. Phone Card Grading does NOT consider these kind of criteria when determining the grade or condition of a card.

Age of card

Conventional wisdom tells us older items generally have more value, but this is not always the case. Many older cards have disappeared, been lost, or have not been collected. The first U.S. card, IntelExpo, from 1985 is listed for about $1000 while early AT&T cards from 1992 are worth a bit more.


The quantity produced is a major factor. First-rate telecommunications companies would sometimes print very limited runs of a card for a variety of legitimate reasons. Many of these cards were unknown until the promotion was over and are simply not available. It can be expensive to track these down.


Sometimes there are cards left over from promotions. The prudent thing would be to destroy the remaining cards. However, some phone companies with little concern for the collector, were greedy and sold their leftovers at prices well below the established market value damaging the card’s value.


Collector demand is often increased by the design on a card as many collectors prefer to collect by theme or topic. Cards featuring Disney, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds artwork can be highly desirable. Celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, or Elvis and sports-related cards are in high demand.


Some phone cards are genuinely beautiful works of art. Landscapes, space images, animals, birds, flowers, and seascapes can be sought after simply for their appeal. These types of cards may also hold a sentimental appeal to certain collectors. For example, a particular dog or cat breed may be very personal.


Additional determining factors include the phone carrier, dealers' current stock levels, competition, issue price, condition, distribution, trendiness, uniqueness, origin, technology, and whether there is a bull or bear market. As with any other collectible, trends ebb and flow with fashions and current events.

Authentication & Grading

Your phone card will be authenticated and evaluated by our industry professionals and assigned a grade based on its condition.


Your phone card will be encapsulated and slabbed in a protective coating to ensure it retains its current grade and quality.

Serial Number & Certificate

Your phone card will be identified by a unique serial number and a delivered with a printable Certificate of Authenticity.

Phone Card Grading's Objective Fixed Criteria

Phone Card Grading utilizes standardized, objective, fixed criteria unique to phone cards during the grading process. Our guidelines and benchmarks are not influenced by personal choices or market fluctuations but instead are determined by industry standards in judging the condition of a phone card.

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