Are Pokémon Promo Cards Worth Anything? 

Last updated on September 14th, 2022 at 09:55 pm

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Last updated on September 14th, 2022 at 09:55 pm

When determining whether or not a Pokémon card is valuable, it ultimately comes down to the opinion of the buyer. Though a shop or individual may place a specific dollar amount of value on the card, it’s still up to the buyer to determine whether or not the card is that valuable to them. 

Pokémon promo cards are no different when it comes to value. The rarity of cards on the other hand is a different issue. 

Pokémon promo cards are not typically sold in stores. The promo cards are created as prizes and gifts for various tournaments. 

Pokémon promo cards can be worth something. Ultimately the decision of the card’s value boils down to its rarity and desirability. 

The best way to know if your card is worth anything is to take it to be valued or graded. You can also go onto places like eBay and look for recent sales of the exact card that you have to get an approximate value. 

What Do They Look For When Grading Your Pokémon Cards?

Once you have found some of your Pokémon promo and regular cards that you think are valuable in your collection, the next step would be to get them graded. 

Much like a test at school, they are graded on a scale. The scale ranges from one to ten. 

If your card is graded at a one, it means your card is in poor condition. If your card comes back graded as a ten, your card is in gem mint condition. 

If you have a first edition Charizard card but it comes back graded as a two, it won’t be as valuable as the same card that is graded at a nine or ten. So what exactly do these graders look for when determining the condition of your cards? 

Graders look at three main things when grading a card. They look at the corners of the card, scratches on the card, and the centering of the printing. 

I will go into more detail about each of these below. 


The corners of cards are typically where you see the most damage. The card grader is looking for edges that are not only flat but also that have no tears or rips. 

The corners of the cards typically should not be showing any white either, meaning the card isn’t starting to separate at the edges. The sharper and more pristine the corners of the card are, the better your chances are of receiving a higher grade. 


Another key part when determining the grade of your card is making sure the overall surface of the card is in good condition. This means there should be no scratches or any other visible damage or discoloration. 

Graders will look at your cards under a microscope, this will allow them to see any damage that the naked eye might miss. Oftentimes, it is actually a printing defect that can lower the grade of your card. 


Unfortunately, this part of the grade is not something that you can control. This factor is determined by the printing of the card itself. A typical Pokémon card has a border around the front and a blue border on the back. Cards that are perfectly centered in the border will receive a higher grade than those that are not centered. 

If you are looking to sell your Pokémon cards, adding that grade to your card can boost its value. It can cost anywhere from $8 to $200 to get your cards graded.

It will be worth it in the long run, especially if the cards you have are already rare cards. The grade will only add more value to your already valuable cards. 

Can You Use Pokémon Promo Cards In Tournaments? 

Since promotional cards are given as gifts and typically not purchased, are they legal to use when playing in tournaments? 

Promo cards can be used in tournaments as long as they have been printed in a legal set. If you have foil promo cards, normal foil card rules are the same. 

Your foils need to look the same as other cards when face down on the deck. 

What Are The Most Valuable Promo Cards Sold? 

Pokémon cards are already highly sought by everyone. You need to “catch ‘em all.” Some collectors have taken that phrase to heart and made it their priority to have all the cards no matter the cost. 

Here are some of the top promo cards that have been sold and what they were sold for. 

The most valuable Pokémon promo card that was in production is the Pikachu illustrator promo card. There were only 39 copies made. 

The rarity of this card makes it one of the rarest promo cards on the market. This card was given to the winners of the Pokémon Card Game Illustration Contest in Japan in 1977. 

This Pokémon card sold for $195,000 in 2019. The buyer ended up paying $224,500 after paying an extra 15% at the auction house for the buyer’s premium. 

These single promo cards were not only listed but sold on eBay. These are some recent promo card sales and how much they sold for. 

  • Torchic Holo Card and Toy – $10,000
  • Pokémon Dark Dragonite 1st Edition Card, Near Mint Condition – $9,999
  • Faded Marowak Error Card – $8,000
  • Pokémon Tropical Mega Battle Prize Card 10 Condition – $8,000
  • Pokémon PSA 8 Near Mint Condition 2016 Champions Festival Finalist Stamp World Card Pikachu – $7,500
  • PSA 10 Misprint Shadowless First Edition Dragonair Rare Pokémon Mint – $4,000
  • 1999 Pokémon Game 1st Edition #4 Charizard Holo PSA Gem Mint – $3,350

How Can You Tell The Difference Between Promo Cards And Other Pokémon Cards? 

If you receive a promo card from a tournament you can either mix it in with all your other cards or keep it separate as a collector’s item. Is there a sure way to know the difference between your Pokémon cards? 

All Pokémon cards are specifically marked with their types of rarities. Here are the different types of rarity cards. You can find the symbols on the bottom right hand of the card. 

  • Promo Cards: All promo cards are marked with a black star with the word promo written on them. 
  • Common, Uncommon, and Rare: Common cards have a black circle, uncommon cards have black diamonds, and rare cards will have one or more black stars. 
  • Holo Rare: These are rare cards that have a holographic picture. There are only a small amount of rare cards printed that are holographic making these rare and valuable. 
  • Reverse Holo: This card is designed with the holographic part on most cards except the actual picture. 
  • EX/GX/V Half Art/ Half Body: This is the card everyone looks for in a booster pack. These cards are also known as Ultra Rare. 
  • Full Art/Full Body: These cards have the picture that takes up the whole card.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are in the market to purchase or sell a Pokémon promo card, they can end up being quite valuable. Always check the bottom right of your cards to know the types of cards you own. 

Last updated on September 14th, 2022 at 09:55 pm

Matthew R

Hi, My name is Matt and I am all about toys! When trying to find accurate information online about toys I was finding it difficult so I decided to make this site.

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