CGC card grading cost and turnaround times

When will CGC increase their grading fees? That was the big question in the TCG community after PSA announced to suspend their card grading services on March 31, 2021. However, it was just a matter of time. Consequently it happened on April 21, CGC announced to increase card grading cost by 52% on average (price increase average for all tiers):

According to CGC, “as demand for CGC’s expert and impartial services continues to grow rapidly, CGC is advancing its efforts to increase capacity while maintaining the highest standards of quality. […] To advance these and other efforts, CGC is updating its membership tiers, services and fees, effective April 28, 2021.”

CGC official announcement from 4/21/2021 (read article)

But what does that mean in detail? How does it affect CGC card grading cost? And will this be beneficial for turnaround times?

Let’s have a look!

CGC card grading cost for TCG until April 28, 2021

When it comes to TCG grading cost, CGC’s service offering is currently by far the cheapest compared to PSA, Beckett and SGC. Prices vary between $9 and $75 per card. However, if you collect sports cards CGC is unfortunately not the right choice for you as they provide grading services for Pokémon and Magic cards only.

How much does CGC charge for grading? CGC is offering five grading tiers as well as additional services (e.g. sub-grading). So each tier comes with its own fee and a maximum declared value per item:

CGC grading tierCurrent max. value per itemCurrent fee
Overview of CGC’s grading fees (valid until April 28, 2021)

For example, if you submit an ungraded japanese “Shiny Charizard VMAX” card in mint condition to CGC you need to consider its value after grading. CGC 10 graded version of that card are sold for around $850 on eBay. Consequently, you need to choose standard grading tier or higher at CGC.

New CGC card grading cost for TCG from April 28, 2021

To clarify, above CGC grading pricing is available until April 28, 2021. Additionally, all submission forms completed beforehand must be delivered to CGC’s facility by May 28, 2021.

Otherwise the newly announced CGC grading cost will apply for TCG. So how does CGC pricing work for TCG?

CGC grading tierNew max. value per itemNew fee
Bulk$250$15 (+66%)
Economy$500$25 (+38%)
Standard$1,000$35 (+40%)
Express$10,000$60 (+50%)
Walk-ThroughUnlimited$125 (+66%)
Subgradesn/a$10 (+42%)
Overview of CGC’s new grading fees (from April 28, 2021)

Also interesting to know, CGC’s grading cost will increase by 52% on average (for all TCG grading tiers). Sub-grading services will also increase by 42%. On the other hand, shipping costs will not be affected.

CGC card grading turnaround times

So how long does CGC grading take? At the moment, CGC’s grading tiers are effected by significant delays. For instance, grading turnaround time lies between 6 and 144 days depending on the service tier. On the official CGC website following information is provided about the turnaround times for each tier:

CGC Grading TierTurnaround time (business day)
Bulk228 days
Economy120 days
Standard65 days
Express7 days
Walk-Through7 days
SubgradesTier + 5 days
Overview of CGC’s turnaround times

In the same vein, CGC is also stating that the numbers are estimates only and that “there may be a delay in opening incoming packages due to high submission volumes”. In other words, chances are high that it will take even longer for you to get your cards back from grading. Nevertheless which service you are choosing.

On the other hand CGC is implementing on measures to accelerate the grading process:

“In response, CGC has actively sought and implemented measures to increase capacity while maintaining the highest standards of quality. As part of the Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®), we have initiated a massive hiring push that has resulted in over 70 new employees being added in the last three months, purchased a multi-million-dollar new building, brought in efficiency consultants and worked thousands of hours of overtime. We have increased incentives to motivate and reward our employees and to attract new talent.”

CGC official announcement from 4/21/2021 (read article)


To sum up, CGC will not be the cheapest overall TCG grading service anymore after the announced cost increase on April 28, 2021. As a result, CGC’s grading cost will increase by 52% on average! When choosing service tiers economy and regular, CGC will be more expensive than Beckett. However, CGC will be the cheapest service to choose for express grading.

Services and cost per cardPSABGSSGCCGC
Service cost overview for grading without sub-grades

But what does that mean for TCG card grading?

In short, CGC’s card grading price increase will have a big impact on grading costs in general and lastly on Beckett as all other big U.S. grading companies have already raised their prices. However, if prices stay the same more and more TCG collectors will choose Beckett for grading. In the end, BGS will also increase their prices or might be forced to also suspend their grading services.

Further questions about CGC grading

What does CGC stand for?

Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) is one of the world’s largest and most trusted third-party grading service for comics, trading cards, magazines, concert posters and related collectibles.

Where is CGC grading located?

CGC grading is located in Sarasota, Florida.

United States address:
Certified Guaranty Company, LLC
P.O. Box 4738
Sarasota, FL 34230
United States

Additionally, NGC International UK Limited (NGC UK) is the UK affiliate of Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) in Europe.

United Kingdom address:
NGC International UK Ltd.
69 Southampton Row, Third Floor
London, United Kingdom

What cards does CGC grade?

CGC accepts all Pokémon TCG and Magic: The Gathering cards in any language.

However, if you want to get your sports cards graded go for CSG as they operate under the same management as CGC and make use of the same encapsulation.

How do you submit cards to CGC?

Submitting cards to CGC is done in four steps. Firstly you become a CGC member. Secondly, you choose your service(s). Thirdly, you complete the submission form. Lastly, you package and ship your cards to CGC. Find more information about the submission at:

How do I pack for CGC?

Find detailed packing and shipping more shipping information at:

What does CGC universal grade mean?

CGC universal is referring to the label of the graded collectible. The blue universal label means that trading cards are simply the grade as marked, with no qualifiers or special considerations.

What does CGC qualified mean?

CGC qualified is referring to the label of the graded collectible. The green qualified label means that collectibles have a significant defect that needs specific description, or to note an unauthenticated signature (one which was not witnessed by CGC).

Can you drop off cards at CGC?

Yes, with an appointment. However, only CGC Collectors Society members and Authorized Dealers have the option to drop off submissions at CGC headquarters. Find more information here

What does CGC Pristine 10 mean for Trading Cards?

For TCG it is the highest grade at CGG. To clarify, the card must have perfect centering and no evidence of any manufacturing or handling defects. Lastly, only a card with all 10 sub-grades will be labeled Perfect 10.

What does CGC Gem Mint 9.5 mean?

For TCG it is the second highest grade at CGC. The card requires excellent centering and exhibits only negligible handling or manufacturing defects.


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