Grading Magic cards (and really any TCG card) these days is extremely popular and trends show more collectors of trading card games are turning to “slabbing” their best cards. Just in the last 30-days, grading company PSA graded more TCG cards compared to the next highest category which was Basketball cards.
Last 30-days (as of August 20, 2022)
PSA Graded TCG Cards: 276,424
PSA Graded Basketball Cards: 241,747
Difference: 34,677 More TCG Cards Graded By PSA
(stats courtesty of GEMRATE.com)
But how do you protect your graded cards and what is the best graded card storage case for your MTG cards in 2022? That’s what we’re here to find out!
|Case Club 84 Graded Card Case - Fits 84 Slabs, 936 Sleeves, or 4320 Loose Cards - Organize Pokemon, MTG, Sports, and other Trading Cards||Prime||Check on Amazon|
|CASEMATIX Graded Card Case Compatible with 90+ BGS PSA FGS Graded Sports Trading Cards, Waterproof Graded Slab Card Storage Box with Three Custom Card Carrying Case Impact Absorbing Foam Slots||Prime||Check on Amazon|
|PREZA Graded Card Storage Box - Premium Sports Card Display Case Holder for Trading Cards (Black)||Prime||Check on Amazon|
|Pelican 1520 Case With Foam (Black)||Prime||Check on Amazon|
How To Protect Trading Cards
Although card grading services were mainly used in the sports card industry, it appears to be taking over the trading card game market in full force as of late. And, protecting your graded cards is of utmost importance.
The cost to grade cards these days is not cheap and often getting a high grade card back from PSA, SGC, BGS or CGC (the four big graders when it comes to Magic and other TCG cards) can multiply the value many times over. That’s why it’s super important to consider purchasing protective storage cases to store your valuable graded cards. Cardboard boxes are just not the best idea anymore for storing and transporting cards that could be worth hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
So let’s talk about the different brands and types of protective cases on the market and pin down what we consider the best graded card storage case for your MTG cards. We want something that works best for graded Magic: The Gathering and other TCG cards so let’s find out what others are using for their collections and determine the best one.
The Best Way To Store Graded Cards
You can get a lot of ideas for ways to protect your card collection by watching what is going on in the sports card market. Usually what happens in sports cards does have some correlation to what happens in the TCG world as most products like card cases, top loaders, and most other card protectors are interchangeable.
But I have learned one thing by viewing tons of videos over the last few weeks on YouTube regarding the 2022 National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City. And that is just about EVERYONE who has graded cards (or ungraded cards for that matter) was walking around the convention with a graded card storage case.
TOP 3 Overall Best Graded Card Storage Cases For Your MTG Cards
So normally you’ll see TOP 5 or TOP 10 lists, but when it comes to graded card storage cases, I didn’t think there’s a need to list a ton of options. There are a few bigger name brands on the market that I think are top notch cases and I would absolutely recommend any of the following cases for most Magic Card Collectors and Investors.
So without further adieu, here are my TOP 3 overall graded card storage cases (in no particular order.)
1. Case Club 84 Graded Card Case
Case Club cases are not only a favorite amongst TCG collectors but sports card collectors as well. Their cases are super cool looking and affordable and they are also very durable and get awesome reviews online.
Case Club has a few different cases, but the best one for both beginners and those that already have graded card collections is the Case Club 84 Graded Card Case. This case holds 84 Slabs, 936 Sleeved cards, or 4320 Loose Cards which fits just about any collection that needs to be portable.
I think many collectors could have more than 84 slabbed cards these days but not many want to bring that many to card shows to sell or trade. Not to mention, the weight can be a bit much to handle when you start getting over 100 slabbed cards in a case so that’s why I think this medium size version is the way to go.
That being said, there are options for bigger cases with more capacity if you need something a bit larger. In those cases (no pun intended) I would go with the Case Club cases that are bigger and hold 132 or 196 slabbed cards.
Regardless of size, all Case Club cases are strong and dependable and are perfect for traveling and for bringing your collection to card shows and conventions. They can also be securely locked with your own padlock which is something you’ll often need to do when in public areas. With hundreds and thousands of people at a convention, having the ability to lock the case is a must.
The main difference between Case Club cases and some of the other popular ones is the ‘thickness’ of the case. In order to store cards in a Case Club case, the slabs need to be either slanted, stored on their sides or stored flat. It makes for a less bulky case, but the trade off is you can’t store cards in an upright position. If this is not something you prefer and you want to store your cards in an upright position, see the PREZA case below.
A few things I read from people who purchased these cases that struck me were:
- “For the price, durability, and variety of configurations, it’s tough to find an overall better case.”
- “Lemme tell you, (this) thing is perfect. Period.”
- “This case is great, configure how you want and it fits all slabs from PSA, Cgc, and BGS!”
- “I’ve seen a lot of different slab cases but this one is the best for its price.”
The only negative things I saw were a few complaints about the thickness of the plastic and some who had issues with how the cards laid in the slots. Most times I think you’ll want something not too heavy so the thickness of the plastic wasn’t a big issue for me. I also found the slim design of the case to be an advantage so it’s just personal preference on whether you’re an UPRIGHT storage person or SIDE/FLAT storage person.
Overall a great option for your graded card storage. And did I mention the price? Well under $100 (actually closer to $50) which makes it affordable for any age Magic Collector or Investor. It’s easily one of the best priced, best quality cases on the market.
2. CASEMATIX Crushproof 16” Collector Edition Graded Sports Card Case
My other favorite when it comes to the best graded card storage case for your MTG cards is the CASEMATIX Crushproof 16” Collector Edition Graded Sports Card Case. For me the Casematix is equally as impressive as the Case Club 84 but the main difference was the price. CASEMATIX is a bit more expensive but I think it’s still a good deal in the under $100 market.
CASEMATIX is also a hard plastic portable case that has three rows of flexible cushioned foam that can be adjusted to fit approximately 90 card slabs. The cards fit tight and the foam blocks that are included help to perfectly secure your collection from moving around while in transit.
I like that this CASEMATIX grade card storage case is not only waterproof but has an airtight silicone lining that will keep everything out of the case and protect your expensive graded card collection. There’s no way you should risk getting your PSA 10 Graded MTG Alpha Black Lotus near any type of moisture and this case will ensure that. Think of those rainy days when you have to transport your cards or stand in lines outside a convention hall during a rain shower. Your cards will be protected and that’s the piece of mind I would want.
There was very little if anything bad said about CASEMATIX online that I could find. One person mentioned some chipping issues on the paint and what they perceived as a quality issue. However 99% of buyers had only good things to say like:
- “Has a loop for a padlock, which seems MUCH better than an integrated lock”
- “Great overall case for graded slabs”
- “Don’t buy any other case. This is what you’re looking for.”
- “Perfect for graded cards. Solid case. Definitely money well spent.”
There is so much to like about CASEMATIX card cases and you absolutely cannot go wrong by grabbing one. Remember that you’re investing in something that will protect your valuable cards so the case needs to be protective, durable, lockable and easy to transport. CASEMATIX hits all of these and then some!
3. PREZA Graded Card Storage Box
If you prefer to store cards in an upright position, the PREZA Graded Card Storage Box is the one you want to go with. This PREZA case holds approximately 108 PSA graded cards OR 78 BGS graded cards OR 375 cards in top loaders so it has plenty of room for any collection size.
The main difference from many of the other slimmer cases is that PREZA cases can store cards in an upright position rather than always having to lay slabs on their sides, slanted or on their backs. It’s a better way to view cards, in my opinion, as you don’t have to totally remove cards out of the slots to view them. It’s easy to just page through them and find the card you’re looking for quickly, which is why I’m a big fan of PREZA cases.
This case is on the higher end of the price scale coming in at a retail price of $129.99, but you can often find it on sale for closer to $85-90. But again, you do get what you pay for and PREZA has a lot to offer MTG card collectors for sure.
The case has a very simple and sleek design. I’ve always been a fan of the CASEMATIX and Case Club cases with their modern looks, but there’s something to be said about simplicity of design. Some people like that plain look and if you like to put stickers and make your case your own, the flat surface of the PREZA is the perfect option.
The PREZA offers the same sort of foam lining and customization features as the others as it also includes foam blocks you can move around to fit your collection. So it’s very much as sturdy inside as the others and will definitely protect your graded card collection.
I had to look long and hard to find something about PREZA I didn’t personally like. That being said, I’m not a huge fan of the locking mechanism. It’s a very basic lock that requires one of those small luggage-type keys. They provide you two keys so it’s nice to have a spare in case you lose it. I’d rather have the ability to use my own padlock but most people don’t have any issues with PREZA’s locking feature. It’s just personal preference and there is something to be said about an integrated lock and not having to buy an additional padlock.
Some positive reviews from people who own the PREZA include:
- “Awesome storage solution for son’s Pokémon card collection.”
- “Sturdy and I like the latches to close the case. Simpler can be better.”
- “Makes me look cooler.”
Most of the negative comments were surrounding the locking mechanism so I guess my issue is the same that others have. One person commented “The lock mechanism is extremely cheaply made” so that goes with what I mentioned above. This should definitely NOT be the main reason you don’t purchase this case because other than the locking feature, the case is well made and the majority of reviewers have very positive things to say about PREZA.
So my TOP 3 PICKS above for the best graded card storage case for your MTG cards are definitely not the only options. There are some others that deserve some attention and I’ll give you a few good ones below for certain situations.
BEST CASE OVER $150 FOR GRADED MTG CARDS
If money was no option and I wanted the BEST CASE FOR MAGIC CARDS that money could buy, I would recommend the PELICAN 1520. This is not specifically made for graded cards but the foam insert is customizable and can be cut to hold just about anything you need to store.
Pelican has a great reputation for making extremely sturdy cases and if you’re planning to protect really expensive graded MTG cards, this is a great option. Pelican cases all come standard with something you won’t find on other cases……a Pressure Equalization Valve which automatically releases built up air pressure inside the case while remaining watertight.
What else I like about the Pelican 1520 is that you have options for color. This model case comes in 6-different colors so it’s easy to stand out from the crowd with one of Pelican’s custom color 1520’s.
And when it comes to security, the Pelican 1520 also has steel reinforced padlock protectors which adds a lot more strength to those areas and gives you the peace of mind that your padlock won’t be removed easily.
Pelican 1520 cases are on the higher end when it comes to price, but you get what you pay for. The starting retail price is around $180 and you rarely see them offered at a discount. So if you find them on Amazon, expect to pay around that price. But understand one thing….you’re getting one heck of a secure case that is MADE IN THE USA!
BEST SMALL CASE FOR GRADED MTG CARDS – (Holds Less Than 10 Cards)
Case Club 9 Graded Card Slab Case
Not everyone wants to walk around with a large case which is why the Case Club 9 Graded Card Slab Case is the perfect alternative. It’s small, portable, lockable, airtight, crushproof and the best PSA graded card storage case for less than 10 cards on the market.
I often walk around shows with a backpack and I’m sure many of you do as well. But sometimes I have graded cards in my backpack and they tend to get jostled around in there while I’m walking through a show. The Card Case 9 is the best option for people who like to use backpacks and have a small amount of graded cards that don’t require a larger case.
This perfectly sized case is made of heavy duty durable clear plastic and has a lockable twist latch that prevents the case from accidentally opening inside your backpack. It also includes all the foam you’ll need to ensure your small collection of graded cards, whether they’re PSA, SGC, CGC or BGS graded, are snugly fit and stay free from scratches and scuffs.
I think you can easily fit 5-6 graded cards in this case without a problem, but it can fit up to 9 graded cards if you adjust the foam padding. But I really think it’s perfect for the smaller collection and I’d suggest only using it if you have a small handful of graded cards. PSA graded card slabs are a bit slimmer so if you only have the thicker BGS slabs, you might not be able to fit as many.
All in all, I think it’s a great option and it’s definitely priced right. For just under $30, this case is perfect for kids and those with small collections. Plus the case is small enough that if you need to hold 10-15 cards, you might want to consider two of these in your backpack as opposed to the larger 50+ cases mentioned above. I’m a fan and highly recommend this one.
TOP 5 TIPS WHEN USING A GRADED CARD STORAGE CASE
So you’ve decided to jump on board the graded card case train like the rest of us, huh? Well here are my top tips for graded card case owners that will help you keep your cards safe and secure in your new case.
1. Put Graded Cards In Team Set or Graded Card Bags – Even though you have this new awesome case to protect your cards, you still want to do whatever you can to prevent scratch marks on those slabs. You’ll certainly be moving cards in and out of the case and they can still bump into each other so my recommendation is to use team set bags or graded card bags to protect each slab. Grading cards through PSA or any of the other professional grading companies will cost you $25-50 minimum and there’s no reason to throw that money away by scuffing the slabs. No one wants a scratched up PSA holder when they buy a card so add some extra protection by sleeving each slab with protective bag.
2. Be Careful With Cards In Top Loaders – Although these cases were made for graded cards, most collectors also store some cards that are in top loaders. Be careful with cards in top loaders because they can still slide out of those holders and move around while in your case. Ensure the foam padding securely locks those top loaders into place and be careful not to swing your case around too much. Cards still can slide out of a top loader so make sure you’re protecting them with extra foam while inside the case.
3. Make Your Case Stand Out From The Crowd – If you ever go to a card show or convention and you see others toting around graded card storage cases, a majority of them look the same. They’re square or rectangular looking cases that look like a briefcase with a carrying handle and most times they’re black in color. How easy would it be for someone to swipe a case, blend into the crowd and make off with your entire collection? Pretty easy.
The best way to prevent someone from walking away with your entire collection (whether it was by mistake or deliberately) is to make sure your case doesn’t look like the rest. I see lots of people these days putting stickers all over their cases to personalize them and it’s really a great idea for two main reasons.
First, they look really cool and unique and second they stand out from the crowd! And it’s much easier to tell everyone “I’m looking for a graded card case with stickers of red dragons all over it” rather than “I’m looking for a black case with a handle.” See what I mean?
4. Buy A Graded Card Case With A Lock (although it’s not a requirement.) It’s nice to have the ability to lock the case, especially during transport. There are some nice cases that don’t have any locking ability, but for the same amount of money you can get one that has this extra feature.
Sometimes it’s as simple as built-in ring that you can lock with a combination padlock. Other cases have built in key locks so that’s fine too. I just don’t like the idea of being at a card show with hundreds and thousands of people and not having the ability to lock my case. If you have graded cards then most likely they’re worth quite a bit of money so you want to have the ability to lock that case down for whatever reason.
5. Make Sure The Case Has An Adequate Amount Of Interior Foam Protection. Most cases do come with quite a bit of eggshell foam and moveable foam pieces so it’s not normally an issue. But you know the size of your own collection and it should fit comfortably in a case with enough foam to prevent scratches and scuffing on the cases.
So What Is The Best Graded Card Storage Case For Your MTG Cards?
I would say anything above that you pick, you’ll probably be happy. CASEMATIX, Case Club and PREZA all make super quality products so you could close your eyes and pick one and it will be great. All of these cases have very high reviews online, look really cool and most importantly will protect those high priced slabbed cards in your collection.
That being said, I have to at least give my 2-cents and tell you which one is my personal favorite and that would be the CASEMATIX. So what makes the CASEMATIX my pick?
- I like the ability to store cards in an upright position
- The price is right – under $100
- The case is airtight and waterproof which are must-have features
- I like the ability to padlock the case with a combination lock (no keys!)
I hope this review helped you pick out the best graded card storage case for your TCG collection. As always, if you have any questions or would like some more advice about Magic: The Gathering, I’m here to help. Just hit me up on the contact page or over at Twitter or Instagram. Best of luck and if you haven’t already, start investing in Magic (and other TCG’s) today!