Card Saver I vs. Card Saver II

Ryan Barone
(@ballcardgenius, Card Expert) is a lifelong member of the hobby. He has been quoted in PSA Magazine, and his content has regularly been mentioned in “Quick Rips” (the Topps RIPPED Newsletter) and across other hobby publications. hello@ballcardgenius.com; Last Time Ago LLC dba Ballcard Genius.

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The Card Saver I measures 3 5/16″ x 4 7/8″ while the Card Saver II is slightly smaller at 3″ x 4″ 1/2″. Both have 1/2″ lips. This smaller size is going to result in a much more “snug” fit and when the card is held tighter in the holder, it’s a lot more difficult to pull out. A tighter grip on the card opens up room for error and damage, which is why the Card Saver I is preferred for grading. With the card having to be removed from the holder before grading, a looser fit is more forgiving.

Card Saver ICard Saver II

(Not to mention if sending thick cards to PSA, you might want to rethink the Card Saver altogether.)

If grading isn’t a concern, but card storage is, you should also know that most people are reporting the best luck with graded card boxes like this:

To drive the point home, PSA has this to say:

“Place each item in a protective flexible pouch (Ex. Card Saver I®). The flexible pouch you choose must be sturdy enough to allow us to remove the item safely.”

And then specifically regarding top loaders:

“PSA advises against submitting in top loaders, hard acrylic cases or screw down holders.”

I believe the reason is that cards could shift around too much in top loaders, and when sending your cards in to be judged on their condition, that’s the last thing you want (and screw down holders simply take too much time to take apart).

This might be a surprise to you given that top loaders are commonplace in the hobby, and often used when shipping cards between buyers and sellers. Not to mention that during the pandemic, PSA actually lifted this guideline:

Now that we are back to normal, I often see people questioning the difference between two main types of Card Savers, I and II. Most of this comes from the fact that they want to send cards in for grading, but might only have a Card Saver II supply on hand and are wondering if it’s OK for them to be used in the grading process.

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