Should Upper Deck Change Its Redemption Policy?

Topps Changed Its Policy. Will UD Follow Suit?

Late last month, the Topps Trading Card Company announced that all redemption cards will now be valid for 10 years from the date of issue. This extends back to include redemption cards that were issued in 2021-22 products.

Normally, a redemption card – a little cardboard “I.O.U.” that promises the collector a premium card – would expire after two years or so. This would take the luster off of buying sealed products that were more than two years old. Sure, you might get a rookie card of a player that is now a superstar…or you might get an expired redemption card for an autograph of that same rookie that was now worthless. 

What this move does for Topps is increase desirability in both old and new card products. We all dislike getting redemption cards – but it is nice to know that if we buy a product from 2021 in 2024 that the redemption card is still worth something.

Of course, Topps does not make hockey cards, but Upper Deck does. So, will Upper Deck keep up with its main rival and also extend the window of its own redemption cards?

Upper Deck’s redemption cards usually expire after two years. So, there’s no real motivation to buy sealed boxes of high-end product over two years old because the “hits” in those boxes – with autographs and/or jersey pieces – are usually redemption cards that would have to be redeemed online.

And while the company does give collectors something for expired redemption cards, this is usually done at major card shows like The National – meaning you have to remember to bring the expired redemptions with you, visit the Upper Deck booth, and then trade them for a random “good” card – but not the card you were initially supposed to get.

My opinion on the matter is that Upper Deck should extend how long it honors redemption cards. That would make collectors more likely to buy older product if they knew that the potential redemption card inside was still valid to exchange for the “hit” or “mega-hit” in the box.

Another reason – though I am not a big fan of this – is that extending the redemption window would also motivate investors to buy more sealed product solely for the purpose of keeping it sealed and selling it at a large markup years later. More sales of new sealed products means that Upper Deck, the NHL, and the NHL Players Association would all make more money. 

We talked about this topic in greater detail in Episode #188 of the Puck Junk Podcast, which you can listen to here

And share your opinion with us – as a comment below or on social media -as to how you think Upper Deck should change its redemption policy for its hockey card products.

Note: This article is an updated version of an editorial that originally appeared in Volume 2 – Issue 19 of the Puck Junk Newsletter. For stories like these, plus news and updates about hockey cards and collectibles, subscribe to the newsletter here.

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Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

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