The Ultimate Guide to Michael Jordan Trading Cards

Posted on 5/24/2022

Michael Jordan is one of, if not the single greatest, basketball player of all time. Here is a guide for Michael Jordan trading cards and which ones you should be investing in.

Collecting cards is one of the most fun and rewarding hobbies, and Michael Jordan is king when it comes to collectible cards. What drives value in sports cards is scarcity and desirability, and MJ cards have both in spades.

If you're looking to start collecting Michael Jordan cards or want to know more about them, you've come to the right place. This guide will cover everything you need to know about Michael Jordan trading cards, from the most valuable ones to watch out for to where you can find them.

Michael Jordan's Legacy

Michael Jordan is widely considered the GOAT (greatest of all time) when it comes to basketball. He was named to the All-NBA team eleven times, a six-time champion, and a five-time MVP on route to building the Chicago Bull dynasty in the 1990s. He led one of the most decorated franchises in history to three championships in a row, twice! MJ is considered the most dominant player in history by many avid sports fans. His accomplishments are too numerous to list here, but suffice it to say that he is one of the most decorated players in the history of the sport.

While Jordan's on-court dominance was without question, his real legacy may be what he did for the game off the court. He was a global ambassador for basketball, helping to popularize the sport worldwide. Not forgetting, his highly successful Air Jordan line of shoes and clothing made him one of the first athletes to truly become a brand name.

Due to all of these accolades, it is no surprise that Michael Jordan cards are some of the most valuable and highly sought-after in the hobby.

Michael Jordan Cards Overview

Michael Jordan first entered the NBA in 1984, and several different types of cards were released during his playing career. The most common and widely available are his rookie cards, released in various sets by other manufacturers over the years.

If you're starting as a collector, or are on a budget, focus on trying to find one of Jordan's rookie cards. Specific versions can be pretty expensive, and as the mint quality and the rarity of the card increase, so does the price. Of course, they will always retain some value because of the sentimental attachment collectors have to them.

Some of the most valuable Michael Jordan cards are his early 1990s inserts and parallels. These cards were released as part of a set but are considered rarer due to their standout features and qualities. They can be worth tens of thousands of dollars or more, so if you come across one, it's worth getting it professionally graded to see how much it's worth.

To sum up, these are the main types of Michael Jordan cards:

  • Rookie Cards
  • Inserts and Parallels
  • Autographed Cards
  • Game-Used Cards

Next, we will break down five of the most valuable Michael Jordan cards out there, and then we will look at some more affordable options for traders on a budget.

1997-98 UD "Game Jersey" Michael Jordan Signed NBA All-Star Game Used Patch Card (#21/23) 

This card, produced by Upper Deck, is considered one of the most valuable MJ cards. It features a piece of game-worn jersey from the 1997 All-Star Game and is autographed by Jordan himself. Only 23 of these cards exist, making them extremely rare.

This card is the first autographed patch card, and its custom-made design and innovative concept turn this card into an artifact in the world of sports cards.

As one of the most sought-after Michael Jordan cards, this card sold for a staggering $2 million in 2021, making it one of the most expensive sports trading cards.

1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan RC #57

The 1986-87 Fleer Basketball set is one of history's most critical sports card sets. With rookie cards from NBA legends like Michael Jordan, it's no wonder this set is worth so much and has been collected by many over the last 40 years. The Fleer 1986-87 set was the first traditional basketball card set in five years, and the checklist had just 132 cards and 11 stickers.

The 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan card is one of the most iconic and sought-after cards in the entire hobby. This comes from an iconic set and is MJ's first rookie card. The card features a great image of Jordan going up for a dunk, with the Chicago fanbase in the background.

To give you an idea of this card's value, a mint condition copy can fetch a price as high as $2,125,000, with the most recent sales for this card selling for $186,000 at auction, making this a dream card for any high-end collector.

1997 Michael Jordan E-X2001 Jambalaya #6

In 1997 Michael Jordan had one of the most legendary playoff performances in history. Entering game five against the Utah Jazz, Michael played through terrible flu-like symptoms, scoring 38 points and further solidifying his place as one of the greatest sports competitors.

With this memorable playoff performance topped off with the Chicago Bulls winning their second consecutive NBA championship, there is no surprise that this Michael Jordan card is in high demand.

The Jambalaya set debuted with this 15-card insert set that included Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. The insert ratio for one of these Michael Jordan cards is only 1:720 packs, making this a scarce MJ card. Accompanied by vibrant colors and a unique oval design, this card is one of the most valuable Jordan cards.

The Michael Jordan E-X2001 Jambalaya #6 sold for over $51,000 for a perfectly graded version and the FMV is multiple thousands of dollars for an excellent copy of this card.

1986 Fleer Sticker Michael Jordan Rookie #8

Rookie stickers are always a hot commodity in the sports card world, especially for Michael Jordan cards. The 1986 Fleer Sticker set was one of the most popular sticker sets, with kids everywhere trading and collecting these stickers.

The 1986 Fleer MJ Rookie Sticker features a young Michael Jordan wearing his classic red and black uniform. The image is one of the most popular MJ images out there and has been used on countless other cards and products.

This card sold for $69,000 at auction in 2022 and is one of the market's most valuable Michael Jordan rookie cards.

Michael Jordan 1996 Topps Chrome [Refractor] #139

1996 Topps Chrome Michael Jordan (Refractor) is one of the rarest Topps refractors. This card displays Michael attacking the hoop in a typical fashion and laying the ball up with his left hand.

1996, Jordan reclaimed his throne after a hiatus, where he retired from basketball to pursue a career in baseball.

In 1996 Jordan put together what is deemed as one of the most complete seasons in NBA history. His accomplishments this season included an NBA Championship, Finals MVP, League MVP, Scoring Title, and the All-Star Game MVP. These accomplishments, along with the card being a Topps Chrome Refractor, make this one of the most desirable cards in the hobby. In 2020 a perfect grade of this card sold for $25,000.

1996 SPx Michael Jordan Autograph

The 1996 SPx basketball set was monumental for a few reasons. Firstly, it marked the release of the ultra-premium SPx Basketball brand. Secondly, Upper Deck's Holoview technology offered the first all-hologram base set and the first all-die cut premium basketball base set ever seen. The combination of these envelope-pushing aspects made it an incredible sight.

The base set had only 50 cards, with 18 of the 50 cards consisting of current hall of fame players, and Michael Jordan is one of them. A grade of 9 for this card sold for $5,000 in 2022, so while it is not comparable in price to some of the other cards on this list, it is still a highly desirable Michael Jordan card.

Affordable Michael Jordan Cards

While the list of high-end and premium Michael Jordan cards goes on, there are still many affordable MJ cards for collectors of all budgets.

Topps, Fleer, and Upper Deck have all released budget-friendly sets throughout the years that offer a great way to get started with collecting Michael Jordan cards. These products typically sell for under $100 and provide a great way to start your collection without breaking the bank. Let's look at some valuable yet affordable Michael Jordan cards.

1992 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Card MVP #67

This card was created to commemorate Michael Jordan's becoming the first player to win back-to-back MVP awards. While this is a common card and can be had for around $20, it is still a great way to get started with collecting MJ cards.

The card features a large image of Michael Jordan on the front from two different angles and his stats from the 1991-1992 season on the back. This was one of the first Upper Deck basketball sets and is still highly regarded by collectors.

Michael Jordan 1991 Hoops #579

The 1991 Hoops set is one of the most popular basketball sets of all time, and this Michael Jordan card is one of the main reasons. The card features a great image of MJ driving to the hoop and can be had for around $25.

This was the first time Michael Jordan was featured on a Hoops basketball card, and his inclusion in the set helped make it one of the most collected basketball sets of all time.

A perfect version of this card sold for just over $100, making it affordable for almost all investors.

1990 Michael Jordan Skybox Card #41

Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, Glen Rice, and Vlade Divac were among the SkyBox set's rookie cards in 1990. Collectors could also discover a variety of legendary Hall of Famers from the era, including Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, and Patrick Ewing, in SkyBox packs. Of course, Jordan's card is by far the most prized and valuable in the collection.

Since so many of them were printed, this card is one of the cheaper Michael Jordan options, with a grade of 10 for the 1990 Skybox Card selling for just shy of $200.

Michael Jordan Cards

Due to Michael Jordan's sheer greatness and the fact that he played during the boom of basketball card collecting in the late 80s and early 90s, thousands of different Michael Jordan cards are out there.

Collectors of Michael Jordan trading cards can find affordable options, high-end rarities, and everything in between. Whether you are just starting or have been collecting for years, there is a card out there for you. This guide has highlighted some of the most valuable and popular MJ cards available.

So what are you waiting for? Start your collection today!

Stay Informed

Want news like this delivered to your inbox once a month? Subscribe to the free CGC eNewsletter today!


You've been subscribed to the CGC eNewsletter.

Unable to subscribe to our eNewsletter. Please try again later.

Articles List

Add CGC Card

Create a Set

Join CGC for free to add cards, track your collection and participate in the CGC Trading Cards Registry or CGC Sports Cards Registry.

Join CGC

Already a member? Sign In
Add to CGC Card Registry Example
Add to CGC Card Registry Example