Upper Deck e-Packs vs Physical Hockey Cards

Upper deck is always innovating when it comes to sports memorabilia, and one of the relatively recent innovations which we never actually covered on this blog was Upper Deck’s e-Packs.


So, we’re taking the time to do what we should of a long time ago and comparing Upper Deck’s e-Packs to their physical, and more traditional, hockey card packs.

Upper Deck E-Pack

What are Upper Deck e-Packs?

Upper Deck e-Packs are a relatively new and novel idea in which you can open digital card packs online. Instead of going to the store to purchase a pack, you can buy one online and open it virtually. All your cards will be cataloged online and you’ll be able to have non base cards printed and shipped to you for a small fee.


How do you get an e-Pack?

Getting e-Packs is pretty easy. All you’ve got to do is sign up on the Upper Deck e-Pack website and then you’ll be able to purchase them. You even get a free pack each day, though it looks like those are only base cards and only 1 per pack.


Pros and Cons vs Traditional Hockey Cards

Even though the two are similar, there are some important distinctions. First off is price. The card packs on the Upper Deck e-Pack website tend to be more expensive than those found in stores and at other online retailers. Additionally, if you’d like to have the physical version of the card it will cost to both ship and print the card. This pricing difference can be enough to deter some from using the e-Packs, but there are more cons to be wary of.


Namely, the fact that you’re missing out on the chance to open base cards. Many of us enjoy opening, holding and looking at even base cards, but you won’t have that opportunity with e-Packs. This can be a pro however if you’re just a collector looking to flip cards and you typically discard base cards.


In fact, one of the nice parts about Upper Deck e-Packs is the fact that you can exchange 10 base cards for a holo! This is a nice little perk to have as you can turn unused cards into something more interesting/valuable.


We also need to cover selection. There’s no clear winner in either direction as both have exclusives. If you’re looking to collect a certain release, it may be only in e-Pack form, or only in physical form. So, it really does vary by what you’re looking for, but the basics such as Series 1 and 2 are sure to be on both!


A nice pro for e-Packs is the ease of trading. Instead of facilitating a trade online and then shipping your cards out to the other person and hoping you get what they promised in return, you can do digital trades instantly online.


Another factor to consider is the environmentally friendly nature of e-Packs. Since in most cases, you won’t have cards shipped to you, you’ll be doing mother nature a favor. However, once you ship a card this benefit is no longer a factor.



Most collectors will still want to opt for physical copies thanks to their lower price, and the satisfaction of opening a real pack. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give e-Packs a try! Checking it out and opening just one e-Pack could give you a feel for how much you like, or dislike, the experience of collecting digital cards instead of physical cards.