The Best Josh Allen Rookie Cards To Buy: Top Picks For All Budgets

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Football card collectors gravitated towards Josh Allen’s rookie cards, which were released in 2018 Panini football card sets, following his breakout year in 2020.

I personally think the best Josh Allen rookie card is his 2018 Panini National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph card, which is also the most expensive to buy.

However, there are other great options for collectors, for all budgets; I’ve covered the top Josh Allen rookie card picks, below.

Table of Contents

Quick Summary - Top Picks

For Low Budget:
2018 Panini Prizm #205

For Mid Budget:
2018 Panini Kaboom #K-JA

For High Budget:
2018 Panini National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph #163

The Best Josh Allen Rookie Cards

Josh Allen has more than 30 different base rookie cards to choose from, as well as first-year insert options.

The cards vary in terms of value and rarity, but here’s an in-depth look at the top Allen rookie cards:

2018 Panini Flawless Josh Allen #104

2018 Panini Flawless Josh Allen #104

With just 20 base copies, the 2018 Panini Flawless Josh Allen rookie card is one of his rarest.

The super-premium release is one of Panini’s most expensive and sought-after products.

The card is embedded with a gemstone, which I think adds a unique appeal, and makes for a high-end card, despite not featuring an autograph or relic patch.

The scarcity of this one is the major driver of its expensive price.

The base version features a ruby gemstone, and there’s also a few, more limited, parallels, which have different gemstones embedded in them.

A BGS 9.5 graded copy of the Canary Yellow Diamond parallel (/3) sold for $5.6k in 2023.

2018 Panini Prizm Josh Allen #205

2018 Panini Prizm Josh Allen #205

Many collectors look to Panini Prizm for chrome rookie cards. The set is generally a ‘go-to’ and the 2018 Prizm Josh Allen rookie card is one of his most popular.

I think this is one of the best Allen rookie cards, and the great thing about Panini’s Prizm brand is the array of different parallels, which have varied levels of rarity, which means there’s versions for all budgets.

The rarest and lowest-numbered parallels are among Josh Allen’s most valuable football cards, whereas the base version is low-value.

A PSA 10 graded copy of the Gold Vinyl parallel (/5) sold for $264k, back in 2022, which makes it one of Josh’s most valuable cards.

2018 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Josh Allen #154

2018 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Josh Allen #154

Another popular release in the football card hobby is the Donruss Rated Rookie line.

The 2018 Donruss Optic football set offers collectors a chromium version of the Rated Rookie design, making for one of his most popular base rookie cards.

Like Prizm, the base version is readily available, and entry-level, in terms of value.

However, collectors after something a bit higher-end have the option of multiple rarer and numbered parallels, which add differing levels of rarity and value than the base version.

2018 Panini Select Josh Allen #24 (Concourse), #139 (Premier), #207 (Field)

The 2018 Panini Select set gives collectors the option of 3 unique base Josh Allen rookie cards.

The set works on a tiered system in terms of scarcity – The first, and most common, is the Concourse card (#24), which is pictured above.

There’s also the Premier card (#139), and the Field card (#207), which is the rarest and most valuable of the base cards.

The 3 cards each have different designs and images, and all have their own set of parallel versions, leaving collectors with plenty of options.

2018 Donruss Optic Downtown Josh Allen #DT14

2018 Donruss Optic Downtown Josh Allen #DT14

A popular insert option, from the Donruss Optic set, is the 2018 Downtown Josh Allen rookie.

Downtown is a popular line in the football card hobby, and this Allen rookie is one of the more expensive unsigned Josh Allen unsigned rookies, which is driven by the rarity and popularity of it.

The card mixes appealing artistic style artwork and scarcity to produce a popular option for collectors with a bigger budget.

Although it’s not a ‘traditional’ rookie card, it’s definitely a key first-year option for Allen collectors.

2018 Panini Kaboom! Josh Allen #K-JA

2018 Panini Kaboom! Josh Allen #K-JA

Kaboom is another insert line which is very popular in the football card hobby; The 2018 Panini Kaboom! Josh Allen rookie is an expensive option, but in my opinion, it’s one of the best Josh Allen rookie cards to buy.

It was released as an online-exclusive in the 2018 Panini Kaboom multi-sport set, and they’re hard to come by today.

The high price is helped by the bold comic-style design, which resonates well among collectors, as well as scarcity.

There are also a couple of very rare parallels which fetch even more on the secondary market when they occasionally pop up: The Gold parallel (/10) and the 1-of-1 Green parallel.

The elusive Green parallel version sold for $72k in 2022, graded PSA 6.

The Best Autographed Josh Allen Rookie Cards

2018 Panini Contenders Autograph Josh Allen #105

Panini Contenders is another popular brand in the football card hobby. The line built a good reputation early on with some big-hitting RC autograph cards for the likes of Tom Brady.

The autograph cards still do well in the hobby today, and the signature on this Josh Allen rookie card has big appeal, which gives it high value.

For me, this is the best autograph only (no relic) Josh Allen rookie. 

There’s also a short print variation version of the base card, which features a slightly different image of Allen, and has 250 copies (not serial-numbered); It’s often referred to as the ‘feet visible’ version.

Both base versions are valuable, but the ‘feet visible’ version is rarer, and more expensive to buy; They both have their own set of parallels, which add further rarity and value.

The 1-0f-1 Super Bowl Ticket parallel version of the short print variation card (graded BGS 9) sold for $114k, back in 2022, which makes it one of Josh Allen’s most expensive football cards ever.

2018 Panini Impeccable Helmet And Patch Autograph Josh Allen #119

2018 Panini Impeccable Helmet And Patch Josh Allen Patch Auto #119

Entering into the highly-premium territory of football cards, the 2018 Panini Impeccable rookie patch auto Josh Allen card is a rare and appealing card.

Limited and numbered to just 75 copies, with some rare parallels (taking the total to 116 copies), the card is not easy to get hold of.

The hard-signed autograph, with the distinct 2-part memorabilia patch, give this card big value, making it one for collectors looking for a high-end and premium Josh Allen rookie card.

The 1-of-1 Dual NFL Logoman parallel version sold for $11.9k in 2023, graded 10 by PSA.

2018 Immaculate Collection Rookie Patch Autograph Josh Allen #104

The 2018 Immaculate rookie patch auto Josh Allen rookie card is another super high-end premium piece, which is one of his most expensive rookie cards.

While the National Treasures line is the king of RPA cards in the football card hobby, the Immaculate cards are not far off, with the on-card signature, memorabilia patch (albeit smaller than the NT cards) and limited print-run of just 99 copies.

This one isn’t cheap, but it’s a lot less-expensive than the National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph card, so I think it offers collectors a great alternative.

The limited number of parallels actually make the total print run of this Josh Allen RPA card a lot lower than National Treasures.

The coveted 1-of-1 NFL Shield parallel version of this one sold for $30k in 2021, graded PSA 9.

2018 Panini National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph Josh Allen #163

2018 Panini National Treasures Josh Allen Patch Auto #163

Saving the best till last, Panini National Treasures is the leader when it comes to premium football cards, and this 2018 National Treasures Josh Allen RPA card is his best rookie card, in my opinion, and his most valuable.

The big memorabilia patch, the on-card signature, and the high-quality finish tick all the boxes for collectors, and provide a super-premium option.

The base card is numbered to only 99 copies, and there are some parallel versions, which add color, rarity, and further value.

National Treasures has a brand prestige in the hobby which is unparalleled by any other RPA lines, and that makes this Josh Allen rookie card the most sought-after, for collectors who can afford it.

The base version has sold for as high as $162k before, and in 2022 a PSA 10 graded copy of the Holo Gold parallel (/10) sold for $312k.

When Was Josh Allen’s Rookie Season?

Josh Allen’s rookie season was the 2018 NFL season – He was selected as the 7th overall pick by the Buffalo Bills (trading up from 12th overall with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to make the selection) in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What Is A Josh Allen Rookie Card Worth?

Josh Allen rookie card prices depend on which of his rookie cards you buy.

The more mainstream base Allen rookies sell for less than $100, but the more high-end cards, like his super-premium RPAs, sell for multiple-ten thousands of dollars, and even multiple-hundred thousands of dollars, for the highest graded copies.

What Is The Most Valuable Josh Allen Rookie Card?

The 2018 Panini National Treasures Josh Allen rookie card is his most expensive to buy.

A copy of the base version (/99), graded 10 by PSA, has sold for as high as $162k before. In 2022, a PSA 10 graded copy of the Holo Gold parallel (/10) sold for $312k.

National Treasures is the king of premium football cards, and often has the most expensive rookie cards.

The hard-signed autograph, jumbo patch, rarity, and high-quality finish are all large contributors to the value.

The brand prestige also gives it the edge over similar Allen rookie cards, like the 2018 Panini Immaculate Collection RPA.

Josh Allen: A Background

Coming out of the University of Wyoming, Josh Allen entered the NFL in 2018 with the Buffalo Bills, and quickly established himself as a top quarterback.

The young quarterback played consistently in his first 2 seasons, but the 2020 season was the breakout year for Allen, when he led the Bills to their first division title and playoff victory since 1995. He then took the Bills to a consecutive division title the following year, while earning Pro Bowl honors in both seasons.

Jason Clarke

Jason Clarke

Jason is a lifelong sports fanatic and a huge fan of the NBA and NFL. He's long been a collector of sports cards - For over 20 years in fact. He collects various different sports, as well as some non-sport cards. He has a particular soft spot for 90s basketball inserts. Find Jason on X (Twitter): @jason_clarke91.
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