How Much Should a Tarot Reading Cost?

by AmberL

Do you know how much you should pay for a tarot reading? Here's some insider knowledge to help.

Tarot reading prices range from costing very little to costing more like something you might expect to pay from another type of professional helper, such as a life coach or counselor. This can make it difficult to work out who to book a reading with.

When looking for a tarot reading you can see everything from $5 per reading to $200 or more. This can be confusing. There is a similar price scale at work that is used in other professions though. This can make it easier to work out what you should pay.

So here's some tips to help you understand how much a tarot reading should cost.

Cheap Readings from a Real Person

Some people charge only a token amount for a reading, this might just be a few dollars. This sounds great but there are good and bad things about getting readings like this. These low cost readings usually range from a few dollars to about $15. 


The Good Things about "Budget" Readings

The best thing about these readings is they don't cost much! I feel they're a fun option if you want a reading for a bit of a giggle and something to chat about with friends. 

Sometimes students of tarot will also charge this amount when they are starting out. If you're lucky this will be the background of your reader. Often students don't feel it's ethical to charge a more professional rate because they're still learning.

9 of Pentacles Tarot Card
9 of Pentacles Tarot Card

The Bad Things about Cheaper Readings

Unfortunately readings in this price range are usually done by someone who doesn't have professional skills in tarot. If you don't mind getting a reading from someone who is probably either a student or hobby reader then this might work for you. There are some things you should keep in mind though: 

Non-professional readers can be...

  • unaware of tarot ethics so may be less sensitive or not understand about privacy etc... 
  • unable to judge if a question is outside of their ability 
  • more likely to misinterpret the meanings of the cards
  • more likely to give you an answer straight out of a book due to lack of knowledge
  • more likely to miss important things in the reading

If you don't feel these issues are important to you then a reading like this may work for you. Just remember to use caution when 'accepting' the information you receive. 

Readings from a Computer

There are many online sites that offer budget priced automatic readings. These types of readings have different good and bad points to a "budget" reading from a real reader. 


The Good Things about Computer Readings

When you get this sort of reading I feel you're less likely to have issues with ethics than with a reader who's not a professional. You can also get an instant answer because you don't have to wait for a real person to do the reading. 


The Bad Things about Computer Readings

Computer readings are very different to real life readings. A computer has no intuition. It does not look for meanings in your reading that aren't in its programming. What you see is what you get. Computer readings are a bit like picking up a tarot book and checking what each card meaning is about. A computer won't look at it in a holistic way. 

This may work for some people, it's all about what you want in a reading. 

Medium Priced Tarot Readings

Medium priced readings usually range from around $20 to $60. In this price range you are usually getting a more professional reading. 

There are a few different types of services that are in this price range: 


High Quality Mini Readings

Mini and smaller readings from highly professional readers can be found in this price range. This sort of reading is a great option if you want a quality reading without paying the full professional rate. 

Now don't be fooled by the word 'mini'. A highly professional reader can find great insight from the messages in just a few cards. They don't need lots of cards. Why?

3 of Wands Tarot Card
3 of Wands Tarot Card

Because they can find hidden meanings that less qualified readers often miss. Mini readings also get to the point really fast and are easy to read. They don't always come with a photo of your reading, but a photo isn't essential to the message. 

So this is a good way to gain some really useful insight from a top notch professional reader. 


Reading from Good Quality Reader

A good quality reader is a professional who knows the cards far more than a cheaper reader. They're usually a professional although their skills may vary widely. Readers may be in this price range because: 

  • They feel comfortable charging this amount for personal reasons
  • They may lack professional helping qualifications
  • They may lack certain tarot or metaphysical skills
  • They may be an advanced tarot student 

Some readers in this price range may be excellent. Some may not. This is because this area is a 'grey zone'. Mostly because tarot reading isn't a regulated field like the health or education. This means you don't need any specific qualifications to read the tarot. So keep this in mind and choose wisely.

Professional Price Range

High Priestess Tarot Card
High Priestess Tarot Card

The standard professional price usually ranges from about $60 to $150. For this price I feel readers should have one of the following: 

  • A background in a professional helping area like psychology, social work or counseling. 
  • Published a book, magazine articles or a card deck in the tarot field 
  • Extensive tarot experience with formal metaphysical or health training like hypnotherapy.

These backgrounds can help professional readers gain excellent insight to interpret the cards in a deep way. In the case of those with a background in a professional helping area or health they have often had extensive training and experience in working with others in need too.

Now this professional level does cost more but again it's all about what you want in a reader. 

Top Priced Readings

Top priced readings are those above $150. So they're quite expensive. I feel this is too much to pay for a basic tarot reading. For a reading like this you really want to be getting something special. This might be: 

  • A very comprehensive reading from a highly professional reader.
  • A reading that is longer than an hour long
  • A reading that includes extras like astrology, runes or something more than just the cards 
  • A reading that is time consuming for the reader to do. Some types of readings take longer than an hour for the reader to prepare. 

Few people could afford this sort of price for a reading on a regular basis. So readings like this are probably better for special times when you need something extra in your reading. 

How To Choose?

This is a very personal choice that only you can decide. But I usually suggest to anyone looking for a tarot reading to find the reader you want first. One who fits what you need. Someone you feel you will 'click with'. Then you can choose a reading they offer that's in your price range. This way you get the best of both worlds. If the reader doesn't offer anything in the price range you want you have the choice of getting a reading less often to keep the price down or to do some more research to find another good reader in the price range you need. 

Updated: 02/19/2014, AmberL
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