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GTA Online Shark Cards Guide

Figure out how GTA Online's microtransactions work with our guide to the game's Shark Cards.


Since 2013, microtransactions have been the lifeblood of GTA Online. Delivered to players as Shark Cards, these are virtual credit cards preloaded with GTA Dollars that can be purchased with real-world money from, among other places, the in-game Social Club store. If you're considering buying some or just want to know what they're all about, we're going to run through the ins and outs of GTA Online Shark Cards to help get you up to speed with the fiscal landscape of one of the most popular games of all time.

Making money in GTA Online

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In GTA Online, you earn money by completing activities in the open world, tackling missions, and running businesses. For example, you can simply steal and sell cars to Los Santos Customs or play multiplayer matches with your friends to get a small amount of cash, but there are also many complicated and lucrative heists to set up and complete. These big scores take a lot of effort, but they reward players with hundreds of thousands if not potentially millions of dollars that they can use to buy properties, upgrades, vehicles, weapons and more.

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Beyond that, you can also set up businesses like Nightclubs that earn passive income or buy warehouses that let you acquire, stock and trade resources in the open world as a CEO. There's a money-earning ploy tied to every kind of business in GTA Online, so you'll never be short of opportunities to make some money. However, in many of these cases, you have to spend money to make money, which creates a vicious cycle. Such is the temptation of Shark Cards, especially when an update arrives and players need virtual cash to access the new content.

Like many free-to-play games, you could certainly access all of GTA Online's content without spending a dime, but it will be a serious grind, depending on your ambitions. Many of GTA Online's most important assets cost millions upon millions of virtual dollars, and you will have to coordinate many heists and grind your businesses hard to get some of the most efficient upgrades, real estate and vehicles.

How do Shark Cards work in GTA Online?

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Shark Cards don't necessarily give players a pay-to-win option, but it does allow them to skip the grind, buy their way through some heists, purchase vehicles, and generally get whatever they want by spending their own real money instead of earning it.

Of course, spending real money doesn't guarantee that you'll be any better at the game, but having a $3.8 million-dollar hoverbike mounted with rockets does tend to trivialize many parts of the game. A recent update allowed players to spend a few million to buy guided missiles that they can fire from their offshore submarines at unsuspecting players on land. It's technically not pay to win, but when other players are griefing you with it, it sure feels like it!

As of writing, you can buy Shark Cards in the following increments:

  • Red Shark Cash Card, $100,000 — $2.99 / £1.99
  • Tiger Shark Cash Card, $200,000 — $4.99 / £3.19
  • Bull Shark Cash Card, $500,000 — $9.99 / £5.99
  • Great White Shark Cash Card, $1,250,000 — $19.99 / £11.99
  • Golden Whale Shark Cash Card, $3,500,000 — $49.99 / £30.99
  • Megalodon Shark Cash Card, $8,000,000 — $99.99 / £59.99

As you can see, the more significant the lump sum that you spend, the more GTA Dollars you will receive. You can also pick up the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack for £24.99, which is billed as a “jumpstart” to your empire, offering a slew of assets that are worth up to $10,000,000.

Jordan Oloman on Google+

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