Cartel Market Certificates are a special currency that dropped from cartel packs released between 2013 and 2015. Like jawa junk, it was meant to remove some of the random element from cartel pack drops and to give players their choice of rewards. Certificates could be redeemed for stronghold decorations at the vendor in the stronghold area of the fleet, or redeemed for even more exclusive rewards at the reputation vendors in the cartel area of the fleet. (These reputations were raised with items that also dropped in cartel packs.)
When cartel packs were revised in Game Update 4.0, the certificates were removed. The vendors are still there, but acquiring the currency has gotten a lot harder.
How can new players get cartel market certificates?
Try your luck on a slot machine. The slot machine stronghold decorations still drop cartel market certificates, but the rate is incredibly low following a nerf to the drop rate.
Your other option is to buy and open old packs. Packs can be listed on the GTN unopened, although retired packs are usually expensive. The following groups of packs have a rare chance to contain cartel market certificates:
If you are looking for certificates because you want to buy decorations or personnel for your stronghold, look for these items on the GTN. They are not bound and can be sold after they are bought. If none are listed, ask in trade chat and on your server’s community forums for players who have unused certificates banked somewhere who would buy the decoration you want and sell it to you.
Hopefully there will be an alternate way to get either the certificates or the decorations in the future!