The Power of a PVC Card

Apr 12th 2024

There is no doubt that PVC cards have become an indispensable tool for a wide range of applications. Just take a peak inside your wallet and you are likely to find several of them. Beyond their traditional role as ID cards and gift cards, PVC cards find their way into realms such as branding, marketing, customer engagement, and security. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the diverse applications of PVC cards and PVC card printing, from access control and employee badges to plastic business cards and member cards.

The Versatility of PVC Cards

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cards are extremely durable and their versatility makes them invaluable across various sectors, including:

  • Gift Cards: PVC gift cards offer a convenient and customizable solution for retailers, restaurants, and service providers, driving sales and brand loyalty.
  • Membership and Loyalty Programs: Businesses use plastic cards for membership programs and loyalty rewards, fostering customer engagement and retention.
  • Event Passes and Tickets: PVC cards double as event passes, tickets, and VIP credentials, enhancing the attendee experience and event security.
  • Plastic Business Cards: Plastic business cards elevate brand perception and durability, leaving a lasting impression on clients and prospects.
  • Identification and Photo ID Cards: Plastic cards make durable identification badges for employees, students, and visitors.
  • Access Control and Hotel Key Cards: PVC cards can be embedded with RFID technology, enabling secure access to facilities, rooms, and resources.

Best Practices for PVC Card Printing

If you are looking to print your own plastic cards, you should know that PVC cards can not be run through a regular inkjet or laser printer. Due to their size and thickness, they can only be printed using a printer designed specifically for plastic cards.

An entry level plastic card printer like the Evolis Zenius or Evolis Primacy 2 costs roughly $1,250 - $2,000+ depending on the options selected. These thermal card printers are good for printing small volumes of cards with simple designs.

From there you will need to buy blank plastic cards and consumables for the inks known as thermal ribbons. All in, you can expect to pay roughly $0.83 per card for a white plastic card printed with color on both sides or $0.49 per card for a white card printed with color on the front and black ink on the back EXCLUDING the cost of the printer and necessary software.

Depending on the volume of cards you plan to print, it may be more cost effective to order them printed from a company like Print Robot. When ordering printed cards, the quality is better - especially if your design has a background photo or color - and you don’t have any upfront equipment costs. If you have a need for ongoing card printing, Print Robot also offers fulfillment solutions with on-demand personalization that make ordering and distributing your membership cards a breeze.


Whether it's for employee badges, gift cards, plastic business cards, or RFID cards, PVC card printing empowers businesses and professionals to make a lasting impression while enhancing security and functionality. By understanding the diverse applications and best practices of PVC card printing, organizations can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and brand excellence.

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