What Can Blank Plastic Cards Be Used For?

Mar 22nd 2021

Blank Plastic Cards

Blank plastic cards, also known as PVC cards, are available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses, with the most common being the same size and thickness as a standard credit card.

What size are credit card dimensions?

The industry standard specifications for blank plastic cards are the same as credit card dimensions, measuring 3.375” x 2.125” (CR-80 size) with a thickness of 30 mil. Mil thickness is a manufacturing term equivalent to 1/1000 of an inch (30 mil = 0.03”) but it is easier to compare it to the thickness of a credit card.

What are blank plastic cards used for?

There are so many uses for blank cards with some of the most popular being:

Identification & Security Cards

ID cards and security cards are some of the most common uses for printing blank plastic cards in-house because they are often needed on-demand while employees, guests, or students wait. Some companies will buy their PVC cards blank and print everything at once including the logo, name, ID number, and possibly a photograph or other contact information.

Others will opt for a hybrid solution where they order plastic card shells containing their logo, contact info, and some type of background imagery. They will then use a thermal printer to add the name, ID number, etc. to the ID cards or security passes.

  • ID Cards / ID Badges
  • Security Access Passes
  • Photo ID Badges
  • RFID Cards
  • Visitor Badges
  • VIP Access Passes

Membership & Event Passes

Now that in-person events are starting to come back, membership cards and event passes are seeing a resurgence in popularity. This is another type of blank PVC card that is often printed onsite. The most cost effective solution is often to print card shells containing the logo and any information that will remain the same from card to card. If you can manage to keep all of the dynamic content - or information that changes from card to card - in black ink, the cost to personalize them will be significantly less expensive.

  • Membership Cards
  • RFID Cards
  • Visitor Badges
  • VIP Access Passes
  • Event Badges
  • Trade Show Passes

Marketing Campaigns

Gift cards and store credit cards are some of the most popular uses for plastic cards. They can be printed with scannable barcodes or swipeable magnetic stripe cards.

PVC cards can be useful for a wide range of marketing campaigns that are only limited by your imagination. If your marketing campaigns require variable data or magnetic stripe cards that must be printed on-demand, buying blank cards and printing them yourself may be a good option. If you are able to order your PVC cards in advance and/or you do not own a plastic card printer, having them professionally printed by a company like Print Robot, may be a more cost effective solution.

  • Gift Cards
  • Magnetic Stripe Cards
  • Store Credit Cards
  • Social Media Campaign Cards
  • Fundraiser Cards
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Plastic Business Cards

Is a special kind of printer needed for blank plastic card printing?

Yes! It definitely would not be a good idea to attempt printing on plastic cards with a regular inkjet or laser printer. It would more than likely damage your equipment unless you are using a printer that is made specifically for plastic card printing.

The most popular plastic card printers for printing ID cards, membership cards, etc. are thermal card printers. The top manufacturers of these card printers are:

  • Evolis
  • Zebra
  • Datacard
  • Fargo
  • HID
  • Magicard
  • NiSCA

Do PVC cards come in different varieties?

Absolutely. While 30 mil is the most common thickness of plastic cards, they are actually available as thin as 12 mil and as thick as 50 mil but check to confirm that the card printer you are using is able to handle cards thicker or thinner than the industry standard 30 mil prior to ordering.

Blank PVC cards are available in a wide range of colors including white, 14 different colors plus 6 fluorescent colors (yellow, red, blue, green, pink, and orange), and 4 metallic color options (green gold, red gold, silver, and copper).

The standard finish on blank plastic cards is gloss but most colors can also be made in satin or matte finish as well. A LoCo or HiCo magnetic stripe can also be added if magnetic stripe cards are needed. Learn how to select the right magnetic stripe for your plastic cards.

How can I get the lowest prices on plastic cards?

BlankPlasticCards.com offers incredibly low prices on blank PVC cards. They proudly manufacture all of their plastic cards in the USA and can accommodate just about any color, shape, size, or thickness you may need - including RFID embedded plastic cards.

Click here to view instant pricing on blank plastic cards

Looking for something more unique? Click here to request a custom quote