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Hotel Key Card...the basics

Understanding the fundamentals of custom hotel key cards is essential for getting the most out of this access card and practical marketing tool.

Question #1: What is a key card?

It is a small plastic card that uses encoded data to grant guests access to facilities. 

Question #2: Why does a hotel need key cards?

These plastic cards are essential for keeping your hotel safe and secure. Key cards allow specific people to have access to rooms and unlike a physical key, they cannot be duplicated. Meaning they are a more secure means of entry.

Question #3: Types of custom hotel key cards.

We design and print a variety of key cards that will impress your guests, maintain your cohesive branding and provide secure access to a variety of different spaces. Each type of hotel room key card works differently, but some of our most popular options are:

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Hotel Door Key Card Opening Hotel Key Card System
Hotel Door Key Card With Matching Hotel Key Card Holder

Promotional Tool

Customers use their hotel room key card every time they return to their hotel room. These are great opportunities for you to put your brand on display! Make the most of these opportunities by adding additional information to your key card so it doubles as a promotional tool.

  • Boast your brand 
  • Advertise on-site amenities like Restaurants, Spas or Shops
  • Use as a Discount Cards for Local establishments
  • Ads for Partner or Affiliate Companies
  • Promote your Hotel Rewards Program

Hotel Key Card...Just the stats

The average traveler spends $51.75 on local food and entertainment each day. Making your key card a valuable advertising space.

On average, a lost hotel key card is 97% cheaper to replace than a physical key because locks do not need to be replaced. 

2.3 billion individuals took a trip away from home and stayed in paid accommodations.

75% of guests are interested in hotel loyalty programs. Use your key card or key card holder to inform your guests about your loyalty program.

83% of hotels use electronic locks.

On average, guests see their key card 6-10 times a day.


Common Questions

Typical questions pertaining to custom hotel key cards.

What information is necessary on a hotel room key card?

Common information to include on your hotel key card is your logo and contact information. 

You can also include advertisements and other useful information for your guests like the WiFi password or instructions on how to use the hotel room key. To learn more about how to elevate your room keys, click here. 

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How does a hotel key card work?

It depends on the type of key card. In general, these cards are encoded with data that tells the hotel key card system to unlock the door. The way the sensor reads the data is dependent on the type of hotel room key card.

Key cards with a magnetic stripe function by running the magnetic stripe over a sensor. The sensor reads the data and unlocks the door if the data is a match.

NFC cards and RFID key cards contain small chips with a radio transmitter that allows the card reader to read it from several inches away. You don't need to swipe an NFC card or RFID key cards. Simply tapping the card to the reader is enough for the data to be transmitted. 

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Are hotel key cards cost effective?

One of the big advantages that hotel key cards have over locks and keys is the cost. Hotel key cards are about the same price as a key. However, when a key is lost the entire lock system must be replaced which is incredibly costly. With key cards, you simply need to change the card. This is one of the big reasons so many hotels have ditched regular keys in favor of key cards.

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Is a key card safer than a physical key?

Custom printed hotel key cards are safer than physical keys. If a key card is lost, the encrypted data that allows you access can simply and quickly be changed. This will prevent a stranger from using the lost card to grant access. If a key is lost, the only way to ensure security is to change locks. 

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Why should I use a key card holder or sleeve?

Key card holders and hotel card sleeves are an efficient way to protect your cards, promote your brand, and give your guests more information. 

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Can a hotel door key card come in a custom shape?

The short answer is no. For a barcode or a magnetic stripe card, they need to be the standard card shape to be read effectively by the hotel key card system. 

However, for an NFC card and RFID hotel key cards, it is sometimes possible to use a custom shape. Ask your project consultant if this is possible for you. 

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Our Happy Clients Say...

Our professional customers come from every industry imaginable and they rave about the products we created for them.

“Thank you Plastic Printers for delivering a superb design of my new custom shaped business cards and for helping make my event special. Everyone loved the new design and asked where I had them made.”

Eddie Wynne

PGA Head Golf Professional - University of Minnesota Golf Club

“The card is a direct reflection of the quality of our business as reliable, credible and trustworthy. People literally say, "Wow. You don't throw THIS away" when we hand them out."

Trevor Caster

President - Caster Investment Group

“Every element of these cards were designed to be accurate to 1/1000 of an inch, and I can tell there was no deviation among them, because they're all clear! This is the quality of work I was looking for, something I know I wouldn't have been able to achieve elsewhere.”

Rashad Nasir

CEO & Director of Web Operations - ThinkCode

“Our plastic cards set us apart from the competition! We always have people asking us to provide extra cards for their family. We ordered our plastic card because we wanted something that was different and provided a value other than just simply our contact information.”

Jeff Randall

President - TransEquitorial Solutions

“The quality of the card is superb, and really helps us stand out. Design Management Group is extremely happy with the investment we made in our plastic business cards.”

Ryan McCroskey

Owner - Design Management Group

Join thousands of industry leaders and business professionals in setting the standard for custom hotel key cards.
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