MAGNETIC KEY CARDS and RADIO FREQUENCY (RFID) CARDS
Security at hotels and resorts is of the utmost importance which is why they moved from traditional lock and key systems to magnetic card systems, and more recently to RFID (smart chip) systems. All enable the hotel to change the access code information, and control the period of time that a particular card effectively interfaces with the particular lock. And contrary to some reports, no guest information is stored on the actual key card.
Magnetic Key Cards have a stripe on the back that is programmed at the front desk at check-in. Magnetic cards come in two sizes.... cr80 (3-3/8" by 2-1/8") which is the same size as a credit card, and cr50 (3 ½" by 1 ¾") which is about 25% more narrow. The cr50 card is fairly uncommon, but may still be in use at some older hotel properties.
There are a lot of different magnetic locking systems or brands, but they all typically use one of two types of magnetic stripes on the back....either a BROWN stripe (300oe) or a BLACK (650oe). The oe is a measure of magnetic strenght or coercity. The brown stripe is the most commonly used. It is important when discussing the program with the hotel to inquire as to what locking system and encoder they use, and request a current key card to verify the type of magnetic stripe.
RFID Cards have a radio frequency computer chip inside of the card, therefore no stripe on the back. The chips in the cards vary from one locking system to another. One of the most popular brands is Onity. We can provide printed cards for most RFID systems, but they are 3 to 4 Xs more expensive. We typically include a message on the card to return it to the front desk at check-out so they can be re-used.
VING is a high-end system that requires a special chip, and that is priced nearly double the cost of the Onity rfid cards. You may find it hard to justify the expense of providing cards for any hotel that has a VING RFID lock system.
We typically print key cards in quantities of 1,000 in order to provide the best price. We package them 500 to a sleeve, so an order of 1,000 will require two (2) sleeves. We box 6 sleeves to a carton, so 3,000 cards per carton. We can usually ship the standard cr80 cards in approximately two weeks. We can ship to the store, or directly to the hotel.
Hope this is helpful. Let us know if you have any other questions. Your team is welcome to call us most any time. 866.439.9581