Why custom printed hotel key cards may be cheaper than you think

Quay Hotel key card

Don’t default to off-the-shelf hotel key cards when you could buy custom printed for a similar price

Another few weeks of guests failing to hand their key cards back in?

Before you default to ordering more cards off-the-shelf from your card lock supplier, take a look at custom printed.

If it’s the cost that puts you off, you might just be surprised at how they stack up.

The larger the order, the lower the unit price

As with any custom printed item, the set-up is where most of the cost is loaded. So the more you print, the less each card costs. And the more likely it is that custom key cards will work out cheaper than off the shelf ones.

So whereas 100 branded, double sided hotel key cards (with magnetic stripe) might not seem so attractive at £114 + VAT (or £1.14 each), 500 will only set you back £190 + VAT (or 38p each).

Order 1000, and they work out at just 27p each. And we believe that’s a similar price to what you’ll be paying for a non-branded version.

So if you tend to order smaller batches a few times a year, you could stock up for the full 12 months with branded cards for around the same price.

(Also we don’t charge extra for including a magnetic stripe like other companies do, it’s all part of the package.)

If you need RFID key cards, the same cost savings apply. We use Mifare Classic smart cards, which contain genuine NXP contactless chips.

The Langham hotel key card
The Langham Hotel, London

Why buy branded anyway?

A branded card is always going to make a greater impression on a guest than a generic one. And it can also play an important part of your promotional or branding strategy.

Your hotel key cards are capable of much more than just opening doors. They’re like a mini billboard in your guest’s pocket; a highly visible reminder of your brand and services, so make it count.

You could use them to:

  • Advertise a specific promotion within your restaurant
  • Promote an upgrade offer
  • Promote your spa or leisure facilities
  • Raise awareness of a sister establishment or partner
  • Offer discounts off their next booking within a specific timeframe
  • Provide guest reminders on the back, for example details of checkout time, breakfast and numbers for front desk, housekeeping etc.

Rugby world cup hotel key cardOr just use them as a branding opportunity and push out your key messages.

All our key cards are double sided and printed in full colour for the same price, so you should make the back count too.

You could also advertise a nearby attraction through a partnership deal, and have the partner pay for the production of the hotel key cards.

Worth doing a price comparison?

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