Frequently Asked Questions

What are the magnetic stripes on the cards used for?

Magnetic stripes are thin layers of ferrous oxide applied to the surface of the card. Magnetic stripes were never intended as security devices; magnetic stripes only ensure the speed and accuracy of the information entered into a system. Magnetic stripes are, in essence, magnetic bar codes, nothing more. They are encoded with information only once, usually a series of numbers. When the information on the stripe is accessed by swiping, the stripe is not altered in any way, it is only read. Magnetic stripes are not used to collect data, only to send the same data over and over very efficiently.

I would like to mail my customer their loyalty or gift card – how do I do that?

CARDSource mails thousands of client card packages each day. Single card packages typically weigh less than one ounce and can either be mailed first class or if the volume is large enough, presort first class or standard mail for discounted postage. Our postage experts will make sure you pay the lowest possible rate to mail your card package. Learn more about our card mailing options.

What is the difference between UV coated vs. laminated cards?

UV (ultraviolet) coating is a thin layer of clear ink applied over the printed image making it slippery and less likely to scratch (like a polyurethane layer on a hardwood floor). Lamination is an additional layer of plastic placed over the printed image, sealing and protecting it.

Lamination is the industry standard. This method creates the smoothest, highest quality, longest-lasting card product. Not all lamination is equal, however; roll lamination of PVC or other plastics most often produces a card with a less than perfect finish, while platen or hydraulic lamination produces a very smooth mirror or matte finish. Platen lamination is the method used for virtually all VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, and other bank credit cards.

What is the difference between loyalty, royalty and gift cards?

Loyalty: A loyalty card is meant to give customers incentive to come back to you time after time. They’ll earn something by scanning or using this card.

Royalty: A royalty card is basically another term for loyalty card, and is used in a similar manner.

Gift: A gift card is used just like currency at your establishment. You can give them to customers, or customers can purchase them for themselves or others. When they are used it's like using money. However, gift cards are not typically redeemable for cash.

How long do plastic cards last?

Length of life depends on usage and what type of card you choose. We offer a PVC card or Teslin® style card, which offer different amounts of durability. Learn more in our blog post about card quality.

What green or recycling options are available for gift cards?

The environment is very important to CARDSource and we’ve recycled our scraps and used cards for years. 

What type of card would work for my business?

That is your choice depending on what kind of program you want it to support. Does your business need business cards? We have a very impactful plastic business card solution. Do you want to start offering gift cards? We can help. Do you want to offer membership cards or a reward card to encourage customer loyalty? There are solutions we can offer. Maybe you have an event that you need passes to wear for entrance. That can be done too. Take a look at the products available and then select the options you want or need. If you have questions we are happy to help walk you through the process.

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