Custom Gift Card Holders Basics

Referred to as custom gift card holders or gift card carriers, these fold-over products are designed to hold plastic cards for mailing or retail point-of-sale display.

Custom gift card holders are different than their “stock” or standard gift card holders. The custom products can differ in size, shape, and artwork or material selection. If drawing attention to your gift card carriers and holders is a primary objective, then custom gift card holders are the right solution for you.

 In addition to full photo quality printing on standard products, offers custom dies for unique shapes and sizes as well as custom materials in a variety of finishes and weights. There really are no design limits for custom gift card holders when working with

Don’t forget the inside of the carrier!

Printing on the inside of the carrier is an excellent messaging opportunity. This is a great place to include instructions or to promote special card use features – like sales or limited time offers.  


We offer three standard sizes for gift card holder printing: 4 x 6", 4 x 5.5" and 2.8 x 8.75". Traditional-sized plastic cards are easily inserted into this carrier size. Custom gift card holders have no size limits – but – there are some size considerations you should note.

Display Size Considerations

If your custom gift card holders will be displayed for retail purchase, you need to consider how much room is allotted to your carriers. As a general rule, retail space is at premium – retailers have more interest in products that take a small footprint and draw a lot of attention based on design – rather than size. You might want to consider a custom shape that falls closely within the standard size.

Mailing Considerations

Keeping your design within USPS mailing regulations for 1st class mail will minimize your postage costs. Going over the regulations can be an expensive decision – particularly if you have hundreds or thousands of cards to mail. Consider a custom gift card holders design that can be easily mailed. Also, be sure to check into our plastic gift card mailers that combine a plastic card and a post card into a single, affordable alternative to traditional cards and mailers.

Plastic Card Size Considerations

Be sure to consider the size of cards that your gift card carriers and holders will hold when setting up your design. Typically, the plastic card is completely covered by the holder – front and back. However, some designs feature a full covered back but a front cover that shows some important part of the card as a “teaser”.


10 pt, C1S (coated one side) or 10 pt C2S stock is the most economical and popular choice of business gift card holder printing material. This is the standard material. However, an eye catching choice of unique paper can draw attention to your cards and provide a distinct visual impression.

The most important material consideration is to select a stock that will be rigid enough to support the card so that it will not slip out of the carrier.

For best results, we suggest selecting card weight stocks in gloss finishes.  10pt C1S, as an example, is an excellent semi-custom material that is more rigid than the standard material giving it a beefier – some would say higher quality feel.

Custom Gift Card Holders Printing - Options

Special die cut options are available on the carrier to reveal parts of the plastic card such as the signature panel or a special message. You can also add variable printing such as a number or barcode to help effectively manage your gift card program. And of course, don’t forget you have several color options to print your plastic card holders including Full Color on one or both sides to increase your customer response!

Special Die Cuts:

A die cut is a unique shape added to a standard carrier, like a “wavy edge” or a hole cut through the gift card carrier to reveal some portion of the card underneath. Die cut holes typically reveal the magnetic stripe or a barcode on the plastic card. This hole makes it possible for the gift card to be scanned without the carrier being opened.

Another use of die cut holes is to reveal a special offer on the front of the card. As an example, "10% off if used by August 31st" might appear on the plastic card. To draw attention to the offer, a special hole is die cut into the gift card carrier to reveal the offer on the card below.

Variable Printing: is very unique in that we can print your gift card carriers with variable data or information. This includes sequential numbering or bar codes, personalization like names or dates as well as variable images for different offers or branding requirements. If you have questions about variable printing on gift card carriers and holders, please contact customer service

Printing Full Color on Front and Back

Another special feature is the printing options for the outside and inside of the custom gift card carrier. You can have your carriers printed in full color on both sides or in black and four color on either side or just four color on one side. This gives you design and budget flexibility unique to your gift card carriers and holders project.