Plastic Membership Card Printing Basics At-A-Glance

Your membership cards send a powerful message about your business or organization. They help you and your members manage their status with you, and they are a graphic representation of who you are. The guidelines below can help you make certain that your membership cards have the features you need to manage your members and the look and feel that reflects positively on you. Choose a membership card printing company that focuses on quality printing and feature, like us. The® team is your plastic membership card printing specialists.

The look of membership cards is changing. New digital membership card printing devices make it possible for you to affordably apply full color printing to plastic membership cards. Full color printing on a white card gives you the ability to add logos, colored lines of text, photos and other images to your cards. While you can sill print in one or two colors on colored plastic cards, the effect has become outdated by the full color cards. Colored card printing constricts design options which can result in a card that does reflect your business or group in the best light. Digital printing methods allow you to print in full color -giving you unlimited printing design possibilities hat set your cards apart. Full color printing can be done "over the edge" giving true edge to edge color possibilities. 


The standard plastic card size for Membership card printing is 3 3/8” x 2 1/8”. This is the same size as most credit cards and is sometimes called the CR 80 sized card. Key fob or key chain membership cards are available and they are growing in popularity. These grocery-store frequent buyer-like cards are typically 1 1/6" x 2 7/8".

What’s the right size for your membership cards? The standard size, 3 3/8” x 2 1/8” is the traditional card size and it works well for most uses. The traditional size is familiar to your members and it fits well in wallets, purses and pockets for customer storage. These cards can also be the most economical choice, overall. This traditional standard size also allows enough room for design flexibility and branding such as logos and tag lines.

The smaller grocery-store like key chain card limits your design options significantly. However, the smaller size and the key chain hole can make this a very convenient card for your members to carry. This smaller size is worth considering if your members use their card more than once a week and if your graphics will fit the card size.


Plastic membership cards are typically printed on 30 mil plastic. When making your plastic card material choices, keep the use of your cards in-mind. If your membership cards will receive frequent use, be sure to opt for the thicker, standard 30 mil weight card. This is the same weight used for most credit cards printing. If your cards will only be used a few times a year, a thinner card might hold up to wear quite well. Thinner cards can be slightly less expensive -but remember - they might also need to be replaced more frequently thereby costing more in the long run.  The most commonly used material for plastic card printing is white 30 mil plastic. We also offer standard thicknesses of 20 and 15 mil white plastic.

Additional Options

What options do you need? Most membership card printing includes a magnetic strip and a signature panel. Some cards are also provided to members with slots or holes for mounting to key chains or lanyards. The mag stripe is certainly the most important option. The mag stripe can be used to encode the membership card with important member information including account number, membership type, name, address, phone number and more. Some membership card mag stripes can also be used to track customer balances, in and out privileges and other more dynamic activities.

A signature panel is an important option to consider if you need to authenticate the card holder before granting them use of their membership card and privileges. A signature stripe can be printed on the front or the back of the membership card. It is a white matte ink that is specially formulated for ink pen signatures.