Room keys are a staple item in any guest’s experience. They are carried closely throughout their stay and sometimes even taken home as a keepsake. As one of the most memorable pieces hotels provide, independent and boutique hotels need to ensure they are providing the right styles and types fit for their brand. They are seen 6 to 8 times per day!

At Front Desk Supply, key cards are one of our most popular products. We have provided clients with a wide variety of unique room keys that express each boutique hotel’s personality. If you are looking to customize your cards, reach out to us, and our team will happily assist you.  

If you are looking to customize your hotel’s supplies, reach out to us, and our team will be happy to assist you.  

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While guests may not understand the difference, it’s important for hotel staff members to know the differences between RFID and magnetic key cards in order to depict which type will be most successful at their hotel. 

The Difference Between RFID & Magnetic Key Cards:

The key difference is RFID Key Cards don’t require contact while magnetic ones have to swiped, meaning contact has to be made. Addionailly RFID Key Cards are generally more expensive than Magnetic Key Cards due to the added capability. 

RFID Key Cards 

RFID key cards are a newer technology in the hospitality industry. These room keys are contactless, which means all your guests have to do is wave the key card in front of the lock to open the door. Every guest appreciates the simplicity of RFID cards, especially when their hands are full with luggage. Aside from key cards, RFID cards can also be used with wristbands and key fobs. We help many hotels utilize these during big on-site events. This more modern version of key cards also has a longer life-span than magnetic key cards, allowing your boutique hotel to save on replacements and maintenance. 

RFID cards have a “chip” inside (like a computer), as well as a small antenna. It is important to know which chip is being used to ensure the cards open the door.

Magnetic Key Cards

The original key card is the classic magstripe card. Magnetic key cards contain a dark strip on the back to unlock hotel rooms. They are also used in POS systems and access control systems. Our clients love ordering magnetic key cards because they are easy to use and cost-effective. All guests have to do is swipe, and they are in. At Front Desk Supply, we offer a few different types of magnetic key cards. Our options range in size and degree of magnetization; there are actually 3 main types of magnetic stripes: low, medium, and high.

Regardless of which key card your hotel chooses, our team can provide a variety of style types. Our graphic artists will work with you to create a design that speaks to your hotel’s personality and vision. From generic to branded to custom key cards, we can provide cards specific to your needs.

Which is Right for You?

Now that you know the difference, check out this article on which is right for your hotel here.

Contact us to get started with your custom key card or request a quote here