Spruce Up Your Gift Giving with Plastic Gift Card Printing

Plastic Gift Card Printers

Plastic Gift Card Printers: Exploring the Latest Technologies

Gift cards have gone from a novelty to a necessity in today's digital world. Plastic card printers have become an easy and reliable way for businesses to create custom-designed gift cards. With a wide range of technology, materials, and accessories available, there are plenty of options for businesses to choose from. Here, we explore the details of plastic card printers and their accessories to help businesses make informed decisions when selecting equipment.

Introduction to Plastic Card Printers

Plastic card printers are machines that produce plastic cards, including gift cards. The cards can be customized and printed on demand for a variety of uses. Plastic card printers are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, from desktop models to large and sophisticated machines. Most plastic card printers offer a wide range of printing technologies, including direct thermal, dye-sublimation, and retransfer printing. The type of technology used will affect the cost and quality of the finished card.

Pros and Cons of Plastic Card Printers


  • Ideal for producing gift cards with personalized designs and messaging
  • Lower cost than traditional gift cards
  • Flexibility in selecting printers, technology, and accessories
  • Can be used to produce ID cards, membership cards, loyalty cards, and more


  • More expensive than other types of printing technology
  • Limited range of card materials available
  • May require additional accessories, such as ribbon or printer supplies

Plastic Card Printer Accessories

In addition to the plastic card printer itself, there are several accessories that can be useful in creating custom gift cards. These include:

  • Laminators Used to protect the cards from wear and tear, as well as accidental damage.
  • Encoding accessories Allow businesses to produce magnetic-stripe and RFID-enabled cards.
  • Ribbon Used to print sharp, vibrant images and text on plastic cards.
  • Prepaid cards Used to offer customers prepaid cards with specific values or as a rewards program for loyal customers.
  • Inkjet Used to print logos, images, and text in full color on plastic cards.

These accessories can add extra features and capabilities to the cards, while also helping to protect the card from wear and tear.

Case Studies demonstrating the Effectiveness of Gift Cards

Several companies have seen success by implementing gift card programs. Here are two examples:

Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware implemented plastic gift cards to reward their loyal customers. To collect customer data, each card was linked to a customer loyalty system. By using the plastic cards, Ace Hardware was able to track customer purchases, reward shoppers, and gain valuable insights into customer preferences and buying behavior. As a result, the company saw a 20% increase in repeat customers and average sales value per visit.


Starbucks released a prepaid gift card program that allowed customers to purchase coffee, food, and drinks without carrying cash or a credit card. The cards could be topped up online or at any Starbucks and used at any of the company's stores in the US and Canada. As a result, Starbucks experienced an 8% increase in sales.

FAQs about Plastic Card Printers

Q: What types of printers are available?

A: Plastic gift card printers come in a few different varieties. The most popular types include direct thermal printers, dye-sublimation printers, and retransfer printers.

Q: Are plastic card printers more expensive than other types of printers?

A: Yes, generally speaking, plastic card printers tend to be more expensive than other types of printers. This is due to the specialized technology used to print plastic cards.

Q: What kind of accessories are available for plastic card printers?

A: There are a variety of accessories available for plastic card printers. These include laminators, encoding accessories, ribbons, inkjet printers, prepaid cards, and more.

Mistakes to Avoid when Purchasing a Plastic Card Printer

When deciding which plastic card printer to purchase, there are a few mistakes to keep in mind:

  • Not researching all available options Make sure to explore the available printers, technology, and accessories before making a decision.
  • Not understanding the features and capabilities Understand what features and capabilities are required to determine what type of printer is best for the business.
  • Not considering the cost Plastic card printers, accessories, and supplies can add up quickly. It's important to factor in all costs when determining the best option.
  • Not testing the printer before committing Make sure to test the printer to ensure it meets all requirements before making the purchase.

Best Practices for Using Plastic Gift Card Printers

After selecting the right printer for the business, there are a few best practices to keep in mind when using the equipment:

  • Always use a good quality ribbon This ensures that the card will be printed correctly and last for a long time.
  • Keep the printer clean Cleaning and maintaining the printer will extend its lifespan and ensure quality results.
  • Keep the printer in a safe, dust-free environment Storing the printer in a clean, dust-free area will help to protect it from wear and tear.
  • Follow the installation instructions Make sure to read and follow all instructions when installing and setting up the printer.


Plastic card printers are an ideal solution for businesses looking to create custom-designed gift cards. With a wide range of technology, materials, and accessories available, there are plenty of options to choose from. It's important to research all available options, understand the features and capabilities, factor in the cost, and test the printer before making a purchase. With these considerations in mind, businesses can make an informed decision when selecting the right plastic card printer for their needs.