Expensive / High-End Prox Cards

I have a customer looking for some "high-end" proximity cards. They want something to hand out to executives and VIP customers that feels more expensive than the regular old cheap plastic cards. Amazingly I can't find anything on the Internet.

They originally wanted to use metal business cards from www.puremetalcards.com with an adhesive prox tag stuck on, but we tested it and the metal really kills the read range. I suggested using printable cards and then making the VIP cards with a custom printing logo but they are really stuck on something that feels heavy and/or expensive. Keyfobs are not an option either - must be a card.

Has anyone else run into a similar scenario or have any ideas? If money is no object, where do you buy expensive feeling Prox cards?


How about a card made of fine wood from Cards of Wood ? I would think that these guys could fabricate some type of wood sleeve that a prox card could be inserted into.

No such thing to my knowledge. If you want to print on them they have to be thin. They make adhesive peel and stick printable labels that they can stick onto their American Express Black cards. That should give an expensive feel.

You could just get a card with a hologram on it that will add about 2$ more a card.

Or have the card printed with their title or what not.

How many cards to do they need/want and how much are they really needing to pay per card?

There are a few things that you could have custom built, but it's going to cost a few thousand to get it off the ground.

You could look into doing something similar to a Coin card: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/hands-on-with-the-coin-credit-card-payment-system/ except instead of being a magstripe card, it would be a prox card. The "button" would turn on the prox circuit instead of enabling the magstripe. You could legitimately position this as a card immune to credential theft via rouge RF scanners.

Thanks for the suggestions so far. They don't necessarily need to custom print a different name to the card - they are fine having a standardized card they can pre-order for all the VIPs, but it has to feel more expensive than a thin plastic card.

Cards of Wood is cool, but not the high end executive look they are going for. The hologram idea is also cool but that's more of a security bump not a luxury bump. Any other ideas? Money is no object, they just need something that people hold and instantly feel like a big time player / high rolling CEO.

I think a big limitation here is the fact the card is powered via resonant energy from the reader.

The card itself needs to be an insulator (ie PVC), or else people can absorb the low power transfer (err, maybe 'reduce the range' is less scary). If the card is too thick, more material must be penetrated to power the internals.

With that said, contactless credentials are buried in all sorts of things. I cannot find the vendor just now, but there is a smartphone case manufacturer who is embedding iClass and ProxII chips into battery covers and slip cases. What about something like that?

Call up the manufacture and ask what is the most unique card you can give me. They most likely been asked this before. HID can do clear cards we have had a sample come in to us. but the cost was about 70$ a card a min order of 100 cards.

I just remembered we had a customer who had Thin leather pouch stiched over their IClass card it looked very classy. sent the card to the seamstress and they just stiched it inside. I am sure they could do other exotic animals if the needed. maybe even Fur.

Given the limitations on the variety of substrates that work with RFID, this is probably more of a graphic design problem. I would look at getting a good designer and work with a company like Duracard for production. They can do custom die cuts and embed RFID onto a custom design. I'm sure there are other companies out there that do the same, but this is the only one I have used in the distant past.

Have you looked at using Carbon Fibre cards as your base?

Although no heft here, it's stiffer than anodized alumininum and far more exotic, therefore packs a greater 'panache'. Overtly ostentatious and flaunt friendly, without the 'boat anchor' effect. Laser engraved. Damn good insulator too.

Duracard looks promising, I've emailed them - thanks. Ideally I would find a ready-made solution that has a high-end prox card without need for modifications.