Card Production FAQ

What is the difference between a laminate and UV finish?
Those great-looking gift cards you see from top merchant brands are premium quality, offset printed cards with a thin but very durable sheet of clear PVC that is heat applied to seal and protect the printing. Our specialty is providing this type of high-end card at quantities and prices that are not much more than a UV card.

UV-coated cards are what many other card producers offer as their best quality card. They can still look great (ours do), the finish just isn't quite as durable and it is normally applied only to the front of the card so that numbers and barcodes may be printed on the card back (printing doesn't adhere well to UV). Anytime you see lower pricing or faster production time from our competitors, it's probably a UV card. We do them too, but it's our second-tier-quality card.

Will your cards work with my POS system or card program?
eCard Systems produces cards for hundreds of different POS systems and card programs and and can generate various types of number sequences and barcode formats as needed. If there is any uncertainty, your equipment or software provider should be able to provide you or us with the information needed to properly number, encode and/or barcode your cards. We will always 100% confirm these details before completing and shipping your cards.

What is the standard card size?
Most cards are the exact same size as a credit card: 3 3/8” x 2 1/8” x 0.30 mil (thickness). Cards can also be produced in custom shapes and sizes.

How should my card artwork be prepared?
Full bleed artwork should be exactly 1/16 larger than the card size (3.5" x 2.25"). The magnetic stripe is placed 3/16” from top edge of card. A 2-track mag is 5/16" wide, a 3-track mag is is 7/16." It is recommended that all type and other essential elements be placed at least 1/8" away from the card edge. Download Graphics Specs PDF

What file formats are accepted for artwork?
Electronic files are the preferred format for submitting card designs to us for production. We currently accept digital files for both the Mac and PC platforms created with any of the following programs:

  • Quark Express
  • Adobe Indesign
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Print-quality PDF, TIFF, EPS or JPEG files

Do you accept physical, camera ready artwork?
Yes. But keep in mind that photocopies and pre-printed materials (business cards, brochures, etc.) are less suitable for high-quality graphic production.

Can I have eCard Systems design my card?
Yes. Utilizing your logo and/or other artwork, or photos from our image library, complete card design services range from $20 to $50 in cost. Basic layout is free.

How quickly will my card artwork layout be created?
Once acceptable artwork has been received, a card design will be developed and an electronic proof provided via email normally within 24 hours or next business day. Up to 4 revisions may be made with no additional charge.

What is the time frame for receiving my completed gift card order?
Once you have approved and signed your proof, normal card production turnaround is 12 to 15 business days + shipping time. Rush production is 8 to 10 days.

What is the minimum card order quantity?
The minimum quantity for custom card production is 500. Preprinted, Quick Card card designs may be ordered in quantities of 125, 250 or 500.