Looking for advice on the best card printer for your magnetic stripe card needs? In this post, we’ll explain magnetic encoding and go over our top mag stripe printer picks.
What is Magnetic Encoding?
Magnetic – or mag stripe – encoding offers a low-cost way to include more data on an ID card. Using a magnetic encoder, your ID card printer can store (encode) data on a magnetic (mag) stripe, typically found on the back of the card, when it is printed.
Magnetic stripe – also referred to as swipe – cards are physically swiped through a reader (much like a credit card). The card reader then deciphers the coded data.
When integrated with other systems, magnetic stripe technology can increase the versatility of your cards by allowing them to be used in new ways.
Best Printers for Magnetic (Mag) Stripe Cards
Most printers offer a magnetic stripe encoder option without adding a lot of cost. The printer models selected below all offer an optional magnetic encoder upgrade at purchase. The friendly Evolis Primacy allows you to add a mag encoder later – right in your office. Very convenient.
Our preferred magnetic encoding printer choices are:
- Evolis Primacy – (can upgrade with mag encoder right in your office). Read the review of the Primacy.
- Magicard Enduro – single sided or double sided. Read the review of the Enduro.
- Fargo DTC1250e. Read the review of the DTC1250e.
- Zebra ZXP3 or ZXP7. Read the review of the ZXP3 and the ZXP 7.
Are Magnetic Stripe Cards Right for Me?
Magnetic stripe technology has been around for decades, and provides an affordable option for low security environments and convenience-based applications. Common uses of standard magnetic stripe cards include:
- Loyalty or gift cards
- Membership cards
- Hotel room keys
- Time and attendance systems
- Secure access
Magnetic Stripe Card Stock
ID Card Group carries value-priced generic white and color magnetic card stock – all high quality – as well as name brand mag card stock from Zebra, Magicard, Fargo, and Datacard. See all blank white magnetic card stock.
More Helpful How-to Card Printing Resources
- How to Choose Magnetic Stripe (Swipe) Cards & Protect Them from Damage
- What’s the Difference Between Magnetic Stripe & Proximity (Smart) Cards?
- ID Card Design Tips: Security Features, Holograms, Technologies – Part 1
- ID Card Design Tips: Layout & Graphic Considerations – Part 2
- ID Card Design Tips: Best Printers for Printing, Encoding, Laminating – Part 3
See also our How-to Series: Choosing an ID Card Printer
- Choosing an ID Card Printer – Introduction
- Choosing an ID Card Printer – Top 3 Factors At a Glance
- Choosing an ID Card Printer – Part 1: Card Printing Volume
- Choosing an ID Card Printer – Part 2: Desired Card Appearance
- Choosing an ID Card Printer – Part 3: Security Options
- Infographic: How to Choose an ID Card Printer
- Video: What to Look for when Buying an ID Card Printer
- Bonus – Expert Reviews of Top Printer Brands & Models
If you need more information on – or desire assistance with – creating the right level of security for your organization’s ID cards and badges, contact one of our ID Experts at 877-868-0012 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll make it easy for you!
ID Card Group offers a price match guarantee, provides free shipping on orders over $100, and accepts purchase orders.