If you’re not sure about choosing an upgraded printer versus the base model, ask yourself two important questions: will it save you time, resources, or money? And will it give you the flexibility you need to continue designing and printing cards for several years? By answering these questions, you can start to decide if a printer upgrade option is worth the cost.

Shop by Printer Feature

Low-volume AlphaCard PRO 100 ID card printer

If you know there’s a specific feature you want, the fastest way to find a printer is to shop by feature. Shop printers on ID Card Group:

If you know you want a specific brand of printer, you can also shop ID card printers by brand:

What Options do Printers Have?Datacard ID Card Printers and Supplies from ID Card Group

Your ability to choose printer features isn’t just limited to single or dual-sided printing! While upgrade options will vary by printer model, some of your options may include:

  • Magnetic stripe encoding
  • Smart card encoding
  • Visual security like watermarks/holograms
  • Card impression
  • Ethernet connectivity
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Physical locks for the printer and/or hoppers
  • Larger hoppers
  • Dual-sided printing
  • Lamination

Shop all ID card printers to see all the printer options.

Knowing When to Upgrade

College & University ID Solutions at IDCardGroup.comWhen should you spend the money to upgrade an ID card printer? Short answer: when it will decrease your costs (in time or resources) and increase the usability you get from your investment in the printer.

For example, you can print dual-sided cards on a single-sided printer by manually flipping them over and running them through the printer again – but this makes each card more time consuming to produce. If you only print a couple of cards you might be ok with the time spent, but if you need to print more than a handful of cards at a time we would suggest upgrading the printer to avoid the extra time it will cost you, time that could be better spent on other tasks at work.

Or consider the long-term use of your card printer versus the initial investment. If you know you’ll want durable cards that need to be replaced less often (creating replacement cards cost money in resources and time!), it may be worth the cost to upgrade now to a reverse transfer or laminating printer. These printers cost more than the entry-level dye sublimation printers, but the cards last longer and withstand daily use better.

Ask ID Card Group – Can I Upgrade Later?

Some upgrade options have to be selected when you purchase the printer, because it comes assembled that way from the manufacturer. Some options can be added later, however, so you a can upgrade later on if you discover you need that option after all.

The ability to upgrade a printer with extra features after purchase will vary by printer model. Some options like a dual-sided upgrade, lamination upgrade, or larger hopper that just connects to the printer, may be easier to do. If you’re curious what options you have, contact ID Card Group for more information about your printer model.


Get your FREE recommendation or contact our expert sales staff at (877) 868-0012 or sales@idcardgroup.com for help choosing the best ID printer to fit your needs. ID Card Group offers a price match guarantee, provides free shipping on orders over $100, and accepts purchase orders.