A Guide to Badging System Accessories

From lanyards to anti-skimming holders, a review of accessories for display and retention of ID badges and access cards


Open Vinyl Card Holders -- Cards stored in these holders can easily be removed for use with access control card swipe systems. For identification purposes when worn on the person, the see through vinyl allows for a clearly visible display of the credentials. The vinyl card holders are available with a wide range of choices, including color frames, top color bars and all weather re-sealable holders.

The quality of these card holders depends on the grade and thickness of the vinyl and the higher the grade, the more durable and expensive the cost. They are most frequently used to hold corporate/employee ID and access cards and in general are an all-round excellent choice for a basic card holder. Based on quantities of 100, prices for vinyl card holders can start at less than 25 cents per piece.

Closed Vinyl Card Holders -- Proximity cards are also stored in vinyl enclosures with the difference being that the enclosure is sealed to prevent loss of these more expensive cards. As well, because it is a sealed enclosure, lint, crumbs or dirt particles cannot become embedded in the enclosure and affect the quality of the reading. Like the open vinyl card holders, quality and cost of the closed holders are based on the grade of the vinyl as well as quantities ordered. Based on quantities of 100, prices for proximity card holders generally start at less than 60 cents per piece.

Open Acetate Card Holders -- While vinyl card holders, either open or sealed, are used primarily for corporate/employee IDs, the similar but less expensive acetate card holder is used primarily for visitor IDs and event or conference IDs. The typically folded clip-on holders are made of extra heavy clear PVC vinyl and usually have open ends for insertion of computer printed or hand written paper badges.

The acetate card holders are considered part of the semi-rigid category and are available from various badging suppliers as well as at the retail level. These are among the least expensive, and based on quantities of 100, prices for acetate card holders can start at around 12 cents per piece.

Badges which are used solely for employee identification purposes (i.e. laminated paper badges with photograph) generally do not require a holder as the lamination provides a rigid and protective covering.

Wallet-Type Card Holders
Application: Corporate/Employee IDs, Event IDs
Suggested Venues: Casinos, Sports Stadiums, Convention Halls, R&D Centers
Pro: Easy visibility
Con: Bulky

Nylon Neck Wallet Card Holders -- There are several styles of the wallet type card holders but probably the most familiar is the large neck wallet card holder seen at trade shows and conferences. The all-in-one nylon device is ideal for an attendee as it features a clear vinyl pocket in front to hold a name badge or event pass; a back pocket to hold maps, meal coupons or seminar passes; and a zippered pocket for currency.

These neck wallets are commonly used as advertising/marketing tools and often bear the logo of a conference vendor or organizer. They are available in quantities of 100 for approximately $2.00 per piece.

Vinyl Neck Wallet Card Holders -- Neck wallets are also available for corporate use in a more professional looking version. For instance, security personnel at gaming facilities or venues hosting professional league sports often require a larger card holder for displaying multiple pieces of identification including a photograph as well as levels of security clearance and/or time and date restrictions. The neck wallet allows the individual to display all of the information and most importantly, keep their hands free.

Magnetic Wallet Card Holders -- Magnetic wallet-type pocket badge holders may scream "nerd" around the office but the concept has been in use by law enforcement officers for quite some time and are becoming more popular in general. The magnetic holders simply fold over pockets or lapels and do not damage clothing with pins or clips; however, one should be cautious to not let the magnet come in contact with magnetic strips found on credit cards and some access control cards. Magnetic wallet card holders are more expensive than standard vinyl sleeves, and prices gnerally start around $1.20 per piece for quantities of 100.

Rigid Card Holders
Application: Corporate/Employee IDs
Suggested Venues: Medical/Research Facilities, Warehouses, Manufacturing
Pro: Provides most protection
Con: Limited sizes