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If you are trying to buy an ID card printer for the first time, the wide range of printer options may be daunting. So why not ask the ID experts at DiscountID for a free printer recommendation?

Just answer three key questions that help us understand your card needs – how many cards you plan to print per year, if you need to print on both sides, and do you need to encode magnetic stripe cards? Then fill in your contact information, and we’ll get back to you with a custom printer recommendation.

Fill out this quick form for your free expert printer recommendation!

To get the best print quality and prevent damage to your ID card printer, you should only use the cards, ribbons, and cleaning kits recommended by the manufacturer. Not sure which supplies work with your printer? Our DiscountID Supply Finder tool is here to help!

Using the Supply Finder takes just seconds, and all you need to do is answer two questions. First, your printer brand; second, your printer model. That’s it!

If you aren’t sure which printer you have, the brand and model is usually on the front of the printer or the serial number on the bottom of the printer.

Try the DiscountID Ribbon & Supply Finder tool.

An ID card printer is the central piece you’ll need to print ID cards for your organization, but it isn’t the ONLY thing you’ll need to get started. Our Complete ID Card Systems have all the supplies you need to help streamline and simplify the process!

What Comes in a Complete ID System?

When you buy an ID card printer, you get just the printer and any power and USB cables it comes with. But what about the blank ID cards, printer ribbon, card design and database software, digital ID camera, and cleaning kit you also need?

That’s why we’ve created our Complete ID Card Systems – we take the guess work out of making sure you get all the supplies you need and guarantee they will work with your printer.

Shop DiscountID

DiscountID is proud to offer a wide range of ID card systems that meet the needs of both large and small businesses. Shop ID card system categories including single-sided systems, dual-sided systems, laminating systems, AlphaCard PRO series systems with built-in AlphaGuard watermark technology, and more.

ID badge reels are extremely popular ID accessories because they keep your ID cards easily at hand for swiping and scanning, keep photo IDs facing out for security purposes, and won’t get in the way while working the same way an ID swinging on a lanyard might.

Our Top Badge Reel Picks

Standard Round Badge Reels, pack of 25 – choose from over twenty colors and two clip types. These are a basic reel, used in every industry from education to business and hospitality.

No-twist Round Badge Reels, pack of 25 – choose from seven colors and two clip types. These reels keep your IDs facing forward.

Lanyard/Reel Combo, pack of 100 – choose from four colors. These reels are attached to a lanyard, giving you the benefits of both ID accessories.

Premium Square No-twist Reels, pack of 25 – choose from six colors and two clip types. Their unique square shape and premium design is an upgrade over standard round reels.

No-twist Carabiner Reels, pack of 25 – choose from four colors. Instead of a belt or swivel clip, these reels have a carabiner to attach to keys or other items.

Round Badge Reels with Reinforced Straps, pack of 25 – choose from five colors. The reinforced vinyl strap on these reels will last longer and keep your cards securely attached.

Need Something Else?

DiscountID carries a wide range of ID badge reels, but if you don’t see something online that meets your needs you can contact our experts to help you find the perfect ID accessory.

Blank ID cards come in several styles, allowing you to choose the material and special features (like magnetic stripes, smart chips, or signature panels) that your unique ID card design requires.

Standard Card Options

Standard PVC blank white ID cards are used for most card applications, because they are the perfect blank slate. But if you need composite cards for a laminator or reverse transfer printer, there are standard size blank white composite cards too.

Don’t want plain white cards? You can also choose from standard-size colored cards, in a wide range of colors. Please note that you should only print monochrome on colored cards.

You can ever get cards with signature panels on them if you want to include cardholder signatures on the cards, popular in retail rewards programs and gift cards.

Encoded & Prox Card Options

Magnetic stripe cards are easy to use and encode with ID card software and a card printer, and come in PVC HiCo and PVC LoCo varieties along with composite HiCo.

If you want to use your cards to help secure your building, proximity cards are a great option – these cards help you control who has access to open doors, without the security issues and hassles of traditional keys.

Card printer ribbons come in a wide range of styles – if you are new to ID card printers, do you know which ribbon is the right one? Use this handy guide to understand ribbons and when to use them.

Quick Guide to Ribbon Names

ID card printers use YMC colors – or yellow, magenta, and cyan – to print your designs. Those three colors, plus a black panel, are the key to every type of ribbon.

Y = Yellow

M = Magenta

C = Cyan

K = Black

In addition, most will include a clear overlay (O) panel to help protect your cards.

Common Ribbon Types & When to Use Them

The two most common types of ribbons are single and dual-sided full color ribbons.

A YMCKO ribbon will print full color plus black and the overlay, on one side of the card. Use this ribbon if you are printing a single-sided card design that needs full color.

A YMCKOK ribbon will print full color plus black and the overlay on one side of the card, and plain black on the back side. Use this ribbon if you are printing a dual-sided card design that does not need full color on the back. If you do need full color on both sides you can use a YMCKO ribbon, but your yield (the number of cards you can print) will be cut in half.

Monochrome ribbons print only a single color, and come in colors like black, red, green, and blue. Use a monochrome ribbon if you need to print in a single color with no shades or shadows.

Shop Ribbons on DiscountID

DiscountID carries all the ribbons and other printing supplies you need from major manufacturers including AlphaCard, Fargo, Evolis, Zebra, IDP, Datacard, and Magicard. Shop all ribbons and supplies on our website.

Looking to add some shine and fun to your ID card program? Fashion accessories make it easy to access your badges and look good, and these rhinestone lanyards and reels are fun just in time for New Years!

Rhinestone lanyards come in packs of 10, available in five sparkly colors – choose from blue, clear, purple, pink, or red. These lanyards are 3/8″ flat lanyards, 36″ long, with a lobster claw swivel hook attachment.

Rhinestone badge reels come in packs of 25, and are available in four fun colors – choose from black, blue, pink, or purple. The reels measure 32mm in diameter with a 34″ cord and a belt clip to attack to your clothing.

Not looking for rhinestone lanyards or reels? Shop our wide selection of ID accessories in a range of colors and styles.

Do you need to print large numbers of ID cards in a quick and efficient way? We suggest trying out batch printing, where you print cards in large batches – this works for a large number of card design styles.

What is Batch Printing?

To batch print your cards, just print a batch of cards (often the number of cards your printer’s card hopper will hold) all at once!

Especially popular for dual-sided cards that all have the same design on the back, like a school ID card or library card that has an address to return a lost card, this allows you to quickly print one side of the card that’s the same for every card. Then you can print the front side of the card, with the student or cardholder’s information, as needed without having to print on both sides of the card.

If your cards don’t have any unique cardholder information you need to add later, you can still batch print cards. Just print the cards in large runs before you need them, so you’ll always have cards ready when you need them.

ID card printers with large hoppers, like the AlphaCard PRO 700 which has a 100 card input hopper and 70 card output hopper (so you can print 100 cards before stopping to load more) are designed for batch printing.

Visually secure cards is a popular way to improve security – using distinct designs and security features, you can make your cards easy to identify as authentic and harder to tamper with or duplicate.

Why Choose AlphaCard for Secure Printing

Every AlphaCard PRO series ID card printer comes with built-in AlphaGuard watermark technology, allowing you to print a holographic-style watermark directly on your cards. And even better, the AlphaGuard technology doesn’t add any costs or require any special equipment!

How AlphaGuard Works

Using the clear overcoat panel in a YMCKO, YMCKOK, or KO ribbon, the AlphaCard PRO printer “burns” the hologram-like watermark design over your printed cards. This allows the design to be easily seen when light is reflected off the card, but doesn’t interfere with your ability to see the card design.

For the PRO 100 and PRO 500 printers, you can choose from four built-in AlphaGuard designs which repeat in a 4×6 grid over your card: Secure Shield Grid, Globe Grid, Geometric Box Grid, and Wavelength Grid.

For the PRO 700, you have five built-in AlphaGuard designs: Secure Shield Grid, Globe Grid, Geometric Box Grid, 3D Box Grid, and an Intricate Universe Full-Card design. With the PRO 700, you can also design a Custom AlphaGuard, included FREE with your purchase (a $589 value).

Shop AlphaCard PRO Printers

AlphaCard PRO series printers at DiscountID come with all the supplies you need to start printing high quality, visually secure cards right out of the box. Every system comes with AlphaCard ID Suite software, but you can upgrade your system to include the Mac-compatible AlphaCard ID Builder software if you use a Mac computer.

Choose from these popular systems:

AlphaCard PRO 100 Starter System with AlphaCard ID Suite Basic software

AlphaCard PRO 100 System with AlphaCard ID Suite Light software

AlphaCard PRO 500 System with AlphaCard ID Suite Light software

AlphaCard PRO 700 System with AlphaCard ID Suite Light software

ID lanyards are the most popular ID accessory for a good reason – they are easy to use, work with every type of badge and card, and come in a wide range of styles. Shop all our popular lanyard options!

Shop Lanyards by Attachment Type

The attachments on lanyards are designed to work with slot punched cards, or cards placed in a badge holder. If you want a specific type of attachment due to functionality, you can shop by attachment type. Some of our more popular attachments include:

Bulldog clips to keep your badges facing forward & easily open and close

Split rings to easily hold an ID card, keys, and more

Swivel hooks for quickly and easily attaching to cards

Wide plastic hooks for keeping your badges facing forward

Shop by Lanyard Color

If you’re looking for lanyards in a specific color to match your business logo or school mascot, or to help identify different types of cardholders, you can search for lanyards by color. Our most popular colors include:

Black lanyards

Navy blue lanyards

Red lanyards

Royal blue lanyards

Shop Fashion Lanyards

Our fashion lanyards give you all the convenience of a lanyard, but with more of an eye toward style. Fashion options include:

Rhinestone lanyards in blue, pink, purple, red, and clear

Neon lanyards in green, blue, orange, pink, purple, and yellow

Chevron printed lanyards in black, emerald green, Monaco blue, and nectarine

Paint splatter printed lanyards with a breakaway clip and swivel hook attachment