Styrene:    Styrene  is a  lower  cost  alternative  to  PVC and is the most  popular  plastic  card  material  produced  at   Us1.  The card fronts are  usually  printed full - color  with UV  ( ultraviolet )  inks and coated   with   a   clear   UV   varnish.   Styrene cards  are  ideal  for applications  not  requiring  long  wallet  life  such as prepaid phone cards.  Styrene cards  are  available   in  credit  card  size (2 1/8” X 3 1/8”)  as  well  as  custom  shapes including  “hanging cards”. The following  stocks  are  available:  10 mil,  15 mil,  20 mil  and 30 mil. 
The  most  popular  thickness  for  credit card sized cards  is 20 mil since  it  has  enough  rigidity  to have perceived value but takes up less space in  over-crowded wallets, has less material cost than 30 mil,  weighs  less  and  packs  out  in  less  volume. Personalization (numbering), if required, is by high-speed Ink Jet.

PVC:     PVC ( polyvinyl chloride )  is  a  little  more  expensive  than Styrene,  but  is  more  flexible  and  hence durable.  It has the same look  and  feel  as  Styrene, and it is difficult to detect any difference between  the  two  materials.  It  is  recommended  over  Styrene for applications   requiring   thermal   personalization.  Thermal  printing produces  a  higher resolution image than Ink Jet and is required for some  bar codes. The following stocks are available: 10 mil, 15 mil, 20 mil and 30 mil.
Laminated PVC:    Laminated   PVC   is   the   most   widely   used material   for  plastic  cards  since  it  is  the  standard   for   financial transaction  cards  such  as  credit  cards  and  ATM  cards.  It is the most  durable but also the most expensive. It can be thermal printed over   printed   images   and   can   be   Embossed.   Most  financial transaction  cards such as credit cards and ATM cards require long wallet life and hence are over-laminated PVC. Most magnetic stripe cards  and  smart cards  are  laminated  PVC.  The  standard credit card is 30 mil but 12 mil, 18 mil and 24 mil are also available.
Paper:     Paper  is  the  least  expensive  material  used  for  cards since  paper is less expensive than plastic and does not require UV cured  inks.  It  is  the recommended material for applications where durability  is  not  an  issue.  Us1 produces a good number of paper “hanging cards”   and   credit   card  sized  cards  for  retail  prepaid phone  card  applications  where  the  cards  will be used only a few phone calls before the time is used.