With the flow of hotel personnel, the keycard is also circulated among the hotel guests and hotel staff, so the keycard is vulnerable to different degrees of wear and tear. A keycard issue will cause inconvenience for guests, not only causing them to be unable to open the door but also leading them to doubt whether they have broken the card. To avoid more inconvenience, some guests may wonder “How to make a key card work again?” and try to figure out the fastest way to fix it. Before answering this question we also need to understand why the hotel key card will stop working. Read this article for details.

The hotel keycard is one of the hotel items that the guests staying in the hotel have the most contact with. And is responsible for opening the hotel’s doors, which directly relates to its security.

A hotel key card is a plastic card with a chip or magnetic strip that you can use to unlock your hotel room door. With the flat surface, the hotel key cards are easy to carry and store.

Some hotel room key cards also support the function of a one-card card, with the key card handy, you can not only open the door but also be used to activate the elevator, use the access control system, pay the hotel fee, etc.

The appearance of the hotel room card makes the hotel management more convenient and makes the hotel guest feel more comfortable.

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How do hotel key cards work?

After you check in at a hotel, the hotel front desk staff will enter your personal information into the hotel card door lock system and send it to the card by the card issuer. When you put the card near the hotel key card lock, the card will send your information to the key card lock, and the door can be opened if the information is correct.

Different types of hotel door locks have different unlocking operations, so most hotels will print the unlocking usage method on the back of the room card. After getting the room card, you only need to use it according to the usage method on the card to open the room door.

For more detail about the hotel key card working step, please click this picture:

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Why does the hotel key card stop working?

Card demagnetized

When the magnetized material is affected by a strong external energy, such as heating and impact, which will lead to the magnetic distance of each magnetic domain will become different, and the magnetism will weaken or disappear. This process is called demagnetization. Once the card is demagnetized, the information that has been written will be destroyed, and the card cannot be used normally.

Common magnetic cards in life include access control cards, debit cards, etc. Magnetic stripe card is the earliest key card used in hotel locks. Its principle is to achieve the function of reading and writing information by the magnetic current transmission. This card is low cost, easy to read and write, but easy to wear and degauss.

Specifically in:

1. Multiple magnetic stripe cards put together. Especially when the hotel stores cards, if it is a pile of cards put together, it may cause the cards to rub against each other during the process of rummage, resulting in demagnetization.

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2. Too close to the magnetic snap of women’s leather bags or men’s handbags. Most people will save the room key card in their bags because they think the bag will be safer. But some buttons of bags are “hidden snaps” made of magnets. There will cause the room card to lose its magnetism if they are too much contact with the buttons.

3. Demagnetization caused by a strong magnetic field. Since electronic devices such as mobile phones, televisions, and tape recorders are usually magnetic, if the card is in contact with these devices for a long time, the card will be demagnetized.

4. Close to a high-temperature environment or humid environment. The magnetic card is usually made of PVC material. High temperatures will cause PVC to deform or even burn, which will directly cause the magnetic stripe card to be damaged. If the magnetic card is placed in a humid environment or soaked in water for a long time, it will also cause the card to be tackless, damaged, and eventually become unusable.

Physical damage

1. Damage caused by put together with mechanical key. If you often put the card with the mechanical key together, it will be easy to lead the magnetic on the card to be scratched.

It will make the data stored in the card unreadable, so the magnetic card reader cannot recognize the card information.

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2. Damage caused by improper use. For example, if the insert card is often not according to the insert direction icon display on the surface of the card to insert, the magnetic strip of the card will be worn, so the card will stop working.

3. Damage caused by improper storage. Improper storage will cause the card to bend or even break, which will also make the card invalid.

Other factors

1. Quality question. Quality is one of the essential factors that affect the work of cards. Cards with poor quality are shown as slow to react, and stop working after swiping a few times.

2. Card expired. The hotel staff will set the validity period on the card, usually within the check-in period. Once the check-in time is exceeded, the card will become invalid, and cannot open the door lock.

3. The lock is out of battery power. Sometimes the card stop working, but it may not be the problem with the card. Usually, a lock has 1-2 years of battery life. If the door lock with a dead battery, the card will not open the door. You can contact the hotel front desk staff to solve it.

How to make a key card work again?

How to make a key card work again? The first thing you need to make clear is whether the card will continue to work. For example, if the card is broken, which means that it cannot continue to work.


Facing the situation of card failure, you can try swiping your card in different ways at first, sometimes the card may just be used for a long time, so there is a problem. Several swipes may restore the work.

If it is a new type of magnetic stripe chip card, you can try to use an eraser to wipe the part of the chip on the card, and repeatedly wipe it for several minutes, which is a high possibility that it can continue to use. But if it doesn’t work, you need to card replacement.

Contact the hotel staff for card replacement

If there is no response after repeatedly swiping cards, the room card is likely demagnetized or damaged. In this case, you can only go to the hotel front desk for card replacement. The hotel front desk staff will recycle your original card on the hotel card door lock system first, and then take out a new card to issue a replacement card. If it is a degaussing card, some hotels have special magnetization machines to add magnetism to the card.

How to avoid the demagnetized card?

Use the mobile key

The mobile key is a type of security key, which is the corollary equipment of the network lock. By internet connection, hotel staff and hotel guests can realize mobile access, mobile check-in, and mobile check-out, which is more convenient and easier to manage. To be specific, after the hotel system connected phone key, guests can unlock their hotel rooms with their personal phone keys without a key card or key.

Use RFID hotel key cards

The RFID hotel key card uses non-contact radio frequency induction technology, which can open the door by induction recognition of the door lock. Radio frequency card is not disturbed by magnetic interference, which is safer, and more stable than magnetic stripe cards.

Keep away from magnetic objects

Don’t put them together with electronic products with strong magnetic field effects, and radio equipment with similar frequency, like cell phones, TVs, microwave ovens, radios, etc.

Avoid physical damage

Due to careless storage or improper use, the magnetic card is subject to an external force that the magnetic stripe information on the card is lost, such as being pressed, folded, scratched, dirty, etc. So it is necessary to be careful when storing the key card.

Use a card sleeve

Putting the card into the card sleeve can effectively reduce the friction of the card, and that does not affect the card reading.

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Hotel key cards are one of the easiest waste accessories in the entire hotel management system. A good keycard is a physical device that uses a unique security key pin code to enter your hotel room, which ensures your hotel’s security. With hotel key cards, your guest’s experience will increase, and your hotel’s operating cost will decrease.

So in the purchase of hotel locks at the same time, choosing a good hotel card is also very important. YGS lock is one of the leading smart lock suppliers in China. We provide a complete set of stable hotel lock management systems to help your hotel business.