HID Cards and the Different Types of HID Cards

HID Cards and the Different Types of HID Cards

HID Cards are some of the most widely known and recognised Smart-Card based PVC Cards on the market today.

However, the wide range of technology offered through varying different smart card types can make it very confusing when identifying which ID Card type is right for your access control and/or cashless system.

This article endeavours to identify the different types of HID cards and how HID cards work. If you still have any questions after you have read this article please do not hesitate to contact one of our HID card experts.

How do HID Cards Work?

Most HID Cards are proximity cards. Fundamentally it uses RFID (Radio Frequency ID) technology or a microprocessor that is embedded in the ID card to enable proximity technology commonly used in access control.

Types of HID Cards

Multi-Application Smart Cards

  • HID MIFARE DESFire EV3 – MIFARE cards are probably the most common smart card types you will come across. The reason for this is that not only is it a secure ID card offering higher levels of protection against threats but MIFARE DESFire cards can support a wide range of applications beyond physical control.
  • Seos – Seos ID Cards offer the latest secure technology. HID Seos is software-based and independent of the underlying hardware chip, this allows it to create bespoke solutions beyond access control, while still offering unrivalled data and privacy protection.

High Frequency ID Cards

  • MIFARE DESFire EV1 – Available in PVC and composite PET/PVC the MIFARE DESFire EV1 ID card is designed for diverse applications that demand the highest level of security, including access control, cashless vending and ticketing. Ideal for use with retransfer ID card printers the MIFARE DESFire EV1 is an ideal everyday card which is strong, flexible and resistant to damage.
  • HID iCLASS and iCLASS SE – The HID iCLASS is a high-frequency contactless smart card and the iCLASS SE is a high frequency and ultra-high frequency HID card. The HID iCLASS can not only be used for physical and logical access but thanks to its different set of ‘compartments’ it can store different types of data. This means the HID iCLASS offers flexibility and its functions can build as your needs expand over time. The only issue is your technology needs to be designed to support this card! For more information about if this HID card can work for you please contact our sales team.

Low Frequency ID Cards

  • HID Prox – HID Proximity ID Cards have been around a number of years and offer an affordable yet robust solution for entry-level access control. For a product comparison of the HID Prox range take a look here.
  • HITAG – HID HITAG cards are a low frequency solution for contactless smart card credentials. Often used as a migration ID card solution due to its ability to support multiple contactless technologies. Whether you are looking to migrate to a more secure solution or looking for a HID card to support multi-technologies, the HITAG supports a wide range of uses.
  • UltraCard – HID UltraCards are a ‘non-technology’ blank HID Card. These blank white ID cards are available for Direct-to-Card ID Printing and Retransfer ID Card printing. They are available as a 100% PVC, 100% polycarbonate and composite polyester card.


We hope the above helps to clarify the difference between some of HID’s most popular HID cards. However, the technology involved with HID Cards is complex and often it is difficult to decipher between the types of HID cards and which are best suited for certain Access Control Systems.

At cards-x our HID experts are ready to answer your questions about which HID card is right for you. If you’re looking to repurchase more HID cards but unsure which HID cards you currently have… our experts can easily help you.

Why order from Cards-X?

cards-x works with some of the best Access Control System manufacturers in the industry and ensure that all our products meet our expected standard. If you would like any further information about any of our access control solutions please contact our friendly team.

Here’s a few more reasons why our customers and partners choose us:

  • Our low price promise means we can’t be beaten on price.
  • We offer free delivery for all orders over £250.
  • The experienced cards-x team are on hand to provide expert access control advice.
  • Our UK warehouse guarantees a swift fulfilment of thousands of products.