The room keys in hotels are designed to meet most guests’ requirements. Almost all hotels use them both as keys and cards that can be used for various purposes, such as opening the door to your room or paying for services using a pre-installed credit system.
Of course, avoiding problems with operating such keys or cards is not always possible. Technology is constantly evolving, but sometimes there may be failures in hotel systems due to malfunctions of some components. In addition to outright failures, sometimes guests inadvertently cause damage that prevents the key from functioning normally.
What is an Electronic key card in a hotel?
A key card is a plastic card with a magnetic strip. You use it to unlock your room in the hotel, so you don’t have to worry about carrying around keys. Some key cards also work, like debit cards for paying for hotel things like food or drinks.
How do key card locks work?
Key card locks are locks that use a key card to open them. The key cards contain information about the person trying to unlock the door, and when you insert your card, it will send that information to the lock. This information tells the lock what to do so you can get into your room or house without using a traditional mechanical key.
Key cards are similar in size and shape to credit cards but have magnetic strips on the back instead of an imprinted logo and other identifying marks like those on credit cards. The strip contains information about its owner (like their name) and even more data about unlocking doors. It includes enough data for many different types of locks!
What causes hotel key cards to stop working?
There are many reasons why your hotel key card may stop working. The most common key card stopped working reasons include:
A magnetic device demagnetized the magnetic key card. Magnetic key cards can have problems when they’re too close to a high-powered magnet like an MRI machine or loudspeaker cabinet at a concert venue. These devices can erode their contents from afar through electromagnetism.
The physical damage to the key card. If you drop it in water or otherwise damage it, there is a chance that it will stop working altogether. This is because water or other liquids can interfere with how chips work in general, and they need to be dried out properly before they will work again correctly.
Battery dead. Your hotel key card lock has been used too long without replacing its battery. This happens when people forget about their batteries until months have passed since their last visit.
Strong heat exposure. If you’ve been somewhere hot and then tried to use your hotel room door, the same thing will probably happen as with the magnetic field problem: The intense temperature change may have affected how the chip inside of your key cards, making it harder for you to unlock doors at home or when traveling abroad!
Cell phones demagnetize your hotel room keys because they contain magnets themselves; keep yours away from these devices as much as possible if you want an easy time unlocking doors in places where no one knows who is coming or going!
Key cards might be expired. If it hasn’t been used in a while, the magnetic stripe on the back of the card might not work anymore.
The key card and card encoder could be dirty or be cleaned with alcohol wipes. It’s always good to keep a pack of them handy if you stay in hotels frequently to clean off any grime before using them again!
The card is too close to a strong magnet: If you have any magnets in your wallet or purse, they might interfere with your hotel key card. Ensure no strong magnets are nearby when using your hotel room key card.
The key card was not encoded: Your hotel may not have adequately encoded its keys for use in its doors. Contact the front desk to find out if this is the case and see how long it will take them to fix the problem.
The key quality is low: If possible, try other cards from different rooms or floors of your hotel—some keys work better than others for some reason! You could also test whether other locks on doors around town work with yours; if so, maybe it’s time to upgrade hotel locks!
The card is too close to a microwave, which interferes with the radio frequencies used by the card. This can cause chips in the key to break or interfere with reception.
The card is too close to an electric motor, like a vacuum cleaner or other device with a loud engine. This can also interfere with radio frequencies and chip functionality.
If you try to force entry into a room, you insert your card key in the wrong direction and damage it beyond repair (this happens more often than you might think).
First, determine if your hotel key card needs to be replaced. If it’s still working as a key to open the door (and it probably will), you may be able to fix it quickly. The most common problem is that the magnetic strip on the back of the card has become dirty or damaged.
Clean the magnetic strip on your room key with sandpaper (or use any rough surface). Then, while holding one end of the card, gently rub it back and forth until you see dark streaks across from where you cleaned it up. If you press too hard, it can damage the circuitry on your key card.
Use an eraser on a pencil or pen cap to remove any leftover gunk on top of the strip after cleaning it with sandpaper (or whatever else). Be careful not to press too hard while erasing—you don’t want to tear off pieces from either side of what used to be clean spots!
Once you’ve done this a few times, try swiping it through your computer’s slot again—you may have to do this many times before your key card works again!
You can try swiping your keycard in different ways – sometimes, just moving it around will help eliminate any dirt or dust clogging up its insides so that it works again!
Try swiping the card in a different slot. Your room could be on a separate system from the main building, so you may have to swipe it in another slot.
Try swiping your key card at different speeds and different angles. Sometimes this can help unlock the door!
You can use a key card swiper to program a new key card.
How to Avoid a Demagnetized Key Card?
If your key card doesn’t work, you want to avoid this problem in the future. Here are some ways for your reference:
Use a mobile hotel lock system
Mobile hotel locks are designed to work with mobile phones. They are easy to use and convenient for guests.
Some of them also have special features such as:
Auto-lock/unlock in case of forgetfulness or errors in entering numbers at the door.
Remote control (including locking function) using an app on your smartphone, which means that even if you have forgotten your keycard somewhere else, it can still be unlocked in a hotel room with your phone remotely through a mobile phone app
For example, you can use the TTlock hotel lock system for your hotel, which will let you open or close a door from anywhere in the world without carrying extra keys or cards. It works on an app and comes with GPS tracking, so if someone breaks into your room while you’re out of town, they won’t be able to get inside!
This mobile phone application allows you access to any door in any building with just your phone and fingerprint recognition capabilities on another device like an iPod Touch or iPhone 5/6/7 series device with NFC technology running iOS7+.
Use an RFID hotel lock system.
The RFID hotel locks system uses radio frequency key cards to open doors, which means no need for magnetic keys anymore. You will have no problems with key cards being demagnetized anymore. This can also help prevent theft by making it difficult for someone else to steal your room key if they get hold of it.
Other ways to avoid a demagnetized key card
Keep your key card away from magnets. Don’t keep your key card with other magnetic objects like phones and keys in your pocket.
Please don’t keep it in your pocket with other magnetic objects, like cell phones or keys.
If you need to use an elevator with a card reader, don’t hold on to something that might attract metal when passing by a sensor (that could be anything from a belt buckle or piece of jewelry).
Don’t keep your key card in your pocket with other magnetic objects. This can cause the metal to demagnetize, meaning that it won’t work once you get it back out of your pocket.
Don’t keep your key card with a phone or keys in your back pocket. They’re also made of metal and can demagnetize when rubbed together for long periods.
Don’t put magnets near your key card (or any other magnetic object). Magnets will pull away from the magnetism from anything they encounter, so even if you don’t purposefully try to demagnetize something, having others around could still do it anyway!
If you follow these steps, your key card should be working again. But it’s better to prevent a key card from being demagnetized in the first place. This can happen when something with a strong magnetic field is placed near your key card, so keep that in mind when using one!
It’s also important to remember that if you leave your key card somewhere where it might be exposed to magnets—like on top of a desk lamp or next to a fridge door—it can still get demagnetized if someone else moves it and puts it near something else with a strong magnetic field. Then you would have demagnetized the one thing that was supposed to protect your home from thieves!
I hope you have found this article helpful in your quest for a working keycard. Please contact us if you have any questions about the information presented here or want to share other methods.
Vincent Zhu has 10 years of smart lock system experience and specializes in offering hotel door lock systems and home door lock system solutions from design, configuration, installation, and troubleshooting. Whether you want to install an RFID keyless door lock for your hotel, a keyless keypad door lock for your home door, or have any other questions and troubleshooting requests about smart door locks, don't hesitate to contact me at any time.