Paper or Plastic? 10 Considerations for Different Business Card Materials

Published on April 10, 2019 by , in Uncategorized

Paper vs Plastic? How to Choose Between Different Business Card Materials

When it comes to business cards, do you prefer paper or plastic? While the finish options are endless, you can start by deciding which business card materials make the most sense for your business and objectives. Plastic has an unrivaled level of durability. Paper possesses a timeless look and a familiar feel. At a glance or with a quick touch, paper may seem to be the safer option. But no matter what material you choose, you should consider the benefits and potential concerns of each. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we lay out the pros and cons of the two business card material types, as well as the unique options that can give you an edge in the market. No matter what you choose, 4OVER4 offers premium finishes and printing to make any card pop.

The Benefits of Plastic Business Cards

4OVER4 carries many types of business cards, from spot UV coated paper to sheer plastic. While there are no wrong ways to stand out, you should consider the benefits of plastic cards before pulling the trigger—and putting the ink—on paper.

4OVER4 Plastic Business Cards will:

  • Feel heavier and more durable. You would be surprised how much value people place on weight. Lightweight paper cards will always have a place in the business world. But for some professionals, they just don’t cut it. Heavy plastic business cards give off a sense of quality and prestige that must be felt to comprehend. Additionally, they are built to last. If you go plastic, you can rest assured that your cards will withstand a few drops and bends. We offer three types of plastic cards, each with 20-point thickness for good measure.
  • Create a unique first impression. When you pass someone your business card, a part of your future could be in the balance. Does your design stand out? Does it look and feel professional? What does your card say about your style and ambition?  Our 20-point white rigid vinyl plastic cards speak volumes.
  • Give you bolder options. Have you considered bolder looking business card materials? Try clear on for size. For a roofing contractor, it wouldn’t make much sense. For a hair salon or window cleaning company, it could be the perfect fit. Clear plastic cards really stand out for their transparency. And they will make your logo really stand out.
  • Give you an edge in more ways than one. Our rounded plastic cards come with your choice of ¼ or 1/8 rounded corners. This helps ensure a soft touch, as hard plastic edges would be too pointy for easy handling. These soft-touch corners provide additional appeal by straying from the standard rectangle. Our much-admired premium business cards will help you attract and discover new opportunities.
  • Capture a Crowd. Sometimes you’re up against dozens, if not hundreds, of other professionals in your field. That calls for something a little less traditional. To stand out at conferences, networking events, tradeshows, and interviews, try out our white, rigid vinyl plastic business card. Never underestimate the element of surprise. Though it appears paper to the eye, you will immediately notice the added weight and smooth texture. For a little added pop and shine, try metallic foil cards. Metallic foils enhance the white rigid vinyl in every way, making your card as surprising to the eye as it is in the hand. 

The Benefits of Paper Business Cards

Plastic is certainly different. But that doesn’t make paper a basic option by any means. With paper, you have a seemingly endless number of customizations. You will have the opportunity to use countless different shapes, edges, textures, and colors. But there’s more.

Before making a decision, consider the benefits of paper-based business card materials:

  • All the options. Paper gives you the freedom to choose. Want a silky smooth matte finish? Go with a silk laminated business card. Want a durable, unforgettable card with a scratch-resistant suede-like surface? Velvet business cards fit the bill and capture an audience. From thick to thin, glossy to matte, you can find nearly any finish to suit your needs.
  • Enhanced thickness. Plastic cards don’t need to be thick to be durable. Given it’s rigidity, there’s no need to go any thicker than 20-point. With paper, you have the opportunity to get a much thicker card. And you have more unique options at your disposal. Want the edges to have a pop of color? No problem. Want a card you can foldover? We can do that. With paper, it’s all a possibility. For an added pop of color, you can add layered seams of color to the sides of select paper cards.



  • Beautiful laminations. Our plastic card collection includes white rigid vinyl, clear, and frosted finishes. While stunning on their own, plastic has its limitations. We can’t drop a glossy lamination on top of frosted plastic cards. But with paper, you have a range of lamination options. Some just can’t get enough of our classic glossy finishes.
  • Compelling textures. Our raised foil, velvet laminated, soft touch, and velvet laminated cards are second to none when it comes to stirring the senses. These unique finishes add a new dimension to your card design. After running them through the fingers, it might be hard to commit to plastic.
  • A variety of shapes. Die cut business cards make a lasting impression. Why not change shape to capture a little added attention? 4OVER4 offers a range of precision, die-cut cards in various shapes. Take a look at our die cut Business Cards. They come in a variety of aesthetically appealing shapes—from rounded corners to custom circles—giving you the creative freedom you need to break the business card mold.

Things to Consider Before Choosing

Plastic isn’t for everyone. A clear business card will not work for many professionals and industries. And the same goes for our frosted plastic. If you desire durability, nothing beats plastic; its lifespan beats paper in any head-to-head comparison. That being said, our ultra-thick cards would be a great option for someone seeking a heavier, more durable card. The thickness and construction will greatly increase the lifespan versus the standard paper card.

If you seek luxury, our black painted paper cards and white rigid plastic cards will not steer you wrong. Both are striking and captivating in their own way. Before you decide between the two main types of business card materials, it helps to make a list of needs and wants. What can you live without?

Paper or Plastic? Which Will You Choose?

Paper or plastic? Why not choose both? With small order minimums and free online proofs, you can be sure that your design, text, and finish is on point, and below budget, before purchasing. It never hurts to do a little testing in the real world. If you get more calls and land more clients with your plastic card, you will know to stick to the harder material. If your paper cards are raising more awareness of your company and driving more traffic to your website, perhaps paper is your calling card.

Go through our checklists below to decide what features are unique to each business card material.

The Paper Checklist:

Paper offers:

  • Various shapes
  • Raised foils
  • Silk, gloss, and velvet laminations
  • Protective coatings
  • 80-point thickness
  • Painted edges
  • Spot UV Coatings
  • Raised foils
  • Standard options
  • Painted edges
  • Metallic foil options
  • Foldovers
  • Bold and traditional styles
  • Luxury finishes

The Plastic Checklist:

Plastic offers:

  • Virtually indestructable material
  • Frosted and clear material
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Metallic foil options
  • Water resistance
  • Transparency
  • Tear-proof durability
  • Bold styles with a more traditional white option

Order Your Paper or Plastic Business Cards

4OVER4 has been in printing custom paper products for over 20 years. We have remarkable, high-quality plastic and paper products and an around-the-clock customer support team to assist you with any questions regarding business card paper types.

No matter the material and finish, you can find the perfect business card at Browse all our Business Cards today.