Caring for Your Card

The UCard is an industry standard plastic card that uses magnetic stripe technology to provide electronic services to our customers. Although the card is designed to last 4-5 years, it can fail much sooner if not properly cared for.

 

Avoid Physical Damage

The easiest way to damage the card, is to abuse it physically. To avoid this problem, we strongly suggest that you:

  • Always store your UCard in the protective sleeve you were given by the UCard Office. If you have torn or lost your sleeve, go to the UCard Office and request a new one.
  • Avoid storing your UCard in a location or manner that will result in bending or scratching the card. For example, you should avoid storing your UCard with credit cards with raised numbers.
  • Never punch holes in your UCard. Even if you manage to avoid damaging the magnetic stripe, holes quickly lead to cracked and broken cards. If you wish to put your card on a lanyard, the University Store sells some that don't require a hole in the card.
  • Do not expose the card to temperature extremes. Avoid having your UCard go through a washing machine or dryer. Also, do not use the UCard as an ice scraper! It will crack.

 

Avoid Electronic Damage

The magnetic stripe on the back of the UCard is encoded with information at the time the card is printed. This encoding can be damaged by exposure to electrical or magnetic fields. So you should avoid storing or exposing your cards to cell phones, computers, appliances, or other electronic or magnetic devices.

If for some reason, you have weakened or otherwise damaged the magnetic encoding on your UCard, you can bring it to the UCard Office and we can attempt to re-encode the card. However, we will only attempt this if the card meets the following conditions:

  • it's your most current UCard
  • it has no physical defects (cracks, holes, etc.)
  • the magnetic stripe is not worn or scratched
  • there are not a lot of stickers on the card.

Although it often works, there is no guarantee that attempting to re-encode your UCard will restore is functionality. If the process fails, you will need to purchase a replacement card at the damaged UCard price.

 

Location & Hours

168 Whitmore Administration Bldg. (Map)
Monday - Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm
(Extended Hours & Holiday Exceptions)

Contact Information

Email: ucard@admin.umass.edu
Telephone: (413) 545-0197
FAX: (413) 577-0644

Mailing Address

UCard Office
P.O. Box 2364
Amherst, MA 01004-2364