Caring for Your UCard

The UCard is an industry standard plastic card that uses both iClass smartcard chip and magnetic stripe technologies 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. There is also a chip and antenna embedded in the card.  Damaging either of those will make your card unable to tap. Punching a hole through the magnetic stripe will make your card unable to swipe.  Holes will also damage the structural integrity of the card and will 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

Electronic information is encoded both in the iClass chip and the Magnetic Stripe on the card. This encoding can be damaged by exposure to strong 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 will need to purchase a replacement card.  We cannot reencode the card.  


Location & Hours

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

Contact Information

Telephone: (413) 545-0197
FAX: (413) 577-0644

Mailing Address

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