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How To Create Your Association Membership Cards using Free Online Tools? [A Four-Step Guide With Free Downloadable Templates]

Bisma HanifContent Writer

Bisma Hanif,

Content Writer

Aug 05, 2022

We all know how essential membership cards are to a member's journey. They deliver a quality experience to your customers and give them a loyalty boost, thereby increasing your retention rates.

But how can you create one that reflects your brand voice as well as delivers exceptional value to your members? Should you invest in paid creator tools? Do you need a premium card template?

The questions above are common to all association managers, especially if they don't have a background in graphic design.

In this blog, we'll show you 10 online tools for creating unlimited membership cards. These are beginner-friendly, require no professional design skills, and are absolutely free!

Let’s get started.

Quick Reads

What Is a Membership Card?

membership card definition

A membership card is the identity proof of your members' subscription to your association. Typically, it mentions their membership levels with the issue and expiration dates that validate their subscription for a given period.

They are typically linked to point-of-sale devices that collect user activity information. They are also offered by associations as a part of their membership programs.

Membership cards are used to check in members’ at events. A subscription card may also function as a loyalty card, allowing members to benefit from membership perks such as promotions and discounts.

The Content of Your Membership Card: What Should You Include?

elements of a membership card

Every membership card is unique in terms of its content and layout. The attributes of your association’s card mainly depend on how you and your members utilize them.

It is still important to include these elements to avoid missing anything important.

  • Association’s Information: Name and logo of your organization
  • Details of your member: Name, ID number, contact information, and hometown
  • Scannable QR or a Bar code: To keep your members’ information secure and monitor usage
  • Type of membership: Applicable for tiered programs
  • Valid Till: Expiry date of the card

What Are the Two Main Types of Membership Cards?

membership card types

Membership cards are mainly available in two forms:

  • Physical
  • Digital

The physical membership card consists of plastic material containing your membership credentials, a bar code, and a magnetic strip or chip which can store a wavelength that translates into a member's ID number.

A card's information can therefore be used to identify a cardholder whenever they use the card for checking, unlocking doors, or any other purpose.

Digital membership cards are used for the same purpose, however, they are prepared and stored digitally. By expanding its capabilities, it can also be used for photographic, IR, QR, bar codes, fingerprints, and facial recognition.

Organizations are increasingly using digital cards instead of paper or plastic membership cards. In addition to seamless production, distribution, and update, they are also easier to manage as your membership grows.

Regardless of the form you choose, it should be aligned with your association’s goals and your members’ preferences.

Benefits of Using Digital Membership Cards

membership card benefits

The use of digital membership cards offers significant savings in time and money, as well as improved member satisfaction, engagement, and fulfillment. Thus, both organizations and their members gain significant value and impact by switching to digital.

Here are some benefits of electronic membership cards that should make you feel confident about your decision to convert to digital.

Benefits of Digital Loyalty Cards for Associations

  • It saves time spent on printing, assembling, and mailing the card. You can simply email electronic cards, eliminating the need for print requests, envelope stuffing, and postal delivery.
  • Printable membership cards typically include production costs, postage, staff labor, and other marketing materials. Going digital can significantly reduce this spending.
  • Online membership cards increase your commitment to sustainability by reducing your environmental footprint.
  • By increasing your turnaround time with digital cards, you can accelerate membership fulfillment processes and achieve your association's core goals.
  • The delivery of printed cards may take up to six weeks for many institutions due to staff shortages and postal delays. On the other hand, members can get their digital cards on the same day, resulting in instant gratification.
  • You can use track members’ level of engagement by tracking their usage of their cards. For example, if you want to reengage disengaged members, you can create an email list based on the members who attend fewer events or use their cards at physical facilities less often.

(Read our detailed blog for digital membership cards benefits for a comprehensive understanding of each point)

Benefits of Digital Membership Cards for Members

In addition to benefiting your association, digital membership cards also offer advantages to your members.

They can be safely stored on their phones so that they don't get lost, stolen, or damaged. Additionally, they can use it online for verification or discounts without having to scan it.

Additionally, members can use their QR codes to gain hassle-free entry to events, museums, and concerts.

Online Tools to Create Free Digital Membership Cards

free membership card

Canva

Canva is the best free online tool that allows you to create digital membership cards for your association. Its easy drag-and-drop model allows fast and professional card creation, making it more popular among beginners.

canva homepage

Being a cloud-based platform, Canva allows you to share your card templates and designs with your team, increasing your efficiency. In addition, it offers thousands of design templates for all types of associations. There are three basic formats available: round corner, portrait, and landscape.

The best part about Canva is that there is no limit on the number of downloads on its free version.

How to Design a Membership Card With Canva?

Canva artboard

  1. Click Sign up and continue with a free account using your email or Facebook account.
  2. Go to https://www.canva.com/create/id-cards/
  3. Click on Templates > Memberships
  4. Choose a template based on your corporate theme. Since the template library has both free and paid designs, you will have to select a free template to make sure you can download it.
  5. Edit the sections such as name, membership type, and renewal date. Upload a PNG file of your logo and paste it on the card. You can also customize your loyalty card using the elements in the drag-and-drop section.
  6. Click on download and select your format. You can choose from PDF, JPG, or PNG.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word homepage

Microsoft Word has card designing features that many people are unaware of. It has all the tools you need to make and print membership cards if you need them in a hurry without signing up for an online account.

The cards can be created from scratch or you can use templates to make the process easier while maintaining an individual feel.

There are three methods for creating the membership cards in Microsoft Word:

  • Using the online templates
  • Using the table tool (To build from scratch)
  • Using the label format in the mailing section. (To build from scratch)

To create several professional-looking membership cards at once, we will explain the template method (most recommended).

Making a Membership Card With the Microsoft Word Online Template

multiple business template

  • Select "New" from the "File" menu. You will be creating a new document from the card template.
  • In the new document creation window, type "business card" into the search field. This will bring up a variety of card templates for free (both horizontal and vertical).
  • Choose the template that best fits your vision of your business card. To open the template in Word, click the "Create" or "Download" button.
  • Fill out the information fields on the cards.
  • You can change the format of any element. Choose any text on the business card and change the format. If you want, you can also switch fonts, change colors, size, and more.

Adobe Express

Adobe Express homepe

Adobe Express is another reliable source for designing your membership cards. This is an integrated set of design tools that puts you in control of the creative process. You can create a professional card without any design skills.

It also has a drag-and-drop design process. However, it has more design options than Canva that lets you change individual elements on the card templates. A variety of color schemes, backgrounds, and layouts are available for customization.

Also, you can experiment with all the different options, such as removing and adding photos.

Adobe Membership card templates

Adobe Express has a large collection of card templates that cover a variety of membership organizations. There is a category for each, making it easy for you to find what you need, and you can print them immediately after downloading. Changing the text is all you have to do.

What Are the Steps for Designing a Membership Card on Adobe Express?

adobe artboard

  • Just like Canva, you will need to sign up for a free account through Google, Facebook, Apple, other emails, or work emails.
  • Once you sign up, search for the card templates in the search bar.
  • Select the template from the category and enter your details on the card. You can also play around with the colors, layout, and themes to give it a personal touch.
  • Once you are done, click on the download button and save the file in your preferred format. You can choose from PDF, JPG, or PNG.

VistaCreate

Vista homepage

VistaCreate is a free web-based tool that allows you to create membership cards quickly and easily. It has a web-based editor that allows users to edit the design at granular levels such as text, logos, images, overlays, color palettes, etc.

Again, the portal has a drag-and-drop model to help both amateurs and professionals likely. One of the unique features of VistaCreate is its Brand Kit, which can store fonts, logos, and color codes for future use.

Additionally, it provides a wide range of fonts, elements, and vector art for creating club membership cards for any type of organization. To create a personalized membership card that reflects your brand, the editor also offers a wide selection of text styles, shapes, vector arts, and stock photographs.

download options vistacreate

You can download your membership cards in PNG, transparent PNG, and JPG formats, making them perfect for social media use. The PDF format is also available if you wish to print your cards.

Using VistaCreate to Design Your Association Membership Cards

Vista artboard

  • Create a free account using your email or Facebook ID.
  • Click on New Design and search for business cards in the template.
  • Add your logo, color palettes, and fonts to the brand kit.
  • Choose a template and edit its elements (you can even create a new template of your own)
  • Download your members’ card and save it on your account for future use.
  • Click on Crop Marks and Bleed if you wish to print it.

Business Card Maker

business card maker

Business Card Maker is the best tool for those who want to create simple membership cards using ready-to-use templates.

It has an interface similar to Google Slides with easy tools. There are only three elements, the background, a logo section, and the member details. The left panel of the tool features numerous ready-made templates, and you can edit them by simply clicking their three elements.

The best thing about Business Card Maker is that it's free and doesn't require registration.

Creating Membership Cards Using Business Card Maker

  • Select any design you like and double-click the text to make changes.
  • Click on the logo field to attach your members’ photograph or your brand logo (recommended).
  • Get a watermark-free version of your business card by clicking the Download button.

Free Logo Creator

Free logo creator homepage

Free Logo Creator is a 3-step online tool for creating basic membership cards. It is extremely user-friendly as you just need to create a free account to build and download your card.

Additionally, it provides around 100 templates for creating custom membership cards for all industry associations.

Create Club Membership Cards on Free Logo Services

Free logo creator artboard

  • After Signing Up with your email, Go to Design Solutions and select Business Cards.
  • This will take you to the artboard where you can choose a pre-made template, depending on your industry.
  • Customize the template by editing the text. You can upload and paste your logo here, add some shapes and colors as well as change the corners of the card from standard to round.
  • Once you design both the front and back sides of the template, save it.
  • Go to My Designs > Business Card. Here you can find your created membership cards and download them.

Visme

visme homepage

Visme is another popular destination for unique membership cards that reflect your brand.

In the Visme template library, you can pick a business card template and edit it online with a full-featured graphic design tool.

There are 18 ready-made templates in the free account as well as a blank template (designed to fit a membership card). This empty template allows you to build your own membership card from scratch.

The best thing about Visme’s template is that it has both front and back sides for designing. It allows you to add additional information, such as a QR code.

There are a variety of components available on the artboard that you can use to modify a template or create a unique design. These include vector graphics, maps, tables, theme colors, and font pairs. You can also use the photo element to upload your logo to the card.

How to Use Visme to Create Membership Cards?

visme artboard

  • After signing up for a free account, click on New Project > Printables
  • In the Printables Search Bar, enter the phrase Business card. You will see a grid of card templates.
  • Click on the template you want to use and click Edit.
  • Edit the elements including text, vector designs, and the layout.
  • Once you are done, download it in your preferred format.

Jukebox

jukebox homepage

Jukebox is a free tool for creating membership cards that don't require registration. The site offers hundreds of pre-built templates for the cards. Similar to Visme, Jukebox also has both the front and back sides of the card.

There are simple elements on the artboard including text, lines, background, images, and shapes.

Make Membership Cards on Jukebox Design Tool

jukebox artboard

  • Open the Jukebox Home page by clicking this link.
  • Select a template of your choice to go to the artboard.
  • Quickly customize the card by adding company details such as the name, logo, address, and website.
  • Once you have designed your digital card, download it in PDF, JPG, or PNG format.

Free Membership Card Templates

Every online tool has a blank template that allows you to build your membership card from scratch.

If you are looking for inspirations other than the premade layouts given above, download our free customization templates.

All you need to do is upload the cards on the free tools listed above, add your information, and you're ready to go. You can either forward them as digital cards or print and mail them to your members.

Things to Consider When Printing a Membership Card

printing membership cards

Printed Membership Cards are slightly different from digital membership cards. Besides their dimensions, you have to take care of their bleeds.

A standard US membership card has a size of 3.5 inches x 2 inches which equates to 88.9mm x 50.8mm.

If you’re planning on getting it printed, then you will have to set a bleed of 1/8th of an inch. Keep your important information well within the bleed zone to prevent it from being cut off after printing.

This will make your finished artwork size with bleed will be 3.75 inches x 2.25 inches.

Create a Free Digital Membership Card With a Scannable Qr Code (4-Step Process)

4-step membership card

An alternative to using online design tools is to use an all-in-one membership management software like Glue Up.

Glue Up allows you to create a loyalty card for your members’ for free with a self-generated QR code, saving hours of entering member info manually.

Here's how you can do it yourself - it only takes four steps to get started:

Step 1: Sign Up for an Association membership management account on Glue Up. Once you have a Manager account, you can feed your organization’s information on the platform.

Step 2: Ask your members to install the My Glue App. This app is specifically designed to provide an exceptional membership experience to your members.

Step 3: Update your members’ information on the platform, including their names, subscription dates, and membership tiers.

Step 4: That’s it. They can now view their membership card with the QR code by going to their Profile > Membership.

Glue Up digital membership card

The Glue Up application allows members to access their electronic cards conveniently from their mobile devices. The application gives users the ability to update their membership profiles, while still allowing the associations to validate the changes.

Virtual Business Cards for Effective Networking

virtual business cards

Virtual business cards are a new trend gradually gaining traction, thanks to smartphones sitting in every professional’s pocket.

They exist online under an account you own and can be accessed at any time. The card essentially includes your name, company title, position, and contact information.

The primary use of a virtual business card is in networking. This means you can share your business card virtually during webinars, community platforms, or group chats.

webinar digital business card exchange

With Glue Up, your members have the ability to network efficiently with virtual business cards. Once they install My Glue, your members can share their business cards during events, webinars, and one-on-one chats. This helps them to network more efficiently while building more meaningful connections with other professionals.

Want to discover how Glue Up can help you increase members’ satisfaction and engagement? Book a demo today to learn more about the numerous opportunities to grow your association.

 

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We are very pleased with the simplicity of the system. We rarely spend time training staff as most users simply “get it". It’s simple and fast out-of-the-box solution. We now have 4 client accounts running on Glue Up software.

Marcel Ewals, Director, Community Development, MCI Group
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