Friday, 3 April 2009


This is one of those things a friend sent me in an e-mail and it could just be true.


Ever wonder what is on your magnetic key card?

a. Customer's name
B. Customer's partial home address
c. Hotel room number
d. Check-in date and out dates
e. Customer's credit card number and expiration date!

When you turn them in to the front desk your personal information is there for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel scanner.. An employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a scanning device, access the information onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your expense.

Simply put, hotels do not erase the information on these cards until an employee reissues the card to the next hotel guest. At that time, the new guest's information is electronically 'overwritten' on the card and the previous guest's information is erased in the overwriting process.

But until the card is rewritten for the next guest, it usually is kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!

The bottom line is: Keep the cards, take them home with you, or destroy them. NEVER leave them behind in the room or room wastebasket, and NEVER turn them into the front desk when you check out of a room. They will not charge you for the card (it's illegal) and you'll be sure you are not leaving a lot of valuable personal information on it that could be easily lifted off with any simple scanning device card reader.

For the same reason, if you arrive at the airport and discover you still have the card key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash basket. Take it home and destroy it by cutting it up, especially through the electronic information strip!

If you have a small magnet, pass it across the magnetic strip several times.. Then try it in the door, it will not work. It erases everything on the card.


  1. Good bit of info to know. I never would have thought of that. Many businesses are pretty irresponsible with our personal information.

  2. Since we heard about this a while back, we bring them home and shred them.
    Way too scary to think about that possibility!!!
    Thanks for passing this on!

  3. That's good info. I'm gonna talk to my next hotel clerk!


  4. Thank you for that, the last time I used a hotel keycard was here in NZ, but it is a timely warning. Identity theft is a growing menace, it's particularly bad in South Africa -- the public records on ID are so hopelessly corrupted that many people have up to 5 ID's, or you may find you've been married off to a foreigner.

  5. WOW! I'm glad you got this info out there! Thanks!!!

  6. Oh, goody. Now I don't feel guilty about all the cards I have "accidentally" stolen.

    Are we ever really safe? Wow, that is kind of scary...and NOT in a good way.

  7. I tagged you. I hope you don't mind.

  8. This is something I never knew about. You just did us a great service, thank you.

  9. Nice information about the hotel key cards. Most of the people are not aware of this and they left their key cards in the hotel room.Keep updating us.

  10. Very valuable information regarding to hotel key cards you have shared, hope this increases knowledge of many people...


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