Free Business Cards

Category: Printing

I'm starting a new business and I want to print a few hundred business cards. Are these online offers for 'free business cards' legitimate? What about the quality?

Can I Really Get Free Business Cards?

Yes, you can get free business cards from a number of online printing companies. They won't be top of the line quality. They may have the printer's advertisement on the back. You won't get more than a few hundred cards. But they're free, and they can even be cards you design yourself.

Search online for "free business cards" and one of the first results you'll see is VistaPrint.com. It's a very large commercial printing operation that uses free business card offers to lure new customers. You can choose quick and easy standard designs; fill in your company particulars such as name, address, phone, etc.; and get 250 color business cards in a week or so, for free (plus about $9 shipping). But VistaPrint.com won't let you get away that easily.

Throughout the card specification process, you will be bombarded with a confusing array of options which cost money. After your free order is placed you will receive daily emails pushing brochures, customized Sticky Notes, special deals on upgraded business cards, etc. That's part of the price of "free." The other part is VistaPrint.com's pale but distinctive advertisement on the back of each free card, telling everyone who flips your card over that you cannot afford to buy business cards.
Free Business Cards

You can create your own business card design in Microsoft Publisher, Word, Photoshop, or any other graphic design program, then upload an image file to VistaPrint.com. Be sure to read their highly technical specifications carefully in order to create an image that will print properly. Image resolution, size, and "bleed" factors are critical and not very well explained by VistaPrint.com.

1800PostCards.com also offers 250 free business cards. You can choose from a gallery of over 15,000 templates or upload your own design. Wymprint.com offers 500 free business cards on UV-resistant matte or glossy paper. There are thousands of similar free business cards offers online, many of which are actually affiliates of VistaPrint.com or another large commercial printing company.

Advantages of Using Free Business Cards

Free business cards give you a low-cost way to check out an online printing company to see how its ordering process and customer service work for you. Free business cards also keep things simple by limiting your options. Choosing colors, designs, paper thickness, finish, and other options can become a day-long task if you let it.

Free business cards also let you play with various designs and the information included on the card, so you can field-test them to see what brings you the most business.

Many students get free business cards just to impress their acquaintances. Part-time entrepreneurs and struggling artists use free business cards to save money. For a casual low-stakes business, free business cards make more sense than spending hundreds on design and high-quality, high-volume printing.

Try designing your own business card using Microsoft Word templates, or download a business card design program from one of the online printing companies mentioned here.

If you have ordered free business cards, tell us about your experience. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Free Business Cards"

Posted by:

Rick
24 Jan 2011

I use Vista Print for my business cards. Overall their quality is adequate and they do a fairly good job. I started with their free cards several years ago, but have "graduated". Since I didn't want their add on the back, I pay for my cards. 1000 one sided cards with my own design and my uploaded logo cost me about .05 cents each. They do charge for everything and push a lot of "special" options. Then on checkout, they up their offer with an option to double your order at a fairly small price. You just have to be aware that "free" is never really free.


Posted by:

Dave.M
24 Jan 2011

I have used this site :
http://www.businesscardstar.com/
for designing my own business cards, both sides if you wish, and then use your printer to print onto decent quality card and use a guillotine to cut them.
All the operation is free except for the cost of quality card. And no spamming emails etc from the company.
I have nothing to do with the company so am not spamming.
Dave.


Posted by:

Lee McIntyre
24 Jan 2011

While the writer didn't ask, I would suggest an alternative to the "free" but-with-catches business cards you described.

Pick up a package of business card stock at your local stationer's store. Avery makes beautiful linen business card stock, 10 to a sheet, that feed smoothly through a ink jet or laser printer, then the cards "pop" apart an virtually invisible perferations. Lay out the card in your word processor, including whatever images, colors, etc., your heart desires. Do two-sided cards, if you wish. (Perhaps you'll put a map on the back.) Print them, and hand them out.

You'll pay -- about $20-$25 for 200 cards, but you'll have them as fast as you can print them; they won't have anyone's ad on the back; and they'll be exactly as you designed them. Print as few as 10 (one sheet), and if you don't like how they look, change the layout in your word processer and print some more.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I was going to mention that, because I've done it myself. But the perforations, even though they're small, always bothered me. Every time I handed out one of those cards, I was nervously hoping the recipient wouldn't say "Home made cards, eh?" :-)


Posted by:

Digital Artist
25 Jan 2011

I like the "print your own" option too. I use plain card stock and a template I have designed myself which gives me ten cards per letter-sized sheet of card. If I am handing out my own home-made cards, I actually hope I will be asked if I made them myself, because that is what I profess to do - make short orders of business cards, signs, etc, in a hurry.


Posted by:

Rik
26 Jan 2011

We have used Vista print a couple of times now and have recoomended them to some friends. I found this interesting:

"Since I didn't want their add on the back"

I can see nothing on the back of ours. Were we just lucky??


Posted by:

John
26 Jan 2011

If you're serious about making a good first impression, then paying for high quality business cards is the way to go. Check out http://www.moo.com where you can be as creative as possible and include a different image on the back of each card. They also have mini cards that help you stand out from the crowd.


Posted by:

Karen
07 Mar 2011

Ordered 250 business cards from VistaPrint just to use for personal stuff like putting in "free lunch" fishbowls and giving to friends and such. Nice cards for price. Printed some myself for someone else years ago as well; didn't care for the perforations. Now buying a few things from VistaPrint as gifts. Got a great deal with Groupon for $50 worth for $10. Otherwise, would not have much use for this type of service for full price. They have not inundated me with emails.


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