PennCard at a Glance

The PennCard is the official University of Pennsylvania identification card for students, faculty, staff and other members of the University community. You can use your PennCard to access a myriad of services at Penn.

PennCard Care Instructions


  • Keep your PennCard with you at all times
  • Report loss or theft immediately to Public Safety or to the PennCard Office
  • Store your PennCard where it will be protected and not come in contact with anything that may damage or demagnetize the magnetic stripe


  • Punch holes in the PennCard
  • Surrender your card as collateral for services
  • Apply stickers to the PennCard. They can damage the card and cause it to malfunction.

Understanding the Information on the PennCard:

The University is introducing new contactless technology which will transition from the magnetic stripe currently used on the PennCard to a contactless chip which transmits the Penn ID when it is held within a few inches of the card reader. The new cards will have the same functionality (door access, dining dollar$ and meal swipes, time and attendance tracking, PennCash, etc. Click here for information on the PennCard Contactless Project.

Image of the front of a sample PennCard Image of the back of a sample PennCArd

1. Expiration Date - PennCards must be renewed upon expiration

2. Name - Name of the cardholder

3. PennCard Number - The number on your PennCard consists of 3 parts
Sample PennCard Number: 123456 12345678 00

Part 1 (123456) is the BIN or Bank ID Number

Part 2 (12345678) is your Penn ID Number

Part 3 (00) is the tracking code which represents the number of times your PennCard has been replaced (01 means you have replaced your physical PennCard one time.)

4. University Status - You'll be issued a PennCard that is specific to your University status (student, faculty, staff, etc.)

5. Contact Information for Lost/Stolen Cards - Lost or stolen cards must be reported immediately to the PennCard Center or to Public Safety.

6. Financial Options - You can chose to use your PennCard as a debit card for banking by linking it with an account from one of Penn's Banking Partners: the Student Federal Credit Union at the University of Pennsylvania or PNC Bank. You can also put PennCash on your PennCard

7. Magnetic Strip - This is the most important part of the card. It houses the information that enables all financial transaction, access to University buildings, library privileges and dining services

8. Contactless Technology - This image indicates that your card is equipped with contactless technology and has an embedded chip and antenna which transmits the Penn ID when it is held within a few inches of the card reader. Contactless card readers are being installed across the University and will be identified by the same symbol.