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How to tell what type of rfid card you have

Composition of RFID card How to tell what type of rfid card you have

RFID cards are made of inlay (IC+antenna), PVC (optional PET, ABS, coated paper), and PET film through a hot pressing process.

What is RFID Inlay?

An RFID Inlay is just the RFID Chip (IC), Tag Antenna, and Substrate, typically on a film face. If the substrate has adhesive it’s called a “Wet Inlay”. Otherwise, it’s called a Dry Inlay.

Types of RFID Inlay

RFID COB 1 How to tell what type of rfid card you have
COB+Copper Coil
Etching inlay How to tell what type of rfid card you have
Etching inlay
fpc inlay How to tell what type of rfid card you have
RFID COB+Copper Coil


The chip is an integrated circuit (IC) containing a memory store and a microprocessor or decision making unit (logic).

As it needs energy to function, in the case of passive tags, the chip is designed as a passive power device, obtaining the radio energy radiated by the RFID system antenna.

On the contrary, in active tags, this energy usually comes from a battery in the tag itself.


The antenna, which is connected to the chip, is the largest part of the tag and its shape determines the frequency at which it operates.

It is usually a strip of conductive material such as copper or aluminum and its function is to receive the signals emitted by RFID antennas in the vicinity and depending on the type of tag, transmit or reflect the signal received. In the case of active tags, the signal is transmitted back.

In the case of passive tags, the signal is reflected. In addition, in the case of passive tags, the antenna also collects the energy from the radio waves and supplies it to the chip.

How to distinguish the type of your RFID card

First of all, you must know that RFID has three frequency bands, which are low frequency, high frequency, and UHF. High frequency is usually readable by NFC phones, low frequency, and ultra-high frequency cannot be read by NFC phones.

Step 1:

Use your NFC phone to determine if the card can be read, if the card can be read it means the card is a high-frequency card, you can use the taginfo APP to determine the chip type of the card.

Step 2:

Exclude the high-frequency card, with a flashlight copper irradiation card, you can see the shape of the inlay inside, usually, low frequency is a copper coil, UHF is etched aluminum, and then find the corresponding reader to identify the chip model.

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