Best photo cards iMore 2021
The best photo cards are a wonderful way to share a personal greeting. Whether you're looking to send out Christmas/holiday cards, birth/graduation/engagement announcements, invitations, or even a single birthday card, we've got you covered. I tried out a dozen photo printing services, and I've picked out the services that make the best photo cards of the bunch. My overall favorite was Mixbook for its excellent quality, selection, and fair prices. I really like that there is no minimum purchase which allows you to create a single customized greeting card.
- Best overall: Mixbook
- Best options: Snapfish photo cards
- Best prices: Walmart
- Best bulk prices: Costco
- Best quality for price: Nations Photo Lab
- Best envelopes: Printique
Best overall: Mixbook
You can't go wrong with Mixbook. Choose from thousands of design options suitable for any occasion. The cards aren't made on photo paper; rather, you choose from six different high-quality card stocks: satin finish, signature matte, premium matte, pearl finish, cotton texture, and luxe board. There is no minimum card order, meaning you can order just a single card. There is no logo on the back of the card.
This is fantastic for making someone a very special birthday card, and it may actually be cheaper than buying an ordinary card at the card store. A single card can be purchased for less than $2; if you order a larger quantity, you can find cards from less than a dollar apiece. Read more about it in my Mixbook review.
- Can order a single card for less than $2
- All photocards are printed on card stock
- Six different kinds of card stock available
- No logo on the back of the card; put photos or text on the back
- Thousands of designs
- Not the cheapest if ordering a large quantity
Best options: Snapfish
Snapfish offers an incredibly wide array of photo card options. You can have them printed inexpensively (as low as $.45 apiece) on photo paper or pay a bit more for premium card stock. You can get extras like gold, silver, or rose gold foil printing. You can have your return address printed on the envelope.
The minimum order you can place is 20 cards. The Snapfish logo is on the back of each card, but it's not overly intrusive. For certain kinds of cards, you can even pick them up at your local Walgreens and avoid shipping charges. Get the whole scoop in our Snapfish review.
- Huge selection
- Good prices and frequent coupons
- Pickup at Walgreens for certain cards
- Photo paper or card stock options
- Minimum 20 cards per order
- Logo on the back of the cards
Best prices: Walmart
It's no surprise that Walmart has some of the best prices, particularly if you want smaller quantities. What I did find surprising is that there is no minimum. That's right; you can purchase just a single card. The quality is very good; you can order a single card printed on photo paper for as low as $.50 or card stock for $.57 each.
Once you start ordering in quantity, the per card price drops as low as $.39 apiece. Return address printing is available. In a hurry? You can pick up certain card styles from your local Walmart in as little as one hour. However, I didn't find Walmart's website to be the easiest to navigate. Read more about my adventures in my Walmart review.
- Low prices
- No minimum
- Great selection
- Pick up photo cards in as little as one hour
- Website can be unwieldy
Best bulk prices: Costco
If you're already a Costco member and buying cards in bulk, you can get a real bargain buying photo cards at Costco. Your card options are somewhat limited, but ordering is easy. You can choose cards printed on photo paper for $13.99 for 50 cards, which works out to $.28 per card. Or, choose card stock, which runs $16.49 for 25 cards ($.66 apiece.)
The more expensive cards come with foil-lined envelopes, and you can have both your return address and the recipient's address printed on the envelopes at no extra charge. You can pick up the photo paper cards in-store, but you'll have to have card stock cards shipped. In my Costco photo printing services review, you can read more about it.
- Well-priced cards if buying a lot
- Nice quality
- Can pick up some photo card orders at your local Costco
- Return and recipient address on foil-lined envelopes included with premium card stock cards
- Not a huge selection of options
- Must have a Costco membership
Best quality for price: Nations Photo Lab
At just about $1 apiece, you're getting gorgeous card stock cards printed on both sides with no logo on the back. The minimum order is 25 cards. Yes, there are fancier cards out there, and yes, there are cheaper cards, but these are quite fancy without the fancy price tag. The website has a premium feel to it, and the selection of photo cards you can order is enormous. You can read more about my experience in my Nations Photo Lab review. One thing I really love about Nations Photo Lab is the unique formats you can choose for the back of the card, such as a newspaper-like template.
- Gorgeous card stock photo cards
- Printed on both sides with no logo on the back
- Reasonable prices
- Huge selection
- Minimum order of 25 cards
Best envelopes: Printique
Envelopes might not seem like the most important thing, but they do set the tone for what's inside. Where most photo cards come with simple white envelopes, Printique (formerly known as AdoramaPix) makes amazing quality cards that come with a fancy textured paper envelope. You choose your photo card paper: matte, felt, linen, or pearl.
Choose from tons of designs and add custom touches or upload your own design. There is no minimum order size so that you can order a single card. While a single card is reasonably pricey at about $5, prices go below $2 apiece if you order 12 or more photo cards. I loved Printique as an overall photo printing service, as you can read in my Printique (when it was known as AdoramaPix) review
- Matte, felt, linen, or pearl photo card options
- Print both sides
- No logo on the back
- Plenty of design options
- No minimum order
- Upscale envelopes
- Single card is pricey
Which of the best photo cards should you choose?
Which photo cards service you choose will depend on what you're looking for and what quantity you plan to order. I found that Mixbook was the best intersection of price, selection, quality with no minimum order, and no logo on the back of the cards. You can print photos and text on both the front and the back of each card.
Consider your occasion, timing, and the quantity you need
Which factors really matter (such as a logo on the back and the paper used) will depend on what occasion you're ordering cards for. For the best photo cards for Christmas and the best holiday cards in general, you might not care about a logo on the back or having a low minimum order. If you're making wedding invitations, you might not care about the minimum order size, but you'll definitely want a nicer card stock (not photo paper), and you wouldn't want a logo on the back of the card. Photo cards make for great birth announcements, graduation announcements, party invitations, save-the-dates, and thank-you cards. Depending on the formality of the situation, photo paper might be fine and would save you some money.
If you're in a rush, be sure to pick one of the services that has same-day, local in-store pickup as an option. This will be a lot cheaper than paying rush shipping fees.
Make someone's day special
Sites that allow you to order a single card are a great place to create highly customized birthday cards, Mother's/Father's Day cards, and other individual greeting cards. You wouldn't think that creating a thoughtful, personalized card would be cheaper than what you can pick up on the shelf at your local drugstore, but it can be substantially so.
Hopefully, this guide helps you pick just the right photo card printing service for your needs. Want to do something more with your photos? We can help you make the best photo book, which makes for a great gift to give a loved one (or yourself!)
Credits — The person that wrote this guide
Karen S. Freeman is a teacher, writer, and family woman. She loves to travel, play with tech stuff, drink coffee, discover amazing new restaurants, take and share family photos, and experience new things.
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