Defeat Hotel Card Switches [Travel Hack]

Hotels all over the world are installing card switches to save energy. They aren’t bad unless you’re trying to charge a device while away from the room.

What’s a Card Switch?

Basically it’s a slot in the wall near the front door of a room where you insert your key card to turn on the power for your room.

No key in the card switch, no power.

They generally aren’t a hassle, and I am sure they save the hotel a ton of money in electricity, while decreasing the hotel’s carbon-footprint.

However if you need to charge devices while away from your room, they are a pain.

Defeating Card Switches

You can go down to the front desk and get an extra key, but the card switch doesn’t need a key. It needs a key shaped object in it.

Just drop any credit, library or metro card into the slot, and your problem is solved.


This isn’t the world’s biggest problem, but when you need an outlet to work, you need an outlet to work.

5 thoughts on “Defeat Hotel Card Switches [Travel Hack]

  1. I’ve come accross a card switch that uses a plain plastic card, regular credit card, business card size. nothing else works so far. It doesn’t even identify itself, all it says is “insert contactless card for power”. This room was just renewed so it maybe brand new tech I have a vast array of other cards the right size, none of which work

    1. UPDATE I was able to find a card that’s used to open the turnstile in a self-serve cinema entrance so there must be some sort of magnetic thing to it though I couldn’t detect any attraction to it

  2. Nowadays technologhy have caught up on on preventing anyone using any plastic card to turn on the power by inserting into the slot.Now they used a programmed RFID which has a builtin chip to verify before turn the power on.

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