Campus Card Frequently Asked Questions

If you need further assistance, please contact the Campus Card Offfice at (518) 276-6670.

What are the Rensselaer Campus Cards and RAD Accounts used for?

Your card can be used for:

  • Rensselaer Identification
  • Building Access
  • Vending Machine Purchases
  • Hospitality service purchases
  • On Campus Convenience Stores
  • Houston Field House Events
  • Participating Off Campus locations

What are the components of the card?

The components of the card are:

  • Digitized Picture (Used for identification)
  • ISO Number (Randomly assigned and used for Debit Transactions and Access)
  • Institute ID Number (Also known as RIN-Rensselaer Identification Number)
  • Magnetic Stripe (Used for purchases and services)

What is the ISO number?

The ISO number is a unique, computer generated, 16 digit number that allows some campus systems to interact with the Card System. This number will appear on the face or back of the card. If the card is lost or stolen, a new ISO number will be generated when the card is replaced.

What is the Institute ID number?

It is a number assigned to all individuals affiliated with the Institute for purposes of identification. The Institute ID number will be used to identify you in a variety of on-campus systems. It replaces using the social security number as an inter-campus id. This ID number will stay with you for the entire duration of your affiliation with Rensselaer.

Why do all Institute ID numbers begin with a 6?

Institute personnel need to be able to easily distinguish between Social Security numbers and Institute ID numbers. Therefore the Institute assigned 660----numbers so Institute personnel will know that it is a unique ID number, not a SS number.

Does the Card Office keep the digitized photos on file?

Yes, the Card Office does keep the digitized photos stored in the Card Office database. This allows for instant card replacement. The photo also gives us an additional means of identifying persons requesting replacement cards.

Will Rensselaer purge my photo from the database if I ask?

Rensselaer reserves the right to retain photos on file for all active affiliates of the Institute. At this time, there are no plans to use the photos on file for any public non-administrative use. If the Institute decided to make photos available for public access, you will be given the opportunity to decline participation in that use.

How do I take care of my Rensselaer Campus Card?

Place your card in the protective sleeve you received with it so it doesn't rub against another cards and damage the surface of the magnetic stripe. Do not carry your card in your pocket without the protective sleeve. Keys or change may damage the magnetic stripe or the card may bend or break, making it unusable. Never leave your card or any other personal belongings such as wallets and backpacks unattended.

What is a RAD Account?

RAD stands for Rensselaer Advantage Dollars.

This is a declining balance account that is available to be set up when your card is created. You have the option to add money to it at any time. Your funds can be used to purchase goods and services in many locations. You will be able to enjoy the convenience of using your funds to make purchases as soon as you deposit funds. The value placed on your card is not shown, so if you lose your card, you don't necessarily lose the funds. If your card is lost or stolen, it is important that you quickly deactivate your account to prevent someone else from using your card. Depositing of funds into your account indicates full agreement with the Terms and Conditions.

Does a regular credit card make more sense than a RAD Account?

No, for students at Rensselaer, the RAD Account has two major advantages over credit cards. 

First, the funds are designed for the realities of campus life. Your dollars can be used for food services, convenience stores (c-stores), and vending machines. Your RAD Account eliminates the need to carry cash for day-to-day purchases.

Second, the debit dollars work on a debit not a credit system. This makes financial responsibility easier. There is a real spending limit on the amount of funds deposited. Cardholders are given their balance each time they make a purchase, so they are aware of the remaining balance. With a RAD Account, parents and students can be comfortable that their needs such as food, laundry or daily necessities are provided for.

Will I be charged for a replacement card?

Lost or stolen cards will be replaced for a $10 fee for the first replacement and a $25 fee for each replacement thereafter.

What if my card is lost or stolen?

If you card is stolen, you must contact two (2) departments. One (1) to deactivate purchases and services and one (1) to deactivate the card access.

  • You should deactivate your purchases and services as soon as possible upon discovering your card is missing by accessing the online web site at  The online web site is available 24/7 or you can contact the Campus Card Office during normal business hours.
  • You should deactivate your card access as soon as possible upon discovering your card is missing by contacting the Department of Public Safety at (518) 276-6656.  The Department of Public Safety is available 24/7.

When you obtain your new card, your account balance will be available immediately. A lost card does not mean lost money, if it is reported promptly. Refer to the Card Terms and Conditions for further details on lost and stolen cards.

What do I do if I think my balance is incorrect?

Check your recent account activity by clicking on 'Deposit Now' to log in.  The activity displayed is similar to a bank statement and details each transaction for the previous six months. If you have further questions, please call the Card Office at (518) 276-6670 and we will provide further assistance.