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Is it bad to keep the keys? (A fun survey in souvenirs vs. waste)

Is it bad to keep the keys? (A fun survey in souvenirs vs. waste)

Old Oct 21, 19, 10:35 am
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Is it bad to keep the keys? (A fun survey in souvenirs vs. waste)

A lovely stay, so you check out, Irish-goodbye-style, by skipping the front desk and head to the car. Plastic key card in pocket (whether forgotten there, purloined, or just hedging bets on possibly needing to pop back later.)

Is it bad form to take the keys? Iím sure they cost the hotel some small expense. Iím fairly sure they can be reprogrammed and used over and over again (not sure what the service life is though.)

From some properties, Iíve kept the key (with its nice distinctive art) as a memento: Cavelleri, Grand Wailea, Istanbul, Conrad Hong Kong, etc. Under ďpurely forgot the key in my backpackĒ category, Iím currently staring at a couple generic ES,HGI, and Hampton keys that I just pulled out of a post-trip bag Iím cleaning out after a nice holiday at the Sevilla HGI, a Waco, TX Hampton, and the curmudgeous Madrid Hilton.

So: do you keep souvenir keys? Throw them out? And is it ecologically sound to reuse them/turn in to front desk or do the hotels care to always reuse them?
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Old Oct 21, 19, 11:07 am
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As I leave keys in the room, I assume housekeeping takes them back to reception eventually, but I don't know if this actually happens.

Only once have I not been sure whether I will return to the hotel later, and not had a digital key. That time I just left the key cards in the next Hilton I stayed in (I also do this with the C&E toiletries sometimes). They looked the same and I assume the cards are not restricted to be programmed only at a particular hotel.

I haven't stayed in any fancy properties with distinctive keys. I have received blank key cards in some ICs and maybe some Conrads. Conrads have the toys for souvenirs anyway.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 11:09 am
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When Hampton Inns used to put the state names on the key cards, I collected them. When they stopped, I threw my half finished collection out. I may or may not have been dejected when I did it.

Now, I have a couple key cards in my backpack for those hotels that need you to put the card in the slot to have the power and ac work. Although I have used business cards for the same purpose.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 11:15 am
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I always try to return them to the front desk solely as an environmentally friendly act.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 11:32 am
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I always endeavour to hand them back , I have one in my tour bag purely to keep the electric and air con on In those pesky hotels that require key cards to power the room whilst I’m in the lounge or out.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 11:53 am
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I return the generic keys, but keep the distinctive ones as souvenirs.

We also have a toddler that enjoys taking my credit cards out of my wallet and putting them back in. We've since switched that out with an old wallet filled with hotel key cards.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 12:25 pm
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I hate to think of the number of times I've walked away with keys and wondered why they didn't work the next night !!!!

Worse case scenario is when you're in a facility with a parking ramp and you have to use a key to get your car out.

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Old Oct 21, 19, 12:55 pm
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The nice thing about keeping one card is that some hotels in Europe you have to put the card in the slot to turn the lights on. It is nice to have an extra
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Old Oct 21, 19, 1:04 pm
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I've kept a couple since my daughter likes to play with them. But now that she has ~5, I always drop them at the front desk so that they can be used again. Or I drop them in the box in the parking garage
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Old Oct 21, 19, 1:18 pm
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One side of my basement may or may not have all the hotel key cards / status cards that I have collected over the years.... about half full.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 1:27 pm
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I always hand mine back in. I've accidentally taken a few over the years but I am not one to collect waste. No trinkets, no little things that will end up in the trash later. I would much rather seen them reused than become yet another piece of plastic in the dump. Even if I don't actually stop at the desk, I'll place it on the counter, smile, wave, and mention that I'll get my receipt by email, no hurry.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by samwise6222 View Post
One side of my basement may or may not have all the hotel key cards / status cards that I have collected over the years.... about half full.
Same though I stack all of them up in one year and then start over in January storing the previous year's with the others in a large drawer.

I don't think it's bad to keep the keys. It's pretty much expected that most people are going to take them. Like the pens.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by bitterproffit View Post
Now, I have a couple key cards in my backpack for those hotels that need you to put the card in the slot to have the power and ac work. Although I have used business cards for the same purpose.
Originally Posted by wizla View Post
I always endeavour to hand them back , I have one in my tour bag purely to keep the electric and air con on In those pesky hotels that require key cards to power the room whilst Iím in the lounge or out.
Exactly! I always have a couple of spare key card for use in the Master Switch slot. Esp. important in the summer to keep the AC in the room running. I find that the key cards always work in the slot, whereas a folded up business card / paper may not work.

Otherwise, I mostly leave the key cards in the room or drop them off at front desk indicating I've already checked out using the app.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 1:41 pm
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Hi,

I have kept a couple of keys from the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Hilton Waikoloa Village which had beautiful photos of the resort. I have kept one of the WA keys and a Conrad Tokyo/Hong Kong key.

At the other hiltons ( they all seem to be the same now) I return them to the front desk/express key drop or if I forget as I'm in a hurry for transport I return them to the next hotel.

Regards

TBD
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Old Oct 21, 19, 2:01 pm
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I always keep mine. While most don't, some hotels encode personal data on the card. Ie credit card info or DOB, etc... Again vast majority don't, but I dont like idea of guessing.
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