When you meet someone that could potentially be a great prospect or connection, do not you want him or her to walk away with a great first impression? A memorable business card does a lot more than just pass on an email address or phone number.
A business card is a physical object that a potential prospect leaves the encounter with. Your brand stays with them. If you meet a prospect and exchange email addresses and phone numbers you each walk away with another contact on your mobile phone -- it ends there. If you hand over a creative business card that makes a great impression that person is likely to show it to other people -- putting you and your brand in front of additional prospects.
Most business cards are paper, although there are lots of other options, from plastic and wood to metal and slate. Assuming you go with paper, you need to choose thickness, coating, color and weight. All of these can affect the price.
For many businesses, one of the biggest challenges of designing business cards is coming up with something truly original. Fortunately, there are plenty of great ways to break away from the norm and create something truly striking. Special treatments are like shiny objects (sometimes literally): they can be very exciting and appealing. But do not let your original excitement make you go overboard. Choosing one two unique elements will let you stand out without being gaudy.