RFID shields, what are my options?

I'm interested in having a general probe around with RFID, I don't actually know exactly what I want to accomplish, but I want to get some experience with it and see whether it could be helpful in future projects. I'm considering buying an RFID shield but would like some tips about types to go for?

I've come across these two and notice a price difference of nearly a factor of 8, so for that sort of thing what extra capabilities might the expensive one have? Or are there others I should be considering?

I have used some of the RC522 RFID readers for a game. Worked fine but the range is more like 1 inch.