Help Protect the Credit Cards from the Hefty Man
June 21, 2011 5:34 PM   Subscribe

How can I stop from breaking all the credit cards in my wallet?

So I'm a hefty guy who likes to have his wallet in his back pocket. I also sit at a computer most of the day. I've found that my license, and credit cards keep breaking. I'm working on being less hefty but I'm not sure that will solve the problem altogether.

Are there any wallets or protective sleeves or something I can use to stop this from happening? I've tried having my wallet in my front pocket but its just not comfortable for me. Surely I'm not alone with this problem?
posted by Admira to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (35 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I used to carry one of these metal credit card sized subway maps in my wallet. That would probably do the trick.
posted by roger ackroyd at 5:37 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: My husband had the same problem. I got him a double sided money clip that he now keeps in his front pocket. He loves the thing and hasn't had a problem since.
posted by TooFewShoes at 5:47 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: I use the mighty wallet. It has all of your cards stacked on top of one another, so I think it will alleviate some of your breakage issues.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 5:54 PM on June 21, 2011

Mr. G tells me that he breaks cards when he uses a bifold wallet, but has no problems with a trifold. Maybe a different wallet style?
posted by galadriel at 5:57 PM on June 21, 2011

Anecdotally, I don't think it has anything to do with heftiness. SO is 6'3" and 130 pounds or so, and he breaks cards when he sits on his wallet. He suggests taking your wallet out of your pocket while sitting down, which may not be practical for you.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 6:00 PM on June 21, 2011

Surely this is one of those "Doctor, it hurts when I do this" questions.

If you armour your cards enough that they don't break when you sit on them, you are going to be sitting on an uncomfortable armoured lump. It seems to me that the only real solution to cards breaking when you sit on them has got to involve not sitting on them.
posted by flabdablet at 6:01 PM on June 21, 2011 [16 favorites]

Best answer: Yeah, I don't think heftiness is involved--I'm about 130 pounds and have the same problem. However, I notice that only cards in certain positions break, so you could experiment with rearranging cards, so the less important cards are in the 'danger zone'. It makes little difference if my REI membership card has a tear in, for example. (In my wallet, I notice that cards in the left-hand slots break. I don't always have my wallet facing the same way in my pocket. That's the side that has a flap that folds over, so perhaps that has something to do with it.)
posted by hoyland at 6:06 PM on June 21, 2011

Isn't the solution to keep your wallet in your front pocket? It's harder for pickpockets to get at it that way, anyway.
posted by dfriedman at 6:09 PM on June 21, 2011

I had this problem when I was in high school (which is funny 'cause I only had my student ID card & hardly any cash). I eventually hit upon the idea of carrying my wallet in my front pocket. I've carried it in my front left pocket ever since. Now, the only time I have to worry about stuff bending is when I cram too much stuff in it to begin with.
posted by AMSBoethius at 6:10 PM on June 21, 2011

I always take my wallet out of my pocket when I get to work and stick it in a drawer. I never found it comfy to sit on my wallet. I also take it out on long car drives, too.
posted by gnutron at 6:18 PM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: (a) Stop carrying so many cards. Two or three should be plenty.
(b) Get a wallet made for a jacket breast pocket and use it. If you don't wear a jacket, put it in the front pocket of your pants.
Once you get used to this, you'll wonder why you ever carried that lump in your back pocket. It's wearing holes in your pants, too, isn't it?
There are also wallets specifically designed for front pockets, if you just can't get used to carrying it there.
posted by beagle at 6:43 PM on June 21, 2011

I carry this in my front pocket. Who the hell writes enough checks, anymore, to have to carry around a checkbook.

Cash is folded and rides in the same pocket. This works out well for me.
posted by Danf at 7:06 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: I had the same problem for years, solved it with a new wallet. My new one is thinner then the old one too. Its not just about armor, but positioning of the cards and whats behind and in front of them. Go to a Kholes or some departments store and look at a few wallets, I got a perfect Dockers bi-fold that has served me well since
posted by token-ring at 7:41 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: Get a metal wallet (card holder) for your cards and a money clip for your cash.
posted by limeonaire at 8:09 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: I never thought I would actually have a reason to link to the broccoli wad non sardonically, but there you go.

I think the actual rubber band from actual broccoli would work just as well, though maybe less impressive.
posted by idiopath at 8:26 PM on June 21, 2011

Change the way the cards are stored in the wallet. bi-fold, all on top of one another is the way to go.

Some people might look at you funny keeping your wallet in your front pocket. It just wasn't done in my high school, which is where young men learn about such things.
posted by gjc at 8:41 PM on June 21, 2011

Alright, technically, I think it is a "billfold". I believe a wallet is technically checkbook sized.

This (style) is what you want.
posted by gjc at 8:44 PM on June 21, 2011

Response by poster: OK I can't believe I'm admitting this, but here we go... my main problem with wallet in front pocket is the configuration I have going on. Warning: high probability of overthinking so much the obvious answer is being missed.

Current Configuration
Left pocket - my phone.
Right pocket - keys + token I need for work.
Back pocket - Wallet

Tested and unliked configurations
Left pocket - phone
Right pocket - wallet + keys + token
Too many things in right pocket, fumbling around for keys.

Left Pocket - phone + keys
Right pocket - wallet + token
Keys scratched my phone, got a case for my phone, is sometimes quite uncomfortable with the phone pushing the keys into my leg.

Left Pocket - Phone + wallet
Right pocket - keys and token
Too bulky in the left pocket.

Left Pocket - Phone + token
Right pocket - keys + wallet
Wallet pushing the keys, Jabby keys in my leg again

I tried keys in the back pocket for about 2 seconds. All the padding isn't helping.

Haven't tried money clips, I'm not sure how that would work with cards and money all in the same clip, I can see myself dropping money and cards everywhere trying to get what I want out... is that not the case?
posted by Admira at 8:46 PM on June 21, 2011

Yup, overthinking. Your things are too bulky to keep comfortably in your pockets. Invest in a small messenger bag. Ducti makes a nice "vertical" bag for around $40.
posted by MissySedai at 9:12 PM on June 21, 2011

Is there a reason why you can't take it out and keep it at your desk? I use a wallet (cash + a couple of cards, back pocket) and a card holder (lots of cards, jacket pocket), and I keep both at my desk when I get to work. Of course, in my workplace, I am quite confident that stuff won't get stolen if I leave my desk for 5 minutes.
posted by vidur at 9:38 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: This stainless steel wallet is pretty bombproof. Another bonus is that it's thinner while being stronger than most leather wallets so it will not get so squashed.
posted by zephyr_words at 9:43 PM on June 21, 2011

Beyond breaking credit cards, sitting on your wallet is bad for your back. Can't you just keep your wallet in your desk drawer?
posted by klausman at 9:55 PM on June 21, 2011

How much stuff is in your wallet? I've never broken any cards and I've always kept my wallet in my back pocket. But I use a slim wallet.

I also keep my cash in a separate money clip, which I put in my front pocket.
posted by mullacc at 10:10 PM on June 21, 2011

I use this extremely thin wallet, but I keep it in my front pocket, and never have a problem with it being uncomfortable
posted by itsjustanalias at 10:55 PM on June 21, 2011

When you sit, take your wallet out of your pocket and put it on the desk or in a drawer. This will solve all your problems.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:27 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: Keep your wallet where it is. But put your credit cards in upside-down.

I had the same problem -- all my cards embossed with numbers were breaking in half. The raised numbers were somehow causing the fractures, I assume due to being stuffed together in the little leather holder flaps in the wallet, and the resulting top/bottom mass differential creating a flexing issue that snapped them all at the midline. Anyway, I've been putting the embossed cards in upside down for a while now, and no breaks. YMMV.
posted by turducken at 12:18 AM on June 22, 2011

What the I don't even.

Standing up -> wallet in back pocket for easy access and comfort.
Sitting down -> wallet on desk/in drawer/on shelf so you don't have a giant lump under your ass all day.

You're looking for a technical solution when the problem is user error.
posted by auto-correct at 12:53 AM on June 22, 2011


My bank gives out plastic sheaths for credit cards, so I got a few of those.
posted by devnull at 12:53 AM on June 22, 2011

I use a case for my phone that includes a couple of card pockets on the back with a snap over the top of them. It combines my phone and wallet into one unit. I find that 99% of the time I only need license and one credit card. Keys in right pocket. Phone/wallet combo in left pocket. I sometimes also carry cash in a money clip in right pocket with keys. Other cards I occasionally need are in a case that I carry in my messenger bag.
posted by rglasmann at 4:06 AM on June 22, 2011

i used to have this problem and switched from a wallet where the cards were held vertically to one where they are horizontally (this is all relative to the curvature of the ass). the problem went away.
posted by canned polar bear at 4:32 AM on June 22, 2011

Left Pocket - Phone + wallet
Right pocket - keys and token
Too bulky in the left pocket.

Use this configuration, get a smaller phone, and clean the old cruft out of your wallet more often.
posted by flabdablet at 7:13 AM on June 22, 2011

Or, get pants with bigger front pockets.
posted by flabdablet at 7:13 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all, I appreciate the responses. I should have included this in my original post, but the reason I don't put my wallet on my desk at work is that I'm forgetful. I have tried this for a week, and left it on my desk twice, once when I was meant to be buying colleagues coffee. I also left it in the car once when I went shopping, thankfully it was still there when I sprinted back with my heart in my mouth.

Im also about to move overseas for a job opportunity to a culture where I've been told its not a good idea to leave things of value on or in desks in the office.
posted by Admira at 5:37 PM on June 22, 2011

Ah, the keys problem. This (variant 2, the clip-on model) solves that—just hook them on your belt with another nice stainless-steel clip.
posted by limeonaire at 7:00 PM on July 1, 2011

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