Wallet that will let me use my credit/debit cards without removing them
March 5, 2015 11:34 AM   Subscribe

I would like a wallet for credit/debit card. My imagined wallet has two key properties. A) It's small. Right now I use an elastic as my wallet. I wouldn't want to add much more bulk than that. B) Cards are somehow attached to their slots and can be used without detaching them. This could be either because they rotate out from the pile or (better) because they stick out. from the short end of the rectangle that is the pile. Does this exist? Where do I get it?

I lose my debit and credit cards so frequently that I think bank tellers roll their eyes when they see me coming. I lose them because I take them out of my wallet (an elastic) to use them and then when I go to leave the store, I want to gather my things quickly and go, so instead of putting cards back in my pocket, I shove them in my pocket. From there, they either fall out or get forgotten for so long that I replace my card before I find it.

Besides the inconvenience, the cards are tap now, so losing them is getting more dangerous.

What is the technological wallet solution to my poor habits? I'm thinking a wallet where the card just sticks out but is still attached to the wallet.
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Shopping (18 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This is the wallet that I use on a daily basis. Cards slip in and out easier than an elastic, but stay put when in your pocket. It's thinner than any other wallet I've used. I don't put the wallet in my pocket until the card is back in place. Sounds like you should rework your routine more than what you're carrying around.
posted by dobi at 11:44 AM on March 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

Bank of America offers a mini-debit card with a hole in it that you can attach to your key ring. It's great.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:47 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I realize this isn't answering the not putting back in the wallet question, but some of my friends who are horrible at forgetting things got a cell phone case slash wallet because they are very attached to their phone. This might be an option.

At the moment all I can imagine is putting a hole in the corner of all your cards and using one of those brass fasteners in the corner so you can slide the needed card out.

Personally I use a coin case as a wallet and just shove my cards in because it's annoying to try to make them fit, it's just a zippered case barely larger then a few cards. It's harder to lose and slightly more organized. Downside is you spend a few extra seconds being god damn it which of these green cards is the right one.
posted by Liger at 11:48 AM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Dobi: Are the cards attached somehow? It doesn't really show the inside, but from the outside it looks like a regular old (slim) wallet with cards that you take out then put away. I really want the cards attached so I can't pull them out and then forget/not put them away.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:49 AM on March 5, 2015

Maybe you can find a way to attach one of these to your wallet?
posted by royalsong at 11:52 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sorry to threadsit (I'll go away now), but royalsong: have you actually ever seen those in person? I can't figure out how they hold the card? It looks like it would just fall out. Also, since they hold on the long end, the card wouldn't be usable without taking it out. I would think the wallet would have to hold on to the card on the short end so that the card could poke out and be used.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:56 AM on March 5, 2015

Despite the fact that the author of this article obviously doesn't need this peice of technology, what about something like this? It's a case that pops out the card you want, but you would still have to insert it back into the open slot when you're done.

I would honestly just poke holes in all the cards and string them together. Since that means you're essentially handing your whole wallet to every cashier, I wouldn't put anything else on there (no keys, baubles, etc) and might choose a flexible easy-open key ring like this.
posted by aimedwander at 12:09 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

the cards are tap now
Are all of the cards you would use this way tap only? If they have a mag stripe and you would ever need use it, you need something that will hold on to the card on the long end farthest away from the mag stripe. If you are tapping only, I think you could have the entire card in a sleeve and it would still work.

The first review of royalsong's recommendation ("Does its job") explains that the sleeve fits snugly on the card and the card won't come out unless you are pretty rough with it. Here is a different listing where you get a 25 pack for less than what 4 individual ones cost. You could pair that with the retractable badge clips and keep a few highly used cards in your pocket, on the clip.
posted by soelo at 12:40 PM on March 5, 2015

I don't think the hole-punching-and-stringing-together thing will work because some cards are swiped while others are inserted entirely into machines and mechanically returned to you, and some are both (debit/ATM). Might work for OP though if he/she primarily uses the cards only one way (i.e., almost always either swipe or insert). But if it's a lot of both uses it wont work. And you have to wonder whether cards with holes punched in them will be recognized by all machines where you insert the whole card..... Isn't this done as a way to void/invalidate some types of cards?

posted by resurrexit at 1:05 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

At some point depending on technology take-up and where you live you may be able to just use Apple Pay/Google Pay/NFC tech du jour on your phone. At lot of places already take those, although unfortunately the waters have been totally muddied by places like CVS withdrawing their support for it without removing the machines or, you know, putting a sign up, or training their employees, or really anything. Not that I'm bitter!
posted by selfnoise at 1:17 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I haven't bought a Wally Bifold for myself quite yet, but Slate recently did a very positive review of them. Seems to address your size concern quite well, although it'll still be possible to lose a card.
posted by LowellLarson at 1:42 PM on March 5, 2015

I had a similar problem, so I changed my card-handling protocol: remove card from wallet, keep wallet in hand, swipe or give card to cashier while keeping wallet in hand, retrieve card and replace in wallet which you have been holding in your hand, replace wallet in pocket. Viola!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:06 PM on March 5, 2015 [7 favorites]

I don't see exactly what you describe, but Bellroy seems to make some stuff that's pretty minimal and similar.

Or, of course, Apple Pay.
posted by spilon at 2:15 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I had this same issue but a combo phone case / wallet solved it for me. You still have to be diligent about replacing your cards but that's an easy habit to cultivate and everything is so handy.
posted by pearlybob at 2:21 PM on March 5, 2015

You may like the Crabby Wallet.
posted by Rash at 3:21 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, all.

I can't remember the last time I swiped a card or handed it to a cashier. In fact, I had kind of forgotten that handing cards to cashiers used to be a thing people did. You can't always tap, but if you can't tap you have to use the chip. Not many places are even willing to let you swipe. (I'm kind of wondering if it has higher fees because cc companies want to prevent swiping -- neither the convenience of tap nor the safety of chip, and so surprised that you all still swipe).

Anyway, since it is chip, I do need the short end to be accessible, not the long end. I may consider going with the hole+ring, though that's kind of a messy solution since a bunch of cards on a ring will flail around in an awkward shape instead of a nice rectangle. I was kind of picturing something like aimedwander linked to, though not bulky (as the review says it is) and the cards would actually attach so I could insert them and pull them out while still attached.

I can't believe that after the million kickstarter wallets this doesn't exist.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:01 PM on March 5, 2015

What about something like this thin wallet, but just don't slide the cards out all the way?

You don't need access to that much of the card to get the chip inserted, I would think.
posted by nat at 5:08 PM on March 5, 2015

Now I'm imagining a leather pouch that just holds the stack of credit cards, open on one short end. On the other short end, you punch a hole through the whole thing, pouch and cards together. Slide a ribbon (or manly black shoelace) though the hole, about 10-15cm long; either tie the ends into a loop, or put a toggle/bead/etc on the free ends. Adjust the length such that you can pull a card out most of the way, but not all the way; then just tug on the cord to retract it.

On contemplation, it might take a while to find the cord that will be low friction, flexible, and strong, but also not fray. Dental floss? The cord from a retractable badge? fishing line?
posted by aimedwander at 9:05 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older Dressing for success, special snowflake style   |   NYC eats for an Aussie Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.