The biggest and best small wallet?
March 24, 2016 1:55 PM   Subscribe

I just started carrying business cards, but I also carry a small, minimalist wallet, and I'd rather not change that dramatically. Help?

I decided recently to start carrying around business cards. I haven't done that in years, and in those intervening years I've become quite attached to my small wallet, which, ironically, is technically a business card holder.

I can't fit more than about three business cards in that, though, with my current card load - eight plastic cards, a driver's license, and a couple small papery things (car insurance card and CPR card), all of which I use often enough (except the CPR card, fortunately!) that I need them in my wallet at all times.

I don't necessarily want a "full size" wallet, and I definitely want something that fits comfortably in a front pocket, but I'd also like to be able to carry more than a couple business cards. Here's my spec list:

- Front pocket-able
- Any material, really - I've only really carried leather ones, but I've seen some metal ones I like quite a bit
- Able to carry probably 20 cards(ish)
- absolutely NOT RFID protective (I keep my work ID in my wallet, and I like that I can hold my wallet up to the reader and unlock the door without removing the card)
- Bill-carrying capacity is not a thing I need, as I rarely if ever carry cash and if I do it's just folded in my pocket
- Plain styling - I don't mind varying colors, but I don't want anything with designs on it

So what are some of your favorite small wallets?
posted by pdb to Shopping (18 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I wrap an elastic around my cards. Fits all your criteria and super cheap to boot.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:58 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: What about a Magic Wallet? I've on a similar search myself, and keep coming across these.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:04 PM on March 24, 2016

Best answer: I love my Allett brand wallet. (They make the RFID-protective kind, but also the non- kind.) They make a variety of tiny wallets, but also--and these are the ones I love and rely upon--extraordinarily thin wallets. Like, really thin. Like, I can show people my wallet, its profile and how much stuff is in it and they are in disbelief. And it's durable, too.

Pretty sure I heard about those on Ask, too.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:21 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

I also have been very happy with my Allet. Used to buy new styles of wallets frequently, never found a form factor that worked, or they wore out. Now I realized I haven't even thought about a wallet for years-- I bought it and it just works. The form factor spreads the cards out vertically so even if you are carrying a lot of them the wallet is still pretty slim. They also have one with an outside transparent pocket to display your keycard/ID card without having to take it out, which sounds like something that is important to you. I think this is the model I bought.
posted by seasparrow at 2:51 PM on March 24, 2016

Best answer: I got a Big Skinny wallet based on recommendations here and am pretty pleased with it. (I can vouch for being able to keep an access card in it and still have it picked up by the reader.)
posted by Lexica at 2:57 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

This Big Skinny wallet gets my vote. I have one in purple and I love it. Fits in my small purse easily, or a pocket, holds all my necessary cards plus folded bills AND has a small pocket for change.
posted by jvilter at 3:22 PM on March 24, 2016

I've had Allet's for years. I use this one. That may be a bit big for you: they make a card case too. They are far more comfortable in the pocket, even the larger one I use, than normal size wallets.

And I really like their passport one for travel too.
posted by bonehead at 3:24 PM on March 24, 2016

Fluffyco Mini Wallet
posted by univac at 4:09 PM on March 24, 2016

A term of art that may help is "front pocket wallet." They're slender and oriented towards holding cards only, although some have a metal arm to hold bills in a way that forces them into a half-fold. Mine has a bunch of individual slots and a single big enclosure that holds about ten cards: it's very slender.

Another idea: what about shifting to a money clip? M-Clips are very secure because there's a slider mechanism that allows for infinite adjustment and fights metal fatigue. My brother stacks his business cards in with his credit cards and other ephemera, and it works fine. At worst you just apologize that a business card is slightly chewed up.
posted by carmicha at 4:26 PM on March 24, 2016

if you've just got business cards you may be over-estimating just how often you use them. 20 is an awful lot - you might find you can get away with just 3 if you keep stock at home and work and make it a habit to fill up (and they will also get less dog-eared).

(sorry, i know it's not a direct answer, but you could be me when i first got these things - and now i use them mainly as bookmarks)
posted by andrewcooke at 5:11 PM on March 24, 2016

I have an even slimmer wallet (not wallet shaming!) and if I were in your shoes I'd just get a dedicated business card holder and carry it in the other front pocket. I do a similar thing with twenties and smaller bills.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:19 PM on March 24, 2016

I carry a small, metal cigarette case and use it exactly how you describe, just ID, credit cards, business cards. Small and classy. You want one this size and not one that would fit 100s size cigarettes.
posted by 26.2 at 6:29 PM on March 24, 2016

Tight Wallet will work for this- they say it holds 20 cards. It does have a spot for bills but you could use it for other things (possibly even business cards).
posted by cushie at 6:50 PM on March 24, 2016

I like HuMn Wallets.
posted by Gotanda at 7:07 PM on March 24, 2016

Response by poster: andrewcooke - I used the 20 number as an aggregate total, which would include the business cards as well as the 8-10 plastic cards I carry regularly. I wouldn't imagine having more than maaaaaybe 10 business cards on me at any one time.

churchhatestucker - I thought about that, but the minimalist in me does not want to carry around two wallets.

Thanks all for the suggestions - I think I need to decide between the Allet, Big Skinny, and Magic wallets.
posted by pdb at 8:47 PM on March 24, 2016

I put my biz cards in my phone case
posted by artdrectr at 12:39 AM on March 25, 2016

I love my Architect wallet by Form Function Form. Maybe this minimalist wallet suits your needs.
posted by pheide at 10:16 AM on March 25, 2016

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