Call them what you want — card cases or card holders — but the trustworthy wallets below are the best ways to carry cash, plastic and a few extra business cards — but little more. Think about it: a slimmer wallet that's easier to access is faster at the register and more comfortable in transit. Long gone are the days of George Costanza-sized cash canisters.
Best Overall Card HolderAnson Calder Card Wallet Read More
Best Upgrade Card HolderShinola Five Pocket Card Case Read More
Best Affordable Card HolderHerschel Charlie Wallet Read More
Best Metal Card HolderRidge Wallet — Aluminum Read More
Best Fabric CardholderPioneer Carry Molecule Cardholder Read More
Why Carry a Card Holder?
As they say, less is more, and prolonged periods of sitting on a thick wallet could actually cause back problems. It's true. There's even a name for it: Wallet Neuritis.
It was first recognized in 1978, but it remains a rather taboo diagnosis. Usually, patients are told they have a pinched sciatic nerve, resulting in a sciatica diagnosis. Wallet Neurosis, on the other hand, comes on the same way — "long-standing use of rear pocket wallet may compress and sensitize ipsilateral sciatic nerve" — but doesn't go as far, essentially just "generating features resembling lumbago sciatica."
Either way, back pain sucks, and an easy way to exacerbate other problems is to carry a compact card holder instead — and in your front pocket. If you must keep even card holders at the rear, take them out before you sit down. You can put your extras in a crossbody bag.
Less Is More
There's a method to Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo's tidiness: the KonMari Method. It asks subscribers to keep the items close to them and "discard items that no longer spark joy." In the world of wallets, the joy-suckers are receipts, old punch cards and reward program fobs for stores you no longer shop at.
With a card holder, you really can't keep any of this excess weight. The limited space acts as an actual advantage in this regard, reducing the amount of room for this unique type of clutter. Card holders can often hold a maximum of 15 cards, and few of them offer space for sizable wads of cash. Your emergency bills will surely fit, but it's easier to do just about everything with our phones these days, meaning you can probably access your reward program cards, work ID and even vaccine card there, too. (Go ahead, take them out of your current wallet.)
How We Tested
We have used a number of the wallets on this list, which were sourced using insights from our personal shopping experiences, tips from experts and broader shopper feedback. We accounted for a number of consumer sets, finding wallets for folks who carry them in their front pocket, want to protect themselves from possible RFID fraud or simply want a slimmer tool for carrying their cash and cards.
Explore over two dozen men's wallets capable of carrying cards, cash, coins, passports and even phones.