By now, you’ve probably noticed that most of your credit cards, debit cards, driver’s license, and even passport contain a microchip — usually either an EMV chip, which needs to be inserted, or an embedded Radio Frequency Technology (RFID) chip. RFID refers to a technology that uses radio waves and electromagnetic energy to send and receive data between RFID tags and readers wirelessly.
While this makes purchases and exchanging information more convenient and simpler than ever, it does make your personal information more vulnerable to skimming and digital pickpocketing. Enter the RFID-blocking wallet, designed as a means to protect your personal information. The best RFID wallets work by blocking the electromagnetic field surrounding your RFID documents so skimmers can’t steal your data. Gear up and read through our selection to find the best option to protect your information.
– Best Overall: The Ridge Minimalist Slim Wallet
– Best for Passports: Pacsafe RFIDsafe V150 Passport Wallet
– Best Minimalist: Buffway Slim RFID-Blocking Wallet
– Best Stylish: Fossil Women’s Logan Leather RFID Blocking Wallet
– Best Hard-Sided: Shevrov SV RFID Carbon Fiber Wallet
How We Picked the Products
We looked at nine total products from among six brands. We wanted to share models that would appeal to a range of people, so we included multipurpose options. When making the final selections, we considered RFID-blocking technology, style, material, and size.
Material and blocking tech go hand in hand — most RFID wallets are metal but they can also be made from leather and other fabrics. Style was an important factor, as you’ll likely use your wallet on a daily basis, so we considered slim, bi-fold, and tri-fold items. Lastly, we considered wallet size because like style, this is an individual preference. We included sleek styles as well as more traditional wallet sizes.
Best RFID Wallets: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: The Ridge Minimalist Slim Wallet
Why It Made The Cut: The Ridge Wallet is made with aluminum, offers a slim profile, and includes an integrated money clip.
– Material: Aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber, depending on the color chosen
– Colors: Black, Burnt Titanium, Carbon Fiber, Gunmetal, Matte Olive, Navy, and Rose Gold
– Style: Money clip
– Holds one to 12 cards
– Metal money clip
– Minimalist design
Available in seven colors, The Ridge Minimalist Slim Wallet is made with RFID-blocking materials — aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber — to protect your credit cards. The main cardholder holds up to 12 cards, while the outside notch allows you to easily push out the cards you need. The money clip is made with spring steel, so you can keep your wallet organized. In addition to cash, the money clip is also ideal for RFID-enabled cards or business cards.
While this wallet is minimalist and slim, it provides the space to carry everything you need. The only downside is the price — at over $100, it’s not quite budget-friendly, but it does come with a lifetime warranty in case something goes wrong with your investment.
Best for Passports: Pacsafe RFIDsafe V150 Passport Wallet
Why It Made The Cut: This organizer-friendly passport wallet comes with a tough, detachable strap to keep it secure from skimmers and pickpockets.
– Materials: Nylon and polyester
– Colors: Black and red
– Style: Bi-fold
– Cut-resistant webbing strap
– Passport pocket
– Six card slots
The Pacsafe RFIDsafe V150 Passport Wallet is well-equipped for travel with six card slots, a zippered slot, mesh passport holder with RFID blocking, boarding-pass slip pocket, coin pocket, internal attachment for wallet and keys, and a pen holder. Pacsafe claims the wallet blocks transmissions between 10 MHz and 3 GHz. For added security, this wallet features a removable strap made from strong, lightweight, and cut-resistant material. Plus, if it’s attached to your wrist or belt loop, the strap will automatically tighten if anyone tries to grab it. Some reviewers say this Pacsafe wallet is a bit bulky, but it’s ideal for travel and is not meant for everyday use.
Best Minimalist: Buffway Minimalist RFID Blocking Wallet
Why It Made The Cut: While the Buffway Minimalist RFID-Blocking Wallet is slim and discreet, it still has room to accommodate eight cards and effectively blocks RFID signals.
– Materials: Leather and polyester lining
– Color: Alaska Black, Alaska Blue, Alaska Brown, Alaska Cherry, Alaska Green, Alaska Gray, Alaska Pink, Alaska Purple, Alaska Yellow, At Sahara Carbon Black, At Sahara Coffee, At Sahara Desert Green, Carbon Fiber Black, Carbon Fiber Coffee, Cross Black, Cross Blackish Green, Cross Coffee, Cross Purple, Lichee Black, Lichee Blue Gray, Lichee Coffee, Lichee Green, Lichee Khaki, Lichee Light Brown, Lichee Orange, Lichee Pink, Lichee Red, Sand Black, Sand Chocolate, Sand Rose Gold, Sand Silver, and Sand Wathet Blue.
– Style: Slim
– Eight slots for cards
– Slim and lightweight
– Difficult to pull out cards
The Buffway Minimalist RFID Blocking Wallet is perfect for those who like to travel light, as this wallet can easily be tucked into a pocket, purse, or travel bag. It’s super slim, but this wallet can accommodate most of what you’d carry in an average sized wallet. It features four slots for credit or debit cards, one clear slot with a helpful finger glide for an ID or driver’s license, side-slip pockets for business cards, and one middle pocket designed for cash or receipts.
The Buffway wallet — which is available in over 30 colors — is made of genuine leather with a polyester lining. Its protective layer blocks 13 to 14 MHz of electronic signals. The one downside is that while this wallet has many slots and pockets for cards and cash alike, reviewers say it can get a bit bulky when all pockets are used.
Best Stylish: Fossil Women’s Logan RFID-Blocking Wallet
Why It Made The Cut: This bi-fold wallet comes in a variety of colors and fun prints like leopard and stripes, making it our top choice for most stylish.
– Materials: Cowhide Leather, polyester, and polyurethane
– Colors: Black, Black Stripe, Black and Bone, Cheetah, Graystone, Green Moss, Hearts, Midnight Navy, Wine, Turquoise, Balsam, Blush Metallic, Brown, Brown and Black, Cherry Quilted, and Green Multi-Palm
– Style: Bi-fold
– Five card slots, two bill compartments, one ID window
– Multiple colors and prints
– Fossil incorporating pro-planet products and packaging
The Fossil Women’s Logan RFID-Blocking Wallet is available in over 10 colors and prints, which means there is a style for everyone. While some RFID-blocking wallets can look a bit basic, this women’s wallet looks like a super stylish, if not traditional bi-fold wallet. Depending on the color, you can either have a leather or printed PVC wallet. This wallet is compact with five credit card slots, two bill compartments, one ID window, and a zippered change purse. Some reviewers said that it can feel a bit small, especially if you use credit or debit cards more than cash. Within the wallet, there is a special lining that helps protect the RFID chips in your credit and debit cards from unwarranted scanning.
While this wallet looks great, we also love Fossil’s sustainability initiatives. For example, the brand has set a goal to “meet pro-planet criteria by 2025,” meaning the materials used in products must meet one of its sustainability criteria and use 100 percent recyclable or reusable packaging.
Best Hard-Sided: Shevrov SV RFID Carbon Fiber Wallet
Why It Made The Cut: Compact yet designed with ample space, the Shevrov SV wallet’s tough carbon fiber outer case is treated with an anti-scratch technology for durability.
– Materials: Carbon fiber and aluminum
– Color: Antique White, Blue, Dodger Blue, Pink, Red, and Violet Red
– Style: Slim
– Holds up to 12 cards and nine bills
– Aluminum money clip
– Difficult to pull out cards
Available in black with different color “S” logos, the Shevrov SV RFID Carbon Fiber Wallet is made from top-quality carbon fiber and aluminum. For long-lasting use, the lightweight and strong carbon fiber has been treated with anti-scratch technology. While this men’s wallet is designed to be super slim and compact, it can hold up to 12 credit cards and nine bills in the aluminum money clip at once. Something to keep in mind is that your cards are only protected if kept within the wallet. A few of its reviewers say that this wallet works best with fewer cards so it’s easier to retract each card from the elastic straps.
It’s similar to The Ridge Wallet but sold for a fraction of the cost. This wallet features tough sides for solid protection, and with the RFID-blocking technology, it will protect the data in your credit card, debit card, and ID when you’re out and about.
Things to Consider Before Buying a RFID Wallet
Your budget is always an important factor when making any purchase. While there are many affordable options of RFID wallets, keep in mind that the pricier ones might work slightly better. These wallets might use more high-quality materials and are able to block out more transmissions in order to protect the data found on your credit or debit cards or IDs.
What You Keep In Your Wallet
It goes without saying, but the RFID wallet will only work if you use it — so look for one that accommodates your needs. If you like to carry cash, it’s a good idea to purchase a wallet that either has a money clip or band, a bill pocket and a coin purse. On the other hand, if you only use credit or debit cards, you can purchase a RFID wallet that has more slots for cards and doesn’t waste any space for cash. If you’re only purchasing one for travel, it’s nice to have a wallet that fits everything so you can have it all in one place.
Q: Do RFID wallets ruin credit cards?
RFID wallets do not ruin credit cards because they are passive and require energy from a scanner to be active. One way that your credit cards could possibly get ruined is from other credit cards if they scratch against each other when being retracted.
Q: How much does an RFID wallet cost?
RFID wallets can cost anywhere between $10 and $150. The cost will mostly depend on materials used, the quality of the wallet and how well the RFID-blocking technologies work.
Q: Do I need an RFID wallet for travel?
No, you do not need an RFID wallet for travel. However, the U.S. government is no longer issuing passports without chips, so the additional protection that RFID wallets offer ensures the safety of your personal data.
Final Thoughts RFID Wallets
While selecting the best RFID wallet is a more technology-driven purchase, it’s still important to choose a wallet that you like and aligns with your lifestyle. The first step is ensuring the wallet does what it’s meant to do — protecting your personal data from skimming or digital pickpocketing. Then you can choose style, size and any additional features. Our favorite is the The The Ridge Minimalist Slim Wallet, but if you’re looking for one with a little more flair, we recommend the Fossil Women’s Logan RFID-Blocking Wallet.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.