Unlike a standard wallet, minimalist wallets are engineered to carry only the essentials. They have a thin design meant to fit in your pocket without ruining your stylish look, making them a great pick for weddings or any other event where you’re wearing dress pants.
These days, you don’t need to carry cash. Contactless payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Wallet are gaining traction and most stores accept debit and credit cards. But even in our cash-free world, while out on the town, you’ll want something to hold your cards. That’s where the best minimalist wallets come into play.
Minimalist wallets are lightweight, svelte containers designed to accommodate your most essential everyday carry items: some money, an ID card, and a few credit or debit cards. The best minimalist wallets combine a stylish appearance, durable construction and — most importantly — a design that forces you to be economical in your choices about what to carry around. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list to help you find the best minimalist wallet.
The minimalist wallet category itself has, ironically, become jam-packed, with thousands of designs being sold online and in stores by well-known brands or in high-end boutiques. Most of these minimal wallets cost between $10 and $40. There are also plenty that cost $100 or more — often built from heavy-duty materials, like high-quality leather, or stocked with extra features, like a bottle opener or multitool. So if you’re looking for a compact wallet with a slim profile design that does “more,” you’re not hurting for choices.
Though there are plenty of bifold and trifold thin wallet options, we’re mostly focused on one-panel design wallets here. These usually hold between four and 10 credit and debit cards, though some do it more artfully than others, and there is a variety of fabrics and colors to choose from. Some are hybrids, which combine a wallet and money clip or elastic band. Most offer some type of RFID-blocking technology, which is advertised as a protective measure against electronic pickpocketing, like scammers skimming data stored on your contactless credit cards. (That may be an overblown concern, however.)
We’ve put these minimalist wallets through their paces, with an eye on quality, durability, style, functionality and price. Take a look at our recommendations below, which we’ll update as we test new products.