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The best smart wallets

By Steven Winkelman

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The contents of your wallet may be the most valuable things on your person, so you need a solid wallet to keep them safe. Luckily, technology has brought us many an option when it comes to protecting our credit cards and cash. The wallets of today not only ensure that you have a convenient place to store your money, but also that you won’t lose said money or have it stolen.

Thanks to the advent of smart wallets, you can enjoy features such as RFID blocking, device tracking, and modern design. Below are a few of our favorite smart wallets to date.

Our top pick

Bellroy ($120)

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If you’re looking for a gorgeous wallet that can hold just about everything, look no further. Bellroy’s Travel Wallet offers plenty of space for credit cards, cash, and your passport. There’s even a travel sized pen for completing declarations forms.

In addition to sporting lots of space, the Bellroy Travel Wallet also has RFID protection built in. With RFID protection, you don’t need to worry about unsavory individuals skimming your credit card or passport information.

What makes the Bellroy’s products so unique, however, is the company’s commitment to sustainability. Bellroy responsibly tans its leather under gold-rated Leather Working Group environment protocols and carefully chooses sustainably produced textiles for linings in its products.

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And the rest

Nomad Slim Wallet ($80)

Nomad has partnered with Tile to create an incredibly slim and compact wallet you can track if it gets misplaced. The Tile Slim tracker is hidden inside (though still accessible if needed), and all you need to do is download the Tile app and press the Tile Slim once for pairing to keep track of the wallet. In the Tile app, tap the Find icon and the wallet will ring a tune, making it easier to find.

You can also use the map, which is handy to find the general area of the wallet’s location, but don’t expect pinpoint precision. The Tile Slim’s battery will last a year, and by the 11-month mark, you’ll receive a notification from the Tile app asking if you want to replace your Tile for a new one at a discounted price.

The wallet is made of high-quality Horween leather from Chicago — the stitching is strong and tight, and the wallet develops a nice weathered look the more you use it. Nomad claims you can fit up to fit 15 cards; we fit 11, and while there’s certainly room for more, it can be a little tough to pull cards out — especially if you have money in one of the two cash pockets as well. We’re quite fond of the Nomad Slim Wallet. It looks and feels great, carries all our cards and cash, and it’s easy to track if we ever lose it.

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Ekster ($79)

Here to ensure that you have a wallet that is not only slim but also secure is Ekster, the smart wallet brand that partnered with Tile to launch a solar-charged, RFID-blocking smart wallet. You won’t have to dig around to access your credit card or ID — simply click a button to pop out your desired piece of plastic. And since many credit and debit cards have RFID and NFC technology embedded inside, the Ekster can block anyone trying to access them. RFID hacking isn’t as commonplace as you may think, but this protection can certainly provide some peace of mind.

Read more about the Ekster

Buy it now from:

Amazon Ekster

Wocket ($179)

The Wocket is made up of two components: A physical, removable credit card, and a boxy, rectangular card selector into which the aforementioned credit card fits. The card selector, which sports a touchscreen E Ink display and runs on a standard coin battery, is where the magic happens. You select a saved virtual card to assign to the physical card, which emulates a card swipe by transmitting a wireless signal to a given point-of-sales system. Cards with magnetic strips are added by swiping them through the selector, while cards with bar codes (e.g., membership, loyalty cards, or event tickets) can be manually copied numerically — enter the string of numbers below a given QR code or bar code and Wocket will generate a scannable image to match.

Somewhat unusually for a product in this category, the Wocket doesn’t rely on another device to operate — it’s meant to be used entirely independently and only requires Bluetooth pairing to an iOS, Android, or Windows Phone smartphone for firmware updates. Security is handled locally too; you verify your identity by entering a PIN on the Wocket selector’s touchscreen, or by speaking a specific word or phrase.

Read more about the Wocket

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Compact Coin ($80)

Don’t let the diminutive size of this coin wallet fool you — it has more than enough space to hold just about everything in your life. Nodus‘ Compact Coin has room for up to 17 cards, as well as coins, cash, and a key. Thanks to its RFID shielding feature, it’ll keep all the cards in the zippered pocket of your wallet safe. But if you need to keep a scannable ID card in the outer pocket for easy access to say, your workplace or your local subway system, you can do that, too. You can also expand the internal coin pocket to suit your needs, and there’s even a dedicated note sleeve that comes with a built-in key slot. Best of all, this wallet comes in a variety of beautiful colors and measures a svelte 2.7 by 4 inches.

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Woolet ($129)

Like some other smart wallets on this list, Woolet has an app and will alert you when you stray too far from your wallet, so you won’t forget about it and end up leaving it at a restaurant. Unlike some other smart wallets, however, Woolet has a speaker built right into it so you can set an alarm to go off, making it easier to find the wallet if you’ve lost it. The Woolet app is pretty nice too — it shows your wallet’s last known location on a map, which can be super helpful. With all these features, the wallet does have a battery built into it, but that battery is easy to charge with the included Wireless Qi charger.

Buy it now from:

Amazon Woolet

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