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Few pieces of personal information are as valuable, literally, as your bank and credit card accounts. You can keep them safe online by using a strong password on your bank’s website, but your physical credit and debit cards are still vulnerable to theft.
Traditionally this has meant someone snatching your wallet, but advancements in wireless technology have opened up the possibility of stealing your info by reading data off your card’s RFID chip.
What Is RFID?
RFID stands for Radio-frequency identification, a technology that allows information to be transferred between a tag and computer. RFID is similar to the technology built into modern smartphones that allow you to pay for your goods through services like Apple Pay. This convenience feature has also made its way into credit cards to make shopping faster and more convenient, but it comes with a downside.
Because the data is transmitted through radio waves, your credit cards are always sending off a weak signal while waiting for a terminal (cash register, etc.). It’s possible for someone you don’t know to use an RFID reader to scan the signal coming from your card and get your information while it’s still inside your pocket. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to keep your cards in a wallet designed to block RFID waves.
What Are The Best RFID Blocking Wallets
There are many factors to consider when choosing the RFID blocking wallet for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Style: Most RFID blocking wallets come in bifold (folds out once), trifold (folds out twice), and rodeo (vertical) styles; our guide covers all of them.
Number of card slots: We made sure all of our recommendations could hold at least six credit card slots, with room to spare for cash.
Materials: The wallets in this guide are made out of traditional materials like leather and polyurethane that’s been treated to block the RFID signal from your credit cards to prevent theft. This technology doesn’t draw power, require a battery, or make the wallet bulkier or heavier.
1. BEST OVERALL: Ridge Wallet
If we could only recommend one wallet that blocks RFID waves, it’d be this one from Ridge.
Instead of using a traditional design, Ridge’s wallet is made using two pieces of solid aluminum attached to one another with a pair of elastic straps. You can carry up to 12 cards (including IDs like a driver’s license); the wallet will expand and contract based on how full it is. You can cycle through the cards in the wallet by pushing them out slightly using the thumb cutout on the bottom.
The wallet is available in two styles: One features a money clip on the front side, and the other holds your cash using an additional elastic band. Regardless of your choice, the aluminum plates Ridge used to make its wallet will block any RFID signal from escaping.
The final reason we like this wallet is its compact shape. There’s no awkward bend, or hidden pockets for unnecessary scraps of paper. This is a streamlined wallet that’ll feel solid in your pocket, but won’t weigh you down if you carry a lot of cards or cash.
2. BEST BIFOLD: Dockers Thin Slimfold
Docker’s RFID-blocking Bifold wallet is the most traditional choice in our guide, and it’s a good one if you crave consistency.
The wallet is made out of 75% polyurethane and 25% leather. It has six card slots, plus a clear “window” slot, so you can quickly show your ID without fumbling around. There’s a wide slot for your cash, and a pair of slip pockets that’s perfect for loyalty cards you may not use every day.
If you already use a bifold wallet, making the switch to this one will be incredibly simple. It’ll feel the same way in your pocket, but offer an extra security feature your current wallet doesn’t have.
3. BEST TRIFOLD: Columbia Security Wallet
Columbia’s Security Wallet looks like a standard Trifold, but its anti-RFID lining can keep your cards protected.
The wallet has nine card slots, two slip pockets, an ID window (with a thumb hole for easy access), and a wide compartment for your cash. It’s made out of 100% leather, but its lining is made out of polyurethane. If you already have a trifold wallet the transition to using Columbia’s will be simple, but you should think twice if you’re going from a bi-fold because it’ll be a bit thicker.
Columbia’s Security Wallet is a good pick if you carry around a fair amount of credit cards, care about high quality materials, and want some additional protection against thieves.
4. BEST RODIO: Timberland PRO
Timberland’s PRO is the best rodeo style we could find that also supports RFID blocking.
The first thing you’ll notice is its vertical orientation, which means you’ll need fairly big pockets for it to fit properly. If that’s the case, you’ll find a lot to like here. The wallet has 12 card pockets (the one on the bottom left has a clear covering and is meant for your ID), one slip pocket, three cash pockets, and a back pocket. It’s made out of 100% leather, and was engineered to block RFID waves from getting through.
If you like rodeo style wallets, the Timberland Pro is a great everyday carry that can hold a lot of cards, and keep them safe.