Imagine this; heading to work one morning, you realize you are getting late for work. As you weave through the human traffic, the unthinkable happens. A stranger with an RFID reader manages to skim your credit card information as he stood next to you. Just like that, your personal details are obtained, a copy of your card is made, and you lose thousands of dollars as a result. Seems impossible right? Well, you may need to think again.
There is an upsurge of such cases; not just in the US, but worldwide where RFID-enabled credit cards are in use. Although the statistics are not yet available on the exact number of cases reported, there is an urgent need to protect your credit cards from identity theft. Fortunately, RFID wallets are here to salvage the situation.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), works by transmitting waves through the air, for purposes of identity. This technology is the same one radio stations use to transmit their broadcasts. While it is an innovative way for credit cards to operate, compared to swiping, it can expose you to crafty individual out to harvest your personal information. To prevent that, an RFID wallet works by blocking transmission of your credit card information. This means, as long as your credit card is in the RFID wallet, any attempt at identity theft, will be thwarted.
Top 10 RFID Wallets of 2020 Reviewed
1. HIMI Leather RIFD Blocking Wallet[wt_products id=”3702″ template=”5″]
2. Protectif RFID Blocking Secure Mini Wallet[wt_products id=”3704″ template=”5″]
3. Estalon Leather Wallet with RFID Blocking Card[wt_products id=”3706″ template=”5″]
4. Buffway Slim Minimalist Leather Wallet[wt_products id=”3708″ template=”5″]
5. Serman Brands RFID Leather Wallet[wt_products id=”3714″ template=”5″]
6. GDTK Leather Wallet for women[wt_products id=”3710″ template=”5″]
7. Venture 4th Travel Neck Pouch[wt_products id=”3712″ template=”5″]
8.Travando Money Clip Wallet[wt_products id=”3716″ template=”5″]
9. BRYK Card Holder Case[wt_products id=”3718″ template=”5″]
10. Radix One Slim Wallet[wt_products id=”3720″ template=”5″]
What it takes to get a good RFID wallet – Buying Guide
Notably, the main objective of an RFID wallet is to prevent your credit card information from falling into the wrong hands. However, not all RFID wallets deliver what they claim. As such, you ought to understand what it takes to get a good RFID wallet. The most effective RFID wallets are either made from metal, canvas, synthetic materials, hard plastic or leather. Such type of casing plays a huge role in blocking an electromagnetic field, similar to those found in RFID scanners. It is worth noting, however, that the casing only acts as a complementary aid to blocking RFID scanners.
RFID wallets are equipped with a protective sheath that blocks the signal referred to as a Faraday Cage. When an identity thief tries skimming, the Faraday Cage ensures the credit card is opaque, and cannot be accessed. It is this feature that makes RFID wallets stand out from the conventional wallets, but it does not in any way affect their size or design.
A Faraday Cage consists of wrapping or layer constructed using either metal or carbon fiber. This feature usually goes unnoticed. In fact, RFID wallets look and feel just like the standard wallet. RFID wallets can be categorized into three;
- Men’s RFID wallets
- Women’s RFID wallets
- Breast pocket RFID wallets
Take note of the style and design
RFID wallets come in various shapes and sizes. Choose your preferred RFID wallet depending on its intended use. For example, if you have numerous credit cards, pick a wallet with several compartments to accommodate each card separately. Most RFID wallets come with this feature. Others have extras like slots to keep coins, ID’s, travel documents, tickets, receipts and driving licenses. A wallet should be chosen based on appearance and functionality.
Here are some of the most common styles of RFID wallets available and their uses;
1. Bi-fold or Billfold RFID Wallet
These are the most common wallets in the market. In fact, when the word wallet is mentioned, chances are, billfold wallets will be the first to come to mind. The billfold wallet was designed to fit into jacket and pant pockets. The wallets come with a few different compartments for various bill denominations. They also have provisions for credit and store cards, and a transparent slot for an identification card. The wallets open and close like a book.
2. Tri-fold RFID Wallet
Tri-fold wallets resemble billfold wallets. The only difference is they have more storage space. The tri-fold wallets come with an additional compartment located at the back of the wallet to store receipts, coins and note currency. All the three compartments can be used to store credit cards, cash, photos and IDs. The compartments can then be folded up to become one. The only downside associated with tri-fold wallets is they can get very bulky.
3. Breast pocket RFID wallet
Designed long and thin to fit into a trench coat or jacket breast pocket, the wallet comes with numerous compartments for various uses. It has several card slots. The cash slots are unique as you do not have to fold the bill. Breast pocket wallets also have provisions for other documents such as travel documents, tickets and cheque books. Owing to the generous space available, the breast pocket wallet is also fondly referred to as the travel, secretary or checkbook wallet.
4. Accordian RFID Wallet
Just like the name suggests, the wallet resembles an accordion. The wallet’s design is thick and comes with a zippered pocket. It also has several compartments for credit cards, cash, travel documents, coins and identity cards. The accordion wallet can store all your important documents under one roof, but it can also get extremely heavy and bulky.
5. Side-by-Side RFID Wallet
This is a thin wallet designed with two full compartments on opposite sides, to store your credit cards and cash. Instead of folding along the breadth, the side-by-side wallet folds along its length. The wallet is an excellent choice for those who are not fond of bulky wallets.
6. Wrist RFID Wallets
If you need to see and feel your wallet at all times, then the wrist wallet would come in handy. Designed for both men and women, the wallet is thin and provides a hands-free option. It also comes with several compartments to store credit cards and cash. Some wrist wallets have a convenient smartphone storage pocket on the exterior and come in various styles and colors.
7. RFID Jimi Wallet
The case of a Jimi wallet is made using hard plastic and has cash and credit card slots on either side. To protect its contents, it snaps shut and has a clip at the back of wallet to attach to the belt band. The Jimi wallet is popular, especially with people who take part in water sports as it is water-proof. It is also light and does not get bulky, favoring people who are always on the move.
8. RFID Money Clip
Designed with a heavy duty metal clip, this wallet can hold several credit cards and lots of cash at a go. The money clip wallet is for individuals who prefer a high level of organization. The wallet comes with an array of different compartments that can be customized, and allocated to specific credit cards. Money clip wallets also have a provision for the owner’s name or initials.
9. Designer RFID Wallets
Due to the current huge demand for RFID wallets, many designer labels have thrown their hats into the ring. Some of them include; Lethnic, Tomy Hilfiger, Serman, MaxGear, Travelambo, Zero Grid, Prada, among others. The advantage of designer labels is the wallets come in different designs and colors, offering you a wider variety to choose from. Quality is also assured.
A look at Functionality
Wallets come in all shapes, sizes and are made from various materials. The level of functionality of your choice of wallet should be based on your lifestyle. If you prefer to carry the bare necessities, choose a minimalist wallet. In case you travel a lot, then a more secure option would be the best. Quick and easy access is also worth considering especially for the cards you use the most. Some wallets have thumb notches to increase the level of grip.
What Materials are available?
The most common material for RFID wallets is leather. When it comes to durability, studies and tests have shown genuine leather wallets are some of the most durable. This, though, depends on individual use and the levels of wear and tear. It is worth noting, however, that leather does not always translate to quality. There is low and high-quality leather. Full-grain leather offers the best quality compared to genuine leather. The pricing is also different with full-grain leather wallets costing more.
On the other hand, there are Silk RFID Wallets, mostly designed for women. Silk wallets come in various colorful, eye-catching and intricate designs and prints. Some are made for special occasions, while others are for daily use. The wallets serve as credit card and cash holders. Compared to leather wallets, silk wallets are cheaper but less durable and are prone to damage and tears. Curiously, men’s silk wallets are also available but come in more sober designs.
Another common material for RFID Wallets is fabric. Wallets in this category can be made using cotton, polyvinyl, nylon, microfiber and synthetics. They also come with various compartments for credit cards, documents and cash. When choosing a fabric wallet, it is advisable to pick one that is water-proof for the enhanced safety of your valuables. Fabric wallets are cheap and durable, depending on individual care and usage.
In a nutshell, settle for an RFID wallet from a well known reliable brand. Some RFID wallets have been known to be effective for a short duration before the ability to block skimmers wears off. Buying from a trusted brand considerably reduces the chances of purchasing a low-quality RFID wallet.
RFID wallets are made using various materials. Metal, leather and synthetic materials have proved to be longer-lasting. The three materials also offer more protection from external forces. Genuine leather RFID wallets may be slightly expensive compared to the others, but they are worth every penny in the long-term.
Online stores provide the best platform to shop and purchase RFID wallets. This is because they offer a wide variety of designs, styles, prints and colors. Take your time though, and read through the reviews and ratings, before adding anything to your cart.
Identity theft is real, and protecting yourself by purchasing an RFID wallet is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Prevention is always better than cure, and you are better safe than sorry.