Best Women's Wallets

Updated January 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

26 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
335 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best women’s wallets

Last Updated January 2020

Choosing a wallet is quite the commitment. For some women, it’s tough to find the perfect wallet that balances function and necessity with style. After all, a wallet has to hold a collection of your most important items.

Women’s wallets come in just as many shapes and sizes as handbags. There are simple styles like card holders or change purses. There are also wallets that are on par with personal organizers, housing everything except the kitchen sink, including a pocket for wet wipes. If you’re looking for a wallet that keeps up with the times, you can find a broad range of RFID-blocking styles, as well as those that do double duty as power banks.

Before you pull out the plastic for your next wallet purchase, give our buying guide a read. We review various styles, share helpful tips, and offer some of our favorites to make your choice a simple one.

Believe it or not, many consider a wallet to be a more personal purchase than a handbag. Be mindful of this when giving gifts. Unless you are certain about your decision, your best bet is to opt for a different gift.

Key considerations

Capacity

A wallet holds essentials, namely your license or identification and some cash or a credit card. Whatever else you intend to carry in it, there should be ample space. A good rule of thumb when comparing wallets is to choose one with a couple more slots and compartments than you need right now. That way, if you obtain additional credit cards or need to hold something else, there’s already room.

Wallets share many of the same components, yet wallets couldn’t be more different from one another. Here are some of the main features you’ll find.

ID slot: This slot typically features a window that lets you display your driver’s license or other identification without removing it from the wallet. Some wallets have ID slots on the outside for convenience, whereas others have them tucked inside with the rest of the card slots.

Credit card slots: Almost all wallets feature at least a couple credit card slots. Depending on how tightly the wallet’s material is sewn together, you might be able to keep only one card in each slot.

Bills compartment: Some wallets have a dedicated bills compartment or, at the very least, an area to store bills. Other smaller styles, such as card cases, lack this feature.

Coin compartment: Many larger wallets feature a coin compartment. This is a flat pouch that either zips or snaps closed. Some wallets have more than one area to store coins or have a subdivided coin compartment.

Style

Style and fashion most certainly play a role in choosing a wallet. Choose your favorite color or brand or go to town with embellishments like rhinestones. So long as the wallet remains functional enough to suit your needs, you’ll be fine.

EXPERT TIP

Your everyday wallet might not be your best option for travel. Other countries have currency of different sizes, so invest in a universal travel wallet for your trip.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Size

When considering capacity, it’s helpful to know the different wallet styles. Sizing is extraordinarily subjective to the manufacturer, not to mention the consumer. Here’s a rundown of small, midsize, and large wallet styles.

Small: This category best suits those who have mastered the art of paring down their wallets to the bare essentials. Some people prefer these for occasional use, while for others it’s the only way to go.

  • Card case: These wallets only store credit cards, and only a few at that. They’re as convenient and compact as you can go.
  • Single compartment: Wallets with a single compartment store even less than a card case, and sometimes only hold folded bills, a couple coins, and a couple cards, but not necessarily all at the same time.
  • Folding: These wallets include bifold and trifold styles and tend to be closer to the size of a deck of cards. Your bills will be folded over, and you’ll only have room for up to six cards.
     

Midsize: Wallets of this size tend to be the most popular. They hold a modest collection of currency and credit cards for everyday use. They’re best for those who wish to have a single everyday wallet that suits a broad range of needs.

  • Folding: These bifold and trifold styles are closer to 5 or 6 inches in length and have a significantly larger capacity. While much thicker than smaller wallets, they’re a good happy medium for the average person.
  • Wristlet: While these are essentially a separate category in their own right, we can’t ignore that wristlets are considered wallets. They tend to have one or two large compartments, so they’re considered a “catchall” style to hold a variety of money-related items.
     

Large: Can’t bring yourself to downsize your wallet? There are indeed wallets for you, with plenty of space to hold items other than money and credit cards.

  • Checkbook: These wallets accommodate a checkbook as their main item, and they often have space for bills and a few credit cards. While large and on the verge of being outdated, they’re still popular for traditionalists.
  • Continental: Continental wallets boast an impressive capacity. Some have as many as 16 credit card slots, not to mention a variety of compartments for checkbook, bills, receipts, and coins. They’re often rather bulky, and understability heavy when filled, so they’re best for women who like the idea of carrying one in an oversize handbag or as a clutch purse.
  • Travel: Travel wallets have oversize compartments to accommodate foreign currency, as well as passport, tickets, and credit cards. They’re often large and bulky, so they’re rarely adopted for everyday use. Some travel wallets also have the highly desirable RFID-blocking technology as well.

RFID blocking

With the prevalence of identity theft, it’s common for women to want an RFID-blocking wallet. These wallets are designed with special materials that block signals from radio-frequency identification (RFID) skimmers, which are used for contactless theft. RFID blocking is usually seen in less expensive wallets, though high-end brands have also begun to adopt this technology in their wallets.

Power bank

If you’re looking to save space in your handbag, consider a hybrid wallet/power bank. Half wallet, half portable charging unit, these self-contained wallets help maintain order inside your purse. Many of these wallets come with a short cable to eliminate tangles, though more often than not, you’ll need to supply your own.

Material

For some women, a wallet’s material plays a major role in the purchase. It also affects the longevity of the wallet. There are pros and cons to each material, and we’ve got them covered for you to weigh your options:

Leather: Leather tends to outlast all other wallet materials. It comes in a variety of attractive finishes, including suede and cross-grain leather. However, leather’s luxurious look and texture come at a higher price, so these wallets are the most expensive. A fully loaded leather wallet is also rather heavy.

Synthetic: Vinyl and other synthetic materials are almost as popular as leather. Vinyl can look and even feel like leather, but it usually costs a fraction of the price and weighs much less. These wallets are often water resistant, and if well constructed they can hold up to years of use. However, it’s easy to spot a poorly made synthetic wallet because it peels, cracks, or comes apart at the seams. Synthetic materials can also retain a chemical smell, even long after the wallet has been in use.

Cloth: There are also cloth wallets, more recently popularized by Vera Bradley and Lilly Pulitzer. These lightweight, soft wallets can quite easily accommodate notorious wallet overstuffers. Cloth wallets are also popular as “first” wallets for young girls. However, cloth retains moisture, so avoid getting the wallet wet at all costs. Some consumers shy away from cloth wallets because they don’t have the luxurious look and feel of more traditional materials.

EXPERT TIP

Wallets sustain considerable wear and tear in a handbag or gym bag. To keep its materials in the best shape, store keys, pens, and other such items in separate compartments.


Staff  | BestReviews

Women’s wallet prices

Women’s wallets cost between $10 and $1,800, so there’s definitely a wallet for every budget. As expected, premium materials and luxury brands drive up the price.

Inexpensive: Wallets that cost less than $50 typically include styles made from synthetic materials, though there are some leather wallets in this range.

Mid-range: Spend between $50 and $150, and you can find a broad range of wallets made from premium materials. These generally last much longer than their less expensive counterparts.

Expensive: If you’re willing to spend between $150 and $500, expect to see wallets from high-end brands. There are some smaller styles from designer brands in this bracket, though it’s more common to see their full-size styles priced at $750 and above.

EXPERT TIP

Wallets with metal embellishments, like logos and buckles, are classy and elegant. The only downside is that these stylish touches can make the wallet significantly heavier.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Choose a bright color or bold design. It’s no surprise that a wallet can get lost in your handbag, so make your search easier by choosing a wallet in a loud color or design.
  • Buy multiple wallet styles. You’ll have one everyday wallet, of course, but you might also want to invest in smaller or larger styles to suit other needs, such as a night out or an international trip.
  • Avoid overstuffing your wallet. A quick way to wear out your wallet is to fill it to bursting. Either downsize the contents to the essentials or consider a larger, more appropriate style.

Other products we considered

We have some great wallets in our matrix, but we found a couple more you might like. Minimalists will love this Coach Signature Flat Card Case. It features four slots to hold your ID and a couple of your most-used credit cards. Available in classic tan and gold with the signature brass Coach logo, it’s the perfect versatile wallet. Slim and lightweight, it’s a popular pocket-friendly style for the days you forgo a handbag.

We’re also impressed by the Gucci Petite Marmont Zip Around Wallet, especially in Hibiscus Red leather. Made in Italy, this stunning style features an interior zipper coin pocket as well as a dozen card slots. Its three-quarter zipper allows easy access to all compartments. It goes without saying that its shiny, grainy finish makes this wallet attractive enough to show off as a clutch.   

It’s not unusual for wallets to go through a breaking-in period. Materials like leather or vinyl often need to loosen up, which naturally occurs as you repeatedly open and close the wallet.

FAQ

Q. What’s the best wallet for someone who doesn’t like to carry a handbag?
A.
It’s a tough call, since it really depends on how hands-free you need to be. Some women are comfortable holding their wallet in their hand like a clutch, so any size will do. Others prefer wallets that can be tucked inside a pocket, in which case mini wallets are a solid choice. Another option is to explore a wristlet. It’s hands-free but feels securely attached to your body.
 

Q. Why are so many wallet styles discontinued?
A.
Besides being replaced with newer iterations, many wallets fall out of fashion. This often happens because their functional features aren’t essential anymore. Certain wallets from a decade ago had pockets to store original iPods. Today, we see fewer and fewer wallets with coin compartments because many consumers prefer to stick with plastic or bills.
 

Q. How do I clean a leather wallet?
A.
Maintain a leather wallet with appropriate leather cleaning products, and spot clean when necessary. For a deeper cleaning or for a stubborn stain, take your wallet to an experienced dry cleaner. Not all dry cleaners clean leather, though, so you may be referred elsewhere.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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