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Should I Switch to a Minimalist Wallet? (Pros and Cons)

Is your wallet full of things that you'll never use? Most people carry receipts, credit cards, and point card rewards programs in their wallets, assuming they'll need them later.

Perhaps you feel that overflowing wallets make you better prepared. The reality is that a bulky wallet makes it more difficult to find things. What's the point of being prepared if it only slows you down? This is one of the top reasons why many people have switched to using a compact, minimalist wallet.

Rise of the Minimalist

A minimalist lifestyle frees your mind to focus on what is essential. Distractions clutter up our lives when we accumulate things. Eventually, the burdens outweigh the benefits.

Pursuing a minimalistic mindset will grow you into someone who is more resistant to the habit of accumulating "things." If you have ever felt like your wallet is so packed that it feels too heavy to carry, a minimalist approach might be just what the doctor ordered. 

A minimalist leather wallet is not for everyone, though. So we're going to discuss some pros and cons of switching to a minimalist wallet. Keep reading below!

How to Use a Minimalist Wallet

An average minimalist wallet has several card slots, allowing you to hold up to seven cards. They are the thinnest compact men’s designer wallets possible, and some come with an ID window.

Some come with a built-in pull tab or a built-in bottle opener, though not all of them do. There's sometimes an integrated money clip or pocket where you can keep a few bills.

[Related: How to Use a Minimalist Wallet (The Smart Way)]

Pros and Cons


Reduces theft risk

Carrying many credit and debit cards with you can be a considerable risk. Besides the fact that it's easy for someone to steal all of your money if they find out where you store it, carrying so much also means having items that might not get used often enough. 

A minimalistic wallet is more efficient because they focus on one primary payment method and an alternate just in case you should lose the main form of payment, making it less of a gold mine for a thief to steal.

leather minimalist wallet

Less Clutter and Distractions

The traditional bi-fold wallets provide you with enough space to carry your ID, cards, cash, and coins. But it is because of their larger size that other items get introduced, such as coupons or business cards, which become bulky.

On the other hand, slim wallets have been designed for everyday carry essentials, like credit cards, cash, and IDs, so you can easily access these necessities without having to search.

[Related: How to Clean Leather Wallet (A Quick & Easy Guide)]

Eases Back Pain

back pocket wallet

Regular wallets have a tendency to be heavy and bulky, leading to neck or back pain.  The best minimalist wallets are far more comfortable because they provide quick access to the bare essentials without contributing to strain.


Easy to Misplace

If you are the type who often misplaces your wallet, a slim wallet may not be for you. The size is small enough to make it easy to lose in a crowded purse or bag, making it tough to find your credit and debit cards when you need them.

Not Having Something You Need

minimalist wallet with card holder

If you are someone who carries multiple forms of payment, minimalist wallets may not be for you. The small size can make it difficult to carry cash and your ID card. You can't carry up to eight cards with a slim wallet—it's closer to up to 4-5 embossed cards and up to six cards if they're flat business cards.

Because of the slim design of a front-pocket wallet, you must prioritize what goes in it. There's a possibility that you could discard something from your wallet that seemed unimportant at the moment, only to realize you needed it later.

How to Choose the Best Minimalist Wallet

In our recent blog, we covered some of the essential attributes of a minimalist wallet. Read on for a quick summary of the most important qualities to look for.

1. Look for High-Quality Construction

Whatever your minimalist wallet is made out of, the materials should be high-quality and the construction should be top-notch. More on how to find the best leather minimalist wallet later!

2. Get a Compact Wallet That Holds Only What You Need

A great wallet for minimalists should have a sleek design that allows you to hold a few cards that you use most often. You only need about four credit card slots to hold your driver's license and credit or debit card, and a money clip or cash compartment to hold your folded bills.

3. For Superior Comfort, Choose the Thinnest Wallets with Leather Construction

Unlike bulky wallets, slimmer wallets are more comfortable in the pocket and don't lead to uncomfortable back pain. However, most minimalist wallets are not made from leather, but rigid materials.

Large wallets can lead to spinal alignment issues, which then cause piriformis syndrome or sciatica. To avoid these issues, it's best to choose the slimmest wallet possible.

Leather wallets are extremely durable, and some offer a minimalist aesthetic with card pockets that provide easy access to cash and cards with RFID-blocking technology

4. Use RFID-Blocking Wallets

anti-rfid wallet

Contactless payment is great but it has led to another way for thieves to steal your card information. By choosing a card holder with RFID-blocking technology, you can be safe from thieves—although not all wallets are created equal.

An RFID-blocking metal wallet could pinch you or be uncomfortable to sit on if you ever need to sit on a hard surface and have it in your back pocket. For that reason, it's a good idea to look for more than a card holder, but a bifold leather wallet that will provide the RFID protection you need with a minimalist design.

5. How to Spot the Best Genuine Leather Wallet

The best type of leather wallet you can buy will be made from full-grain leather. A full-grain bifold wallet is made from the best genuine leather possible. It's made from the thickest and best-quality leather.

For the most stylish wallet possible, go with top-grain. Over time, it develops a patina and is the classic option for discerning individuals.

Read our guide on how to choose a good leather wallet for an in-depth discussion.

Final Thoughts on Regular Wallets vs. Small Minimalist Wallets

This is one instance where you should go with what works best for you. If having a minimalist wallet would cause issues, then, by all means, stick to your regular size.

If not, minimalist wallets with a few card slots and pockets can become the perfect solution. Carry around only what's necessary for today's digital age and help reduce the number of things that create clutter.

We believe Cardinal Wallets are the best minimalist wallets on the market today—take a look at our collection to see if they're right for you!

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