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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Crowd GPS (also called crowd search, community search, or lost and found network) uses a tracking network such as Chipolo, Tile, or Cubto find any lost item that has a tracker connected to that network. When the phone of another member of the network comes within Bluetooth range of the lost item, that phone will anonymously send the GPS location of the lost item through the network to the owner’s phone.

A Bluetooth tracker can track anything (such as a wallet) you don’t want to lose. It communicates with a smartphone with an app over a Bluetooth connection. Because smartphones have GPS capability, the phone shows the current location of the tracked item on a map. If not connected, the map will show the last known location.

A GPS tracker provides real-time location data without the need for a GPS-enabled smartphone. It is larger than a Bluetooth tracker, consumes more power, and generally requires a monthly subscription fee. For these reasons,  GPS trackers are rarely used in smart wallets.

Anti-theft, anti-lose, and anti-lost wallets are all names for the same things. These hi-tech wallets incorporate special features such as Bluetooth tracking, crowd GPS, last seen location, and out-of-reach detection to prevent a wallet from being lost or stolen. Anti-theft wallets usually require a smartphone and an app to function.

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. Contactless-type credit cards have an RFID chip imbedded in them. The chip uses NFC technology to transmit account information wirelessly with radio waves to a vendor’s credit card reader. A high tech thief could potentially intercept these transmissions, so many hi-tech wallets have RFID-blocking technology built into them.

An RFID chip refers to the tiny microchip visible on the face of a contactless-type credit or debit card. When the card is tapped or waved in front of a merchant’s credit card reader, the RFID chip wirelessly transmits the card’s account information to complete a transaction. This chip uses NFC (Near Filed Communication) technology.

Contactless-type credit cards, also known as tap-and-go cards, contain an RFID chip. A vendor’s credit card reader wirelessly captures the card’s account information when the card is waved in front of it. A criminal with his own RFID reader can potentially steal or “skim” this information simply by getting close enough to the person carrying the card.

contactless credit card, also called a tap-and-go card, uses a RFID chip that wirelessly transmits the card’s account information to a credit card terminal. Because thieves can potentially steal this information, many wallets and credit card holders are made with special materials that block the specific wavelengths that RFID chips use to communicate.

Most anti-lost wallets do not have true built-in GPS tracking capability. Tracking networks such as Tile, Chipolo, and Woolet each have an app that pairs your phone with one of their tracking devices using wireless Bluetooth technology. These networks require the realtime GPS positioning capabiity of your phone to track your wallet.

Bluetooth is a radio technology that wirelessly connects phones and computers to headphones, speakers, hearing aids, printers, hi-tech wallets, and a myriad of other electronic devices. It has a short-range, about 30 meters, and requires very little power to operate. Bluetooth operates on the same radio frequency as Wi-Fi, but with less range and speed. 

What is a savvy wallet?

savvy wallet is any wallet with technical or design enhancements that go beyond the plain leather billfold that has been unchanged for centuries. Some incorporate special materials to block unauthorized RFID scans. Others contain a tracking device that makes them difficult to lose. Several more have built-in mechanisms that instantly fan out credit cards.

A pop-up wallet utilizes a mechanism to eject credit cards for quick access. Generally, the wallet uses a lever, button, or slider to fan out credit cards so that a single card can be quickly and easily chosen. Lefada, Secrid, and Ekster are 3 wallets manufacturers that use this pop-up delivery system for credit cards.

minimalist wallet is usually compact, slim, and lightweight.  By design, it cuts any wasted space down to the bone. It usually appeals to people who want to un-complicate and declutter their lives by carrying only the barest of essentials. The payoff is a wallet that is easy to carry and with little or no front pocket bulge.

Tracking networks such as ChipoloTile, and Trackr all manufacture a thin, credit card size tracking card designed to fit into a wallet. The tracking card uses Bluetooth to wirelessly connect with a smartphone using the tracking network’s app. It utilizes the GPS capability of the phone to track the wallet’s location.

All contact-type credit cards come with an embedded EMV electronic chip. EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa. This technology has replaced the much less secure magnetic stripe that credit cards have used for decades. Because an EMV chip credit card must be inserted into a merchant’s credit card reader, it is safe from RFID skimming.

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. It is a subset of RFID. Contactless-type credit cards utilize an NFC chip with an embedded RFID antenna to transfer financial information wirelessly to a merchant’s credit card reader. When the card is waved near a credit card terminal, the NFC chip transmits a one-time code (a token) to complete the transaction.

A contactless credit card has an embedded chip that uses RFID and NFC technology. This chip transmits a credit card’s financial information wirelessly to a credit card terminal. To complete a transaction, a card owner either taps or waves the card in front of the terminal. A contactless card has an icon on the back with four curved bars that look like radio waves.

A cardholder wallet is designed to hold credit cards and other plastic cards that are the same size. A cardholder wallet often has an ejection system that fans out the cards, such as the Ekster and Secrid wallets. It’s usually minimalist in size, too, barely larger than the size of the cards it contains. 

Full-grain leather (also known as head leather) comes from the topmost part of a tanned hide. It has all of the natural grain, including the marks, scrapes, and imperfections that come with it. This is the thickest, most durable, and long-lasting leather, but also the most difficult to stitch and work with.  

Top grain leather is created by sanding off the top layer of a hide. This creates a thinner leather that is more pliable and uniform in appearance. Leather tanneries imprint it with an imitation grain and treat it with a finish coat to discourage stains.  

Crazy Horse leather is the kind of leather used in saddle making. A special wax is applied to full-grain leather to make it more water-resistant and durable with a well-worn vintage look that gets better over time. As Crazy Horse leather ages, it develops its own personality with variable shades and colors.

A contact-type credit card has to be physically inserted into a credit card reader in order for the information on its chip to be read. Contact credit cards use what’s called an EMV chip that has to make physical contact with the credit card terminal to complete a transaction. These cards are safe from RFID skimming.

A neck wallet goes around your neck and hangs with a strap or lanyard. It is designed to be tucked under a shirt, blouse, or jacket and completely hidden from view. Travelers often choose a neck wallet to keep their passport, credit cards, and other valuables safe and undetectable. It is more comfortable and far less clumsy than a money belt.

A tactical wallet is a credit card holder that typically doubles as a multi-tool. It can store a $20 bill, open a beer bottle, or pry a nail out of a 2 x 4. The tools are cryptically built-in and generally “disappear” into the wallet design. It usually has a high-tech look and appeals to outdoor enthusiasts who lean strongly towards a minimalist lifestyle.

EDC stands for EveryDay Carry. It’s the wallet you put into your pocket or purse and carry with you wherever you go. Your EDC might be a minimalist wallet or one that holds 36 different cards, your passport, and a smartphone. Large or small, your EDC wallet contains the essentials you need whenever you venture out into the world.

A knock off is a slang term for any product that copies an existing product design. These copies are often superficially indistinguishable from the original and usually sold for a cheaper price. The Ridge wallet, for example, has dozens of knock offs that are rebranded with another manufacturer’s name but have essentially the same design.

Carbon fiber consists of very thin filaments of carbon atoms that are bound together with a plastic polymer resin. This produces a material that can be five times stronger than aluminum or steel. Carbon fiber is rigid with high tensile strength while remaining very lightweight. Its strength depends on the weave and density of the carbon fibers.

You’ll like a pop-up style wallet like the Ekster Senate if you want to eject your cards. For the smallest possible card holder, choose a wallet like the Ridge that holds your cards between rigid plates. Pick the Kore Slim for a card holder with a removable and standalone money clip.

A front pocket wallet is a slim, minimalist wallet designed to be carried in the front pocket of a pair of pants. It is smaller and thinner than a traditional wallet, often no larger than a credit card. There is usually a money clip or band to carry small amounts of cash.

It depends on the person and the size of the card holder. I like to carry 2 credit cards, driver’s license, insurance card, AAA card, and sometimes a gift or shopper card. Several $20 bills slide under my money clip along with occasional receipts and business cards. Good example: Kore Slim wallet.

Try a card ejector wallet that holds your cards in a rigid aluminum case. Your cards stay reliably inside until you press a button or lever that pushes them out. These wallets usually hold about 6 cards, are minimalist in size, and display your cards in an easy-to-access fan. Good example: Ekster Senate card holder.

With a sandwich-design card holder (like the Ridge), you insert cards between metal plates then push them out from one side. For pop-up styles (like the Ekster Senate), you eject your cards with the push of a button. For others (like the Kore Slim) you simply tug on a leather pull-out strap that displays your cards.

If you carry a lot of cash, receipts, coins (and other excess baggage), then a more traditional wallet might be best for you. However, if you rely on just a few cards and are shooting towards a more minimalist everyday carry, definitely go with a slim and compact card holder. Example: Secrid Cardprotector.

Can you put money in a card holder?

Nearly all card holders include a money clip or money strap for small amounts of cash. Generally, you have to fold your bills over twice to make them fit the narrow profile that defines most card holder wallets. The Ekster Senate and Fidelo Hybrid, for instance, hold your cash under a secure elastic strap outside the wallet.

What is EMF radiation?

Every electronic device, from toasters to ceiling fans, emits some form of EMF (Electromagnetic Field) radiation. Smartphones use a type called RF (Radio Frequency). WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, 4G, and 5G cell networks, GPS, RFID, and NFC are all EMFs that a smartphone uses to communicate with the outside world.

How do EMF cell phone cases work?

An EMF blocking cell phone case uses special shielding that blocks EMF radiation. Generally, only the front flap of the case contains this shielding. The back of the wallet allows the EMF frequencies of your cellular network, Bluetooth, and WiFi to pass through. Otherwise, your phone wouldn’t work.

What materials are wallets made from?

Wallets are made from a variety of materials depending on specific brand and style. Some of the more common materials include leather, vegan or faux leather, aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber, and stainless steel. Less common are Tyvek, plastic, and recycled firehose.

Who makes the best savvy wallet?

There is no one savvy wallet maker that beats all the rest. It depends on what you’re after. Some standout wallet manufacturers include Ekster, Bellroy, Ridge, Dango, Trayvax, Vaultskin, and Secrid.

Which pocket should I keep my wallet in?

The best pocket for men is definitely the right or left front pocket. It’s more comfortable, it’s safer from pickpockets, and it’s easier on your back than sitting on your wallet. Most contemporary wallets are minimalist enough to fit in just about any front pocket.

What is the difference between a card holder and a wallet?

A cardholder is designed to carry cards along with a small amount of cash. Most card holders are minimalist in size, barely larger than the size of a credit card. Wallets are more traditional, usually with a bifold or trifold design. They are better suited for people who prefer to carry cash, coins, keys, or photos.

What is the Leather Working Group (LWG)?

The Leather Working Group (LWG) is an international organization that develops protocols which assess the environmental performance of leather tanneries. The LWF audits each participating tannery and awards them with a gold, silver, or bronze rating. This creates standards for environmental priorities and best practices for tanneries to follow, such as reducing water, energy, and chemical use. 

What is CNC Aluminum?

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. When something is machined using CNC, a computer program guides the machining process. CNC can produce highly complex 3D objects with a high degree of precision. Aluminum wallets such as the Dango D01 Dapper are machined with this process.