4 Trendy Alternatives to Credit Card Sleeves

by Ankit Rawal on July 16, 2020

If you’re the type of person who carries cards instead of cash, you might want to look into buying a credit card sleeve. Credit card sleeves are a minimalist alternative to leather wallets that are becoming more attractive to people looking to minimize how much cash they carry. Credit card sleeves can also be used as additional RFID protection for individuals looking to protect the credit cards in their wallet. 


How do I protect my credit card in my wallet? 


Do RFID blocking sleeves really work? 

RFID blocking sleeves and wallets work by protecting your credit card details from scammers. Your credit cards are likely already embedded with an RFID chip which allows you to make contactless payments.

Unfortunately, your credit card information can potentially be compromised using devices called RFID scanners. RFID scanners can pick up information such as credit card numbers, CVV codes, and expiration dates. Once the scammer has your credit card information, they might be able to make a purchase using your credit card information. 

RFID blocking sleeves have a thin layer of metal or carbon fiber that prevents RFID scanners from reading your credit card’s RFID chips. Not all credit card sleeves have RFID protection, so choose carefully if having RFID protection is important to you.


Best Credit Card Sleeves

When people refer to “credit card sleeves”, they’re usually referring to one of two things. There’s the traditional credit card sleeve which is a thin piece of material with only enough space for one card. Then, there are also credit card sleeves that resemble miniature wallets. These wallet-like credit card sleeves often hold multiple credit cards. 

Traditional Credit Card Sleeves: These are extremely thin sleeves that are designed to work in tandem with a regular wallet. You slide your credit card into the sleeve and then place the sleeve in your wallet. They’re usually made out of leather, faux-leather, carbon fiber, or plastic.

Wallet Credit Card Sleeves: These types of credit card sleeves act as a wallet with space only allotted for your cards. They’re also called card case wallets. They are often made of metal, plastic, leather, or synthetic fabrics. These types of credit card sleeves are typically larger than RFID credit card sleeves and can hold multiple cards. 

Before you decide on which credit card sleeve is right for you, make sure to consider these 4 alternatives.


1. Micro Wallets 

For those looking for both RFID protection and a minimalist solution, consider a micro wallet. Like all Paperwallet accessories, micro wallets are made from Tyvek material. Tyvek is durable, eco-friendly, tear-resistant, and waterproof. These micro wallets are only 1.3 mm thick, but still can hold 8 cards and cash. In other words, they’re just as small as credit card sleeves but are much more versatile.     

best credit card sleeves


2. RFID Blocking Sleeves  

If you only use one or two trusty cards, then an RFID shield might be the perfect choice for you. Paperwallet’s RFID shields offer the same protection and practicality as a credit card sleeve at a fraction of the price. 

One of the greatest things about RFID blocking sleeves is that they’re made to fit into a wallet if needed. It’s likely that you’ll still need to use cash for some purchases, but you don’t want to leave your credit cards behind if you have to bring a traditional wallet with you. That’s why it’s good to have these RFID credit card sleeves on hand; just slide the RFID shield into your wallet and your credit cards are protected. 

It’s important to note that the RFID credit card sleeve will only protect the card that’s inside it. Even if you place additional credit cards in close proximity to an RFID shield, it still isn’t enough to provide complete protection. In order for this method to work, every credit card needs to be surrounded by its own shield. If you require RFID protection for more than one or two cards, it’s probably worth considering a minimalist RFID wallet such as a slim wallet, flat wallet, or micro wallet. 

3. Slim Wallets

Slim wallets are like micro wallets, but slightly bigger. They’re sleek wallets that are perfect for individuals who are looking to carry multiple cards and a little bit of cash. Slim wallets are significantly less bulky than traditional pocket wallets, so they’re still a good alternative for those who are interested in credit card sleeves but require a bit more space.  

Paperwallet’s slim wallets come with RFID protection and space for 12-16 cards. Similar to other Paperwallet products, they’re also made out of eco-friendly and recyclable Tyvek material and come in creative prints designed by a variety of artists. 

slim wallet

4. Phone Wallets

Do you always have your phone with you? If so, you might want to consider purchasing a phone wallet. They usually have space for 3-6 cards and an extra pouch for a few bills or receipts. Phone wallets are both functional and practical, however, they’re not for people that often misplace their phone. There’s nothing worse than losing both your phone and wallet at the same time.  


What credit card sleeve or wallet should you buy? 

Before you buy a credit card sleeve or wallet, you’ll want to consider what aesthetic and comfort level you’re looking for. In terms of designs, the majority of credit card sleeves come in plain, neutral colors. Think brown, black, beige, and grey. If a more interesting design is what you’re looking for, Paperwallet has a variety of micro wallets and card case wallets with unique designs by emerging artists. 

If you’re the type of person who likes to carry their wallet in their pocket, then you’ll want to consider how comfortable your credit card sleeve will be. Materials like metal and hard plastic can feel uncomfortable while you’re walking or sitting down. Even hard leather can feel uncomfortable, depending on the size of the wallet. If comfort is important to you, look into more flexible fabrics such as Tyvek or supple leather.

To learn more about the different types of credit card sleeves and card cases available, browse our collection of RFID blocking sleeves, micro wallets, and slim wallets.

Shop Credit Card Sleeves & Alternatives



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