Being a points and miles collector has certain challenges, especially when it comes to the number of cards that you carry. I love the idea of being a minimalist and only carrying what I need. Though when it comes to credit cards, I can’t carry only one card, especially when I’m trying to maximize bonus categories with different credit cards. Which is why I’m excited to share our Bellroy Card Pocket review!
Why I dislike traditional wallets
For many years, I carried a traditional bi-fold leather wallet. I found that the pockets eventually stretched because I was cramming so many cards in them. Since I was rotating cards in and out depending on the rotating bonus categories, I rarely had the same number of cards in my wallet every quarter. This caused cards to fall out of the wallet, causing me to rethink my carry solution.
I also tried a non-leather minimalist wallet for about a year called the HuMn wallet. This is a wallet consisting of two carbon fiber plates held by an elastic band. While it works well, I prefer a softer material. I find the harder materials to cause more wear in my pocket. The wallet also felt more noticeable.
When I got the Bellroy Card Pocket, it was exactly what I was looking for. I know a lot of you have posted questions about the wallet, so in this video/post, I wanted to review the wallet and share why I use it.
Bellroy is an Australian company that was started in the early 2000s with the goal of creating minimalist and responsibly-sourced wallets. They now have all sorts of products, including wallets for both men and women, bags, laptop and tablet sleeves, phone cases, pouches, key cases, and notebooks. Their goal is to create highly functional products that improve the way you carry items in your daily life.
Highlights of the Bellroy Card Pocket wallet
Below are some of the main features of the Bellroy Card Pocket.
1. Simple design:
The zippered wallet has a simple design with two inner pockets and one main area in the middle. I use the smaller inner pocket for my cash. I basically tri-fold the bills and slide them into the side pocket. Bellroy markets the other pocket for coins, but I use it to store business cards and a Tile Slim. I reserve the middle area for all my credit and identification cards. Bellroy says that the wallet can accommodate more than 15 cards, and I believe that’s accurate. Right now I have nine cards in mine (plus four business cards), and it still has room for more.
Not only does the zipper keep everything secure, but it keeps out a lot of the dirt and dust that tends to build up in traditional wallets. Some people may be concerned about the cards getting scratched or worn out when loosely held in the wallet, but I haven’t noticed any issues with my cards. It might be because we’re using the chip rather than the magnetic strip more often for transactions. Though I haven’t noticed any major wear on my credit cards from being in my wallet over the past few years.
One thing that I like to do is order my cards with my dining card first and my debit and driver’s license toward the end. This makes it easy to find specific cards in the stack. It also helps to remember which card I need to use when trying to maximize a bonus category.
The liner inside is some form of elastic nylon. Bellroy also added a print to the liner giving it some personality, which is a nice little touch.
2. Small size:
I appreciate the minimal wallet design and use of materials. This means that there aren’t layers of materials on top of each other that would normally create bulk in a wallet. Despite having a lot of capacity, the wallet is tiny. This is actually the smallest wallet I have ever used, and is one of the reasons it continues to be part of my daily life. I’m able to keep it in my front pocket along with my keys without it feeling bulky or noticeable.
3. Full-grain leather:
Bellroy uses full-grain leather in their products which is responsibly sourced. It doesn’t feel as substantial as some of my other full-grain leather wallets. Though it’s because the leather is thinner which makes it so slim. Despite the thinness, the wallet works well and has aged nicely in my pocket. Also, the fact that it’s responsibly sourced and environmentally certified makes me feel better about the materials.
4. SIM card slot:
I have to admit that I haven’t used this feature since I use T-Mobile to roam for free when traveling. However, it’s a convenient feature if you regularly carry a spare SIM card while traveling.
5. Three-year warranty:
Bellroy products come with a three-year warranty. I personally haven’t used their warranty service. Though I did notice that their customer service is proactively reaching out to folks on Amazon with issues. I think it’s a great sign that the company stands by their products and customers.
6. Responsible business practices:
The wallet is made in India and uses vegetable-tanned leather that is sourced under the Leather Working Group environmental protocols. Bellroy is very involved and committed to environmental practices in their business, which includes not using toxins in the products and packaging.
I love that this is a big part of their mission. I truly believe that we can influence and improve the world with our “wallet” (pun intended).
Concerns and considerations
There are a few considerations with the Bellroy Card Pocket that may influence whether the wallet is right for you.
1. Trifold cash:
If you regularly use cash in your life, I wouldn’t recommend this wallet. Having to tri-fold your cash and slide it into the pocket is not a seamless or convenient process. I tolerate it since I like the small size and I am using less cash in my daily life. Though when traveling abroad and using more cash, I carry a Mitchell Money Clip wallet. This gives me greater access to my notes when paying.
2. Zipper quality:
While it’s perfectly functional, the zipper seems to be the weakest point in the wallet. There are a few folks on Amazon that have reported issues with the zipper or tab falling apart. I haven’t had one rip yet, but the leather tab does seem like it will eventually wear out. If it falls off, I’ll probably add a small lanyard to the zipper.
It’s not a dealbreaker for me, but I’d love to see Bellroy upgrade the wallet at some point. Several similar wallets, like the WaterField Finn Access wallet, use locking or water-resistant YKK zippers. In fact, Bellroy uses water-resistant zippers in their All-Conditions Wallet. This is a similar wallet design to the Card Pocket, but more rugged for outdoor use.
The cost of the Bellroy’s Card Pocket is $60, and it’s available on Amazon or directly from Bellroy. Overall, I’ve enjoyed using this wallet. It’s not the fanciest wallet, but it’s a great balance between form and function. It’s served me well over the years, and I intend to continue using it in my daily life.
As I mentioned earlier, Bellroy has several similar wallets. One is the All-Conditions which is water-resistant, in case that’s something that you want or need. They also have the Pocket Mini and Zip Wallet, so check out the different wallet options available from the company.
Have you tried the Bellroy Card Pocket? If so, let us know what you think. Also, if you have another wallet that you recommend, please share as well.