8 best men’s card holders that will have you waving goodbye to wallets

8 best men’s card holders that will have you waving goodbye to wallets
Say goodbye to bulk with these card holders from Asos, Mulberry, Fred Perry and more

In an increasingly cashless world, big bulky wallets are fast becoming relics of the past. In their place, the slimmer, more streamlined card holder is establishing itself as the modern man’s go-to receptacle for all things personal-finance related.

This welterweight alternative to the traditional billfold wallet will gladly carry your bank cards, driver’s license and more, without weighing your jeans down or spoiling the line of your suit pants with an unsightly bulge.

It’ll even store the odd bank note, but its minimalist design means it’ll never become a swollen mass of useless receipts, ancient train tickets and once-used loyalty cards for distant cafes.

The card holder’s ever-growing popularity means that almost every menswear brand is making its own version, but not all are worthy of your plastic. That’s why we tried and tested some of the best options out there, assessing them in terms of style, functionality, durability and value for money.

Below you’ll find our pick of the best men’s card holders, covering every price bracket. From the super-premium to the sustainably produced, these are the ones to buy.

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You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

The best men’s card holders 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Fjallraven ovik cardholder: £26, Fjallraven.com
  • Best for sustainable style – Oliver Co. London slim card holder: £34, Olivercompanylondon.com
  • Best for premium quality and peace of mind – Troubadour solo card wallet: £85, Troubadourgoods.com
  • Best for a personalised gift – Carl Friedrik hatton card holder: £65, Carlfriedrik.com
  • Best for a bit of luxury – Mulberry full-grain leather card holder: £110, Mrporter.com
  • Best for functionality on a budget – Asos Design faux leather card holder: £8, Asos.com
  • Best for super soft leather – Smythson panama card holder: £69, Smythson.com
  • Best for a British classic – Fred Perry pique texture card holder: £35, Fredperry.com

Fjallraven ovik cardholder

Best: Overall

Our trusty ovik card holder from Fjallraven has been on the job for half a decade now. In that time it has endured a round-the-world trip, several ‘lost and found’ situations and more nights out than we care to mention. It’s also spent a considerable portion of its life crammed into a sweaty cycling-jersey pocket, and despite this frequent abuse, has only got better with age. The leather has darkened beautifully, the stitching has remained intact, and all of this for a mere £30 investment. Very difficult to fault indeed.

Oliver Co. London slim card holder

Best for: Sustainable style

Opting for sustainably produced, vegan products doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style or quality, not where London’s Oliver Co. is concerned at least. This relatively new label is on a mission to make good-looking accessories that boast a premium feel and finish without being harmful to the environment. The brand’s slim card holder is a key part of its offering and is crafted from Italian apple leather which is a bio-material made using waste from the fruit-juice industry. Looks-wise, it can happily go toe-to-toe with cardholders twice the price and it even comes with a two-year warranty to boot.

Troubadour solo card wallet

Best for: Premium quality and peace of mind

This luxury card holder from premium luggage label Troubadour isn’t the cheapest option on the list, but it is the only one which comes with a five-year guarantee. If you experience any manufacturing issues within this period, Troubadour will repair or replace your card holder and if it’s within a year of purchase, the brand will cover return shipping too. Small print aside, this was one of the best card holders we tested in terms of quality and materials (high-grade vegetable-tanned Italian leather throughout) and has the added bonus of arriving in a zip-up gift bag, which we can see coming in handy for all sorts of things.

Carl Friedrik hatton card holder

Best for: A personalised gift

With a unique construction that leaves the middle section open at the top and one side, we were immediately drawn to this stylish card holder from London-based leather-goods brand Carl Friedrik. It’s made from soft Tuscan Vachetta leather and can comfortably handle up to ten cards without bursting at the seams. We also loved the fact that it comes in a smart gift box and can be customised with embossed initials in various colours for no additional cost, making it perfect as a personalised gift.

Mulberry full-grain leather card holder

Best for: A bit of luxury

A name synonymous with high-end bags, briefcases, holdalls and purses, Mulberry is a solid option for anyone looking for a premium option from one of the foremost labels in luxury leather goods. This card holder is available in black and tan and is made from rich full-grain leather that feels robust yet supple and is sure to get even better with age. There are four slots for storing your various cards and there’s also a pouch in the middle which we found useful for storing an emergency £20 note or the odd important receipt.

Asos Design faux leather card holder

Best for: Functionality on a budget

Can card holders be expensive? Absolutely. Do they have to be? According to online retailer Asos, the answer is a resounding no. This navy, faux-leather option will only set you back £8 but is capable of carrying a whole lot more. Sure, it’s not the fanciest card holder out there, but if what you’re after is a simple, functional, vegan-friendly option that won’t break the bank then this one is difficult to fault.

Smythson panama card holder

Best for: Super soft leather

This luxurious crossgrain leather card holder from Smythson is the result of more than 130 years in crafting high-end stationary and leather goods. Naturally, the quality here is outstanding and the leather was the softest, lightest and most flexible of all the card holders we tested. It simply oozes quality and although Smythsons prices tend to reflect that, if you act fast you can grab this particular one for £69 in the sale. It’s still not exactly budget-friendly but worth every penny for the quality of the material alone.

Fred Perry pique texture card holder

Best for: A British classic

British brand Fred Perry is probably better known for its polo shirts than its card holders, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make some great ones. This particular version plays on the brand’s most iconic piece by using a pique-textured PU which mimics the fabric used for the Fred Perry polo. It’s a fairly low-profile design with several card slots and finished off with gold laurel wreath branding to the front and a woven tab to the rear.

The verdict: Men’s cardholders

Fjallraven’s ovik card holder is robust, looks good, ages gracefully and won’t break the bank. For these reasons it was our favourite. However, if you’re in the market for a vegan alternative, we’d highly recommend Oliver Co. who offers similarly brilliant quality using plant-based materials instead.

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