Packing Photography Travel Technology

Ditch the Wallet: 7 Phone Cases to Hold Your Essentials

Travel as light as possible with a phone case that does double duty as your wallet. These cases not only protect your phone from drops and scratches, but also hold the essentials you’ll need on a day out. Below are the best phone wallets to protect your device and save you space.

Smartish Vault Slim Wallet

Billed as the “wallet slayer” by phone case company Smartish, the Vault Slim Wallet lives up to its nickname. It holds three cards plus cash (or, if you’re like me and you rarely carry cash, you can cram in four cards). The case has grip-textured sides that have helped me drop my phone significantly less since switching to this case.

Incipio Stashback

Keep your cards and cash hidden yet easily accessible with the Incipio Stashback phone wallet. It looks like a standard phone case but has a secret compartment that hinges up to conceal up to three cards. The case has been impact-tested for drops up to seven feet high, so even the clumsiest phone owners can feel safe using it.

[st_related]10 Smart Ways to Carry Money While Traveling[/st_related]

Under Armour Protect Stash Case

Designed by Under Armour for tough environments, from traveling to hitting the gym, the Protect Stash Case can stand up to a lot of abuse. It has a shockproof case design with a padded interior and a “self-healing” exterior coating. The back is textured to give you a better grip while using or carrying your phone, and it won’t interfere with wireless charging. This phone wallet can hold up to three cards, but it’s still slim.

Smartish Q Card Case 

Need your phone case to pull triple-duty as protection as a wallet, protective layer, and a kickstand? The Smartish Q Card Case has a little slot built-in that allows you to use any card as a kickstand, so you can watch movies on your phone hands-free—which is perfect for airplane tray tables or simply relaxing in bed.

[st_related]How to Make Your Purse Lighter[/st_related]

LUPA Wristlet Wallet

Want to replace your entire purse with a phone wallet case? The LUPA wristlet wallet holds your phone, up to four cards, and cash, plus it has a handy strap so it can be carried on your arm. It’s also super affordable, so you can stock up on all of the fun colors to match any outfit.

Spigen Slim

I’ve received more compliments on the Spigen Slim phone case than any other travel tech accessory—the sliding door feature that holds your cards garners lots of jealous attention. This is probably the slimmest phone wallet case out there, which is a trade-off because it only holds two cards. You can fit three in there, but I ended up breaking the case by overloading it.

Card Buddy Stick-on Wallet

If you prefer to keep the phone case you already have but still want the benefits of a phone wallet, the CardBuddy is a good solution. It’s a removable pocket that can hold up to three cards plus cash, and sticks on to any existing phone case (or the back of your phone, if you like to live dangerously).

Stuck at Home? Stay Comfy and Productive:

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse Teel prefers a phone wallet case over a purse for travel. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for style and travel photos from around the world.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2018. It has been updated to reflect the most current information. Codey Albers contributed to this story.

By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo,, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

E-mail her at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *