How To Prevent Credit Cards From Getting Scratched In Wallet?

By Bruce Boswell •  Updated: 12/14/21 •  6 min read
Filed under: Credit Cards

Credit cards are an essential tool in the modern world, as cash has become less and less relevant for even everyday purchases.

The speed and access of credit cards make buying products easy and convenient, however, cards are not the most durable and so they can become damaged and even lose functionality if they aren’t looked after and treated with care.

How To Prevent Credit Cards From Getting Scratched In Wallet

This can be very frustrating, and make it impossible to use your card, which can either lead to awkward situations at the store when your card doesn’t want to work or potentially leave you unable to purchase essentials when you need them.

For some people, credit cards are even a point of pride, particularly the more exclusive and difficult to get cards, and flashing them around is a common way to show off your status… if you’re into that sort of thing.

Regardless, a scratched, dented and cracked card looks scruffy and dirty at worst, ruining your image as a successful go-getter, but can also prevent you from getting toilet paper once you’ve run out!

While one of these situations is obviously more dire than the other, both are avoidable if you follow the tips in this guide.

We’re going to look at how to protect your cards and ways to prevent them from getting scratched and damaged in your wallet to help them stay in good condition and remain functional for as long as possible.

Let’s take a look at the tips below.

Don’t Overcrowd Your Wallet

Overcrowding your wallet is one of the surest ways to make your wallet and cards start to look shabby.

This is because wallets are obviously very small tight spaces, and as such overcrowding, they can lead to a lot of tension which means pocket dust, grain, dirt, and other debris is more likely to be disturbed and rub against your cards, which is one of the main causes of scratching.

Make sure to remove old cards, tickets, spare change, and other unwanted items from your wallet as often as possible to prevent the build-up of damaging debris which can ruin your cards and potentially even affect their functionality.

Buy a Wallet With Better Padding

Wallets that make use of good padding and fine materials offer much better protection to your cards by both preventing dirt and grit from entering the wallet as well as making sure that the cards aren’t damaged on the wallet itself.

Depending on your wallet’s material, cards can be very well preserved by a soft lining material, an enclosed card compartment, or other forms of padding to help reduce friction in the wallet and make the cards very comfortable and protected from various potential sources of damage.

Place Your Wallet in the Right Pocket

Another key tip is to ensure you put your wallet in the right place in your pocket, to prevent friction and movement which can cause cards to become bent and scratched even in the wallet.

Ideally, cards should be placed where there is little movement, as this is one of the key ways friction is generated and can potentially damage your cards.

The worst place to store your wallet is your back pocket, where it is easily accessible to thieves and is often positioned where a lot of movement takes place.

The best place to store your wallet is in an inside jacket pocket or front pocket where less movement occurs and less friction can be generated.

Loose Change

Don’t leave loose change in your wallet, as it has an incredibly frustrating tendency to move around inexplicably inside the wallet and jump into pockets containing cards, receipts, and other important documents which can be damaged by the sharp hard edges of a small coin.

Loose change should be kept in a small dedicated change pocket that is sealed, zipped, or buttoned closed to prevent this from happening.


While magnets may not scratch your card, they can still damage the electronics of your card, so try to only use wallets that don’t use magnetic fasteners as this can have an effect on your card and its use.

Use a dedicated Card Holder

Using a separate, dedicated card holder which is rigid and removed from the chaos and punishment a wallet undergoes can help go a long way to preserving your cards, as well as keeping them organized. 

Rigid cardholders are not particularly popular yet, but there are many great designs and they do a superb job of keeping cards safe and secure while also making them far less likely to be scratched due to the dedicated design of the wallets and removing them from the debris and friction most overcrowded wallets create.

Use a Card Sleeve

If you do love using your wallet and don’t want to take your card out of it, consider using a card sleeve to protect the wallet and to ensure that the card is protected from the worst of the damage a wallet can create even while it’s inside there.

Even a small DIY paper wrapping can offer significant protection from scratches, however, there are dedicated card sleeves and they are avidly used by people into trading cards to preserve them for the long term!

Keep Your Wallet Clean

Keeping your wallet clean is key to preventing scratches.

Remove dust and debris by vacuuming it (after removing everything from it of course) and ensuring that you keep unwanted items away from your wallet whether you’re at the beach, the pool, or anywhere else.

As we said earlier, don’t allow your wallet to become overcrowded or filled with unnecessary junk either as this all makes it harder to keep your wallet clean.

Reduce Use

If you’re really concerned about your card’s appearance, you can always use it less, as this will naturally reduce the amount of wear it takes.

The best way to do this is to not bring it in your wallet or leave it at home, and this has the added benefit of often making it easier to not spend the money the card represents too!

Bruce BoswellBruce Boswell

Bruce Boswell

Bruce Boswell enjoys researching and writing about all things related to investing and saving money. Whenever he has a chance, Bruce loves travelling all around the world with his wife and trying new foods.