How GPS tracking works with trackable smart wallets

How GPS tracking works with trackable smart wallets

I put some serious time into researching every wallet in this post to help you choose the best smart wallet with GPS tracking. Each of these wallets are full of cutting edge technology to help keep your wallet from walking away. But if the worst case scenario happens and your wallet disappears, this same technology will help you find it.

Some of these smart wallets have integrated anti-theft and anti-lost features built into their design. Others use off-the-shelf trackers from networks like Tile and Chipolo to convert more conventional wallets into really smart ones. All of them have the potential to become the everyday carry you?ll never lose.

There?s a lot to learn. So let?s get started.

Most wallets do not have standalone built-in GPS tracking capability. What they do have is Bluetooth connectivity. They connect with your smart phone with Bluetooth through an app that supports the brand of tracking device inside your wallet.

Your phone is what has the realtime GPS positioning capability, not your wallet. If you are within Bluetooth range of your wallet (about 200 feet), a map on your phone will show the exact location of your wallet. If you lose your wallet outside of Bluetooth range, crowd GPS kicks in.

Crowd GPS uses the individual users in a particular tracking network (like Tile or Chipolo) to find a lost wallet. When you mark your wallet as lost in the network?s app, every phone that has that network?s app installed will start looking for it ? anonymously.

When one of these phones comes within Bluetooth range of your wallet, it will send a message over the network to your phone. To your relief, your phone will show the location of your lost phone on a map. The person whose phone found your wallet will never be the wiser.

It?s kind of complicated and there are variations, but that?s the Cliff Notes version. Now on to the wallets!

Woolet Woof Glow wallet. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.

Woolet Woof Glow

This anti-theft wallet is loaded with high-tech electronic features. And yes, it really does woof.

Unlike other wallets that have a removable tracking card, the tracking electronics for the Woolet Woof Glow are sewn into the wallet. That means it?s only detectable to a thief who is smart enough to read this blog. If you accidentally walk away from your wallet, it will ?woof? at you. Similar to the way that the Tile and Chipolo apps work, the Woolet app will show you the last known location of your phone.

Woolet Woof Glow open. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.The Woolet Woof Glow has a conventional bifold wallet design but integrated electronics make it trackable.

It is constructed of fine Italian leather and will hold up to 11 different cards. There is even a magic coin slot for loose change. It has an integrated LED light and a small pen for filling out customs forms or updating your list for the hardware store. There is also a cash slot and it?s all packaged in a wallet with a slim profile.

JUST THE FACTS:

  • Trackability: The integrated tracker in the Woof Glow pairs with your smart phone with Bluetooth. You can locate your phone in your house or anywhere in the world with Woolet?s crowd GPS tracking.
  • Design: At 3.5 x 4.5″, it looks like a conventional wallet but with a super slim profile. It is made of fine Italian leather and holds from 4 to 11 cards.
  • Unique features: The tracking electronics are sewn into the wallet, so they are invisible to a thief. It?s the only wallet that notifies you with a ?woof? if you walk away from it. It also has a built-in battery, LED light, and a selfie trigger.
  • Performance: Reviews are sparse, but most owners give the Woof Glow a five star rating.

Ekster Parliament smart wallet. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.

Ekster Parliament

It?s a minimalist smart wallet that becomes a trackable GPS wallet with the Ekster solar tracking card.

The Ekster Parliament has a luxurious feel to it while being supremely practical. It doesn?t just store up to 6 cards in rigid RFID-protected aluminum enclosure. It also ejects them into a staggered fan with a quick card access mechanism. With the push of a button, you can quickly choose the card you want for a latte at Starbucks or to pay at your local gas pump.

Ekster Parliament smart wallet. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.The Ekster Parliament has room for up to 10 cards plus a money strap for cash.

Ekster uses leather from around the world (the wallet is made in the Netherlands) that is sourced from LWG gold-rated tanneries. It has a smooth rich feel in your hand. It becomes a GPS wallet with the optional Ekster solar tracking card powered by Chipolo. With the Chipolo app you can ring your lost wallet when it?s within Bluetooth range (about 200 feet), or find it anywhere in the world with Community Search.

Read my full review of Ekster smart wallets.

JUST THE FACTS:

  • Trackability: With the Ekster solar tracking card and the Chipolo app, use your GPS enabled smart phone to find your wallet anywhere in the world. With just 3 hours of light, the solar card will stay powered up for 2 months.
  • Design: This minimalist wallet ejects your cards in a staggered fan with the push of a button. It is made from luxurious European bull leather that slides smoothly in and out of your front pocket.
  • Unique features: It holds up to 6 cards in an RFID protected aluminum case. The quick access card slider system lets you to instantly choose the card you need. The Ekster solar tracker card is voice activated, too, with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri.
  • Performance: Most owners are super happy with this wallet. On Amazon, a few owners thought it was too small. (Ha! They obviously aren?t dedicated minimalists.)

CHECK PRICE ON EKSTER.COM

Baggizmo Wiseward wallet. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.

Baggizmo Wiseward Wallet

This is the only GPS wallet that has a programmable chip for storing your personal information.

The Baggizmo Wiseward smart wallet separates itself from the pack by using synthetic materials rather than leather. It?s also one of the most technologically ambitious. It starts with a myriad of sensors that alert you with a smart buzzer alarm if your wallet is moved in any suspicious way.

Baggizmo Wisewizzard wallet with app screen. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.The Baggizmo wallet connects to your smart phone with the Wiseward app.

Of course, it?s also has anti-lost and anti-theft features that you can figure from the Baggizmo app installed on our smart phone. All of the electronics inside the wallet keep humming with an internal battery that is wirelessly charged with an included Qi charger. It all of this tech seems a bit intimidating, you can buy a stripped down version called the Essential that ditches all the electronics.

JUST THE FACTS:

  • Trackability: Like the Woolet Woof Glow, the Baggizmo uses integrated tracking electronics to provide GPS tracking when paired with your smart phone with the Baggizmo app.
  • Design: Rather than leather, the Baggizmo uses an Italian-made synthetic fabric that is water repellent. It?s slim and available in 3 different designer colors.
  • Unique features: A smart buzzer alarm tells you when you left your wallet behind. An integrated UV lamp can identify fake currency. It also has a programmable NFC chip and wireless QI charging.
  • Performance: Reviews from owners for this wallet are hard to come by. A general consensus is that people like that wallet but the app can be buggy with too many false alarms.

Voyager Smart Wallet. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.

Voyager Smart Travel Wallet

If you lose this travel wallet while traveling, you?ll be able to quickly track it down. No matter where you are.

The Voyager Smart Travel wallet by Cuir Ally is yet another wallet that strays from modern minimalism towards a more traditional design. It is large enough to carry a passport and even includes a small notebook and mini pen. What smartens it up is a Chipolo Plus tracker that comes with it. If you walk away from your wallet, your phone will display a notification. If that gets annoying (it did for me), you can turn the feature off.

Voyager Smart Wallet open showing mini pen and passport. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.The Voyager Smart Travel is large enough to accomodate a standard passport and includes a mini-pen to fill out customs forms.

It?s a handsome wallet made from full-grain leather produced under European REACH standards. Keep in mind that because it is large enough for a passport, it may not be the ideal front pocket carry. Because it uses Chipolo technology, you?ll be able to locate your wallet worldwide with crowd GPS (Community Search). Or, if your closer to home, use the Chipolo app to find it on your bathroom sink by ringing it from your phone.

JUST THE FACTS:

  • Trackability: The Voyager uses the reliable Chipolo network. It shows the last known location of the wallet on your phone. Use Chipolo?s crowd GPS tracking feature to locate your wallet anywhere in the world.
  • Design: It?s just large enough to hold a standard passport in an RFID protected pocket. The wallet is handmade from full grain European leather.
  • Unique features: Your phone will notify you if you get separated from your wallet. Ring the Voyager with your phone or your phone with the Voyager. Take a selfie by pressing the Chipolo Plus tracker in your wallet.
  • Performance: Unfortunately, owner reviews are few and far between. A really strong point though, is that the Voyager wallet uses Chipolo, one the largest and most dependable worldwide tracking networks.

Cashew wallet. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.

Cashew Smart Wallet

Without your fingerprint on its biometric sensor, this unusual smart wallet stays locked up tight.

What makes the Cashew smart wallet so unique is not its quirky clamshell design. Rather, it?s because the wallet requires fingerprint authorization to open it. Sort of like the iPhone, a biometric sensor must read the correct fingerprint before the wallet will reveal its contents. The wallet is made from a soft polycarbonate material in many different colors (including pink), with room for 7 cards and about 20 half-folded bills.

Cashew wallet and Cashew app screen. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.Cashew uses an its own app to connect your smart phone to its smart wallet.

Similar to all of the wallets in this post, the Cashew connects to your smartphone via a Bluetooth connection and the Cashew app. If you misplace your wallet, ask the App to ?Buzz my Cashew.? If your wallet is truly lost, it uses crowd source GPS technology to find it just about anywhere in the world. Make sure to keep the internal battery charged, because the biometric sensor needs power to unlock the wallet.

JUST THE FACTS:

  • Trackability: If you lose your wallet when it?s in Bluetooth range of your phone, you can buzz your Cashew from your phone to find it. Leave your wallet on a park bench in Timbuktu, and the Cashew app?s crowd source GPS kicks in to help you find it.
  • Design: The Cashew uses an unconventional clam shell design made of polycarbonate plastic in several colors including pink. The polycarbonate has some slight flex to it so it ?gives? a little to make it more comfortablein your pocket.
  • Unique features: The wallet stays securely closed until you unlock it with the biometric fingerprint sensor. If someone tampers with the latch, it sends a notification to your phone. The internal battery lasts 9 months before it needs recharging. It is made in India.
  • Performance: Without a charged battery, this wallet will stay shut like a stubborn clam. Even if it goes dead, a 5% charge is enough for the fingerprint sensor to function.

Nomad slim with hidden pocket. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.

Nomad Slim Wallet with Tile Tracker

This may be the best looking trackable smart wallet you can buy.

The Nomad Slim leans more towards a traditional bifold wallet with its materials and design. In fact, it is the only wallet in this post that does NOT have RFID protection. What it does have is deliciously fragrant, high quality Horween leather that is vegetable tanned in Chicago. If you order the Tracking Edition with the included Tile tracker, this picture of leather luxury moves up another notch.

Nomad slim wallet tracking edition. with smart phone showing app. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.The Nomad Slim Tile Edition uses the Tile tracker network to make this wallet unlosable.

Nomad uses a little design trick by sewing in a false liner that conceals a Tile Slim tracking card. (Read more about this card near the end of this post.) This instantly turns your wallet into a GPS tracking machine with Tile?s crowd GPS Community Find network. If you?re within Bluetooth range (about 200 feet), you can ring your wallet to find it. Or double click the Tile Slim to ring your phone.

JUST THE FACTS:

  • Trackability: It ships with an included Tile Slim tracking card with a non- replaceable battery that lasts 3 years. The tracking card connects to the Tile app on a smartphone with Bluetooth. You can ring your wallet with your phone or vice versa. Find your wallet anywhere with Tile?s crowd sourcing GPS technology with worldwide coverage.
  • Design: The Nomad is a bifold design for cards and cash folded in half. Unusual for smart wallets, it does not have RFID block material sewn into the high quality Horween leather. It is slim (about 1/2″ thin) and the supple leather will form fit to the person carrying it.
  • Unique features: It has a special elastic nylon designed to hold the Tile Slim tracking card. The Horween leather is vegetable tanned and produced in Chicago.
  • Performance: 88% of owners give this wallet 5 star ratings on Amazon. Many owners made a point to mention the high quality of the wallet. It?s a winner.

Vollterman smart wallet with diagram showing smart features. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.

Volterman Smart Wallet

With so much tech built in, this smart wallet eclipses just about any other smart wallet out there.

Volterman has put more technology into their leather smart wallet than any other wallet maker. It?s almost too good to be true. First, it has worldwide global GPS tracking ability that is built into the Volterman app that you download onto your smartphone. It has its own power bank and a SIM card you can use to turn the wallet into a mobile hotspot.

Volterman wallet closeup. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.The Volterman is one of the most advanced trackable smart wallets.

A distance alarm will sound if you walk too far from your wallet. If you have Lost Mode enabled, the integrated camera inside the wallet will take 3 photos of the person who opened it and upload them automatically to your Volterman account. Wow. It?s expensive, but if you want a rocket in your pocket, this may be your wallet.

JUST THE FACTS:

  • Trackability: The Volterman has an integrated SIM card that automatically logs onto any available cellular network. You can track your wallet with the GPS capability of your smart phone with the Volterman app installed.
  • Design: The three available wallet designs include a cardholder, bifold, and a travel wallet that is large enough to carry a passport. It?s made in Armenia and comes in either brown or black leather.
  • Unique features: The built in power bank can charge a smartphone. A hidden camera will take a photo of a would-be thief if he opens the wallet. A mobile hotspot can connect up to 10 different devices.
  • Performance: Volterman has just begun to deliver this wallet as of September 2019 but with limited quantities. Many owners have complained about long delivery times and support issues. The jury is still about the tech, but it looks great on paper.

Ekster senate with cards fanned. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.

Ekster Senate

This is my favorite wallet. It?s slim, stylish, and fans out out my cards. And it?s unlosable.

When I?m not testing out other wallets, the Ekster Senate is my personal everyday carry. It has the same features as the Ekster Parliament, but slimmer and leaner. You?ll quickly become addicted to using the quick access system that ejects up to 6 cards into a fan with the push of a button. The cards are nestled in a rigid aluminum case that won?t allow any of your cards to bend or break.

Tile Slim 2020 tracker fits in wallet. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.The Ekster Senate smart wallet with the Ekster solar tracking card and the Chipolo app installed on an iPhone.

With the high quality leather, it feels good to hold and slips easily in and out of my front pocket. It?s small enough to sit comfortably next to ? not on top of ? my cell phone. (Down with the pocket bulge!) An external elastic money band holds a couple of spare $20s or miscellaneous store receipts. Best of all, it has a dedicated pocket for the super thin Ekster solar tracking card that makes this wallet hard to lose.

JUST THE FACTS:

  • Trackability: The Ekster Solar tracking card is powered by the Chipolo worldwide network. It connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and the Chipolo app. Play a tone to find your wallet under a seat cushion. Or use the crowd GPS tracking feature Community Search to locate it anywhere on the planet.
  • Design: Ekster uses top grain European bull leather that is silky smooth with a two-toned finish. It stores up to 6 cards in an RFID-protected aluminum case that is wrapped in fine leather. The wallet is slim, minimalist, and unabashadly good looking.
  • Unique features: The nifty quick card access system fans out up to 6 cards with the push of a button. The solar tracking card makes the Ekster Senate trackable and nearly impossible to lose.
  • Performance: Most owners on Amazon give the wallet five stars. Owners find the Ekster customer service to be excellent. I have found that the eject button can stick on occasion, but it?s only an occasional glitch that quickly works itself out.

CHECK PRICE ON EKSTER.COM

Wallet 2.0 smart wallet. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.

Wallor Smart Wallet

This smart wallet is packed to the gills with tons of high tech features.

The Wallor smart wallet rivals the Volterman with its cornucopia of advance features. Like most GPS wallets, it uses an app and your smartphone to help find your wallet if it is lost or stolen. The integrated GPS tracker has a SIM card that switches to whatever cellular network is available. You charge the tracker wirelessly with any Qi charger.

3 different styles of Wallor 2.0 wallets. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.3 Wallor smart wallet styles. Not shown is the vertical bifold.

There are 4 different sizes, including a cardholder, a vertical and horizontal bifold, and a larger travel wallet. They use full grain Napa leather so that the wallet has smooth and soft feel in your pocket. Each Wallor wallet is fitted with a power bank that can be used to charge a smartphone. Most impressive of all, Wallor has designed an augmented reality feature that uses the camera on your smartphone to find your wallet.

JUST THE FACTS:

  • Trackability: Within the Wallor?s intergrated tracker, an internal SIM card automatically switches between cellular networks when the location of the wallet changes. With the Wallor app, you can track the wallet anywhere n the world. A long life battery means that the wallet is trackable for up to 20 days.
  • Design: There are 4 different sizes available, each with its own power bank. They use full-grain Napa leather that is smooth and supple. The tracking electronics are integrated invisibly into the wallet.
  • Unique features: Pre-orders get a free lifetime data plan. The Wallor app uses augmented reality and the camera in your smartphone to help locate your wallet. It has an integrated movement sensor that rings your smartphone if someone tries to steal it.
  • Performance: There are no owner reviews yet because the wallet is not scheduled for delivery until March 2020. But in terms of advanced features, this wallet is WAY ahead of the pack.

Chipolo CARD tracker. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.

Chipolo CARD Tracker

Why buy a smart wallet when you can make any wallet a lot smarter with a Bluetooth tracking card?

Chipolo makes two trackers that will turn any old ?dumb? wallet into a GPS tracking smart wallet.

  • Chipolo CARD. It?s just 2.12 mm thick and smaller than the size of a credit card. It has a non-rechargeable battery with one-year OF battery life.
  • Ekster solar tracking card. This card is marketed by Ekster wallets but uses Chipolo technology. It is exactly the same size as a credit card and about twice as thick. 3 hours of light charge the card for 2 months.

Ekster solar tracking card in sun. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.The Ekster Solar Tracking card uses the Chipolo tracking network.

Both of these cards connect with your smartphone with Bluetooth. With the Chipolo app, you can find your wallet in your house or anywhere in the world with their crowd GPS feature Community Search. They both have out of range alerts that notify if you?ve walked away from your wallet. Both of them have the option of voice control, too, with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri ready to help you find your wallet.

JUST THE FACTS:

  • Trackability: Both of these cards use the worldwide Chipolo network to help you find your lost wallet. A map on your smartphone shows your wallet?s last known location. Community Search will help you locate you lost wallet anywhere in the world.
  • Design: These tracking cards are designed to fit into just about any wallet, even the smallest minimalist wallets. They are no larger than a credit card and ultra-thin.
  • Unique features: They can be voice-activated with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. Use your smartphone to find any wallet with the card installed or double press the card to find your phone. Both cards will take remote selfies, too.
  • Performance: Both of these trackers get generally good reviews on Amazon. There are occasional unexplained failures when trying to ring my phone from the solar tracker. The Chipolo CARD has to be replaced once a year. The Ekster solar-powered card is about $20 more, but can hypothetically last forever.

CHECK PRICE FOR EKSTER SOLAR CARD ON EKSTER.COM

Tile Slim 2020 tracker. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.

Tile Slim 2020 Tracker

This Slim has been redesigned this year to feature a non-replaceable battery that lasts an amazing 3 years.

The older version of the Tile slim was a little over 2 inches square with a non-replaceable battery that only lasted a year. The newest version for 2020 is now the size of a credit card and a little thinner than the previous version. Best of all, it has a whopping 3-year battery life. That?s 2 years longer than the Chipolo CARD for about the same price. The new size is perfect for any wallet.

Tile Slim 2020 tracker fits in wallet. Smart wallets with GPS tracking.The Tile Slim is the same size as a credit card and only twice as thick.

The Tile Slim has a 200 feet Bluetooth range when paired with your smart phone. Tap the Find button in the Tile app and the card will play a sound if it?s within that range. The app always shows the last known location of your card on a map on your phone. The Tile Community Search feature uses everyone who has the Tile app installed to anonymously help find your wallet.

JUST THE FACTS:

  • Trackability: Like the Chipolo, the Tile is a Bluetooth tracking card that pairs with your smartphone that has GPS capabilities. With the Tile Community Search network, you can locate your wallet just about anywhere on planet earth.
  • Design: The new design for 2020 is the size of a credit card and only about twice the thickness. It?s now solid black in color and will fit into any wallet that you want to make smarter.
  • Unique features: The 3-year battery life is a real game changer. With a Tile Premium subscription, you can access 30 days of location history. Use voice activation with Amazona Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Performance: Tile is the grand old dame of trackable technology and their network is the largest. Over 80% of owners on Amazon give Tile tracking devices 5-star ratings. Time will tell whether the 3-year battery life lives up to the hype.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a smart wallet?

A smart wallet is any wallet with technical or design enhancements that go beyond the plain leather billfold that has been unchanged for centuries. Some incorporate special materials to block unauthorized RFID scans. Others contain a tracking device that makes them difficult to lose. Several more have built-in mechanisms that instantly fan out credit cards.

What is a tracking card?

Tracking networks such as Chipolo, Tile, and Trackr all manufacture a thin, credit card size tracking card designed to fit into a wallet. The tracking card uses Bluetooth to wirelessly connect with a smartphone using the tracking network?s app. It utilizes the GPS capability of the phone to track the wallet?s location.

What is an EDC wallet?

EDC stands for EveryDay Carry. It?s the wallet you put into your pocket or purse and carry with you wherever you go. Your EDC might be a minimalist wallet or one that holds 36 different cards, your passport, and a smartphone. Large or small, your EDC wallet contains the essentials you need whenever you venture out into the world.

LEARN MORE: If you?re still not decided, keep in mind that just about any wallet can become GPS trackable with the use of a tracking card. Check out Best Minimalist Wallets for Men in 2020 for more ideas.

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