Card Cases for Women

2016 Update: Links updated below, and do heck out our more recent discussion on the most stylish business card cases for women!

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

We’re always on the hunt for a great card case. At the moment, we’ve been keeping our business cards in our wallet — tucked behind our cash! — but there’s something unprofessional about pulling out a wallet during a business conversation.   To us, a great card case has the following factors:

  • you’re not embarrassed to pull it out in a business setting (unlike, say, a card case that says “Born to shop, forced to work” on it (no matter how true it may be!)
  • it’s easy to find in the depths of your tote or handbag
  • it takes a beating from the depths of your tote or handbag
  • it doesn’t flap open, spilling your business cards across the inside of your purse, where they promptly get frayed and funky.

With that in mind, here are some great examples of business card cases that we would consider buying.  Readers, what do you look for in a business card case?  Which ones do you carry?

There are a ton of bright and colorful card holders available on Etsy, including this fun lime green one with turquoise lining.  As it’s fabric, we’d guess it won’t hold up that well to lots of dirt and grime, but on the plus side it will be very easy to find in your bag. It’s $5 at Etsy:  Mini Wallet/Business Card Holder from Etsy seller baffinbags (still in business as of 2016!).
We like the metal look of this one, and the pretty — but not overly girly — filigree and color on the top. It’s available at Amazon.com for $10.99 from seller SilverHooks (still in business in 2016!), who has a lot of cute card cases (and purse hooks). Pink Business Card Holder
For a very classic look, we like this polished gunmetal card case at Things Remembered.  Pro:  The inscription is on the inside of the case, allowing you to put a funny or inspirational quote there if you’d like to.  Con: We’re not sure how beat up this would get in a woman’s handbag. Personalized Polished Gunmetal Card Case, starting at $20 at Thingsremembered.com.
We like the bright colors and the magnetic flap on these leather card cases from Saks. Graphic Image Business Card Case, icon available at Saks.com (amazingly, still available in 2016).
If you love the signature robin’s egg blue of Tiffany’s, this is your card case.  Pro:  You’ll always find it in a dark bag.  Con:  It might get dirty really easily.  (Readers, what are your thoughts — is there a risk that in a business environment the owner of this card case might get labeled as a husband-chaser? We can’t decide, but love the case anyway.) Tiffany & Co. Business Card Case, $65 at Tiffany.com. (2016 Update: You can still find similar items on eBay!)
We like the somber colors of these leather card holders from Vivre, as well as the fact that you can get matching journals and passport holders.  Stamped Croc Card Cases, available at Vivre.com for $87. (2016 Update: Vivre has been closed for years, but you can still find very similar options at Saks.)

Comments

  1. I received a cardholder from Things Remembered as a law school graduation gift (2005). I really like the look of it, and I get lots of compliments. It’s held up well in the murky depths that is my handbag.

  2. The one from Things Remembered is my favorite. I like the look of the metal ones. For some reason they look more professional to me than the leather ones do.

  3. Am I the only one thinking that “there’s something unprofessional about pulling out a wallet during a business conversation” and “is there a risk that in a business environment the owner of this card case might get labeled as a husband-chaser?” are getting a little close to the border of paranoia? People who have a problem with you or women in general will, I’m sure, take any excuse to find fault. However, while it is always good to look professional, those two statements in particular seemed a little more paranoid to me. Can any women who has $65 to spend on a Tiffany card case (and professional business cards to put in it) be referred to as a “husband-chaser” because of where she chose to purchase her card case? Maybe it is just me – but it seems that part of being a professional woman is to know what to ignore.

    • I agree, especially about the “husband-chaser” comment! That would never have occurred to me. Seriously over-the-top, ostentatious jewelry or logo handbags might make you look less than professional, but I can’t believe that someone would make the jump from pretty blue business card holder to Tiffany to “husband-chaser.”

      • I’m with you on the husband hunter comment, but I actually do hate dragging out my wallet to dig a card out in situations like these. Inevitably seems like some receipts or maybe a coffee punch card falls out . . . Maybe that all means my wallet is a mess, but I agree that dragging it out seems less professional than whipping out a card case.

        • I agree in the abstract, but every male partner I’ve ever seen pulling out business cards always pulls them out of his wallet! I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of the female partners at my firm pass out cards so I don’t have a comparison. I usually keep mine in a separate pocket in my laptop case, or, if I won’t have it, I tuck some behind the paper in whatever notepad I have.
          I definitely agree, though, that card case looks better than a wallet – but I don’t think that pulling out a wallet to give out business cards seems unprofessional. A card case seems more organized to me, though, which is always good.

    • Yes, it feels paranoid to me. This is part of what I have a hard time figuring out … sometimes there is a really uptight attention to detail that seems straight out of the 1980’s dress-for-success (no Tiffany blue cardholders! too frivolous!) and yet other times there’s some real work-inappropriate stuff.

    • divaliscious11 :

      I agree. Too many posters place far too much weight on what others think for the most inane reasons? Husband chaser? Seriously?! I am a woman. Used to be a girl. I like high heels, sparkly jewelry, pretty clothes and accessories in general and wear my hair wild and curly in its natural state. I also have a JD from a top tier school, working on an MBA and am division counsel for a business unit that generates $8bil a year in revenue. At what point do women get to stop hiding or masking their femininity and stop worrying about being called unprofessional for looking like a woman? Oh yeah, and I have a big ole sparkly diamond ring my husband bought me, too!

  4. housecounsel :

    I keep my cards in a little Coach zipper-bag that is also a key chain. I bought the little zipper thingie to keep my keycard (for office access) handy, but found it’s a great spot for the cards.

  5. Some of these might not work for a super-super conservative work environment, but I love the cases at Unearthed (Etsy): http://www.etsy.com/shop/UNEARTHED?section_id=6223464 . It’s a great way to add a pop of color, and since they’re metal, they hold up well to a decent amount of bag abuse.

  6. associate :

    I like metal ones b/c they take beatings and double as mirrors.

  7. This is mine… I love it. Classy, elegant, but the color gives it a bit of flair! http://www.lodis.com/leather/shop-womens/shop-by-style/business-card-cases/audrey-mini-card-case/2750

    • These are great. One thing to note? Corporate + pink = no thank you.

    • I have this one too; mine is the camel color. I really like it.

      • I have this one as well in bright orange. Picked it up at TJ Maxx for only $10.00.

    • I have one of these cases and love it. The magnetic closure stays closed, but still makes the cards easy to get to when you need them. And Lodis makes a line of laptop cases too, so I was able to get them to match.

    • I love the Lodis products. I have one of the Audrey wallets in black with a red interior and it is terrific. Lots of slots for credit cards and cash, with a see-through window for my driver’s license (handy at courthouses!). They can be spendy, but Nordstrom’s puts them on sale once or twice a year and easily can be found on eBay.

      My card case is a solid black Coach case that I must have gotten about ten years ago. It has worn like iron and still looks decent (although I may change to the Lodis). I especially like that it has one large pocket on one side (for my cards) and two slimmer pockets on the other side (for cards I receive and my emergency fifty dollar bill). It fits in a suit or jacket pocket and is perfect for conferences or networking events.

      I note that I have no issues on color — my PDA resides in a cobalt blue Italian leather case with a plastic window that protects the slide-out keyboard and a pocket that can hold a couple post-its for notes (it also came in red and black). I never have any problems finding it in my purse. That said, I would avoid the pastels . . . they are just a little too girly.

    • I was totally unaware of Lodis and now I’m trying to scheme how to justify a new laptop briefcase.

  8. I don’t understand the husband chaser question at all. What about a woman with Tiffany’s items could possibly make her a husband chaser? I’m definitely missing something. Can someone clue me in? (I have several Tiffany’s necklaces, and I just bought someone a Tiffany blue picture frame as a wedding gift, so now I’m concerned!)

    • It was just a fleeting thought — to me the Tiffany’s blue doesn’t communicate the quality of Tiffany’s stuff, but it specifically evokes the Tiffany’s gift box — as in, “I enjoy receiving presents” — particularly of the shiny/diamond variety. I think it would depend on the woman carrying the case.

      • I agree with this.

        I also think something like this in Tiffany blue is the equivalent of walking around with a giant “CHANEL” or “LV” printed on your bag. I think labels are tacky and unprofessional, and while a plain Tiffany blue card holder might not have a traditional label on it, I think it gives off the same vibe.

        The others are super cute though.

  9. I think if you’re expecting to pass out business cards at a networking event, forgo the case altogether and have them prepared in your pocket. That way when someone asks for your card, you aren’t searching the depths of your bag. To me, that looks even more unprofessional than whatever case you chose to purchase.

    When you do go with a case, it should be something you can get to quickly in your purse, so as to appear organized first of all. I feel strongly about the material being a good quality. Also it should match your personality, so if the person you’re meeting already sees you are a bit quirky, it won’t be shocking when you pull out an orange kate spade card case.

    • Kate Spade is quirky now? What have we come to in this society?

    • I disagree re the pocket. The cards can easily get bent or wrinkled when they are just stuffed in a pocket (been there done that). If you know you are going to need them handy, take the case out of your purse ahead of time and/or put the cards INSIDE the case and then in your pocket.

  10. Nevadamtnbear :

    I received a rose colored envelope shaped case several years back from my in-laws, and adore it. It looks very similar to the Tiffany case, but different color and it came from The Red Envelope. Anyway, it’s starting to show a little wear and tear, but I see it more as character. The brand is Abas, and is virtually identical to this one, but without the metal snap on the outside.

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/2999975/0~2376779~2374605~2385151?mediumthumbnail=Y&origin=category&searchtype=&pbo=2385151&P=1

    • Love that one. I cant find a pic of mine, but it is a simple black leather one from Coach. It has no signs of wear after 10+ years, and it goes with whatever bag I toss it in.

      The metal ones scream bridesmaid gift to me. I love Things Remembered, but it really depends on the item.

  11. Way back in my law school interviewing days (1999) I bought a dark burgandy leather folio to carry around to my interviews at a local place called Shapiro Luggage that came with a simple leather business card holder. That is the only one I have used for 10 years and it shows zero signs of wear. While I sometimes think about getting something with a bit more personality, I don’t really see the point since this one works so well. It has two inside card holders which makes it easy to collect cards and stash them in the opposing pocket without mixing them up with my own cards. I carry it in an outside pocket of my purse so it doesn’t get lost in the depths of my bag. It doesn’t have any sort of flap or snap or anything to close it but I have never had any problems with it spilling out or creasing the cards. Like an earlier commenter, I would recommend keeping the cards (or the card case) in your suit pocket when going into a meeting for easy access.

  12. I use the stainless steel disappearing-inside card holder from victorinox. http://www.swissknivesexpress.com/swisswallet.html it holds up well in the busy purse and looks great when you acess it. I believe I got it at a cheaper price on sale from a different vendor. Best of all, it is one-hand use.

  13. http://www.etsy.com/shop/sweetsugarbeet?section_id=5848865

    I always like the bags from Sweet Sugar Beet on etsy, so I am sure her business card holders are fantastic (she always has the best fabric!)

  14. Mine is metal with intricate floral engraving. It’s not girly, but had a delicate touch to it. It has rubber bands on one side, so it keeps the cards in and allow me to keep my card separate from those I collect at meetings.

  15. I asked for (and got) this one as a gift several years ago. http://store.metmuseum.org/For-Men/Tiffany-Magnolia-Card-Case/invt/10091890
    Love it. Get loads of compliments on it. Feminine but professional IMO.

    • Super cute, but can we discuss the fact that per that URL the Met has that filed under “For Men”?

      • OMG I never noticed that! Stupid on so many levels.

        • A Different Liz :

          I think the Met is silly for categorizing it as “For Men.” It looks quite feminine to me. Personally, I like this one (also “For Men”).

          http://store.metmuseum.org/For-Men/Greek-Palmette-Card-Case/invt/10093250

        • There are many more under the for women category. Let’s not do the feminist anger thing where it’s not justified.

          • A Different Liz :

            I don’t see any “feminist anger” in these comments, nor do I see how thinking it’s silly that the Met has categorized card cases with magnolias on them as “For Men” is either a feminist view or any angry opinion. A magnolia has never struck me as a masculine icon.

  16. I spent about $20 last year on a black leather card holder that is discretely imbossed with my grad school’s logo on it – black on black. One of the many student organization merch fundraisers. Is it tacky to have everything plastered with one’s alma mater on it? (I also have the matching padfolio, again embossed black on black leather with a small logo.)

    • I hope not, because I use a metal case with my law school’s emblem inscribed on the top. That said, it’s the only thing with the emblem that I consistently carry. [I don’t use the padfolio, matching pen, card holder, etc. all at once. That would probably get a “good grief” or “she must be a recent grad” remark.]

    • I don’t think so, unless all of your business items look very matchy-matchy. If the logo is obvious to a casual observer and you have a bunch of items with the logo, people may assume you are a recent grad but I don’t think they would look down on you for it.

    • No. It’s tacky if you’re also wearing a school logo tie/scarf, class ring, and earrings. Embossed school logo business materials are perfectly tasteful, and are good conversation starters to boot.

      Of course, I walk around with my business cards in a metal holder with my alma mater’s logo on it, so I’m biased.

  17. TGEmpress :

    Having tried and discarded a metal case (ala things remembered) and a leather case, tiffany blue, but not as envelope like. I agree with the quickly and quietly stashed method. I have chosen to have business cards in every quickly reached pocket in my purse, bag or pocket as necessary. It is nice to know, no matter what situation I am walking into, that the smallest pocket has the cards, everytime. My husband calls it my magic trick, I always have business cards. Takes some habit forming, but it is worth it. The cards stay in good shape as they are the only thing allowed in that small space.

  18. Stephanie :

    I’ve lost every single one of these I have ever had. So I just throw my cards into my wallet. Or a pocket in my purse.

  19. Target is actually selling some super cute metal business card holders with pretty designs on the front for less than $10 each. Great buy in my book.

  20. I have the Tiffany’s card case in the classic Tiffany blue (a law school graduation gift) and absolutely love it. While I am most definitely not a logo person and was originally a bit wary of this gift for fear of presenting a less than professional image (although husband-chaser did not come to mind), I have come to love the burst of color in my bag (and as Corporette wisely mentioned, I can always find it)! I have gotten many compliments on it (also functioning as a conversation piece during that sometimes awkward card-exchange moment). It has gotten some micro scratches from keys and the like in my bag, but you can’t hardly tell unless you examine it very closely. The patent leather really is pretty resistant. Bonus: the soft leather on the inside smells wonderful!

  21. http://www.katespade.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3689579&cp=1855186.2065600

    I have one from Kate Spade and love it. The segments are good for keeping yours separated from the ones you collect at events and the pop of color is easy to find and makes me smile.

  22. I have a fake leather one that I got at nine west? or something similar? Don’t remember, but it is well constructed and is black with just a bit of pink stitching. I keep it in the cell phone pocket of my bag, so it doesn’t get lost in the bottom.

  23. For the opposite approach and a laugh…
    I ran into a family friend who I haven’t seen in several years and who happens to be the CEO of a bank. His wife works in a related field to me, and he mentioned that one of us ought to call the other up to chat about what we’re doing these days. I pulled out a card from my wallet (I keep a few there for random encounters when I don’t have my work bag with me) to pass on my current phone number, and he pulled out one of his – bundled up with random cash and cards and all held together with a rubber band.

  24. I have several and keep one in each laptop/briefcase/purse/etc. But my favorite is one that I bought after it was recommended at a women in business-type seminar that I went to:
    HTTP://www.levenger.com/PAGETEMPLATES/PRODUCT/Product.asp?Params=Category=15-99|Level=2-3|pageid=6813

    When I’m on a quick business trip and don’t want to take my entire wallet, I put my id and credit card in the id part and use it as a wallet. It has separate areas so as you collect cards you can separate them. I’ve had it maybe 4 years and it still looks great. You can monogram it for $6. Levenger has others that look nice, too.

  25. You can’t get much more professional-looking (with a touch of humor) than the Original Pocket Briefcase, http://thebillablehour.com/pocketbriefcase.php and the Soft Sided Leather Pocket Briefcase, http://thebillablehour.com/pocketbriefleather.php.

    • Too funny! I WANT the Original one!! In fact, I may get one for a colleague who just got his paralegal certificate. He’s a bit quirky and funny, so I think he’d like it.

  26. Met Museum of Art shop has some fabulous metallic card holders. Love the designs on them (arty + classy) and very affordable.

  27. I’m shocked to read about the “husband-hunter” allusion on this site! You make me glad I do NOT work in a country where intelligent, highly educated, professional women are so paranoid about what others think in relation to their card holder, of all things! IMHO, we’re far more easy on ourselves in Asia, and we have no issues being feminine, stylish and delivering results at the same time!!

  28. I have a metal one from Brighton that matches the other accessories in my purse. It looks professional and easily identifiable in my bag.

  29. I got a simple black leather case from Wilsons Leather as a graduation gift, and I’ve been happy with it. It is not huge (I probably carry 30-40 cards in it at a time), but it is big enough for my purposes. It also has two slots in the back side where you can tuck the cards you recieve while you are out. It’s professional, not flashy, and does the job.

  30. I too have a metal one, but it is engraved with my initials on it. It has held up really well in my bag and is easy to spot. It is also small enough that I move it to my pocket for networking events so that it is even more easily accessible (and then I’m not shifting through other people’s cards to find one of my own, as inevitably happens as the night wears on and I accumulate cards from others in the same pocket). Sometimes I hide a debit card in the back and skip bringing a purse altogether. I honestly don’t know/understand how people don’t use them . . . .

  31. i have one like the Vivre orange croc (but much less $$) and i’ve received so many compliments on it!

  32. This card case looks almost just the like Plaid one from Tiffany, but much more affordable.
    http://www.thingsremembered.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10001_9951_605366

  33. I don’t carry around business cards, so there’s no need for a case there

    But I do use business card cases or cigarette cases as wallets.

    Just a couple of cards, some bill notes and my keys in my other hand

  34. This card case looks just like the plaid one from Tiffany, but more affordable:
    http://www.thingsremembered.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10001_9951_605366

  35. whoa, not sure why that posted twice, but i love the look of that card case!

  36. I have a classic gunmetal case but it is inevitably is in the other purse when I need it the most — plus I hate rummaging through my purse in front of people. The best solution I have found is to put a few business cards in the back of my blackberry phone cover since I always have my phone easily accessible. It works beautifully.

  37. millelilly :

    http://www.giftsforprofessionals.com/item/red-flip-top-business-card-case

    I have this one and really like it, especially because it is thick enough to fit in teh cell-phone pocket of my work bag and not get lost. I also have a bit of arthritis in my hand (from breaking my thumb in 5th grade) so thinner card cases are harder for me.

  38. I went out and bought a card case when I got my current job, which was the first time I actually had business cards. I have a brown pebbled leather card case from Kate Spade. I love it – it buttons closed, doesn’t show dirt, and is very classic and understated. My only regret is that I didn’t buy one in black as well so I could coordinate it with my purse! What I’m looking for now is a rolodex or card file for my desk. I want something feminine but still professional, preferably silver-toned. Any ideas??? Great blog, by the way!

  39. I have a red leather case from Levenger that I love. It wears well, and won’t tarnish like the metal one I used to have from Franklin Covey.

  40. My future in-laws just gave me the Tiffany card holder. My first thought was, “why do I need something so expensive in which to store my cards…?”

  41. I stumbled upon this because I carry a Tiffany & Co card holder. Mine is from the 1849 collection. I agree that a woman who carries a blue T&Co case looks like a husband chaser, or perhaps a teenage girl trying to add sophistication to her mundane style. I am saying this as a confident male who fully realizes that my card case makes me look like a narcissist. In fact, I bought my case after watching, “American Psycho,” for the umpteenth time.

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