Billfold vs. Wallet: What’s The Better Option?

Billfold or wallet
July 13, 2020 992 view(s)
Billfold vs. Wallet: What’s The Better Option?

If you were to listen to the words of M.F Moonzajer each time you glanced at your wallet, then you shouldn’t care about the amount of money it contains. Well, according to us, you should focus more on how well it pairs with your outfit. After all, it’s a great way to make a lasting impression.

But when it comes to taking your pick, one question that puzzles a multitude of people is: how does a billfold vs wallet compare? And, more importantly, what’s the better option? Read on as we dig deeper into this to give you insight into the option to select and why.

What Is a Wallet?

It’s a pocket flat, small, and pocket-sized folding case that quite literally holds your entire life. This entails credit/debit cards, IDs, passport, driver’s license, photos, business cards, and other essentials like currencies. Typically designed from the different types of leather, a wallet contains an array of compartments that vary in size. And, it may at times have a zipper or snap closure to securely hold the contents.

What Is a Billfold?

It defines a wallet that you can fold over. Just like a wallet, billfolds are usually designed from leather that varies in type. In a billfold, you’ll find a money compartment that flips over or a clip that sits at the centre to take care of your bills. So, you clip your bill then fold it right in the middle, hence why it’s known as a billfold and exudes simplicity in design.

Billfold vs Wallet

They serve the same purpose of carrying your valuables. The only difference between a billfold and a wallet is that the latter was coined much earlier. Nonetheless, according to the English dictionary, the two terms are used as synonyms because they provide the same function. A major variation is that billfolds are only types of wallets.

Billfolds fall into the following two main categories. And, there’s a wealth of styles to choose from.

  • Bi-fold Wallet: It differs from the tri-fold counterpart in that it’s rectangular and foldable in half. Bi-folds constitute an open, long compartment for storing currencies, and several compartments to store ID cards and credit/debit cards, horizontally or vertically.

  • Tri-fold Wallet: While it’s rectangular like a bi-fold, what differentiates a tri-fold wallet is that it’s foldable twice to the centre. This makes it a third of the wallet’s length. As seen in bi-folds, a tri-fold also contains one open, long pocket for holding banknotes and various slots for ID cards, debit/credit cards, and receipts. But you can only arrange them vertically.

Sub-categories of billfolds are:

  • Coat Wallets: Also referred to as a breast pocket wallet, this type of billfold is ideal for men that wear suits, blazers, and other types of formal wear. It’s long and narrow mimics a chequebook. Designed to be carried in the inside of a coat or jacket pockets rather than trousers or shorts, it’s roomy enough to carry more than ten credit/debit cards, banknotes, and even a chequebook.

  • Phone Wallet: Just as the title indicates, it allows you to safely store your smartphone. It opens the same as a coat wallet. So, on one side it has a pocket for your smartphone, and on the other side, it has a few slots to hold your ID, a few debit/credit cards, banknotes, and even a stylus or pen.

Here’s a breakdown of the types of wallets that are not classified as billfolds.

  • Cardholder: There comes a time in life when you have to deal with several types of cards, simultaneously. These range from room access cards, debit/credit cards, business cards, security cards, and more. To avoid cramming them up in your regular wallet, a cardholder is your holy grail. It’s a slim, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing companion that’s geared to help you become well-organised as you go about your day-to-day.

  • Coin Wallet: It’s no secret that coins have and will always form a significant part of a barrage of currencies across the globe. And, some countries are renowned for actively using coins as a major part of their currency in their everyday transactions. Therefore, coin wallets were made with them in mind. After all, why stuff your pockets with loose change when you can keep it in your wallet? Exuding versatility, they can also accommodate other essentials like debit/credit cards, business cards, IDs, and receipts. And, they have a zipper enclosure to store contents safely.

  • Minimalist: It’s fairly new in the market and becoming increasingly popular since slim fit trousers are the preferred option, causing men to travel lighter. Minimalist wallets are usually double-sided sleeves that permit you to carry around a couple of cards, one piece of identification, and neatly folded banknotes. Hindering you from filling it with clutter like a Costanza wallet, it’s designed for those who value less bulk above all else. A perk that minimalist wallets bring is that you can find an option that oozes elegance for a lower price than a billfold.

Essential Tips for Selecting the Ideal Wallet or Billfold

We’ve rounded up a few tips that’ll guide you in choosing the ideal accessory for you.  

1. Style

The wallet or billfold you have tells a lot about your personality. So, choose one that’s not only neat and clean but also harmonises and complements your sense of style.

2. Size

Avoid carrying around an oversized wallet or billfold. So, from time to time, ensure you lessen the load in it by getting rid of unnecessary items like old receipts or expired cards. It’s worth keeping in mind that a billfold packed with unwanted contents can create an unsightly bulge in your outfit, which ruins your overall appearance.

3. Quality

While you have free rein to buy a product that gels with your needs, in terms of colour, shape, or material, select an option that’s made of high-quality leather. And, it should be from a reputable brand. It’ll last you for years on end. But, be prepared to come out of pocket as quality comes at a price.

4. Colour

When it comes to colour, you can select options that match your fashion sense and job profile. For instance, you can’t have a flunky billfold or wallet if you work in a prestigious law firm. Instead, conservative colours like black or brown are appropriate. However, if you work in the creative field, then you’re recommended to go for bold colours like purple, green, blue, or yellow.

5. Functionality

Remember the functional aspect of the product you choose. So, if you carry a barrage of items, we advise that you select a billfold or wallet that has multiple slots or compartments.

6. Compartments

If you carry several debit or credit cards while you’re out and about, then select a product that has various separate compartments. This curbs damage to the cards when they’re hoarded up.

7. Corners

Choose a product that has rounded corners. Not only does this infuse class but also notably lowers their deterioration which enhances longevity. And, it facilitates the easy sliding in and removal from pockets.

What Should You Keep in a Billfold or Wallet?

The abundance in space can tempt you to fill your wallet or billfold with clutter which results in an unpleasant bulge in your outfit. So, without further ado, here are the essentials to carry around.

  • Money: Aside from debit/credit cards, it’s important to have a few banknotes for when you need to make cash payments. Otherwise, you may have to visit the nearest ATM.

  • An extra credit card: Having a spare credit card with you can come in handy when your other card encounters technical issues, and you need to make a payment.

  • A debit card: It’s convenient to have in scenarios where cash payments are not an option or when you need to access funds from an ATM.

  • Identification: There are countless impromptu instances where you require providing official identification. So, rather than be caught off guard, we recommend that you always carry an ID card, student card, or driver’s license in your wallet or billfold.

  • Emergency information: Carry a card that contains your details or someone you trust. So, if your wallet or billfold gets lost, the finder can use the contact information on the card to return it to you. Additionally, it’s advisable to keep the contact of a close friend or family member so that they can help you if an emergency arises.

  • Insurance cards: Avoid leaving your home without medical and auto insurance cards tucked away in your wallet or billfold. They can quite literally be a lifesaver during an emergency.

To Wrap It Up

So, what’s the verdict in the billfold vs wallet dilemma? Well, it’s quite simple. A billfold is a type of wallet and possibly the most popular among men and women across the globe. Keeping in mind all that we’ve covered, you can now make an informed decision as to what the better option is for you and what to store in it.

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