If those ubiquitous Vistaprint television commercials aren’t enough to convince you that exchanging printed-on-paper business cards is still important in this increasingly digital age, think about Japan for a minute. There, this longstanding professional tradition is so revered that there’s a name for it–meishi koukan–and there are strict ceremonial rules to know and follow to avoid insulting a new business contact by treating his card, which is considered an extension of his very self, with utmost respect. These include extending your card (with your name facing the recipient) with both hands and never EVER taking your colleague’s card and placing it into your pocket instead of a secure, old-fashioned card case.
Whether you travel to Tokyo often or your only contact with Japanese culture has been watching an old Godzilla rerun on a Saturday night, there’s something to be said for such formalities; pulling out a stack of your own cards that’s bound by a ratty rubber band, for instance, will look like bad form in both Kalamazoo and Kyoto.
So get a card carrier, for heaven’s sake. It will not only make you look more polished and professional but help you organize all those new contacts before you transfer them to your smartphone or laptop.
Here are 20 neat business-card cases in a wide variety of materials and prices that are currently available. Many can even double as wafer-thin wallets that’ll hold credit, debit, ID and commuter cards–and even a bit of cash if you still ever still carry it. But whether you pay for them with paper or plastic doesn’t matter. These are indeed “investment pieces” that are truly worth the investment–large or small.
46th St. Folding Card Holder by Belber, $175
58th St. Accordion Card Holder by Belber, $185
Popper Printed Card Case by Ben Sherman, $30.99
Knox Slim Wallet by Bespoken, $98
No. 092 Card Case with Snaps and Chain by Billy Kirk (embossing available), $115
No. 155 Leather Card Case with Flap by Billy Kirk (embossing available), $74
Alligator Card Wallet (in genuine Louisiana alligator skin) by Billy Reid, $325
BB#1 Repp Card Case by Brooks Brothers, $98
Mini Wallet by Carhartt Work in Progress, $55
Leather Credit Card Case by Drake’s, $125
Front Pocket Cash and Card Case by Filson, $60
Knotch Card Case by Ghurka, $195
Morrison Zip-Around Card Case (with accordion interior) by John Varvatos, $268
Leather Credit Card Wallet by Lotuff, $125
Leather Folding Card Wallet by Lotuff, $105
Snap Card Case by Moore and Giles, $85
All in One Wallet by Original Penguin, $23.99
Business/Credit Card Case, Triangle by Stewart/Stand, $49.50
Glen Border Business Card Case (personalized) by Things Remembered, $25
Roller Business Card Case (personalized) by Things Remembered, $14.99