Card clash: if you use contactless to travel, how do you organise your cards?

If you use contactless payment when travelling, how do you avoid card clash?

Do you use RFID-blocking sleeves?
Do you only carry one card with you when you go out?
Do you take several cards but keep them in different places?
Or do you use a virtual wallet on a mobile phone to pay instead?


  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,635
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    I use Google pay on my phone wherever possible. Failing that I have an RFID blocking sleeve which holds 5 cards and pop out the one that I need when I need to tap it.
  • eDicky
    eDicky Posts: 6,525
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    Why would cards 'clash' if you only present one of them to the terminal..? Obviously you don't tap a whole full wallet. What has 'traveling' got to do with it..?
    Evolution, not revolution
  • JES_F1
    JES_F1 Posts: 753
    First Post First Anniversary Photogenic Debt-free and Proud!
    I've never considered "card clash" when travelling or doing any other spending. I use Google Pay on my mobile or simply take a card out of my purse.
    Debt Jan 2008: £45,566. *** June 2013: DEBT FREE! ***
    Paid back just under £50,000 due to some interest added.

    Dealt with my debt through a Step Change
    (CCCS) DMP.
    DMP Mutual Support Thread Member #240.
  • MSE_Laura_F
    MSE_Laura_F Posts: 1,567
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    MSE Staff
    Thanks all for your answers.

    @eDicky - I've always kept one payment card in my purse (alongside my various other cards - library, ID, loyalty cards etc) and held the whole purse against the reader when I go through the ticket barriers. I've always just found it quicker than having to sift through and pull out the payment card. Now I'm in a situation where I've got a couple of payment cards in frequent use.

    Lots of useful ideas for me to consider here - thanks again!
  • Vortigern
    Vortigern Posts: 3,231
    First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    Card clash is a useful feature that almost certainly prevents any card being read by a passing scanner when there are several cards together in a wallet in a pocket.  I don't use RFID blocking, although It's getting harder to find a wallet without it.
  • blue.peter
    blue.peter Posts: 1,141
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    I've always just found it quicker than having to sift through and pull out the payment card.

    Ah, now, perhaps that's a benefit of using a wallet: every card is in its own slot, so there's no need to sift through. I can see the top of each card and easily pull out the one I want. I wonder if you can get a wallet-like purse that opens out to give you slots for your cards... ah, yes, I'm thinking of something along these lines:

    (Image from Amazon)

    Would that help you?
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,635
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 13 April 2022 at 11:55AM
    As contactless theft becomes more of an issue due to readers becoming commodity products I wouldn't have any contactless payment cards unprotected when travelling on congested public transport. Anyone could walk past you and press a contactless payment machine or card reader against your bag, purse, wallet, pocket and get a payment  or details from the card.

    This is why I always use Google Pay (Apple pay works just as well) due to it requiring the app to be active in order to respond to contactless payment requests. You can also store loyalty cards etc in your digital wallet as well if you feel inclined to share your data in that way. All of my physical cards are then protected from RFID readers unless I decide to take them out.

    I use a pop up wallet for storing the physical cards. No longer carry a normal wallet at all as everything is either in the pop up wallet (which is easily carried more securely in the front pocket) or on the phone.

  • I use a trifold wallet. My TfL travel pass is in one leaf and the other cards in that compartment are non-smart so no card clash. My walkaround cards (one Visa and one MasterCard) are in another compartment. That way I can simply open one leaf of the wallet and touch on the reader without needing to extract the card. 

    I remain wholly unconvinced that there is any risk of my card details being captured by people scanning them with card readers through pockets/handbags.

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