I have spoken openly about the fact that I lose my wallet on a daily basis. Sometimes multiple times in the same day. Mostly at home, or in my car, and fortunately, only once in public. I’ve tried all kinds of tracking tools and gadgets over the years, from Tile to Apple’s AirTags and now Chipolo’s Card Spot to help me find them when I’m lost again.
The $35 Chipolo Card Spot gets a lot of things right and will definitely make it easier to find your wallet the next time you leave it behind; Even if it is in your home. Here are my thoughts on Card Spot after using it for the past few weeks.
If you are an iPhone user and are looking for an easy way to track your wallet through your phone in case you lose it, Chipolo Card Spot is a no-brainer.
What we loved about it
Apple’s Find My app has been an invaluable tool since its early days when it launched as Find My iPhone over a decade ago. It became even more important with the release of Apple AirTags. Small, battery-powered devices connect to the Find My network, allowing you to track anything you can attach the tag to.
Apple released its own MagSafe Wallet with Find My support. And even though I bought one the moment it was available, I was disappointed that I only receive an alert with an address wherever the wallet is detached from my iPhone.
Unlike other devices that support Find My, like Chipolo One Spot or Apple’s AirTags that you can mark as missing and get automatic alerts for them, Apple’s MagSafe Wallet has no way to connect to nearby Apple devices to update their current location. Additionally, MagSafe Wallet lacks a speaker that you can turn on to help find a misplaced wallet. For these reasons I was excited to test the Chipolo Card Spot.
Setup is very easy
Anyone who has set up AirTag or has connected a Bluetooth device to your iPhone will feel right at home with Card Spot. After you take the card out of its case, you’ll need to open the Find My app on your iPhone, go to the Items tab, tap on the “+” sign and select Add another item. Your iPhone will start searching for any service Find My Nearby Devices in setting mode. On the card itself, you’ll press the little button on the front of the card to activate it.
Once your iPhone sees the card, it will select it, give it a name and add it to your Apple ID account. With Card Spot added to your Find My app, you’re ready to put it in your wallet and forget all about it – until you absolutely need it. Which happens a lot to me.
Anonymous crowd tracking – plus speaker
What makes Apple’s Find My network so powerful, and at the same time special, is the fact that every Apple device is equipped with existing software that can detect and alert the owner of any lost devices. This is all done securely and privately, using Bluetooth and randomly generated hardware identifiers that change frequently.
For example, if you forget your wallet at the cashier booth at your local grocery store but don’t realize it until you get home, you can open the Find My app and view your card’s last known location, then locate the card (and the wallet inside) that’s missing.
Once it’s marked as lost, the next time your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac is nearby and privately connected to the Card Spot, you’ll receive an instant alert on your iPhone letting you know its exact location.
With over a billion different Apple devices in use, it won’t take long for your lost device to be found. Then, once you get close to where you left off, you can force the Card Spot’s built-in speaker to play a sound — something you won’t get in Apple’s MagSafe Wallet.
Chipolo claims the Card Spot battery lasts up to two years. Once it runs out, you will need to replace the card as there is no way to change the battery. However, the company does offer a 50% discount code that you will get two years after registering the card on this website.
What we didn’t like
One of the features AirTags has over Card Spot is the ability to accurately locate AirTags via the precise search feature available to those with iPhone 11 or later. When you’re within range, the iPhone will tell you how close you are, and which direction you should move to locate the mark, accurate to just a few inches.
Card Spot does not have this capability. Instead, you’ll need to lean on the speaker and hope it isn’t muffled in your purse or bag. Although, I imagine adding any additional connectivity features would increase the thickness of the card while also reducing battery life.
It’s a little thicker than a credit card
Card Spot is 2.4 mm, or 0.09 inch, thick. That’s three times thicker than the average credit card at 0.03 inches. The added thickness isn’t all a surprise; The Chipolo has to fit the battery, speaker, and the rest of the electronic components somewhere. It’s equal parts unfortunate and impressive.
As someone who uses a thin wallet with enough room for a few cards, the extra thickness means I have to either switch to a traditional wallet or leave a few cards behind.
The Chipolo Card Spot is less expensive than Apple’s MagSafe Wallet that works with the Find My network, and has additional features that the wallet desperately needs. It would be fine for a more traditional wallet, but for anyone who uses a slim wallet, you will have to decide which card(s) to leave behind if you purchase Card Spot.
If you are an iPhone user and are looking for an item tracker that is more wallet-friendly than AirTags, Chipolo Card Spot is a no-brainer. It fits easily into most wallets, works with Apple’s Find My app to let you track your wallet if you lose it, and has a handy speakerphone to locate your lost wallet by voice. Those looking for a more all-purpose tracker should use AirTag, while those looking for an Android wallet tracker should get the Tile Slim.
How does it compare to other item trackers we tested
|measuring||3.35 x 2.11 x 0.09 inches||1.26 x 1.26 x 0.31 inches||4.54 x 3.24 x 0.59 inches||3.36 x 2.1 x 0.09 inches|
|battery||Two years||1 year||Unavailable||3 years|
|Compatibility||iOS||iOS||iOS||iOS / Android|
|Apple Find My Compatibility app||yes||yes||yes||no|