How to Unlock a Door With a Credit Card

By Axl J. Amistaadt

  • Overview

    It's happened to most people on at least one occasion--finding oneself locked out of the house with no access to the key to the door. Although some doors are easier to unlock with a plastic card than others, almost all of them can be "jimmied" open with thin cards. It will take some patience, and and a little practice wouldn't hurt. Take the time to learn how to do this on one of your home's doors before you are stuck in a predicament where you are compelled to do so. Being prepared could save you an expensive visit from the locksmith.
    How to Unlock a Door With a Credit Card
    • Step 1

      Choose your most flexible credit card. You can also use any other laminated plastic type of card, if you're worried about the probability of damaging the credit card.
    • Step 2

      Slip the card into the crack between the frame and the door where the lock is located. Push the card as far as you possibly can into the crack at a 90-degree angle to the door.


    • Step 3

      Bend the end of the card that you are holding toward the knob until it almost touches it. Shift the card up and down while pushing it firmly inward. It should slide in a little bit more.
    • Step 4

      Force the lock's broad latch back by bending the card away from the knob, sliding it up and down if necessary, and open the door.
    • Step 5

      Remove the card from the crack in the door if the above doesn't work. Slide it back in between the frame and the door. Press the card firmly inward and shift it up and down vigorously as you alternately pull and push on the door knob repeatedly with your other hand, briskly turning the knob back and forth. This can take longer than using Steps 1 through 4, and is more likely to damage your credit card.
  • Skill: Moderate
  • Tip: You can cut a strip of plastic from a 2-liter bottle. The extra length and flexibility might actually make it work better than a credit card. A strong, thin knife blade can also be used on some doors.
  • Warning:
  • This is something that you should only resort to if you have locked yourself out accidentally. It is illegal to use techniques such as these if you do not have permission to enter the premises.
  • Be careful not to slip your card so far into the crack that you can't grip enough of it to pull it back out.
  • It's very likely that you will damage any card that you use. Choose something else, like a phone calling card or a membership card, rather than your credit card or your driver's license if at all possible.

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