How to Open a Door with a Credit Card

Community Tested

How to Open a Door with a Credit Card

Two Methods:Doing the Basic TechniqueFinding Alternative SolutionsCommunity Q&A

If you forgot your key again and wish you could get into your home without it, you may be able to use your credit card to do so. Just keep in mind that this technique only works on doors that have a simple knob lock with a spring-latch or a slanted-latch. To open your door, wiggle a card into the gap between the door and the door frame. If this doesn’t work, resort to an alternative solution.


Doing the Basic Technique

  1. to Open a Door with a Credit Card
    Slide the card into the vertical crack between the door and frame. Insert the card into the gap between the doorknob and door frame and then slide it down next to the doorknob. Push it in as far as it will go at a ninety degree angle to the door.[1]

    • To see the location of the door frame more easily, push the door back as far as it can go with your other hand.
  2. to Open a Door with a Credit Card
    Tilt the card towards the doorknob. Tilt the side of your credit card facing you towards the doorknob until it is almost touching it. You’ll be able to push the credit card further into the gap between the door and door frame.[2]
  3. to Open a Door with a Credit Card
    Bend the card back the opposite way. Bending the card back the other way will make the card slip under the angled end of the slant-latch, forcing it back into the door. Quickly open the door and unlock it on the other side.[3]
  4. to Open a Door with a Credit Card
    Lean on the door and wiggle the card back and forth to open it. If your door didn’t easily pop open, try leaning against the door while bending your card back and forth a few times. This will add more pressure to the latch and should open it.[4]


Finding Alternative Solutions

  1. Image titled Open a Door with a Credit Card Step 5
    Check for unlocked windows. Walk around to all of the ground-level windows that your home has and try to open them. If you find that one is unlocked, pop the screen out and open the window as wide as you can. Then, climb through to get inside.[5]

    • Climbing through a window can be dangerous. Only try this if you’re confident in your ability to climb inside safely.
    • If you have a back door or side door, check that too. You or someone who lives with you may have forgotten to lock it.
  2. Image titled Open a Door with a Credit Card Step 6
    Call your roommates. If you live with friends or a significant other, call or text them to see if they’re nearby. If so, ask if one of them would mind stopping by the home to let you in. While this may require that you wait a few minutes on your front porch steps, it doesn’t involve potentially damaging your property or paying expensive service fees.[6]

    • Also, consider walking to a nearby coffee shop to pass the time if you live somewhere where this is possible.
  3. Image titled Open a Door with a Credit Card Step 7
    Call your landlord. This is a great option if your landlord lives onsite. Give them a call to see if they’re home and ask nicely if they’d mind letting you in. Even if they don’t live onsite, they may work nearby and be kind enough to swing by and help you out.[7]
  4. Image titled Open a Door with a Credit Card Step 8
    Hire a locksmith as a last resort. If you don’t have any roommates and your landlord isn’t available to help, it might be time to call a locksmith. Hire them to come to your home and change the locks so that you can get in. While this will effectively solve the problem, it may be pricey, so it’s a good idea to only do it if you’re out of options.[8]

    • Keep in mind that your landlord may charge you for changing the locks and/or for damaging the door.

Community Q&A

  • Will the lock get damaged or break if I open a door this way?
    wikiHow Contributor
    It depends on the way you open it. If you are too rough and impatient, some locks may get damaged or your credit card could snap and become a blockage.
  • What do I do if my bathroom door is locked?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Your bathroom door lock may be a simple fix. Most interior doorknob locks are just a push-button lock not designed for security. If so, you can probably unlock the door by inserting a paperclip into the central hole on the exterior of the knob. This will release the lock.
  • Can you open it with an Uno card?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Cards from a game deck will not be strong enough to push down on the lock. Try something plastic first.
  • How do I pick a 2005 Altima open car lock?
    wikiHow Contributor
    It is best not to attempt to pick your car lock yourself. You should call a professional.
  • My lock is different. What do I do?
    wikiHow Contributor
    The credit card method only works on locks that don’t involve a deadbolt. If you’re unable to pick the lock, a locksmith may be necessary.



  • Some doors require very little effort while others may be opened by simply pushing a card into the door frame at the same height as the handle without any tilting or bending.
  • To avoid having to deal with this again, make a few copies of your key and keep a spare on you at all times and/or hide one near your home.


  • Be prepared to show proof that you have the right to open the door, or else you could find yourself behind the sort of locked door that a credit card won’t open!

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