So you have checked your wallet, bag or pocket and can’t find your key and you urgently or desperately need to gain entry into your house. This article will show gain entry or unlock your door using your credit card. Take note of this caveat: this door unlocking technique will be effective if the door has a simple knob lock with a latch. The likelihood of this trick working is slim, though. Yes, you may have seen in movies where the action hero – Christian Bale or Tom Hardy – whips out a Visa credit card from his pocket and wiggle the card at the gap between the door and door frame and successfully unlock a door. That’s in the world of fiction.

In reality, using a credit card to unlock a locked door is not always viable, other more effective ways of circumventing a locked door exist – bobby pin, bump key, lock picks and other improvised techniques.

But since you need a quick fix and feel it is worth the try, let’s get down to the basics of unlocking a door with a card.

What kind of card is great for unlocking doors?

As we have explained earlier, the process of opening a door with a credit card is not easy. It may look simple in movies and cartoons, but in reality, it is a tedious activity. Your card will undergo a lot of twisting, wiggling and warping – you wouldn’t want to put your credit card through this form of strain.

Furthermore, credit cards may become severely damaged or even break if you bend it too much.

So what do we advise you to use instead?

A better alternative to the credit card is any flat plastic object that is more pliable, thin, light and rectangular and easily tossed away e,g. Gift voucher/cards, insurance cards, old sim certificates etc.

What kind of door lock can you unlock with a credit card?

As we have stated earlier, ensure your door has a latch lock. Credit cards do not successfully unlock doors with a deadbolt lock. In addition to that, check that the slanted latch is facing your direction, so that it will be easy to use your card to push it.

There are three criteria you should observe in your door lock before using a credit card to pry it open. 

  • The direction of the slant latch should be facing your direction. Check the hinge of the door to see if it is not facing you.
  • The door lock type should not be a deadbolt. 
  • Make sure there is a gap that will make it easy for the card to have contact with the strike plate – no metal plates should obstruct that.

If your door meets these criteria, it can be unlocked with a credit card. 

Read: How Do You Unlock A Car Door With A Hanger

An easy technique to unlock a door with a credit card

  • At the gap between the door frame and the strike plate, push the card in from the corner. Continue to push it while straightening the card to a perpendicular angle. 
  • To force the slide the latch away from the strike place, bend the card and wiggle firmly. 
  • Ensure you press your body against the door to add pressure on the latch. The door should unlock. 

Alternative to using a credit card to unlock the door

Read: How do you unlock a door if you lost the key

There are other ways that you can use to unlock a door apart from using a credit card:

Unlock windows

Look around for any window in your home at the ground floor and see if you can open them. Climb in to get inside. Though this comes with a lot of risks, it is worth the effort. 

Contact your roommates

For those who do not live alone – probably residing with a partner, spouse or companion, try contacting them to find out if they are closeby. They should be able to help you with a spare key. This will eliminate the possibility of wrecking your door lock. 

Consult your landlord/ apartment manager

Suppose you stay in a building where your landlord or apartment manager lives around the premises. Contact them and find out if they have a spare key. There is a high probability that they keep spare keys for such eventuality.

Seek the services of a professional locksmith

Well if you do not have a live-in companion and no other options are available, the best thing to do is to seek the service of a professional locksmith nearby. A locksmith is an expert on issues regarding lock and key and will be glad to be of help. Changing the door lock wouldn’t take time and is very affordable.