How to Pick a Lock with a Credit Card

How to Bypass a Lock with a Credit Card

We’ve all seen the movies where our savvy hero pulls a Mastercard from his wallet and with a quick push and wiggle the door swings open. But how practical and realistic is this? Is it just movie fiction or can we too acquire these spy-like abilities and learn how to pick a lock with a credit card?

In terms of its practicality, using a credit card to unlock a door is not always the best method as there are many other means of bypassing doors and locks — such as lock picks or using improvised tools such as using bobby pins. However, if you ever find yourself in a pinch, using a credit card to pick a lock is always a viable option if the door you are attempting to bypass is of the right type.

So before we learn how to pick a lock with a credit card, let us first take a quick look at the best cards to use and the types of locks that are susceptible to credit card attacks.

Choosing Your Card

Bendy CardUnlocking a door with a credit card is not as clean as the movies make it seem. The card being used will endure a ton of wiggling and bending — this type of rough play is typically not the kinda stress you want to put on your credit cards. Leave that to the bills.

Additionally, credit cards tend to be too thick and stiff to be effectively used and may even break.

For these reasons, we recommend that you use something that is more lightweight, flexible, and less valuable than a credit card — such as:

  • Gift cards
  • Membership cards
  • Old hotel keys
  • Insurance cards

You can even cut a strip from a plastic soda bottle if you don’t have any cards at your disposal!

Locks’ Pickable by Credit Cards

Unfortunately, credit cards will only work on slanted-latch style locks (as shown below) and will not work on deadbolts. Furthermore, the slant of the latch must be facing you so that you may press it in using your card.

Slant Latch Type Lock

But how can we tell by looking at a door if we can pick it with a credit card? Easy! There are essentially three things you should look for:

  1. Firstly, make sure that there is not a deadbolt. Deadbolts use a rod that can only be retracted by either using a key or by lock picking — which is typically just as easy.
  2. Secondly, the slant of the latch must be facing towards you. You can easily determine this by looking at the door. If the hinges are on the opposite side of the door as you then the slant is facing you. If the hinges are on your side, this method of credit card lock picking will not work and you are better off removing the hinges to get through the door.
  3. Thirdly, be certain that there are no metal plates nor excessive molding that will restrict your card from sliding between the crack of the door and reaching the strike plate.
    Find Strike Plate
    The strike plate is where the latch enters the door frame (right piece).

So if there is no deadbolt, the hinges are on the opposite side of the door, and there isn’t anything blocking the crack of the door — that particular door can be unlocked with a credit card!

How to Pick a Lock with a Credit Card: 3 Steps

Step 1: At an angle, slide the edge of your card between the door and the strike plate. Once the corner is in, straighten the card so that it is perpendicular to the door and the entire edge of the card is between the door and the strike plate.

Insert Corner of Credit Card
Enter the corner of the card between the door.
Straighten the Credit Card
Straighten the card perpendicular with the door.

Step 2: Bend your card towards the doorknob. By bending the card and giving it a little push, it should easily slide further into the door.

Bend the Card Towards the Door

Step 3: Bend and wiggle the card. Apply pressure to the door and continue to bend and wiggle the card between the door and yourself. Eventually, the card will slide far enough in to compress the latch — thus unlocking the door!

Entire Process ⇓

Credit Card Lock Picking Set

Credit Card Lock Pick SetIn addition to using an actual credit card to unlock doors, there are also a variety of lock picking sets that fit snuggly within a thin look-a-like credit card and can be carried easily in any wallet. Not only do these lock pick sets include all the basic picks required to bypass ANY lock — they are also extremely cheap, easy to use, and can be picked up on Amazon.

There you have it — you now know how to pick a lock with a credit card! If you liked this little guide please don’t forget to help us out and share it with your friends! Additionally, we would love to hear of any success, failures, or questions. Be sure to throw us a comment below! Happy Picking!

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Awesome guide! I was able to use this on my back door, which I guess also means I should change some locks lol! Thanks again!


Thank you! Very helpful. Got locked out of the house and this article was a lifesaver!

Druid faith

Just a note to point out that in many circumstances if the slant is in the wrong direction, you can create a pick that will work for those situations by cutting a card with an angle and hooking it in a way that allows the card to slide between the striker and the striker plate. Thereby allowing the door to pop open freely.
It kind of looks like a slightly curved wedge had been cut from the card.

Matt Lincoln

Hi… great advice. How do you do it if the door is quite thick and heavy? Cheers matt

[…] To unlock the door using a card, use a flexible, laminated card which you don’t mind getting damaged. Here is how to do it. […]


You rock! It wasn’t quite as easy as your video shows, but persistence pays off. Thank you for sharing!

[…] How to Pick a Lock with a Credit Card [+] […]

[…] latch door locks don’t realise how easy they are to pick open with everyday objects such as a credit card. Have a locksmith come out to your property and explain to you about some more complex locking […]


Left work early and my girlfriend had the house key. Used this method to get inside.

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