A Stepwise Guide To Learning How To Pick A Lock With Credit Card

Key Takeaway

  • To open a lock using a credit card, slide the card between the door knob and the door frame to force the bolt into the door.
  • You may alternatively use a plastic shim cut in the shape and size of a credit card to pick the lock.

It might be upsetting to lose the key to your door knob, especially if there is something valuable locked inside. The situation may be worse if a kid or a pet locks themselves accidentally and you have no way to open the lock other than to pick it up. There are a number of ways to do that, but in case of emergencies, I am sure you would want to do that with minimum tools.

If you lose your key to your lock and want emergency access, you might be able to enter your home with your credit card. Yes, you read that right! Locksmiths also occasionally use this approach, however, instead of a credit card, they use a stronger plastic shim. However, it is noteworthy that this hack only works on doors with a knob or latch lock that has a spring latch.

In this article, we will go through the steps to learn how to pick a lock with a credit card. In many cases, this hack works perfectly, but most contemporary locks have latch designs that are resistant to shimming, but it is still good to try. Furthermore, you won’t succeed if your lock is a high-security lock.

The Working Principle Of A Spring Latch Lock

The Working Principle Of A Spring Latch Lock

Visualizing the interior of a spring latch lock should help you comprehend how it unlocks.

The door knob or latch is the portion of the door lock into which the key is inserted. The cylinder engages a set of spring-loaded pins that prevent the cylinder from spinning while the lock is locked. When a key is inserted, the toothed side of the key forces the pins upward to allow the cylinder to move. As a result, the bolt’s spring is compressed and retracted, unlocking the lock.

When we try to pick the lock using a credit card, we will try to achieve the same compression, but instead of twisting the key, we shall access the lock through the bolt.

Materials Required

To pick a lock with a credit card, all you need is a credit card. Due to the possibility of it being damaged or twisted during the instruction, use a card that you don’t mind harming. Alternatively, you can use a gift card, membership card, or any other thick plastic card. But make sure the card is strong enough to press the metal latch of the lock and flexible enough to fit between the door’s crack. You may alternatively also cut a piece of plastic from a bottle or use thick, translucent packaging.

How To Pick A Lock With A Credit Card

How To Pick A Lock With A Credit Card

Once you have the required credit card or its alternative, begin to pick your lock by following the directions below.

  • Step 1: First, slip the card down next to the doorknob and tuck it between the doorknob and the door frame. To the fullest extent possible, push it in at a 90-degree angle. Push the door back as far as it will go with your other hand to observe the placement of the door frame better.
  • Step 2: Tilt the front of your credit card so that it is almost in contact with the doorknob. The credit card can be placed farther into the area between the door and the door frame.
  • Step 3: Bend the card back in the other direction so that it may slide under the angled portion of the bolt. This will force the bolt back into the door.
  • Step 4: Quickly open and unlock the door from the other side.
  • Step 5: If your door still doesn’t open, try bending your card multiple times while resting against the door. The latch should disengage as a result of the increase in resistance.

Alternate Ways To Pick A Lock

In case the credit card hack doesn’t work, or you are looking for an alternate way to pick your deadbolt, this section of the article will help you. Here are some alternative ways how you can pry upon your lock in cases of emergency or need.

Obtain a New Key Made by a Locksmith.

A locksmith can create the key for your lock by using the lock’s keycode as a reference. They can get the codes by imprinting the key, inserting a blank key into the lock, or taking the lock apart. But it’s plausible that certain locks are more challenging to key than others—if not altogether impossible.

Use A Screwdriver To Pick Your Lock   

The primary idea behind this technique, which is similar to picking a deadbolt lock using a bobby pin, is to move the pins out of the way to allow the cylinder to move freely. Just use a screwdriver with a tip that is the right size to fit the keyhole. Slowly insert and remove the screwdriver from the padlock while jiggling it within the lock. Once all the pins have been released, keep jiggling to release the lock spring.

Drill Through Your Lock In Cases Of Emergencies

Another reliable and efficient method of opening a lock is by drilling through it. It is crucial to remember that you must use protective gloves and a facemask while drilling the lock in order to prevent harm from flying metal fragments. You must also avoid drilling the padlock while holding it in your hand. Protect your lock and make sure it moves as little as possible. The pins can then be removed by drilling through the keyhole.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What alternatives can I use to pick my lock open instead of using a credit card?

Answer – To pick the lock, instead of using a credit card, you may also use a membership card or gift card. In case you have no such card, you may also DIY a shim using a plastic bottle that is sized similarly to a credit card and is thick and strong enough.

Q2. How to pick a deadbolt lock with a credit card?

Answer – No, you cannot use a credit card or a knife to open a deadbolt. Knives or credit cards will only assist you in picking locks with spring or slanted latches.

Q3. Is it legal to pick your own locks in the United States?

Answer – Your legitimate ownership of your property automatically gives you the right to unlock your locks in any way. Thus, the answer is yes. In the US, choosing your own locks is, therefore, acceptable and seen as lawful.

Q4. Does picking a lock using a credit card damage the lock?

Answer – Yes, picking a lock will result in minute dents in the lock mechanism but using a credit card is a much safer way to pick your locks as it does not damage the locks much


Losing keys to your doors is not an uncommon event in people’s lives. But when it happens, it can be quite frustrating. Especially if you have your pets or kids locked inside or have something important inside that, you need to access right away. 
If you were looking for how to jimmy a lock with a credit card, the article must have helped you find detailed step-by-step instructions. If you need assistance with picking any other kind of lock, write to me in the comment section. I will try to help you using my skill set of lock-picking.

1 thought on “A Stepwise Guide To Learning How To Pick A Lock With Credit Card”

  1. Choose a card that you don’t mind breaking because it may get damaged or bent during the session. Any thick plastic card, including membership cards and gift cards, is acceptable. But make sure the card is sturdy enough to push the lock’s metal latch and flexible enough to slip through the gap in the door.


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Hey! I am Mark. Though I am not a locksmith by profession, but locks have always fascinated me since my teens. And it all started when I got locked out of my house and I had to pick the lock. Since then it has become my hobby to learn more about different kinds of locks, understand their working and methods to pick them up. In due course of time, I have also become better aware of how installing the right lock goes a long way in ensuring iron clad security. I aim to share my passion (about locks) through this blog. If you are also passionate about picking locks or are just looking to beef up the security, hop on the ride.