How to Get into Your House with a Credit Card If You’re Locked Out

Uh, oh. You’re at your front door without a key. If you’ve got a credit card, see if you can get it to open the door before you use it to pay for a locksmith.


Up next in Home Security & Safety (26 videos)

Don't wait until you're burglarized or suffer a home invasion to check out the home security and safety advice in this Howcast video series.

You Will Need

  • A standard doorknob lock
  • Credit card or similar plastic card
  • Patience
  • Steady hands


  1. Only do this on your own lock -or you could wind up in a lot of trouble.

  2. Step 1

    Check the lock

    Check the lock. A credit card will only open a spring bolt--the kind of lock that comes with a standard doorknob. It won’t work on a deadbolt.

  3. Step 2

    Choose a card

    Choose a card. If you have a plastic card that’s less valuable than a credit card, like a video membership card, try that first.

  4. Laminated cards work best, because they tend to be flexible.

  5. Step 3

    Insert card

    Wedge the card between the door and the frame where the doorknob’s latch is located.

  6. Many doors have molding that will make this difficult; if you’re desperate to enter, you can pry it off--but keep in mind this may cause more damage than the cost of a locksmith.

  7. Step 4

    Wiggle and jiggle

    Holding the card flush against the doorframe, begin pushing and wiggling it towards the latch in the door crack.

  8. If the sloped side of the latch isn’t facing you, you will need a tool or long piece of plastic that you can hook around the other side and pull towards you, making this much more difficult.

  9. Step 5

    Push and bend

    While pushing the card in, begin bending it away from the doorknob. When you feel it slide the latch back, the door should open.

  10. Step 6

    Call a locksmith

    If you got into your home, don’t be so smug--it means you have a crappy lock. Call a locksmith and get a deadbolt.

  11. Most home burglaries occur in the middle of the day with the majority of burglars entering through the front door, which is often unlocked.