We’ve shared many posts about how to optimize or take advantage of the various credit cards offered in the market today, so here’s a new spin on it: what can you do with credit cards you no longer use? Use it for life hacks, of course!

Emergency Door Opener

Image via Youtube

Many of our internal doors use door knobs with a mortise locks. If you notice that your door knob has a tongue-like bolt that retracts when you twist the door knob, that is a mortise lock. They are cheap, and also quite easy to hack open – which is a good thing if you accidentally lock yourself out! You can actually use the entire card for this, but an old credit card is best just in case you damage your card in any way. To unlock your door, simply tilt the card towards the doorknob, push the card further in, then bend the card back the opposite way (away from the doorknob) to unlock without calling for an expensive locksmith.

Emergency Key

Oops, we all lose keys once in a while, and the door opener hack doesn’t work with other types of locks such as padlocks. Have you ever noticed that your credit card is about the same thickness as most common keys? They’re perfect for emergency keys. All you need to do is stick the bit or blade of your key (the part with “teeth” cuts) over a flame until it turns black, stick it on a transparent tape to transfer the black outline, then stick the carbon copy tracing onto a credit card and cut according to the outline.
This particular credit card life hack is useful only for the cheapest padlocks out there, the mass-produced small bronze or silver ones that you see everywhere, and not the high-security ones with thick keys or combination passwords. Plus, you won’t ever need to worry about strangers finding your emergency “key”, because they won’t be expecting it to be a card!

Phone Holder

The phone rings that were all the rage last year had one major flaw: they get really loose after a while and become an annoyance rather than a help. Instead, save yourself some cash and fold a credit card to become your next phone holder. It’s really easy, and it’s free too!

Guitar Picks

Image via CY Design Studio

Did the guitar bug bite you and leave you scrambling for guitar picks? Your old credit cards are perfect materials for emergency guitar picks. Like your cards, budget guitar picks are also made of plastic. Choose a card, print out a pick template online, or trace an outline from an existing guitar pick, then cut out the shape. Better yet, pick a pretty credit card and preserve its best pattern on your guitar pick! Just remember to really smoothen the edges of your credit-card-turned-guitar-pick so that you don’t accidentally damage your guitar strings.

Last Resort: Shred Them

If you’re not interested in hacking redundant credit cards, then at the very least you should know the proper method of disposal when the time comes. Are you tired of seeing a stack of old, disused credit cards sitting on your dresser? Don’t dump them straight into the trashcan! In fact, the best way to get rid of them is to shred them or cut them up into multiple pieces, then discard the pieces in several different trashcans. This is to avoid the risk of identity theft.


So did you have fun breathing a second life into unused credit cards? Now you have a reason to carry redundant cards around. Of course, many of these hacks can be done with pretty much any card as well, so have fun exploring!

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