Are you familiar with TSA PreCheck and or Global Entry? Read on as I share how to get Free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry for you and or family members.
Those Dreaded Security Lines
When you get into Travel Hacking, you’re likely to be doing a lot more flying. With flying comes the inevitable long security check in line(s). TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are two US Trusted Traveler programs that make your time waiting in security lines much shorter. In turn, this makes your travels way more enjoyable.
So what is TSA Precheck ( TSA Pre√) you ask? It stands for Transportation Security Administration PreCheck program. With a 5 year, $85 membership, you can speed through security at airports and don’t need to remove your: shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets. It saves you time and stress when traveling. It is part of the TSA Trusted Traveler Programs. Over 200 Airports and 73 Airlines participate in the program.
The TSA PreCheck designation is open to US residents, Nationals and LPRs. There is no age restriction. Children under 12 years of age traveling with an eligible parent who has TSA PreCheck, are also able to go through expedited security screening.
You can apply online and it takes just a few minutes. After that, wait for a written confirmation within about 2-3 weeks. Then, set up an in person appointment online.
In Person Interview
There are interview enrollment centers in many airports. As well, there are lots of locations outside of airports to choose from. Ideally, if you have time before or after a flight, you can arrange your interview while you’re already at the airport.
The appointment takes less than half an hour. You’ll be asked to verify your identity, the information already given and be fingerprinted. It is fairly straightforward but does require the two steps listed above. I received my approval just a few days after completing the in-person interview.
The Global Entry Program
Global Entry is also part of the US Trusted Traveler program. It is overseen by US Customs and Border Protection. Global Entry status allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports. This program includes TSA PreCheck and costs $100 for five years. It is open to US Residents, permanent lawful US Citizens and currently citizens of 11 additional countries. Click Here to see the full list.
Applying for Global Entry
Much like TSA PreCheck, you start by applying online after setting up an account online with US Customs and Border Control. After conditional approval, you set up an in person interview. Search for a Global Entry Enrollment Center in your state.
Bring your valid passport and one other form of ID. The interview takes less than a half hour. Receive your approval notification within a week or two. Then, plan your next trip out of the US and enjoy the ease of returning with almost no wait times.
Now the Free Part
One of the great things about our hobby is that we have so many credit cards to choose from. The good news is that many credit cards offer Global Entry or TSA PreCheck free.
List of Credit Cards that Cover the Fees
The following credit cards and loyalty programs cover the TSA PreCheck application fee as a member benefit. Or, they provide a statement credit towards the application fee. Some allow members to use rewards points to pay for the TSA PreCheck application fee.
- Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
- BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards card
- Capital One® Spark® Miles Card
- Capital One® Venture® Card
- Certain American Express® Credit Cards
- Chase Sapphire ReserveSM
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World EliteTM MasterCard®
- Citi Prestige® Card
- Diners Club® Carte Blanche® Corporate Card
- Expedia® Rewards Voyager Card from Citi
- HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
- IHG® Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards®
- MasterCard® Black Card™
- MasterCard® Gold Card™
- Navy Federal’s Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Card
- Orbitz Rewards®
- PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® card
- Provident World+ Travel®
- Radisson Rewards™
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
- SunTrust Travel Rewards World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card
- UnitedSM Explorer Card
- United MileagePlus®
- US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
- US Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card
The list above is subject to change. This is the link to this information on the TSA.Gov website
As you can see, there are a lot of companies and specific credit cards that will offer you the opportunity to enroll in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry for free. I used my Capital One Venture Card when applying for Global Entry and received a full reimbursement of the application fee. It was so easy because it happened automatically.
Already Have TSA PreCheck or Global Entry?
If you are already enrolled in one of these two programs, you can use your eligible credit card to apply for another member of your family or even a friend. What a lovely gift to give an avid traveler.
As you read it’s easy to get Free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Which credit card will you use to get your Free status? Scroll down and leave a comment.