How to Get TSA PreCheck & Global Entry Access for Free

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If you fly on a regular basis, you might think that TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are two of the best programs you can spend your money on. For no more than $100 every five years, you can skip the long security lines when you first arrive at the airport or have to pass through customs when returning from an international trip. To add icing to the cake, select credit cards will also pay your application fee.

Tip: Use the Platinum Card® from American Express OR Chase Sapphire Reserve® to pay for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and get reimbursed.

Applying for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry

There are a few things to know about Global Entry. First off, Global Entry requires a valid passport and is good for international and domestic travel. The application fee is $100 every five years.

TSA PreCheck doesn’t require a passport to be approved and only allows you to move through the expedited security lines for domestic travel. The application fee is $85 every five years. This can be the better option if you rarely travel abroad, or do not have time to visit a Global Entry enrollment center to complete the security interview.

Credit Cards That Pay the Application Fee

Several travel credit cards will give you a credit for the Global Entry & TSA PreCheck fees. We have listed a couple of them below. All the travel credit cards are listed in order of the credit card issuer.

American Express

Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express has an annual fee of $550. Each year, you receive a $200 annual air travel credit and $200 in Uber credits.

Other flight-related rewards include complimentary access to The Centurion, International American Express, Delta Sky Club, and Priority Pass Select airport lounge programs. You will also earn 5 points per $1 on airline and hotel purchases, making the Amex Platinum the best card for earning airline rewards miles.

Note that The Business Platinum® Card from American Express also comes with a statement credit every four years.

American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

If you invest with Charles Schwab, the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab has all the same benefits as the regular Amex Platinum. The one difference is that you can redeem your Amex Membership Rewards points for deposits that can be invested.

American Express Centurion Black Card

This invitation-only travel credit card from Amex will also reimburse your TSA Precheck and Global Entry fees. You will also enjoy Platinum Medallion status with the American Express Centurion Black Card in addition to a few other elevated membership benefits.

Capital One

Capital One Venture Credit Card

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card now comes with a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit. In order to redeem the credit, pay for the application fee with your Venture Card and the statement credit will show up within two statement cycles. Keep in mind that Capital One will only offer a credit for the first application, so it behooves you to go with Global Entry.

If you already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, know that the name on the application doesn’t have to be yours, it just has to be your card that pays for it. So feel free to use the refund on a friend or family member. Then you can both take advantage of the expedited entry at airports all over the country.

New cardholders can earn 50,000 miles if they spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of membership. That’s on top of the 2x miles per dollar earned on every purchase, every day. Capital One also partnered with Hotels.com earlier this year to offer 10x miles per dollar at hotels booked on hotels.com/venture.

Global Entry can save you time!

Chase

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve provides you a $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. You also get complimentary Priority Pass Select Airport Lounge Access for you and two guests. Plus, you earn three points for every dollar on dining purchases. You can also earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit.

Redeeming travel rewards with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is also a great benefit. Each Ultimate Rewards point is worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed for award travel and they can be transferred to many of the leading airline and hotel loyalty programs on a 1:1 basis in 1,000 point increments.

With the annual fee of $450, you have a 50,000 point sign-up bonus worth $750 in award travel on Chase.

You will also enjoy additional travel protection benefits including primary rental car CDW coverage and trip interruption benefits that will reimburse you for non-refundable travel purchases and other necessary expenses stemming from delayed travel plans.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Not only does the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card come with TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, it also has the opportunity to earn 80,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, you will earn 10x points per $1 spent at select IHG hotels worldwide.

You’ll also get a free night certificate on your account anniversary for hotels that cost 40,000 points or less a night. Get a free reward night when you book four or more consecutive nights with IHG points. This benefit is unlimited as long as you have enough points to cover your multi-night stay.

United℠ Explorer Card

If you fly United Airlines often, you’ll want to check out the United℠ Explorer Card. In addition to the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement, you’ll also have the opportunity to earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. You can also earn an unlimited 2x miles per $1 spent on hotels, restaurants, and United purchases. Everything else earns 1x mile per $1.

This card also comes with a free checked bag on United flights, priority boarding, upgrades on award tickets, two United Club℠ one-time passes, and no foreign transaction fees.

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card is a good option if you enjoy staying at the Ritz-Carlton.

Some of the Ritz-Carlton perks include the ability to upgrade your Ritz-Carlton Club status three times a year and a $100 hotel credit on all stays of at least 2 nights or longer. And, you also earn 6 points per $1 spent at participating The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® and SPG® hotels worldwide.

When it comes to flying, you get a $300 annual travel credit (like the Sapphire Reserve) and a $100 discount when you buy tickets for you and at least one traveling companion. You will also receive complimentary Priority Pass Select airport lounge access and earn 3 points for every $1 on dining, car rentals and airline purchases. All other purchases earn 2 points per $1 spent.

Citi

Citi Prestige

The best benefit of the Citi Prestige is being able to get your 4th hotel night free. This benefit can easily offset the $450 annual fee and might even be the most valuable travel rewards credit card benefit.

In addition to having your TSA PreCheck and Global Entry fees reimbursed, you can also get a $250 annual travel credit, Priority Pass Select lounge access, earn 3 points per $1 on air travel and hotels, and Citi points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for air travel at ThankYou.com.

Citi AAdvantage Executive Club World Elite MasterCard

American Airlines flyers will enjoy the Citi AAdvantage Executive Club as you can enjoy Admirals Club lounge access. Your first free checked bag also flies free for you and up to eight additional passengers.

Plus, you can earn two points per $1 on all American Airlines purchases. And, you can earn 10,000 Elite qualifying miles after spending $40,000 in total card purchases every year.

The annual fee is $450 and the current sign-up bonus is 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after spending $7,500 miles in the first three months.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve

U.S. Banks premium card offering is the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve. For $400 a year, you get Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement, Priority Pass Select lounge membership, 12 free complimentary Gogo in-flight wifi passes each year.

You also get a $325 annual travel credit and rewards points redeemed for travel are worth 1.5 cents each. Cardholders also earn the following purchase rewards:

  • 3 points per $1 on travel and mobile wallet purchases
  • 1 point per $1 for all remaining purchases

The sign-up bonus is 50,000 bonus points worth $750 in award travel.

While the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve is a highly competitive travel card, you do need to be U.S. Bank customer to qualify for it. You can visit your local U.S. Bank location to determine your eligibility.

Summary of Credit Cards That Cover TSA PreCheck & Global Entry Fee

While paying $85 for TSA PreCheck or $100 for Global Entry isn’t a budget buster, it’s still nice to know that some credit cards will reimburse the application fee. Every five years, you just have to swipe your credit card to pay for the application and your credit card company will reimburse the fee in the form of a statement credit. If you don’t own one of these cards already, you will be able to enjoy the best travel benefits that credit cards have to offer.

Mary Renking

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

How to Get TSA PreCheck & Global Entry Access for Free
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About the Author

Mary Renking
Mary writes about how to book travel with award miles & points, reviews top travel credit cards, and basic rewards news.

4 Comments on "How to Get TSA PreCheck & Global Entry Access for Free"

  1. Credit cards designed for travelers should allow redeeming points like rewards credit cards. That’s because a frequent flyer can change his/her job or won’t travel as much for any reason. Then they tend to not using the cards that’s specifically designed for travelers.

  2. I have TSA Precheck on American Airlines. So, would I also have it on other airlines or do I have to do something specific for each of them? I see on Southwest’s website the ability to enter a number to have them approve me for precheck, but they’re asking for a number and I don’t know what number they’re talking about or, if it’s my TSA number, I don’t know how to find it. Can you help remind me where that TSA precheck number might appear? Is it on my passport somewhere? Or is there a place on TSA’s website that it’s hosted?

  3. william anderson | January 7, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Reply

    I have NeveR purchased the TSA nor GlobalEntry. I will say that since 2013, my travel ticket is printed
    ‘precheck’. Maybe, becuase I always fly the same U.S. airline within the USA, and mostly the same destination.
    In any event, I have not read about others who may be in the same way I am.
    Comments?_______________________________________

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