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.

Global Entry can save you time!

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. All the travel credit cards are listed in order of the credit card issuer.

American Express

Platinum Card from American Express

Amex Platinum metal

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.

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.

Chase

Chase Sapphire Reserve

chase sapphire reserve benefits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits are some of the best in the travel rewards industry.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve provides you a $300 annual travel credit that will reimburse any travel-related purchase. You also get complimentary Priority Pass Select Airport Lounge Access for you and two guests. Plus, you earn three points for every dollar on travel and dining purchases.

Redeeming travel rewards with the 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.

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 5 points per $1 on all Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, and SPG stays.

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 2 points per $1 on airfare, car rental, and restaurant purchases.

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: 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.

Geoff Whitmore

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.

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About the Author

Geoff Whitmore

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

1 Comment 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.

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