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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. 

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry
TSA PreCheck and Global Entry can save you valuable 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 and TSA PreCheck fees. While the list below isn’t extensive, it does contain many credit cards that are also generally some of the best travel credit cards available. The travel credit cards listed below are in the 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 (See Rates & Fees). 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

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. To earn the 50,000, cardholders need to spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.

You will also enjoy additional Chase Sapphire Reserve 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 Credit Card is a good option if you enjoy staying at the Ritz-Carlton.

Some of the Ritz-Carlton perks include Gold Elite status and a $100 hotel credit. And, you also earn 6x points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels around the globe.

When it comes to flying, you get a $300 annual travel credit (like the Sapphire Reserve). You will also receive complimentary Priority Pass Select airport lounge access and earn 3x points per $1 on airfare, car rental, and restaurant purchases and 2x points on everything else.

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 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, one of the best credit cards to use in your mobile wallet. 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

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.

All The Airlines That Accept TSA PreCheck and Global Entry

One of the worst things about flying is waiting in a mile-long security line. Perhaps you have seen other ordinary travelers going through a separate line with no wait and wondering how you can get in on the secret. In recent years, the TSA has instituted a program called TSA Precheck and Global Entry that allows select passengers to skip the long security lines at check-in for domestic flights and returning to the United States from international destinations.

In addition to skipping the long security lines, there are additional perks to having this special status. You can go through an old-fashioned metal detector and do not need to take off your shoes, among other perks. Plus, several of the best credit cards for international travel come with credit for TSA Precheck and Global Entry.

Airlines that Accept TSA PreCheck

Even though the TSA Precheck is a great program, your airline itinerary needs to be flying with a participating airline to skip the lines.

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

If you are flying on one of the domestic airlines, you shouldn’t have a problem using your PreCheck status. Remember that to go through the special line, you need to be approved for a PreCheck program. The logo needs to be printed on your plane tickets for the TSA officer to process you through the shorter line.

Here’s a list of the current airlines that participate in TSA Precheck:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • Air India
  • Air Serbia
  • Alaska Airlines
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines
  • Aruba Airlines
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Azul Airlines
  • Boutique Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Cape Air
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • China Airlines
  • Condor Airlines
  • Contour Aviation
  • Copa Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Eastern Airlines
  • Edelweiss Air
  • Elite Airways
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Flycana
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • InterCaribbean Airways
  • Interjet
  • Japan Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Key Lime Air
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Lufthansa
  • Miami Air International
  • Norwegian Air
  • PAL Express
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Porter Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • Seaborne Airlines
  • Silver Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southern Airways Express
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • Sunwing Airlines
  • Swift Air
  • Swiss International Air Lines
  • Swoop
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Thomas Cook Airlines (Scan.)
  • Thomas Cook Airlines (UK)
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • ViaAir
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • VivaAerobus
  • Volaris
  • WestJet
  • World Atlantic
  • Xtra Airways

Global Entry kiosks are located at the following airports (note that there are no enrollment centers at airports with an asterisk):

  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)*
  • Anchorage – Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC)
  • Aruba – Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)*
  • Austin – Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
  • Bermuda International Airport (BDA)*
  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Burlington International Airport (BTV)*
  • Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT)
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)*
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Dublin Airport (DUB)*
  • Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
  • Fairbanks International Airport (FAI)
  • Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)
  • Grand Bahamas International Airport (FPO)*
  • Guam International Airport (GUM)
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
  • Hartford – Bradley International Airport (BDL)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
  • Houston – Hobby International Airport (HOU)
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND)*
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK)
  • John Wayne Airport (SNA)*
  • Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
  • Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Milwaukee – General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
  • Nashville International Airport (BNA)
  • Nassau – Sir Lynden Pindling International Airport, Bahamas (NAS)*
  • New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
  • New York – Stewart International Airport (SWF)*
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK)*
  • Ontario International Airport (ONT)*
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Orlando-Melbourne International Airport (MLB)*
  • Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB)
  • Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
  • Portland International Airport (PDX)
  • Providence – T.F. Green International Airport (PVD)
  • Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)*
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF)*
  • Saipan International Airport (SPN)*
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
  • San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
  • San Diego International Airport (SAN)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • San Jose International Airport (SJC)*
  • San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport-SeaTac (SEA)
  • Shannon Airport (SNN)*
  • South Bend International Airport (SBN)*
  • Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)*
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA)
  • Toledo Express Airport (TOL)*
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)

Should you apply for TSA Precheck or Global Entry?

There is a small level of confusion on the difference between TSA Precheck and Global Entry. Both programs are overseen by the TSA and the application process is the same. The only difference is the application fee and document requirements.

TSA Precheck costs $85 every 5 years and will give you a fast track through the security lines at any U.S. airport. If solely travel domestically, this is the better option.

For an additional $15 ($100 total), you can apply for Global Entry. You get the same perks as TSA PreCheck at domestic airports and similar perks when processing through U.S. Customs when returning abroad. A valid passport is required to be approved for Global Entry (this is a moot point as you need a passport to enter or leave the United States).

So if you do not own a passport and want Global Entry before your first international flight, wait to apply for Global Entry until after you receive your new passport.

How To Get TSA PreCheck or Global Entry for Free

Several of the premium travel credit cards will reimburse you the application fee for TSA Precheck or Global Entry (not both). Although it’s only about $20 per year, when the $100 annual fee is annualized over 5 years, this benefit helps offset the annual fee. Most of the travel credit cards that reimburse the application fee have an annual fee of approximately $450.

A current list of the cards that will reimburse the fee:

What To Know About Credit Card Fee Reimbursements

You will need to check the terms & conditions of these cards to see their exact policy on reimbursing the fee. The basic requirement for most companies is that the application fee needs to be charged to the credit card.

Many companies will also only reimburse the application fee for the primary cardholder. So if you have employee cards or add an authorized user, don’t count on them also getting a fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

You will still be responsible for paying for the fee of any additional cardholders. However, companies that charge an additional fee for all additional cards are more likely to reimburse the fee. Never say never, but it pays to check with the card issuer as the policy is somewhat of a “gray area.”

Although your application shouldn’t be declined, the credit card company will normally only reimburse the application fee once every five years. They normally do not wait for you to be approved to pay the fee. They will start the reimbursement process once the application fee is charged to your credit card.

Will More Airlines Participate in TSA PreCheck?

There currently are not any strong rumors of a new partnership being announced, but, there most likely will be more international airlines joining the fray. As the major domestic airlines were the first to participate in the program, airlines are weighing the economic law of diminishing returns.

There is a certain cost to participate in the TSA Precheck or Global Entry programs. It might not be cost-effective for domestic or international airlines with only a handful of flights.

Most travelers probably do not realize that they must fly on one of the participating airlines to qualify for the PreCheck status for that trip even if they have been approved. As the majority of flights originate with one of these airlines, it probably isn’t a major issue compared to a few years ago.

Will More Credit Cards Reimburse Application Fees?

Travel rewards credit cards are constantly changing their benefits. The one “discount” travel card that will reimburse the application fee is the Expedia+ Voyager ($95 annual fee) and it counts against your $100 annual travel credit.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Platinum Card® from American Express are two premium cards that will cover the cost of the application. Despite the fact that the Citi Prestige announced several negative changes, it didn’t decide to scrap this benefit. All this means that the premium cards will not scrap this benefit anytime soon.

What About Airline Loyalty Cards?

The larger question is when airline loyalty cards with lower annual fees will offer the benefit. Airlines tend to offer benefits for their own services such as complimentary checked baggage or in-flight discounts. If the cheaper airlines reward credit cards, including some of the best credit cards for travel miles, begin to reimburse their cardholders the application fee, it will most likely be in the same manner as the $95 Expedia+ Voyager rewards card.

They will reimburse the fee, but it will consume the entire travel credit that you receive for that calendar year, making travel easier but not any cheaper.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Johnny Jet Editorial

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.

3 Comments On "How to Get TSA PreCheck & Global Entry Access for Free"
  1. Sean|

    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. Loretta Love Huff|

    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?

    1. Johnny Jet
      Johnny Jet|

      You have to put your Known ID# in each airline profile. Do it online or call them or do it at the airport.

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