Credit cards with free Global Entry and TSA PreCheck | finder.com

Credit cards that offer free Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

Receive a credit for your application fee every four to five years.

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Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

Travelers love Global Entry and TSA PreCheck for helping them avoid long airport lines.

Though these memberships might be well worth their cost, you don’t have to pay for them directly. With the right travel credit card, you can get your application fee reimbursed.

How to get Global Entry and TSA PreCheck free

Some credit cards offer a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application credit once every four or five years. But most of these cards come with an annual fee of $89 and up to $2,500 for the Centurion® Card from American Express. The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card is one of the rare no-annual-fee cards that offer free Global Entry and TSA PreCheck credits.

Our pick for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck with no annual fee

PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card

  • 0% APR promo balance transfer rate for 12 months with 3% balance transfer fee now through September 30, 2019. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new balance transfers will be 12.99% to 17.99%. APR will vary with the market based on prime rate. Subject to credit approval.
  • Earn 25,000 bonus points by spending $2,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn 4x points on travel purchases through the PenFed Honors Advantage program. Earn 3x points on travel purchases for all other card holders.
  • Earn 1.5x points on all other purchases unrelated to travel.
  • $100 annual air travel credit
  • $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck benefit every 5 years
  • No caps or limits on rewards. No annual or foreign transaction fees.
  • Chip enabled for added security.
  • Variable rate as low as 12.99% APR. Rate and offers current as of June 1, 2019 and are subject to change.
  • Federally insured by NCUA.
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Compare credit cards with Global Entry and TSA PreCheck credits

When choosing a credit card with Global Entry and TSA PreCheck fee credit, take the annual fee into consideration as well as the additional perks and how often you’ll use them.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
25,000 points after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days
3x points on travel or 4x points if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage member and 1.5x points on all other purchases
$0
25,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days from account opening.
60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months
5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & fees
50,000 points after spending $10,000 and 25,000 points after spending an additional $10,000 in the first 3 months
5x points on flights and prepaid hotels through Amex Travel, 1.5x points if you spend $5,000 on a single eligible purchase on up to 1 million additional points per year and 1x points on all other purchases
$595
Earn 50,000 points after spending $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after spending an additional $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Rates & fees
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1.5% for cash back
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare or cash back
$995
Earn 2% point value when redeemed for airfare or cash back through the Luxury rewards program.

Compare up to 4 providers

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Global Entry

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a fan-favorite travel card. It offers a $100 statement credit every four years for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. This lets you renew your five-year membership well in advance.

The card has a $450 annual fee, but its luxury benefits can help cover some of that cost. Such benefits include a $300 annual travel credit, airport lounge access and perks at The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection properties.

You can earn accelerated rewards on travel and dining. And when you redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they’re worth 50% more.

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What are the benefits of Global Entry and TSA PreCheck?

Getting Global Entry or TSA PreCheck can be useful if you often fly and hate waiting in airport lines to pass customs or airport security.

Why get Global Entry?

  • Expedited passage through customs.
    When you arrive via an international flight, skip the customs line and head straight to the Global Entry kiosks. Enter a few details and get a receipt, and you could be zooming to baggage claim.
  • Not just in US airports.
    You can access Global Entry in select international destinations, such as Abu Dhabi, Canada, Aruba, Bermuda and Guam.
  • Get automatic access to TSA PreCheck.
    This is one of the reasons many travelers enthusiastically recommend Global Entry. For a slightly higher fee, you get an additional membership.

Why get TSA PreCheck?

  • Expedited passage through airport security.
    Access the TSA PreCheck lane and get through security faster at eligible US airports. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reports that in January 2019, 94% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited no more than five minutes in the security line.
  • You don’t have to remove certain items in security.
    There’s no need to remove your belt, shoes or light jacket. Also, you don’t have to remove your laptop or liquids from your bag. This makes moving through security much more convenient.
  • Costs less.
    It’s $15 less than a Global Entry membership. You might choose to get only TSA PreCheck if you rarely travel internationally.
  • Available across the US.
    You’ll find TSA PreCheck at more than 200 airports in the US. Your membership is valid with more than 50 airlines, including United, Delta and American.

What’s the difference between Global Entry and TSA PreCheck?

Each program typically gets you through an airport line quicker. Global Entry is for international travelers re-entering the US going through customs, and TSA PreCheck is for domestic travelers going through airport security.

A Global Entry application costs $100, and a TSA PreCheck application costs $85. Both memberships last five years.

Should I apply Global Entry or TSA PreCheck?

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Who can use the Global Entry and TSA PreCheck credit card perk?

Most people use the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit for their own applications, but you can also use it for someone else’s. As long as you use your credit card while paying for the application fee, you should receive a statement credit.

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How often do you get free Global Entry and TSA PreCheck with your card?

This depends on your card. Some cards give you the credit every four years, while others offer the credit every five years. In American Express’ case, you might even get a credit every four and a half years.

You might want the credit every four years, as you can renew your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership well before it expires.

Here are a few cards that offer the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck statement credit, and how often you can get the credit.

CardHow often you get the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressGlobal Entry credit every 4 years; TSA PreCheck credit every 4.5 years
Chase Sapphire Reserve®4 years
Citi Prestige® Credit Card5 years
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® CardGlobal Entry credit every 4 years; TSA PreCheck credit every 4.5 years
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card4 years
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card4 years
United℠ Explorer Card4 years
PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card5 years
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Bottom line

Global Entry can be highly valuable, as you essentially get two memberships for the price of one. If you rarely travel abroad, however, TSA PreCheck might work just fine.

You may also want to consider other travel credit cards that can help you travel in style — from no annual fee products to luxury options.

Frequently asked questions

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Images: Shutterstock

Disclaimer

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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