Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck: Which should you apply for | finder.com

Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck: Which should you apply for?

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Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck

Global Entry and TSA PreCheck can save travelers hours in airports. Though each is valuable in its own way, don’t shell out money for both of them. Here’s how to decide which one’s a better fit.

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

Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are priced similarly, but they offer different benefits.

Global Entry gives you expedited passage through customs as you arrive on an international flight. TSA PreCheck offers expedited security screening for flights departing from US airports. Global Entry often includes TSA PreCheck.

Global Entry TSA PreCheck
Length of membership 5 years 5 years
Application fee $100 $85
What you get
  • Use Global Entry kiosks instead of going through the normal customs line.
  • Get access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Go through security screening in a dedicated TSA PreCheck lane.
  • You don’t have to remove your shoes, belt, light jacket, laptop or eligible liquids.
Available in international airports? Select destinations US airports only
Number of eligible airports 75 More than 200
Number of eligible airlines N/A 56

How much does Global Entry and TSA PreCheck cost?

A Global Entry application costs $100. A TSA PreCheck application costs $85. These fees are nonrefundable even if you aren’t approved.

You can get out of these application fees with the right travel credit card. Use your card for your application fee, and your provider will reimburse you.

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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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Promoted

Compare credit cards with free Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

If you want to apply for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, consider getting a travel card that offers a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit every four to five years.

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

Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck: Which is the better deal?

passport, global entry and tsa precheck Image: Shutterstock

Here’s what to bring to your Global Entry interview:

Many travelers highly recommend getting Global Entry because it often includes TSA PreCheck.

Of course, if you never travel abroad, you simply won’t need Global Entry. TSA PreCheck could be just fine for you.

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Bottom line

Both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck can be highly useful. If you get a Global Entry membership, you’ll get benefits from the other program too.

If you want a product that elevates your vacations, look for a travel credit card.

Frequently asked questions

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Images: Shutterstock

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