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

Both can be incredibly helpful — but pick just one.

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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 EntryTSA PreCheck
Length of membership5 years5 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 destinationsUS airports only
Number of eligible airports75More than 200
Number of eligible airlinesN/A56

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

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 2x miles on all purchases.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • No blackout dates on travel bookings
  • Transfer miles to over 12 travel loyalty programs
  • Miles have no expiration date and no cap
  • No foreign transaction fees
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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
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles on all purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
United℠ Explorer Card
60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles at restaurants, hotels and United and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See terms
See terms
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
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
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

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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