How to Get TSA Precheck or Global Entry Free with a Credit Card

Even the best airports make you wait in line; those who fly have no choice but to show up and go through the motions to get to their gate. The process often starts with a long, boring wait to check in your bags and get boarding passes.

From there, a trek across the airport to head through security is inevitable. And, once you get past the rigmarole, you may still have to wait in line for drinks or a snack, and you’ll surely have to wait in line once again to board your plane.

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While there’s not much you can do about airport queuing, one perk can help make the worst part — TSA security — a lot easier to deal with. With TSA Precheck, you can avoid the regular security line and the crowds. Since you’ve been preapproved by security, you can also skip some of the most annoying aspects of this part of flying — things like having to take off your shoes and your belt and having to take your laptop out of your bag.

But, what about your journey home? On the arrival side of the equation, another perk can make your return to the U.S. much speedier when you travel abroad. With Global Entry, you can skip the regular customs and immigration line and head through a shorter Global Entry line instead. Global Entry tends to require shorter interviews upon arrival, if you have to answer any questions at all. On a crowded day at the airport, this perk can easily save you hours of wait time.

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    How much does it cost for TSA Precheck and Global Entry?

    So, why wouldn’t everyone sign up for TSA Precheck and Global Entry? If you fly often enough — and especially if you fly outside the U.S. often enough — these programs can make a lot of sense. But since an in-person interview is required for both TSA Precheck and Global Entry, many busy people never take the time to sign up and get approved.

    Then, there are the costs of these programs to consider, since neither is free. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), TSA Precheck costs $85 while Global Entry membership costs $100. However, Global Entry comes with TSA Precheck automatically, making it a much better deal. Both memberships last five years.

    How to get Global Entry and TSA Precheck free with a credit card

    While saving hours of wait time and stress is probably worth $100 over five years, there are credit cards that actually offer this perk for free. Since most cards with this benefit are travel credit cards, many also come with additional perks like the ability to earn rewards points, no foreign transaction fees, and various types of travel insurance.

    If you’re ready to make your flying experience more pleasant, the following rewards credit cards are ones you’ll want to consider:

    The Platinum Card® from American Express

    The Platinum Card® from American Express
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    The Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium travel credit card that offers benefits for frequent flyers. Not only will you be able to earn and use American Express Membership Rewards points, but you’ll get up to a $200 credit toward a pre-selected airline each year, airport lounge access, and other perks.

    Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

    The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of the most affordable cards on this list with a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year. Once you sign up, you can earn a healthy signup bonus and unlimited 2x miles for every dollar you spend. You’ll also get a $100 Global Entry statement credit every four years you’re a cardmember.

    The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

    The Business Platinum Card®  from American Express
    Partner Offer
    Apply now

    The Business Platinum Card® from American Express lets you earn a lucrative welcome offer and ongoing points with the American Express Membership Rewards program. In addition to getting a credit for Global Entry every four years, you’ll also get perks such as airport lounge access at 5x points on airfare and prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com.

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

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

    Please Note: Information about the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card have been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

    Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view our disclosures, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser’s page for terms & conditions.

    Holly Johnson

    Contributing Writer

    Holly Johnson is a frugality expert and award-winning writer who is obsessed with personal finance and getting the most out of life. A lifelong resident of Indiana, she enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling the world with her husband and two children. In addition to The Simple Dollar, Holly writes for well-known publications such as U.S. News & World Report Travel, PolicyGenius, Travel Pulse, and Frugal Travel Guy. Holly also owns Club Thrifty.