How to Get Global Entry or TSA PreCheck With Your Credit Card

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Anyone who travels and values their time must have TSA PreCheck. When you are part of this program, you enter a much shorter line at security, and you can leave your shoes, belt and jacket on. You can also leave your liquids and laptops in your bag, and you only have to pass through a plain old metal detector, not some huge scanning device. And if you are part of the Global Entry program, which includes TSA PreCheck, then you could save up to an hour of standing in line every time you return from a foreign country.

The biggest downside to Global Entry and TSA PreCheck is the cost. You have to pay a $100 application fee for Global Entry or an $85 application fee for TSA PreCheck. Both are valid for five years, but then you’ll have to pay again to renew them. Thankfully, you can get reimbursed for the expense if you have the right credit card.

Here are several credit cards that offer you up to $100 credit towards either your Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application fee, every four to five years:

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

A credit of up to $100 towards the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is just one of the numerous benefits of this card. You can also expect to receive 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after spending $5,000 within three months of account opening.  Other benefits include an Admirals Club lounge membership for the primary account holder and all authorized users. You also get 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles after spending $40,00 on eligible purchases on the card in a single year. There’s a $450 annual fee for this card.

Mastercard® Gold Card™ and Mastercard® Black Card™

These two cards both offer you a credit of up to $100 towards the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, plus many other benefits. The Gold card offers 2% value on airfare and cash back redemptions, while the black card offers 2% for airfare and 1.5% for cash back.  Other benefits include a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership and free luxury gifts sent to your home. There’s a $995 annual fee for the Gold Card and a $495 fee for the Black card.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum card was one of the first to feature a $100 credit towards the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and it now includes an annual air travel fee credit of up to $200 and a $100 a year Saks Fifth Avenue credit (requires enrollment). You also receive a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, a Delta SkyClub membership and access to the American Express Centurion lounges. There’s a $550 annual fee for this card (see rates & fees).

United℠ Explorer Card

This is by far the least expensive card on this list that offers you a credit of up to $100 towards the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Other benefits include two United Club lounge passes, and a free checked bag for you and a companion when you purchase your ticket with this card. It has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.

Intro image by Arne Beruldsen via Shutterstock
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