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The last time you booked a flight, you might have noticed the airline asking for an optional piece of information, called a Known Traveler Number (KTN). Most people skip over it without a second thought, but those who have this mysterious information are the ones who can skip the lines when they travel.

That’s because a Known Traveler Number is something that you receive when you become a member of a federal Trusted Traveler program such as TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI.

What Are the Benefits of the Trusted Traveler Program?

TSA PreCheck is a domestic US program that allows access to expedited security screening at most airports. Like the days before 9/11, you can keep your liquids and laptops in your suitcase, and leave your shoes, belt and a light jacket on. This program charges an $85 application fee and is good for five years.

Global Entry is run by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and allows expedited entry to the US at select international airports, seaports, and land crossings. This program has a $100 application fee, and members also receive access to TSA PreCheck.

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

NEXUS is also part of the US Customs and Border Protection program, which allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada. This program is $50, is open to Canadian and Mexican nationals, and includes TSA PreCheck. SENTRI is a separate program for US citizens and foreign nationals that allows expedited entry into the US from Canada and Mexico. It includes PreCheck and costs $122.50 to apply.

How Do You Become a Trusted Traveler?

Several credit cards offer a $100 credit towards a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application, typically every four years. These cards include:

Related: Global Entry vs TSA PreCheck: Which Is Better?

Bottom line

There’s no need to spend hours of your life every year standing in TSA lines, or arriving extra early at the airport to ensure that you don’t miss your flight. By using the right credit card to join Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you can skip the lines and not even have to pay for the privilege.


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