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Best credit cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck reimbursements from our partners

Last Updated, October 17, 2019

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There are a lot of things to love about traveling, but we think it’s safe to say that waiting in long airport security lines probably isn’t one of them – especially if you’re in a hurry.

Whether you’re the type of person who shows up to the airport three hours early, or you don’t usually arrive until the very last minute, expedited security screening can help reduce traveling-related stress for everyone. And depending on the credit cards you carry in your wallet, you may have access to this bliss for free.

There are a few options out there that can help you speed through the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) security lines and through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's international checkpoints with ease, though it’s the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs that are most familiar to many travelers, and it's application fee reimbursements to these two programs that many credit card issuers offer as a perk to cardholders.

CARDS FOR CONSUMERS | CARDS FOR BUSINESSES

We’ll get to those credit cards later in this article, but let’s start with an introduction to these two programs first...

WHAT IS GLOBAL ENTRY?

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Global Entry is a program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States through the use of automatic kiosks at select airports.

The way it works is, you go to these kiosks, present your machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, have your fingerprints scanned for identity verification, and complete a customs declaration. You’ll then get a receipt and be sent on your way to the baggage claim area.

If it works the way it should, you'll be off the plane, reunited with your baggage, and on your way home in no time. Just be aware though that even if you're accepted into the Global Entry program, CBP does caution that "members may still be selected for further examination when entering the United States."

You should also know that if you apply for and get accepted into Global Entry, you’ll automatically be enrolled in TSA PreCheck. We continue on with more program information in the chart below.

WHAT IS TSA PRECHECK?

In a nutshell, if you successfully apply for TSA PreCheck, for the next five years, until you must renew, at domestic airports you can go through a special airport security line where you don’t have to take off your shoes, belt, or jacket, or remove your laptop or liquids from your bag. The lines should also be significantly shorter than the line for those without TSA PreCheck.

If you apply for and get into TSA PreCheck, you are not automatically enrolled in Global Entry.

GLOBAL ENTRY VS. TSA PRE✓®

GLOBAL ENTRY

TSA PRE✓®

COST
COST

$100

$85

RENEWAL TERMS
RENEWAL TERMS

Every five years

Every five years

WHO CAN QUALIFY
WHO CAN QUALIFY

U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents and citizens of select countries

There is no minimum age requirement; however, individuals under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian’s consent to participate in the program, and a parent or legal guardian must be present at the time of interview. The parent or legal guardian does not have to be a Global Entry member.

The TSA Pre✓® application program membership is open to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and lawful permanent residents. 

There is no age restriction to apply; however, family members ages 12 and under traveling with an eligible parent or guardian with a TSA Pre® indicator on their boarding pass can participate in expedited screening.

BENEFITS
BENEFITS

The benefits of Global Entry include:

  • No processing lines
  • Access to expedited entry benefits in other countries
  • Available at Major U.S. airports
  • Reduced wait times
  • TSA Pre✓® eligibility

The benefits of TSA Pre✓® include:

  • Reduced wait times
  • Available at more than 200 airports and with 67 airlines
  • No need to remove: shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts, or light jackets while going through security
HOW TO APPLY
HOW TO APPLY

According to the CBP website, applying for Global Entry is as easy following these four simple steps:

  1. Create a Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) account. Regardless of age, you must have your own TTP account.
  2. Log in to your TTP account and complete the application. A $100 non-refundable fee* is required with each completed application. (*NOTE: this fee could be refundable by your credit card company depending on which credit card you use to pay for the fee. We cover more details on this below.)
  3. After accepting your completed application and fee, CBP will review your application. If your application is conditionally approved, then your TTP account will instruct you to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. Each applicant much schedule a separate interview.
  4. You will need to bring your valid passport(s) and one other form of identification, such as a driver's license or ID card to the interview. If you are a lawful permanent resident, you must present your machine readable permanent resident card.

According to the TSA website, to apply for TSA Pre✓® you:

  1. Submit an online application in 5 minutes and schedule an appointment at any of 380+ enrollment centers. An $85 fee will be required at this time, but like with Global Entry, depending on your payment method, you may be eligible for reimbursement from your credit card company.
  2. Schedule a 10 minute, in person appointment that includes a background check and fingerprinting.
  3. If approved, you'll receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) which you can add to your plane tickets to enjoy the benefits of TSA Pre✓®.

WHICH IS BETTER, GLOBAL ENTRY OR TSA PRECHECK?

Because being a part of the Global Entry program also makes you eligible for TSA Pre✓®, if an extra $15 every five years isn't that big of a deal to you, then we'd say Global Entry is probably your best bet. Even if you only travel internationally once or twice a year, being a part of this program can still save you valuable time. And $15 really isn't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. PLUS, the part you've been waiting for, if you pay for your membership with select credit cards, you don't have to worry about a fee at all. There are a number of popular travel credit cards out there that offer an application fee reimbursement for these programs. Continue on to learn more about some of our favorite travel rewards credit cards featuring this perk and more.

BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR GLOBAL ENTRY AND TSA PRECHECK

FOR CONSUMERS

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® fee reimbursement details: Receive up to a $100 credit once every four years when you use your card to pay your Global Entry OR TSA Pre✓® application fee.

Bonus: Earn 50,000 miles (equal to $500 in travel) once you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening an account.

Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Rewards: Earn unlimited two miles on every purchase made. Additionally, earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels when you use your card to make a hotel booking on hotels.com/venture (through January 2020).

Additional travel benefits: No foreign transaction fees; redeem your miles without blackout dates or brand-loyalty - just make your travel purchases and redeem your miles for a statement credit; travel accident insurance; auto rental collision damage waiver; and more.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® fee reimbursement details: Receive up to a $100 credit once every four years when you use your card to pay your Global Entry OR TSA Pre✓® application fee.

Bonus: Earn an introductory 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of opening an account. Points are worth $750 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Annual fee: $450

Rewards: Receive $300 in statement credit each year (based on your account anniversary) to cover travel expenses like airfare and hotels, plus earn three points per $1 spent on dining and on travel purchases (after you've earned your annual reimbursement) and one point on all other purchases.

Additional travel benefits: No foreign transaction fees; points are worth 50% more when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; complimentary airport lounge access after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select; special benefits at a variety of top hotels and resorts worldwide such as complimentary room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out; trip cancellation/interruption insurance; auto rental collision damage waiver; lost luggage reimbursement; trip delay reimbursement; and more.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® fee reimbursement details: Receive up to a $100 credit once every four years when you use your card to pay your Global Entry OR TSA Pre✓® application fee. This benefit is also available to additional card members on the account. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.

Bonus: Receive 60,000 points once spending $5,000 with your card within the first three months of opening an account.

Annual fee: $550

Rewards: You'll receive five points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You'll also get five points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. Earn one point on all other purchases.

Additional travel benefits: Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world; receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels and Resorts; earn a $200 airline fee credit each calendar year to cover things like baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline; enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December; and more.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® fee reimbursement details: Receive up to a $100 credit once every four years when you use your card to pay your Global Entry OR TSA Pre✓® application fee.

Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points - worth $500 - after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account.

Annual fee: $95

Rewards: Unlimited two points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases as well as 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases. But wait; there's more: If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, you can get a 25%-75% rewards bonus on every purchase made.

Additional travel benefits: No foreign transaction fees; up to $100 in statement credit each year to cover your incidental airline fees; trip delay reimbursement; lost luggage reimbursement; baggage delay insurance; auto rental collision damage waiver; and more.

Mastercard® Black Card™

Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® fee reimbursement details: Receive a $100 automatic statement credit for the cost of the Global Entry and TSA Pre✓® application fee.

Bonus: NA

Annual fee: $495

Rewards: One point for each dollar spent. When redeeming points, redemption for airline travel is worth 2%, and redemption for cash back is worth 1.5%.

Additional travel benefits: No foreign transaction fees; a $100 annual travel credit that can be used for airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades, etc.; enrollment in the Luxury Card VIP Travel program, providing perks such as room upgrades and complimentary food, beverage, and spa credits at more than 3,000 properties across the globe; car rental privileges, cruise privileges, charter services, chauffeured transportation, and airport meet and assist; access to more than 1,000 lounges at airports in more than 500 cities; and more.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® fee reimbursement details: Receive up to a $100 credit once every five years when you use your card to pay your Global Entry OR TSA Pre✓® application fee. (Citi is a CardRatings advertiser)

Bonus: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening your account. You can also receive 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases in a year.

Annual fee: $450

Rewards: On an ongoing basis, you'll earn two AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and one AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on everything else.

Additional travel benefits: Plenty, including no foreign transaction fees on purchases and free first checked bags for you and up to eight companions traveling on the same domestic itinerary. Also worth noting: complimentary access to Admiral's Club® lounges around the globe.

United℠ Explorer Card

Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® fee reimbursement details: Either $100 or $85 statement credit for the application fee when you apply for either Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®, every four years.

Bonus: Receive 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.

Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Rewards: Earn two miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays and on purchases from United. Earn one mile per $1 spent on everything else.

Additional travel benefits: No foreign transaction fees; priority boarding privileges and visits to the United Club℠ with two one-time passes each year for your anniversary; free first checked bag (a savings up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your card to purchase your ticket; 25% back on United inflight purchases; and more.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® fee reimbursement details: Receive up to a $100 credit once every four years when you use your card to pay your Global Entry OR TSA Pre✓® application fee.

Bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $89

Rewards: Earn 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

Additional travel benefits: Enjoy a free night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of four or more nights; Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a card holder; IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®.

FOR BUSINESSES

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® fee reimbursement details: This card reimburses you once every four years for your TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry application fees, and that credit is available to each cardholder on the account so your employees can also take advantage of this offer. 

Bonus: You have the potential to earn up to 100,000 points. You get the first 50,000 points after making $10,000 in purchases and then earn an additional 50,000 points after spending another $15,000 in charges all within the first three months of opening an account. 

Annual fee: $595

Rewards: Earn five points per $1 spent when booking flights and prepaid hotels through the American Express Travel website and one point per $1 on all other purchases. Earn 1.5 points per $1 on each purchase of $5,000 or more for up to 1 million additional points each year.

Additional travel benefits: Lots, but here are some worth highlighting: You can earn up to $200 annually in statement credit to cover incidental airline fees - checked bags, in-flight meals, seat upgrades, etc. - on a qualifying airline that you pre-select; no foreign transaction fees; use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year; get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork which will give you access to 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities (must enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019; The Business Platinum® Card from American Express cardholders are also eligible to enroll in complimentary Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status; and more.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® fee reimbursement details: This card reimburses you once every four years for your TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry application fees.

Bonus: Earn 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. Plus, earn 9,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary.

Annual fee: $199

Rewards: Earn three points per dollar spent on Southwest Airlines® purchases; two points on social media and search engine advertising, and on internet, cable, and phone services; and one point on all other purchases.

Additional travel benefits: Southwest is well-known for their "bags fly free" policy, where there's no cost to check your first two bags. Beyond that, users of this card can enjoy four upgraded boardings per year, inflight WiFi credits, and no foreign transaction fees. 


To see the rates and fees of the American Express cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express: See Rates and Fees; The Platinum Card® from American Express: See Rates and Fees.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.

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