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How your credit card can help you get an expedited airport security check

Use the right travel credit card and you can get through airport security (TSA) expedited without paying a dime. AFARMore.

Photo: Shutterstock

The queues at airports are the most annoying part of traveling. TSA PreCheck makes it quick and easy to get through security checkpoints at US airports – in October 2021, 95% of travelers registered with TSA Precheck waited less than five minutes to go through pre-departure security. In addition, there is also a Global Entry program. It expedites Immigration and Customs clearance after returning to the US from an international trip.

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Many people know that Global Entry automatically turns on the TSA fast track (but not vice versa), so you can access all the fast lanes with just one program. However, not everyone knows that some credit cards offer Global Entry or TSA PreCheck for free - as a benefit to cardholders.

Read on to find out how your credit card can pay for Global Entry and/or TSA PreCheck to streamline mandatory procedures at the airport.

Determine if your credit card covers Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

Travel credit cards have many benefits to help offset annual fees. One of the most popular is the $100 bonus every four years for the Global Entry payment or the $85 bonus for the TSA PreCheck payment every four years. This money fully covers the fees for participation in the programs.

High-annual cards offering this benefit:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550 annual fee)
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card ($550 annual fee, see below) tariffs and fees)
  • The Card Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant by American Express ($450 annual fee, see tfees and charges)
  • The Card Business Platinum Card by American Express ($595 annual fee, $695 if application received on or after January 13, 2022, see below). tariffs and fees)
  • Platinum Card from American Express ($695 annual fee, see below) tariffs and fees)
  • United Club Infinite Card ($525 annual fee)

Mid-tier annual fee cards that also provide access to Global Entry or TSA PreCheck:

  • The Card Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express ($250 annual fee, see below) tariffs and fees)
  • The Card Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express ($250 annual fee, see below) tariffs and fees)
  • Credit Card for Business Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance ($199 annual fee)
  • United Quest Card ($250 annual fee)

Cards with a low annual fee that will speed up airport checks:

  • Credit card IHG Rewards Premier (annual fee - $99)
  • The Card United Explorer (annual fee - $0 first year, then $95)

Apply online and use your travel credit card

If you would like a credit card to pay for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you must apply online.

Generally, when applying for Global Entry online, you will be asked to pay a $100 non-refundable fee during the application process. Use a credit card that offers a Global Entry bonus and the card issuer will reimburse you in a few days or weeks.

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The TSA PreCheck fee works a little differently. You will complete the TSA PreCheck application online and then schedule an in-person meeting at the Enrollment Center to complete the process. During your in-person meeting, you will pay a non-refundable program fee of $85, which will later be refunded to your card if your card offers such a bonus.

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