TSA PreCheck can feel like a godsend at the airport. Not only does it get you into a shorter, designated line for airport security, but you can also keep your electronics and liquids inside your bag rather than scramble to pull them out of your bag. Keep your shoes, belt, and jacket on, too.
At $85 for a five-year membership, it's well worth the cost for frequent travelers – especially if you've got a travel credit card that will cover the entire cost with an application credit. And now it's even cheaper to re-up your TSA PreCheck membership.
TSA announced on Monday that as of Oct. 1, renewing PreCheck online now costs just $70 for a five-year renewal. That's a decrease of $15, nearly 18%. First-time enrollees will still pay $85 upfront, as will in-personal renewals – but the TSA says more than 95% of PreCheck renewals are processed online.
“TSA PreCheck was launched 10 years ago to provide expedited airport security screening for low-risk travelers,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Our TSA PreCheck program improves overall security and we will continue to look for ways to enhance the benefits of this program for our trusted travelers.”
Read our full guide to getting and using TSA PreCheck!
The PreCheck program has grown fast, with more than 200 airports nationwide now offering designated PreCheck security lanes. More than 80 airlines – big and small, foreign and domestic – participate in PreCheck today.
But while any price decrease is worth celebrating, this renewal price drop may not matter much at all. It may seem odd, but the best way to get TSA PreCheck isn't by signing up for PreCheck at all. Instead, it's by registering for Global Entry.
Global Entry is a traveler's two-for-one. It gets you a fast pass through customs and immigration when returning to the U.S. from abroad. But it also comes with TSA PreCheck benefits, too.
At $100 for a five-year membership, signing up for Global Entry is only marginally more expensive than PreCheck itself, making it a no-brainer for international travelers. But while the cost of renewing TSA PreCheck is going down, signing up for Global Entry could soon cost more.
But it's not all bad news. While getting Global Entry has been a challenge in recent years thanks to application backlogs and delays securing an in-person appointment, the process seems to be improving lately.
Price decreases and travel rarely go hand in hand, but here we are. As of Oct. 1, renewing a TSA PreCheck membership online will cost just $70 for another five-year membership – a drop of $15.
That's a substantial price decrease. Bravo, TSA, for making this consumer-friendly move – even if signing up for PreCheck itself isn't always the wisest course.