Even if you travel just a few times a year, having either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry can make your time at the airport much better – and faster.
TSA PreCheck will get you through those long security lines faster, while also allowing you to leave on your coat, shoes, and a belt. Global Entry, meanwhile, is your fast-track ticket through immigration after landing back in the U.S. And here’s the thing: Global Entry includes a TSA PreCheck membership, so if you are planning for any international travel, a Global Entry membership is usually the best option.
These memberships aren’t free. Global Entry costs $100 for a five-year membership, while TSA PreCheck clocks in at $85 for a five-year membership. But if you hold the right credit card, you can cover the cost of enrollment. All you have to do is pay your application fee with one of these cards. Once the charge hits your statement, it will automatically be reimbursed.
Read on for our list of the best credit cards offering up to a $100 credit for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck in 2020.
Want to learn about even more great travel perks from credit cards? Check out Thrifty Traveler University, our all-in-one travel hacking course!
<The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most cost-effective options on this list, as the annual fee on the card is only $95. And that annual fee is waived in the first year of card membership. Simply charge the application cost to your Capital One Venture card and you will receive a statement credit to wipe it from your card.
Capital One Venture miles are a great option for many as they are among the easiest to redeem. They can be redeemed for any travel expense – flights, hotels, cruises, etc. – and they are worth 1 cent each through their purchase eraser feature. So said simply, if you have 50,000 miles, you will be able to redeem them for $500 towards any travel expense.
The card also offers the ability to transfer miles into 15 different partner airline programs.
The card is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Capital One Venture Miles ($500 value) after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.
Click Here to learn more about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
The Platinum Card from American Express
The Platinum Card from American Express is one of the best premium cards available. With an annual fee of $550, it isn’t for everyone. But credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck are a big reason we urge readers to do the math before ruling out cards with a big annual fee.
Not only does the card offer a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years, but it also offers a host of other premium benefits like a $200 airline incidental credit, a $200 annual credit for Uber rides, and a $100 annual credit to spend at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Additionally, the card offers the best airport lounge access available from any credit card out there. There simply isn’t a card that will improve your airport experience more than the Platinum Card from American Express.
The card also offers a welcome bonus offer of 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. However, make sure to check and see if you are eligible for the 100,000-point welcome bonus.
And read our guide on 8 Great Ways to Use a Platinum Card Welcome Bonus.
Click Here to learn more about the American Express Platinum Card.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is another option for securing up to a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry once every four years. Much like the Platinum Card from American Express, this card now comes with a $550 annual fee.
Outside of the $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit it offers, it also comes with Priority Pass Lounge access, an annual $300 travel credit that can be used for any travel expense, and a host of other premium benefits.
The card is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership which can be redeemed for up to $750 towards travel when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
And read our guide on 6 Amazing Ways to Use an Ultimate Rewards Points Bonus.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card started offering up to a $100 credit for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every four years in January 2020.
Additionally, the card earns 3x SkyMiles per dollar spent at both hotels and on Delta purchases, and earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent at both restaurants and U.S. supermarkets.
You’ll also get a companion pass for a buy one get one free ticket each year on your cardmember anniversary.
However, the card’s annual fee is $250.
Click Here to learn more about the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card.
The United Explorer Card
The United Explorer Card is another great option to get up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. And if you’re a United flyer, this card can make sense for a number of reasons.
First, the card earns 2x points per dollar spent on purchases at United, restaurants and hotel stays. And if you pay for your flight with your United card, you’ll also get your first checked bag free.
You’ll also get priority boarding privileges and two, one-time passes to the United Club lounge each year on your cardmember anniversary. These passes normally cost $50.
But one of the best benefits of holding the United Airlines Explorer co-branded credit card is the increased access it provides to award seats on United Airlines flights. Just for holding the card, you will see more saver level award seats available when you search for ways to redeem your miles. Often times, there is additional award availability during peak travel times and/or more popular routes.
The card has an annual fee of $95, but it is waived for the first year of card membership.
Click Here to learn more about the United Explorer Card.
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Card
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Card is another great option if you are looking to cover the cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck with a credit card. While the card does have a $400 annual fee, it offers an annual $325 travel statement credit that can be used in a similar manner to the credit offered on the Chase Sapphire Reserve. All you need to do is spend $325 on travel and U.S. Bank will reimburse you.
On top of that, the card offers 12 complimentary Gogo inflight Wi-Fi passes each year and earns 3x points per dollar spent on travel and purchases made from a mobile wallet (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.)
It earns 50,000 points after spending $4,500 in the first three months of card membership, and the points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards travel. That means the 50,000 sign-up bonus offer is worth $750 dollars. However, unlike the card’s competitors from Chase and American Express, there are no transfer partners where you can transfer these points.
And finally, you must be a U.S. Bank customer to be eligible to apply for the card.
Click Here to learn more about the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Card (this is not an affiliate link).
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Card
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Card is another great option to get up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. On top of the credit, the card offers a free night each year on your cardmember anniversary for properties that cost 40,000 points or less. See our post on the best ways to use the IHG free night certificate in 2019.
You will also get automatic IHG Platinum Elite Status as soon as you get the card. Platinum Elite status with IHG gets you complimentary room upgrades when available and a 50 percents point bonus on paid reservations. It also gets you guaranteed room availability, priority check-in, and free late checkout.
You will earn 25x points per dollar spent at IHG hotels, and 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.
The card does have an annual fee of $89, which is not waived for the first year of card membership.
Click Here to learn more about the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card.
How Global Entry & PreCheck Work – and How to Get Them
Signing up for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is simple and straightforward. You’ll fill out an online application and pay the fee with one of the credit cards mentioned above. From there you will head to a certified enrollment center for a short interview (bring your passport), fingerprinting and a photo. If everything checks out, you should get the OK within a week or two.
Unfortunately, it’s not smooth sailing for Global Entry right now as the federal government deals with a massive backlog of applications. Getting conditional approval for the program can take many months, but make sure to read our guide on how to get your Global Entry Interview scheduled faster.
Your first time through the PreCheck lane, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to join the program. The security lines are often drastically shorter, but that’s only half of the benefit. You get to leave your shoes, a belt and a light jacket on while going through security. Your laptop and the carry-on approved liquids in your bag can also stay put as they go through the baggage screeners.
All of the credit cards listed above offer a credit for either program. Global Entry costs $100 for a five-year membership, while PreCheck costs $85. That makes it an easy choice: Go for Global Entry as it includes PreCheck.
Thrifty Tip: Already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership? You can use the credit from these credit cards to pay the application fee for a friend, family member, or significant other. Read more about that here.
Getting Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is a slam dunk, as more and more credit cards are providing a credit to reimburse your application fee.
While these aren’t the only credit cards offering up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, they are the cards that will give you the most bang for your buck.