Top 5 Credit Cards Offering Free Global Entry and TSA PreCheck in 2019
Even if you travel just a few times a year, having Global Entry – which comes with TSA PreCheck – can make your experience at the airport vastly better. Both of these programs come with a fee that can be worth paying, but you can be avoid it by holding the right credit card.
And while security lines during the recent government shutdown were brutal, those were mostly contained to the regular lines for passengers without PreCheck. Because of this, there has never been a better time to get yourself enrolled in the program.
In this post, we will outline the top credit cards offering free Global Entry & TSA PreCheck. Just remember: You have to pay your application with these cards in order for the credit to kick in.
The American Express Platinum Card
The American Express Platinum Card is one of my favorite cards currently available in the marketplace. Not only does the card offer free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years, but it also offers a host of other premium benefits. The card offers the best airport lounge access available from any credit card product, and we’ve named it the best card for Delta flyers.
The card also offers a welcome 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.
Click Here to learn more about the American Express Platinum Card.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Card added a free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit as a benefit of holding the card in 2018. It is one of the most cost-effective options on this list as the annual fee on the card is only $95. And the annual fee is even waived in the first year of card membership.
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.
The card also earns 10x points per dollar spent at hotels.com and offers the ability to transfer miles into 14 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 Card.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
We’ve named the Chase Sapphire Reserve our favorite travel rewards credit card. 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 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.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Card
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Card is another great option to get a free credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. The card offers a welcome bonus of 80,000 IHG Rewards Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.
The card also offers a free anniversary night that can be used for properties costing 40,000 points per night or less. You will also get IHG Platinum Elite status, and earn 10x points per dollar spent at IHG properties just for holding the card.
The card does have an annual fee of $89 that is not waived for the first year, but this is a small price to pay for what it offers. The free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit alone can offset this for the first year.
Click Here to learn more about the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card.
The PenFed PathFinder Rewards Card
The PenFed PathFinder Rewards Card is the only card on this list that doesn’t have an annual fee. You should keep in mind holding the card does require PenFed credit union membership.
If you are a member of the military, then you will automatically qualify for membership. If not, the easiest way to do this is is to simply donate $17 to the National Military Family Organization or Voices for America’s Troops. Once eligible to join, PenFed requires opening a savings account with a minimum $5 deposit for membership. There are no fees to have this account.
On top of the free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, the card offers an annual $100 airline incidental fee credit and has no foreign transaction fees. We’ve named it one of the best no annual fee credit cards.
Additionally, the card is offering a welcome offer bonus of 25,000 points after spending $2,500 in the first three months of card membership. When these points are redeemed for travel, they can be worth up to 1.25 cents each.
Click Here to learn more about the PenFed PathFinder Rewards Card.
How PreCheck Works & How to Get It
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.
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. If you’re eager to get through security faster, you have a few options.
One route to get in the PreCheck lane is through Global Entry. Global Entry is a separate government program that helps you speed through immigration when you return to the United States from travel abroad. However, it also comes with PreCheck so it should be an obvious choice for many.
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: You can even use the credit from these credit cards to pay the application fee for a friend or significant other. Read more about that here.
Getting Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is easier than it has ever been, as more and more credit cards are providing a free credit. While these aren’t the only credit cards offering free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, they are the cards that will give you the most bang for your buck and why they made our list as the top five to get in 2019.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
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