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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck

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Both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck can save you time and stress in the airport. With TSA PreCheck, you go through the dedicated PreCheck screening lane (when available) and typically get to skip some security protocols, like taking off your shoes

In general, TSA PreCheck is best for people who mainly travel within the United States, while Global Entry benefits are designed for international travelers. Global Entry membership actually includes TSA PreCheck benefits, so you can effectively get a two-for-one deal. Global Entry is slightly more expensive, takes much longer to get, and has stricter requirements, though.

Some credit cards will give you free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. You’ll want to consider your travel habits and learn more about the memberships before making a decision.

TSA PreCheck provides expedited security screening benefits for flights that take off in the United States. That means travelers at participating airports can wait in the TSA line instead of going through regular airport security.

They get the benefit of not having to remove their shoes, laptops, belts, light jackets or liquids (less than 3 ounces) from their bags.

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Shorter wait times


Because of dedicated TSA lines and the time savings involved in not having to remove clothing and items from bags, TSA says that around 99 percent of passengers with this benefit wait in airport security lines for 10 minutes or less.

More than 90 airlines and 200 airports in the United States participate in the TSA PreCheck program.

Can children use TSA PreCheck?

Children under 13 can join their parent or guardian in the TSA PreCheck line without membership or an additional cost. Older children who are not yet 18 can also join their parents as long as they’re traveling on the same reservation and their ticket has the TSA PreCheck indicator.

TSA PreCheck membership fees

In 2023, the fee for initial enrollment is $78, although it used to be more expensive. In 2022, the price for initial enrollment or in-person renewal went down to $78 after being $85 for years. The cost for online renewal of TSA PreCheck membership is $70. You’ll need to renew your membership every five years to keep it current.

Unlike TSA PreCheck, which is only for domestic departures, Global Entry provides faster U.S. customs screening for passengers who arrive in the United States after an international trip.

Global Entry members get to enter dedicated Global Entry lines, which means they can move quickly through customs without any paperwork. Essentially, Global Entry members are able to provide their identity with a photo and facial recognition technology. Afterward, they can speak to a Customs and Border Patrol officer who can approve them for entry into the U.S.

Children are only allowed to go through Global Entry lines if they have their own membership.

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Do international airports offer Global Entry?


You can use Global Entry benefits at participating airports outside the U.S., including Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), Nassau – Sir Lynden Pindling International Airport, Bahamas (NAS), Bermuda International Airport (BDA) and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

Global Entry application and fee

The application process for Global Entry approval is more rigorous than the one for TSA PreCheck. You’ll need to complete a background check and in-person interview before enrollment. The cost of Global Entry membership is currently set at $100, but that includes TSA PreCheck.

The chart below highlights the main differences between these memberships, how they work and how much they cost.

TSA PreCheckGlobal Entry
BenefitsDedicated TSA PreCheck lines at airports

No requirement to remove their shoes, laptops, belts, light jackets or liquids (less than 3 ounces) from bags
Expedited U.S. customs screening for passengers who arrive in the United States after international travel

TSA PreCheck membership included
DurationFive yearsFive years
Application ProcessApply online at tsa.gov/precheck and select an enrollment center

Attend a 10-minute appointment that requires you to submit fingerprints, and photo and payment for the membership
Apply online at https://secure.login.gov/

Thorough background check required

After being conditionally approved, attend an in-person interview upon arrival in the U.S. or by scheduling an appointment at an Enrollment Center
Approval TimelineUp to 60 daysAverage of four to six months for application processing
ChildrenChildren ages 17 and under can join their parent or adult travel companion in the TSA PreCheck line without membership or an additional costChildren cannot utilize Global Entry unless they have their own membership
Cost$78 for initial enrollment or in-person renewal

$70 for online renewal
$100

Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck: cost

Since TSA PreCheck membership costs $78 for five years and Global Entry membership costs $100 for five years, it should be fairly easy to justify the cost of either program. For example, if you have TSA PreCheck and fly 10 times over the course of five years, this means the per-use cost is less than $8.

A similar value proposition applies for Global Entry Membership, although it’s important to remember that having Global Entry means you get TSA PreCheck automatically as well. This makes Global Entry a better value overall since it’s only $100 for a five-year membership, although having Global Entry only makes sense if you travel internationally or plan to in the next five years.

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How to get free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck


Many credit cards will cover the cost of either of these programs if you charge the membership fee to your card. This means you can get either of these memberships for free every four to five years just for signing up for the best credit cards for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck in the first place.

To receive TSA PreCheck membership as a cardholder benefit, you have to charge the cost of membership fees to the card and wait for reimbursement. Here’s a rundown of the top travel credit cards that offer this perk, their annual fees and the details of this benefit.

IssuerCardAnnual FeeBenefit
American ExpressThe Platinum Card® from American Express$695Statement credit of up to $85 every 4½ years
American ExpressMarriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card$650Statement credit of up to $85 every 4½ years
Bank of AmericaBank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card$95Statement credit up to $100 every four years
Capital OneCapital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card$395Statement credit up to $100 every four years
Capital OneCapital One Venture Rewards Credit Card$95Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseChase Sapphire Reserve®$550Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseIHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card$99Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseUnited℠ Explorer Card$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseUnited Club℠ Infinite Card$525Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseUnited Quest℠ Card$250Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseAeroplan® Card$95Statement credit up to $100 every four years
CitiCiti® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®$595Statement credit up to $100 every four years
PenFed Credit UnionPenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card$95 (waived for PenFed Honors Advantage members)Statement credit up to $85 every four years

*To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
*To see rates & fees for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, please click here.
*To see rates & fees for Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, please click here.
*To see rates & fees for Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, please click here.

Credit Cards that reimburse Global Entry fees

The same set of travel credit cards reimburse Global Entry fees charged, although these statement credit offers may only be available every four years instead of every four-and-a-half years. The specific offers for Global Entry fee reimbursement are listed below.

IssuerCardAnnual FeeBenefit
American ExpressThe Platinum Card® from American Express$695Statement credit of up to $100 every four years
American ExpressMarriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card$650Statement credit of up to $100 every four years
Bank of AmericaBank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card$95Statement credit up to $100 every four years
Capital OneCapital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card$395Statement credit up to $100 every four years
Capital OneCapital One Venture Rewards Credit Card$95Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseChase Sapphire Reserve®$550Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseIHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card$99Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseUnited℠ Explorer Card$0 Intro for the First Year, $95Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseUnited Club℠ Infinite Card$525Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseUnited Quest℠ Card$250Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseAeroplan® Card$95Statement credit up to $100 every four years
CitiCiti® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®$595Statement credit up to $100 every four years
PenFed Credit UnionPenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card$95 (waived for PenFed Honors Advantage members)Statement credit up to $100 every four years

*To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
*To see rates & fees for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, please click here.
*To see rates & fees for Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, please click here.
*To see rates & fees for Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, please click here.

CLEAR Plus is another benefit at U.S. airports that helps individuals save time at the airport with expedited security, although it’s only available at over 50 airports around the country. TSA PreCheck is available at more than 200 airports nationwide.

CLEAR Plus lets users scan their boarding pass and their eyes or fingerprints to prove their identity, which gets them to the front of the line for security screening at TSA. The annual membership costs $189 and must be renewed each year.

How to get CLEAR Plus

You can apply for CLEAR Plus online and get conditional approval without an appointment. All you have to do is show up at any CLEAR airport location next time you travel and bring your government-issued ID to confirm your enrollment.

Family members ages 17 and under can join CLEAR Plus members in expedited security lanes at no cost, but family memberships are also available for family and friends at a cost of $189 per individual plus $99 per person for up to three additional adults.

While CLEAR Plus can also help you save time in security just like TSA PreCheck, it’s not available at as many airports. For most people, this membership is useful if the airport you live near offers this benefit.

Credit cards that reimburse CLEAR Plus fees

Similar to cards that cover TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership, some travel credit cards also reimburse fees charged to the card for CLEAR Plus membership.

Note that only two travel credit cards — the Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Green Card — cover the full cost of CLEAR Plus membership ($189) each year. Other cards only offer a discount on annual membership fees.

IssuerCardAnnual FeeBenefit
American ExpressThe Platinum Card® from American Express$695$189 in statement credits per year
American ExpressAmerican Express® Green Card$150$189 in statement credits per year
American ExpressDelta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150.Reduced membership fee of $149 per year
American ExpressDelta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card$350Reduced membership fee of $149 per year
American ExpressDelta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card$650Reduced membership fee of $149 per year
ChaseUnited℠ Explorer Card$0 Intro for the First Year, $95Reduced membership fee of $149 per year
ChaseUnited Club℠ Infinite Card$525Reduced membership fee of $149 per year
ChaseUnited Quest℠ Card$250Reduced membership fee of $149 per year
ChaseUnited Gateway℠ Card$0Reduced membership fee of $149 per year

*To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card please click here.

*To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.

*To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.

The information related to American Express® Green Card has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

NEXUS is another U.S. Customs and Border Control program travelers can apply for, and it offers expedited security clearance and lines within the U.S. States and Canada. This program works at both participating airports and at northern border ports of entry for land travel, as well as at eligible marine reporting locations. NEXUS members can also utilize Global Entry airport kiosks where available.

NEXUS costs $50 for a five-year membership, and every family member needs to have their own membership to use this benefit (including children). Applicants can apply online, although they must schedule and attend an in-person interview at an Enrollment Center. Application processing times typically range from 12 to 14 months.

Credit cards that reimburse NEXUS fees

Some consumer credit cards also reimburse fees for NEXUS membership via statement credits when you apply for this benefit and pay the application fee with the card. Note that all cards that offer this benefit are Chase credit cards.

IssuerCardAnnual FeeBenefit
ChaseChase Sapphire Reserve®$550Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseUnited℠ Explorer Card$0 Intro for the First Year, $95Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseUnited Club℠ Infinite Card$525Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseUnited Quest℠ Card$250Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseAeroplan® Card$95Statement credit up to $100 every four years
ChaseIHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card$99Statement credit up to $100 every four years

If you only travel within the United States and you want to save time, hassle and stress at the airport, TSA PreCheck membership is probably your best bet. If you travel internationally at least once per year, taking the additional steps to apply for Global Entry is probably a better deal.

Because Global Entry membership includes TSA PreCheck, you can get the benefits of both programs for just $100 every five years. Since quite a few travel credit cards offer reimbursement for membership fees with these programs, you could score important travel benefits at no cost to you.

Global Entry membership actually includes TSA PreCheck automatically, so you can apply for Global Entry and have both memberships for a single fee of $100 every five years.

You cannot upgrade TSA PreCheck to Global Entry, but if you apply for Global Entry separately, and are approved, TSA PreCheck will be included in your membership.

These programs are both offered through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but they have different uses. TSA PreCheck offers expedited airport security for departures from U.S. airports, while Global Entry offers expedited security screening at customs when travelers arrive in the United States (or at participating airports in other countries) after an international trip.