Do you fly frequently and have to wait in those terrible, boring, long lines for check-in and security? Are you flying for the first time in a while and researching ways to bypass all the waiting and long lines at the airport?
Looking to make your travel less stressful? It sounds like it’s time for you to consider TSA Precheck or Global Entry, especially if you travel from and to the United States. These two options can help you make your time at the airport more expedited and pleasant. Luckily, there are also credit cards that will reimburse you the application fee so you can save some money, too.
What is TSA Precheck and Global Entry?
TSA Precheck and Global Entry are for making your time at the airport stress-free. TSA Precheck will allow you to cut the lines when checking in because you have already been checked. Going through security may also be a bit easier as you may not be asked to take off your shoes or belt like usual. Global Entry can help you by making your trip back into the US hassle-free. When coming in from other countries, you will not have to fill out the dreaded blue customs form. You will have special identification on your boarding pass that shows you have been background checked and interviewed by the Global Entry authorities so that you can skip all the lines.
Choosing Between The Two
A note about which is better: I recommend getting Global Entry. It only costs $15 more to get than TSA Precheck and TSA Precheck is included in Global Entry, as is SENTRI if you are near the Mexico border.
What Do the Credit Cards Have to Do with It?
Signing up for Global Entry or TSA Precheck will cost you a little bit of money. Most application fees for Global Entry are $100, and for TSA Precheck, you would pay about $85. Some credit card companies will reimburse you for your application fee and are also useful for other travel purposes which will be discussed.
Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Card
This credit card will not only reimburse you for the $100 Global Entry application fee, but it also has other great benefits for domestic and international travelers. You can obtain this card by frequently staying at the Ritz-Carlton hotels found all around the world. There is an annual travel credit of up to $300, which can be used for seat upgrades or baggage fees. When you get a luxurious room at any Ritz-Carlton, you will get five points per dollar spent. If you use your card to book your airline tickets, rent a car, or eating out at restaurants, you can get two points per dollar. The cost of the card is $450 annually and will not cost you fees during foreign travel.
Citi Aadvantage Executive World Elite Card
This credit card allows you to get a credit for both Global Entry and TSA Precheck if you pay the fee with your card. It will take a billing cycle or two to get reimbursed, but it is worth it. There are also other benefits of the card like 50,000 Aadvantage miles after spending a certain amount of money, Admirals lounge access, and 2 points per dollar spent on purchases.
American Express Platinum
Whether you have a personal credit card or business credit card, the American Express Platinum card will reimburse you for your TSA Precheck or Global Entry fee if you pay with the credit card when applying for your application. You can also add family members as authorized users and be credited for their application fees as well. Depending on the type of card you have, personal or business, you can earn from 40,000 to 75,000 membership rewards points after completing a certain amount of spending. You can receive a $200 travel credit and lounge access. Another benefit is to earn 5x the points on every dollar spent on airline travel if you are a personal card holder. Business card holders can receive a 50% airline bonus and GoGo and Boingo access.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
This is the card I use, and discuss over on my review of the Chase Ultimate Reserve points program. This credit card has many benefits, including reimbursement for your TSA Precheck and Global Entry fees. Another benefit to having this card is earning 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months from the time you opened the card. That would equate to about $750 in travel rewards. You get a $300 annual travel credit to use on seat upgrades, baggage fees and more. You get 3 points for every dollar spent on travel and dining expenses.
Citi Prestige Card
This credit card will not only reimburse you for your TSA Precheck and Global Entry fees but also has some other amazing benefits as well. There is an automatic credit applied of up to $250 when using your car to book flights and other travel expenses. You can also earn points on your purchases. For travel and airline expenses, you can earn 3 points for each dollar. You can receive 2 points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment whether you are traveling or enjoying it at home. You can transfer points to other participating travel partners, and it can help you access some VIP lounges. This card has no foreign transaction fees and has a $450 annual fee.
These are some of the best cards that can help you earn money and be reimbursed for travel expenses if you are a frequent traveler. Whether you travel for business or for pleasure, there are many benefits to holding one or more of these cards and using the points to get free rewards. If you are considering Global Entry or TSA Precheck, you definitely should look into using a card that will help you with the application fee. This will save you money and give you other great benefits. The TSA Precheck or Global Entry application won’t take very long and has benefits that will help you to avoid long and annoying lines in the airports.