Sebi Mitchell, Credit Cards Moderator
You can apply for TSA PreCheck for free if you have a high-end travel credit card, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, that credits cardholders for the application fee. In addition, you may also get this perk for free if you’re a military member, or if you’re randomly selected when checking in for a flight.
TSA PreCheck provides expedited security screening for flights departing from U.S airports, and it generally costs $78 for a five year membership.
Popular Credit Cards Offering a TSA PreCheck Credit
Credit cards with a TSA PreCheck benefit allow U.S. travelers to travel domestically without having to spend too much time in security lines. With TSA PreCheck, you don’t have to remove your shoes, laptops, belts, and light jackets.
You should also note that there are a few other ways you can get this benefit for free.
Other Ways to Get TSA PreCheck for Free
Randomly assigned TSA PreCheck
Occasionally, TSA will automatically add this benefit to your boarding pass on a particular flight. You will not be required to submit any additional information, submit an application, or pay a fee. This is most common for seniors, but anyone can be selected.
Military members are eligible to participate in the TSA PreCheck program for free. Eligible members can enter their DOD ID number in the "Known Traveler Number" field when they purchase airfare in order to benefit from TSA PreCheck.
Use your rewards for TSA PreCheck
There are a number of frequent flyer programs that allow you to use your rewards to cover the TSA PreCheck application fee. In many cases, this type of redemption does not offer the best value for your miles/points, so you may want to pass on it.
TSA PreCheck for children
Children ages 12 and under can join a parent/guardian with TSA PreCheck in the dedicated lines.
Alternatives to TSA PreCheck
There are a few other programs you should be aware of, too, such as Global Entry, Nexus, and CLEAR.
Most of the credit cards that offer statement credits for TSA PreCheck also offer those credits for Global Entry. Global Entry is similar but for international travel. There are also several credit cards that offer Nexus reimbursement as a benefit. This program offers expedited processing when entering Canada by air.
On the other hand, CLEAR is not very common among credit card perks. This is a program that allows members to quickly verify their identities at touchless, biometric security kiosks. Clear kiosks are available at more than 40 airports in the United States.
Each program has different features and fees, so make sure you choose the one that best serves your needs.
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