Credit cards with a TSA PreCheck® benefit allow U.S. travelers to travel domestically without having to spend excessive time in security lines. With PreCheck®, you don’t have to take off your shoes or dump out certain things from your luggage. It costs $85 for 5 years, which is worth it if you travel a lot – and it’s especially worth it if your credit card pays for it anyway. All you have to do to get it is pay the fee and submit to an in-person interview, background check, and fingerprinting.
Just make sure to charge the TSA PreCheck® application fee to your credit card. The card issuer will automatically give you a statement credit for the fee after it’s charged to your card.
The best TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit cards that pay cardholders’ application fees are Amex Platinum, Capital One Venture, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige. In addition to a rebate for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fees, worth $85 to $100 once every 4-5 years, those cards offer excellent travel rewards and various other benefits. Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum provide free airport lounge access, too, for example.… read full answer
Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are both programs that speed up the airport security process. Global Entry makes it easy to re-enter the U.S. by airport, and TSA PreCheck is intended for domestic airport travel. The approval process for either program involves a rigorous background check, fingerprint logging, an in-person interview, and a fee every 5 years. If you’re a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent U.S. resident, or a citizen of certain foreign countries, you’re eligible for Global Entry. With Global Entry, you get the benefits of TSA PreCheck, including expedited security screening at U.S. airports and the comfort of leaving your shoes on at the security checkpoint.
If you travel a lot, it’s a no-brainer to sign up for one of these programs. And if you’re already planning on signing up, it’s an excellent extra benefit to look for in a credit card.
List of Credit Cards That Pay for Global Entry or TSA Precheck Applications:
Capital One Venture Rewards
Capital One Spark Miles Business
Amex Centurion (Black Card)
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant
Amex Business Platinum
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Bank of America Premium Rewards
Mastercard Black Card
Mastercard Gold Card
SunTrust Travel Rewards
U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite
Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite
Expedia Rewards Voyager Card from Citi
United Explorer Card
IHG Rewards Club Premier
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business
BB&T Spectrum Rewards
Diners Club Carte Blanche Corporate Card
Navy Federal Flagship Rewards Credit Card
It’s important to keep in mind that when your credit card offers Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, usually you will have to pick one or the other. Global Entry is best for people who plan to travel abroad, and TSA PreCheck is valuable for domestic flights. After you sign up through the Trusted Traveler Program website, pay the fee ($100 for Global Entry, $85 for TSA PreCheck) with your credit card, and you’ll be automatically reimbursed for the fee on your statement. Most credit cards that offer this benefit will only reimburse one fee every 5 years, so choose wisely. Because Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck, it’s often best to just get Global Entry to cover all bases.
The best American Express Platinum travel benefits are the card’s initial bonus of 75,000 points for spending $5,000 in the first 6 months, its $200 annual airline fee credit, and complimentary Gold Status in the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programs. Plus, you get 5 points per $1 spent on flights and hotels booked through American Express Travel. And to top it off, there’s a $15 monthly Uber credit, no foreign transaction fee, and baggage and travel insurance.… read full answer
Amex Platinum is a hybrid card, which means you’ll have to pay the balance in full every month. Plus, it has a $550 annual fee. So you should make sure that you will take advantage of as many American Express Platinum travel benefits as possible to get your money’s worth.
Notable American Express Platinum Travel Benefits
Annual Airline Credit: $200 per year for baggage fees, in-flight meals and other airline incidentals. You can’t use the credit for airfare or upgrades.
Credits for Uber Rides: Up to $15 in credits for Uber rides each month, plus a bonus $20 in December ($35 total). The credits expire at the end of each month, so be sure to use them.
Complimentary Hotel Status: Cardholders can join Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy as Gold-level members for free. Members get complimentary room upgrades and more opportunities to earn free nights.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit: Credit for the $100 Global Entry application fee or the $85 TSA PreCheck application fee, once every four years. Both services expedite airport screening.
Baggage Insurance: Pays up to $2,000 in replacement costs for checked baggage that gets lost and up to $3,000 for carry-on luggage.
Car Rental Insurance: Covers eligible rental vehicles for up to 30 consecutive days against damage and theft up to a maximum of $75,000. Does not cover intoxicated/reckless driving, damage to other vehicles or personal injuries.
Global Lounge Collection: Lets you access over 1,000 airport lounges in 120 countries for free.
Fine Hotels & Resorts: Extra benefits when you book certain accommodations, like free room upgrades, free daily breakfast for two people, free Wi-Fi, and unique amenities depending on the location.
Initial Bonus: 75,000 points for spending $5,000 within 6 months. Points do not expire as long as the account remains open.
Reward Points for Travel Purchases: Earn 5 points for every $1 spent on flights or hotels booked through AmexTravel.com.
Despite all of the American Express Platinum travel benefits, the $550 annual fee might still be too much for you. There are some other good options, fortunately. One is Chase Sapphire Preferred. You’ll earn 80,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months, and the annual fee is just $95.
The best travel credit card with no annual fee is the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card because it offers an initial bonus of 20,000 miles for spending $500 in the first 3 months. It also rewards cardholders with at least 1.25 miles / $1 spent on all purchases. VentureOne has a $0 foreign transaction fee in addition to its $0 annual fee. … read full answer
If you aren’t planning to go anywhere too adventurous, consider the Discover it® Miles. Discover’s not accepted in as many international locations as Visa or Mastercard, but its US acceptance is pretty good. Discover it Miles also has good rewards. It offers 1.5 miles per $1 on all purchases, doubled the first year.
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