21 Credit Cards That Offer Free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry

Get through security in under five minutes with these credit cards.
Last updated May 22, 2020 | By Ben Luthi
People standing in line for airport security

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

If you love to travel, arriving at the airport can be an exciting experience. But if there’s a long line at security, that elation can evaporate pretty quickly.

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry provide travelers with expedited airport security screening, allowing them to skip long lines and get to their gate more quickly. The application fee for the programs are $85 and $100, respectively. But with the right credit card, you can effectively get free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership.

Here’s what you need to know about both traveler programs and which cards will reimburse you when you apply.

Jump To

What does TSA PreCheck include?

TSA PreCheck launched in 2011 and has more than 7 million members today. The program is designed to accelerate the security screening process for flights originating in the U.S. There are TSA PreCheck stations at more than 200 airports throughout the country, with 65 airlines participating.

To qualify for TSA PreCheck, you need to submit an application and complete a background check and fingerprinting during an in-person appointment at the airport. If you qualify, the membership lasts for five years. You’ll receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN), which you’ll add to your reservation when booking a flight. Your KTN will then appear on your boarding pass. When you get to the airport, you’ll go through a different lane at security and won’t need to remove your shoes, laptop, liquids, belt, or light jacket.

If you have children who are 12 or younger with you, they can join you in the TSA PreCheck lane. Other family members, however, may be required to go through the standard security lane unless they’re also members of the program.

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), 92% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes to get through security in March 2019.

What is Global Entry?

Global Entry membership costs a little bit more at $100 for five years. But even if you’re not getting it covered by your credit card, the extra $15 is usually worth it because Global Entry includes eligibility for TSA PreCheck.

The primary purpose of Global Entry, which was introduced in 2008 and has more than 5.4 million members, is to provide expedited screening at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) security checkpoints in 75 airports worldwide.

Instead of going through the regular inspection line, you use an automated kiosk, present your passport or permanent resident card, scan your fingerprints, and submit your customs declaration.

Unfortunately, young family members can’t accompany you as they can with TSA PreCheck. Each person needs to have their own Global Entry membership to use the kiosk.

Depending on the situation, a Global Entry membership can save you a lot of time when returning to the U.S. from a trip abroad.

How to get “free” TSA PreCheck or Global Entry

Several credit cards offer free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership in the form of a reimbursement of the application fee. The statement credit typically happens automatically, so you’ll just need to set up an appointment with the correct agency and use your credit card to pay the fee.

Depending on the card, it can take up to a couple of months to be reimbursed, but you can usually expect to get it sooner than that.

Here’s a list of the credit cards that provide this benefit to cardholders.

Card Reimbursement Details Annual Fee
Bank of America Premium Rewards Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years $95
BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards $85 credit toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years $89 (waived first year)
Amex Business Platinum Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck every 4.5 years or Global Entry every four years $595
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years $95 
Chase Sapphire Reserve Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years $550
Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every five years $450
Citi Prestige Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every five years $495
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every five years $550
HSBC Premier World Mastercard $85 credit toward TSA PreCheck only, every five years $95 (waived first year)
IHG Rewards Club Premier Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years $89
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck every 4.5 years or Global Entry every four years $450
Mastercard Black Card $100 credit toward Global Entry only, every five years $495
Mastercard Gold Card $100 credit toward Global Entry only, every five years $995
Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Flagship Rewards Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years $49 
Amex Platinum Card Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck every 4.5 years or Global Entry every four years $550
Provident World+ Travel Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years $45 (waived first year)
SunTrust Travel Rewards Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every five years $89 (waived first year)
United Club Infinite Card Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years $525 (waived first year)
United Explorer Card Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years $95 (waived first year) 
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years $400
U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold Up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every five years $85

FAQs about TSA PreCheck and Global Entry

Which is better: TSA PreCheck or Global Entry?

While both TSA PreCheck and Global Entry offer the benefit of expedited airport security, the programs have an important difference. TSA PreCheck accelerates the security screening process for flights originating in the U.S., while Global Entry membership may save you time at U.S. customs after you return from a trip abroad.

Do you get TSA PreCheck with Global Entry?

Yes, you get TSA PreCheck benefits with a Global Entry membership. U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled in NEXUS or SENTRI can also get TSA PreCheck benefits.

How can I get Global Entry for free?

While you technically can't get a Global Entry membership for free, you can get a fee credit. Several rewards credit cards and certain airline loyalty programs offer reimbursement for the $100 application fee. Rewards cards that offer this reimbursement include:

  • The Business Platinum Card from American Express
  • The Platinum Card from American Express
  • Bank of America Premium Rewards
  • BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards
  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
  • Citi Prestige
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
  • HSBC Premier World Mastercard
  • IHG Rewards Club Premier
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express
  • Mastercard Black Card
  • Mastercard Gold Card
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Flagship Rewards
  • Provident World+ Travel
  • SunTrust Travel Rewards
  • United Club Infinite Card
  • United Explorer Card
  • U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
  • U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold

You can also redeem your United MileagePlus miles for a Global Entry fee credit.

How long does it take to get approved for Global Entry?

Approval times can vary by application, but according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, approvals typically take about six months.

How to pick the right card

As you can see, there are many travel credit cards that offer free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership. While some charge steep annual fees — those cards also come with other premium perks — many of them charge modest fees, and one doesn’t charge an annual fee at all.

As you compare these cards, consider them holistically, including this benefit as well as their rewards programs, sign-up bonuses, other perks, and annual fees. There’s no single best credit card out there for everyone, so it’s good to know what you want before you apply.

Regardless of which one you choose, you’re one step closer to shorter lines and a quicker security experience at the airport.

#1 Premium Travel Credit Card

Benefits

  • 50,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 10X points on select streaming services (up to $1,500) from July 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020
  • 5X points with Instacart (up to $3,000), and at gas stations (up to $1,500) from July 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020
  • 3X points on travel and at restaurants
  • $60 annual DoorDash credit in 2020 and 2021
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access