Traveling can be stressful, especially when you’re traveling with family. Let’s face it, even in the best of circumstances. Minimizing the amount of time you’ll have to wait in line at the airport is one of the simplest methods to ease the stress of traveling.
Log in to Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. You and any companions flying with you can go through the airport considerably more quickly with the help of these government-run trusted traveler programs, which can be absolute time-savers. However, the cost of both is high: a five-year membership in Global Entry is $100, whereas TSA PreCheck costs $78 (for online renewals only these days).
While several travel rewards credit cards are available that waive the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, only American Express’s Platinum Card® will pay for your family’s whole registration. The Amex Platinum has acquired its reputation as one of the greatest travel rewards cards available for a variety of reasons, this being just one of them. Discover how to make your next trip to the airport less stressful by reading on to learn how this one card may help.
Covering the Cost with the Amex Platinum Card
You will only be reimbursed for one membership cost per four to five years by the majority of travel rewards credit cards that offer a statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, regardless of whether you use it for individual or joint use.
Not the American Express Platinum Card®. All of your family members’ TSA PreCheck or Global Entry costs can be paid for with a single, albeit expensive, annual fee of $695 (see rates & fees). Adding authorized users with Gold Cards to your account is the key to covering multiple enrollments.
A real card will be issued to the authorized user of your Amex Platinum Card, enabling them to make purchases using your account. The Platinum Card or the Gold Card is up to you to decide which authorized users to give one but keep in mind that adding a Platinum Card authorized user will cost $175 annually for up to three authorized users while adding a Gold Card authorized user will not incur any additional fees.
Notably, the free authorized user Gold cards also have their credit to apply for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. The paid authorized user Platinum Cards offer privileges comparable to those of the primary cardholder.
“A card member must pay for the TSA PreCheck application fee through any authorized enrollment provider with their eligible card to receive the TSA PreCheck statement credit of up to $85,” states a little-known gimmick hidden in the tiny print of the Amex Platinum Card’s benefit rules. The up to $85 statement credit is also available for additional cards on qualified business and consumer card accounts.
My experimentation has verified that this works. To facilitate TSA PreCheck for family members, I recently added many Amex Gold cards to my account. Their authorized user Amex Gold cards were used to pay the application cost at the enrollment center after they had finished the online application.
I waited after that to find out if I would get paid back for the expenses. I received a comparable credit to pay the full amount of each fee four days after they were sent to my American Express account. Over the last year, my Amex Platinum card has repaid me for three different TSA PreCheck application fees. Although it doesn’t justify the annual price for the card on its own, it does add to its already amazing list of perks and privileges, and it will make traveling through airports easier for all of us when we use it in the future.
How International Entry and TSA PreCheck Operate
This is a discussion of TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, and why bringing one of these is just as important for your next trip as bringing a toothbrush or phone charger.
Those who participate in TSA PreCheck, a trusted traveler program run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), can fly with one of the more than 85 participating airlines and receive expedited security screening at more than 200 U.S. airports. However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has a program called Global Entry that allows for quicker clearance after entering the country. Upon arrival, you can save important time by taking advantage of the free TSA PreCheck that comes with Global Entry.
Gone are the times when you had to take off your shoes, take out your laptop, and search through your carry-on for your toiletries because of TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. Not only will you need to take your pockets out before passing through the metal detector, but you can also expect that the TSA PreCheck line moves considerably more quickly than the regular security line.
To gain access to the advantages after enrolling in either program, make sure your flight reservation includes your Known Traveler Number (KTN). If you do not have it available when making the reservation, you may always add it later.
Methods for Enrollment
The TSA PreCheck enrollment process is quite easy to use. International Entry? Less than that. Begin with the most straightforward one. First, you will need to arrange an interview at the closest enrollment location after completing a simple online application on the TSA website to enroll in TSA PreCheck. While there are open appointment slots at various registration centers across the nation, a brief search revealed that some are busier than others.
A background check and fingerprinting will take place when you arrive for your interview. Bring the appropriate credit card with you because this is also when you’ll pay your $78 application cost! Within a few days, you ought to receive an email informing you that your application has been accepted and your Known Traveler Number.
It is a little more difficult to apply for Global Entry. You must complete a more thorough in-person interview because Global Entry is administered by CBP rather than TSA and interview slots are limited.
- First, you must register for an account on the CBP website under the Trusted Traveler Program. Proceed to the online application and pay the $100 application fee with the appropriate credit card after establishing your account (more on this later). It’s time to book an interview at the closest Global Entry Enrollment Center after you’ve finished the prior step. The definition of “nearest” may also vary greatly depending on where you live.
- There are five enrollment centers for the entire state of California, for instance. In a state with a lower population density and no significant international airport, your options may be rather limited. One of the many difficulties in applying for Global Entry is the absence of conveniently located enrolment locations. Even if you do live close to a place that works for you, the other challenge is getting an available appointment. Fortunately, things are improving: on the first Monday of the month, CBP distributes a list of interview appointments at 9:00 a.m. local time.
- And with that stated, you’re better off signing up for TSA PreCheck and taking advantage of expedited security in the United States as soon as possible, unless you are a frequent overseas traveler.