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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.
Have you ever gotten off a long international flight and then had to snake through a brutally slow line at US immigration? To me that’s worse than waiting in a security line upon arrival at the airport, because I’m already tired after an international flight and you can’t even use cell phones when queuing for immigration. Luckily the US government has rolled out the Global Entry program for low-risk travelers, where you can bypass the lines and use a kiosk to process your entry into the US.
This program comes with a $100 fee and Amex, who has been amping up the benefits on their Platinum Card, just announced they will now reimburse the $100 fee if you pay for it with your Amex Platinum Card. As I wrote about, I actually applied and paid for Global Entry two weeks ago, so it looks like I’m out of luck, but hopefully this offer will still be around in 5 years when it’s time to renew :-)
If you want a rundown of Amex Platinum card benefits, check out this post – as I’ve said many times before, this card is great for the frequent traveler and for me, the $450 annual fee has paid for itself many times over. And even if you aren’t a frequent traveler, the 50,000 point sign-on bonus on the Mercedes-Benz Platinum when you spend $1,000 within 3 months is worth well over the $450 fee. Even if you redeem those 50,000 points directly for “anytime” airfare, you’d get $625 in airfare – and you earn miles (elite and redeemable) on the flights.
On my Global Entry note, I applied on March 21 and received an email on April 1 that I was conditionally approved and need to schedule an interview. I just scheduled one for JFK this Friday since I’ll be there anyway for my Stockholm trip. I’ll report back on the process, but I’m hoping it’s painless since the interview is only 20 minutes long.