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The TSA announced that it will launch an application program for those who want to sign up directly for TSA Pre-Check for $85. Currently travelers had to opt-in through an airline’s frequent flier program, or be enrolled in one of CBP’s Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS Trusted Traveler programs.

TSA Pre Check
Flyers will now be able to apply directly for Pre-Check.

Starting later this year, U.S. citizens will be able to apply online and visit an enrollment site to provide identification and fingerprints. TSA will start the program at two initial enrollment sites — Washington Dulles International Airport and Indianapolis International Airport — with plans to expand to additional enrollment sites nationwide.

To date, more than 12 million travelers have already experienced TSA Pre-Check at 40 airports nationwide, and today’s announcement will expand the availability of this program to a larger portion of traveling U.S. citizens.

The TSA Pre-Check application program requires a background check, fingerprints, and an anticipated enrollment fee of $85 for a five-year membership.  Once approved, travelers will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) and the opportunity to go through TSA Pre-Check lanes at security checkpoints at participating airports.

Coming back from Iceland, I was able to avoid these long immigration lines at JFK thanks to Global Entry.
Coming back from Iceland, I was able to avoid these long immigration lines at JFK thanks to Global Entry.

My Thoughts
I think this is a good initiative that the TSA is planning to do, since it means more people will be eligible for Pre-Check, which hopefully means more airports and security checkpoints will get Pre-Check lanes. However, I wouldn’t pay $85 for this since you could apply for Global Entry for $100 which is only $15 more and not only will you qualify for Pre-Check but you will be able to access expedited immigration lines as well. I just came back from Iceland earlier this week and avoided waiting hours in the regular immigration lines.

Also, the other reason to go for Global Entry is many credit cards will refund the fee. For instance, the Amex Platinum, Mercedex-Benz Platinum and Business Platinum cards, all credit the fee back to you as a statement credit for the primary card as well as additional cardholders.

American Express is not the only kid in town giving free Global Entry- if you have the new Citi Prestige card, you can also get the fee refunded, and United Global Services, Premier 1K and Platinum members get reimbursed by United.

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While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
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Intro APR on Purchases
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Regular APR
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Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
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Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.