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Is it Better to Pay $100 for Global Entry or $85 for TSA Precheck?

by on March 9, 2014 · 16 comments

in Global Entry, Sunday Reader Questions, TSA, Video Blog Post

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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.

TPG reader Safwan posted a question on my Facebook page this week:

” Is it better to pay $100 for Global Entry or $85 for TSA Precheck? Thanks in advance.”

Safwan is comparing the costs of getting Global Entry, which costs $100 to apply for, or the application for TSA PreCheck, which the government opened up to the general public in December and that costs $85. The answer to this question is simple. Pay the extra $15 for the Global Entry! This is a better deal because the Trusted Traveler number you get with it also includes access to PreCheck. Your Global Entry membership is good for give years, so for $3 a year, you are saving yourself hours and hours of time and getting access to faster customs/immigrations lines in addition to security lines in the US.

Global Entry

There are also several ways you can get the $100 Global Entry application free reimbursed. If you pay for it with your Amex Platinum, Citi Prestige or this new Virgin Atlantic Mastercard offer. You can also get reimbursed if you have United elite status (Platinum or 1K), so you might not be out of pocket at all.

I absolutely love this benefit and I wouldn’t want to travel without my PreCheck or Global Entry.

For further reading on this topic, please see the related posts below:

TSA PreCheck Open Application and Enrollment Begins

TSA PreCheck Opens 60 New Enrollment Centers

Ways To Get Global Entry For Free

12 Things You Didn’t Know About Global Entry

Amex Platinum Global Entry Reimbursement

My Experience Getting Refunded For Global Entry

Let me know if you have any other questions by messaging me on FacebookTweeting me or emailing me at [email protected]

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.

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  • Jonathan

    Yes! I applied to Global Entry a few months ago, and my interview is this week! Had to reschedule more times than I can count though. Also, typo: Your Global Entry membership is good for *FIVE years.

  • FlyingJoey

    I’ve had Global Entry and NEXUS for almost 5 years (due for renewal this year). One thing I will say it is totally worth it, the simple fact that you can avoid dealing with the mind numbing questions asked by migration and customs makes it totally worth it. I usually make it plane to street in about 6-8 minutes.

  • Mercruiser

    Your question only had two of the three options. Here is the complete question, “Is it Better to Pay $100 for Global Entry, $85 for TSA Precheck, or $50 for NEXUS?”

    The answer is NEXUS at $50. It gets you in all three of these programs. See http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/trusted_traveler/nexus_prog/nexus.xml

    I have a NEXUS card and use the Global Entry and TSA Precheck privileges on a regular basis.

  • nitzguy

    Yeah, NEXUS is the way to go. I believe it also gives you access to the equivalent to TSA Precheck when flying out of the bigger Canadian airports, so it’s another little perk on top of it.

    Though admittedly the most trouble I ever had at the Canada-US land border was after I got my NEXUS card. The US border officials didn’t quite understand why I was heading to DTW, flying around the country, and coming back later that day, just to earn some frequent flyer miles.

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  • Mike

    But you can’t get nexus as a benefit of any credit cards, which you can get with global entry if you get the American express platinum card, which was the card advertised in this post. There’s no reason to have honest travel advice discussion if it doesn’t include some form of credit card advertisement.

  • dee seiffer

    Hubby and I just got our Global Entry Trusted Traveler numbers in December. They told us they are good for 10 years at our interviews.

  • dennisdoubleday

    TSA Precheck is being given away free to some passengers now. I don’t know the criteria for selection.

  • Chris

    Note that if you are a green card holder global entry does NOT give you TSA pre. You need to apply for it separately.

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  • TravelDink

    So if I have Global Entry…It does not include Nexus, correct? But if I had chosen Nexus I would have received all three? Nexus, GE and pre check? Is there a fast track to Nexus if you have GE?

  • Pandakun

    Err, also you need to visit an application center on their list of offices. Which is great, if you live near the Canadian border. Otherwise, making a trip out to another state just to sign up for this program? http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/trusted_traveler/nexus_prog/nexus_enroll.xml

  • SeaBee3

    It is also a Choice Benefit for Delta PM and DMs starting this year.

  • Herb Nadler

    I looked at the Virgin Atlantic credit card application with BOA, there was no mention of Global Entry reimbursment

  • girlycheckin

    I recently got GE after deliberating between the two quite a bit. As you mention above, I couldn’t justify NOT spending the extra $15 for the border/customs benefit. Also, with either program, you can still get pulled into the non-PreCheck line randomly every once in a while but based on all the reviews I had read, the people with GE seem to get pulled out of PreCheck less than the people with just PreCheck (again, this is totally anecdotal and unofficial but it did influence my decision probably more than anything). Another nice perk with GE is that it’s good for five years AND it expires on your birthday (much like a drivers’ license). So, in my case, since I had recently had my birthday, it will actually be valid for SIX years. I’m not sure if that’s also the case with TSA Pre but it made what I think is a great value an even greater one.

  • peterathome

    “Your Global Entry membership is good for give years, so for $3 a year,”

    “give years”? did you mean five years? or? thanks

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