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This morning, the Transportation Security Administration announced that enrollment in its TSA Precheck program has crossed the one million mark. Roughly 4,000 travelers per day now sign up for TSA Precheck, which enables low-risk travelers to move more efficiently through select screening lanes at 133 U.S. airports.
TSA Precheck requires you to pay an $85 application fee and complete an in-person interview at one of more than 330 application centers around the United States (including locations at 31 airports and an array of IdentoGO Centers). During your interview, if you’re approved for TSA Precheck, you’ll be given a Known Traveler Number (KTN); within about a week, you’ll receive your official ID card by mail. TSA Precheck status is valid for five years and allows you to leave on your shoes, light outerwear and belt, and to keep your laptop in its case and your 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in your carry-on.
Even more of a no-brainer, though, is Global Entry (GOES), which entitles you to expedited security when returning from international trips and gives you access to TSA Precheck. The Global Entry application process is the same as for TSA Precheck, aside from a $100 application fee (only $15 more than Precheck!), and upon approval, is also valid for five years.
And bonus, you can receive reimbursement of the $100 GOES application fee if you’re:
- a cardholder (or additional cardholder) of the Amex Platinum, Mercedes-Benz Platinum, Business Platinum or Centurion cards
- a cardholder of the Citi Thank You Prestige card
- an existing US Airways Barclaycard cardholder, as you’ll soon be upgraded to Aviator Red and Silver products, which offer credit for the GOES fee
If you’re a frequent international traveler like me—or are inspired to become one— I’d highly recommend paying the extra $15 for Global Entry. And if you often travel with a partner (e.g., a spouse, friend, colleague, etc.), you might both want to apply for Global Entry, so neither of you has to wait for the other to clear security.
If you’ve opted for Global Entry status and want to ensure that you get TSA Precheck every time you travel through an eligible airport, be sure to see Updated TSA Travel Tips for TSA Precheck and Global Entry for all the tips, tricks and suggestions you need to know.
Also see these previous posts to learn more about Global Entry and TSA Precheck—and how they’re great tools for frequent travelers:
Citi Prestige® Card
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|N/A||15.49%* (Variable)||$450||0%||Excellent Credit|