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Today’s first question comes from TPG reader Tim, who tweeted me to ask about using Global Entry application fee credits:
@thepointsguy — “Can I get the Global Entry reimbursement on my Amex Platinum card for my spouse if I already have it?”
I love Global Entry, and if you don’t have it, you should really look into getting it. The application process can be a bit protracted (if you can’t get an interview appointment), but once you have Global Entry status, it can save you an immense amount of time. Customs and immigration lines can be hours long, but every time I come back to the US from abroad, it usually takes me 30 seconds to get through the kiosk. You simply put your fingers on the scanner and answer a few questions, and you’re done.
There are a number of travel rewards cards that offer a statement credit to cover your $100 Global Entry application fee. Tim wants to know if he can receive that credit when he pays the application fee for someone else, and the answer is yes. Just use one of these cards (like The Platinum Card from American Express or Citi Prestige Card) to pay for the fee. All the card issuers see is the $100 charge from Customs and Border Protection, so if you haven’t already used the credit, it will be issued within a few days.
Not long ago, I opened a new The Enhanced Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN that came with a Global Entry credit, but I had already signed up with a different card. Since I couldn’t use the credit on the new card myself, I let my dad use it for his own application, and was reimbursed within a few days.
This benefit also works for TSA Precheck (which costs $85), but I highly recommend getting Global Entry instead, because it includes Precheck automatically. It doesn’t make sense to get Precheck separately and then get Global Entry down the line when you can just get them both at once for free.
If you’ve been waiting to get Global Entry, suck it up and apply! The in-person interview isn’t a formal interview; it’s mostly about showing you how to use the kiosk. Once you can schedule it, you’ll have Global Entry for five years! For anyone who travels out of the country even occasionally, that’s a lot of time saved. You’ll thank me later!