Is it Better to Pay $100 for Global Entry or $85 for TSA Precheck?
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers 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.
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
My Experience Getting Refunded For Global Entry