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You’ve probably seen TSA PreCheck lanes at several US airports, and you may be wondering if it’s worth the $85 fee to access the expedited program. Today, TPG Points & Miles Editor Sarah Silbert shares several reasons why it’s worth joining now.
If you travel even infrequently, you know that long security lines at the airport can be a huge hassle. TSA PreCheck offers fast-pass access to airport security, making the trip from curbside to the gate quicker and easier than ever. Here are five reasons why you should consider joining now if you haven’t already.
1. It Makes Life Easier
No matter how often you travel, the ability to access a dedicated security line at the airport is a very welcome benefit. Plus, with PreCheck you don’t have to remove your laptop from your bag or take off your shoes (provided they don’t set off the metal detector) or a light jacket. And you can walk through a regular old metal detector, rather than standing still with your hands up as you pose for the body scanner.
Especially if you have lounge access through airline status or holding a credit card, having PreCheck helps you maximize time in a more comfortable waiting space rather than queueing up in the “regular” TSA line.
2. It’s Free with Global Entry
We often mention TSA PreCheck in the same breath as Global Entry, and that’s for a good reason. When you pay the $100 application fee and are accepted into the Global Entry program for expedited customs clearance, you’re also eligible for TSA PreCheck at no additional cost — so you save the $85 PreCheck application fee. To make sure you’ll get PreCheck at participating airpots, add your Known Traveler Number into your frequent flyer profile with each airline you fly.
3. Global Entry (and PreCheck) is Included with Select Credit Cards
Even better than getting TSA PreCheck for free when you register for Global Entry, you can get the $100 Global Entry fee reimbursed with a variety of premium credit cards. These include the Citi Prestige Card, the Platinum Card from American Express, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card and the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard.
With the above-mentioned cards, you’ll receive a reimbursement for the Global Entry fee in the form of a $100 statement credit. You’ll be able to utilize this perk every five years when you need to renew your membership, and if you’re eligible for free Global Entry with multiple cards, you can use the $100 credit for a friend or family member, instead.
4. More Than 150 Airports Participate
You’ll find PreCheck lanes at plenty of airports across the country — from LAX to Tulsa — and in Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. By contrast, the CLEAR expedited security program is currently only available at 13 airports.
5. You’ll Have It for Five Years
Even if you don’t get PreCheck through Global Entry — and if you don’t get the Global Entry fee waived with a credit card — paying $85 for expedited airport security could be worth it. It cuts down on wait times, and it’s good for five years, so you’re effectively paying less than $20 per year for the privilege. It doesn’t take too many annual trips to the airport for this out-of-pocket expense to be worthwhile!
Do you have TSA PreCheck? Share your experience with the program in the comments below!
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