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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard 

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

With TSA PreCheck, security is much less of a hassle. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
With TSA PreCheck, security is much less of a hassle. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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

When you sign up for Global Entry, you
When you sign up for Global Entry, you’ll also be eligible for TSA PreCheck.

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

Cards like the Citi Prestige include a Global Entry fee credit waiver, which gets you free access to PreCheck as well.
Cards like the Citi Prestige include a Global Entry fee credit waiver, which gets you free access to PreCheck as well.

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
You’ll find TSA PreCheck lanes at plenty of airports around the country.

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

Having this green checkmark can save you significant time at the airport.
Having this green checkmark can save you significant time at the airport.

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!

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.