Which Credit Cards Cover Global Entry Application Fees

May 27, 2016

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I recently wrote about who should get TSA PreCheck given that the TSA lines at airports across the country have been insanely long recently with reports that they may get worse this summer. It seems that some actions are now being taken by TSA and the airlines themselves to get the lines back under control, but ultimately the best defense against very long security screening lines is to have TSA PreCheck in order to give yourself the option of using the PreCheck line.

Most of the time the PreCheck line will be faster than the regular security line, and even on the rare occasion that it isn’t faster, it is still better to have the option of various lines then only have the option of the regular security line than can be hours long in some situations.

Unfortunately for budget travelers, TSA PreCheck comes at a cost of $85 for five years which adds up quickly when you have multiple family members that need to apply. Another option that I personally recommend if you are considering PreCheck is to go ahead and get Global Entry which is $100 for five years as that will provide not only PreCheck, but also Global Entry which will expedite your re-entry into the United States after international travel. Global Entry costs $15 more than PreCheck alone, but it is more than worth it if you ever do any international travel.

I think PreCheck and/or Global Entry is worth it no matter how you need to pay for it if you travel at least twice a year, but obviously it is preferable to not have to pay $85 – $100 per person out of pocket if you can help it. One way to avoid the $100 fee is to instead apply for NEXUS which gives you not only Global Entry and TSA PreCheck that help in the United States, but also NEXUS which is expedited entry into Canada. NEXUS is only $50 for five years and children 18 and under can get it for free – as we did for our daughter! To get NEXUS you have to get to a Canadian/US border city to complete the in-person interview and iris scan, so this option won’t work for everyone.

Credit Cards that Cover Global Entry/PreCheck Application Fees:

One way to avoid paying the Global Entry or PreCheck application fees out of pocket is to charge the fee to a credit card that refunds the charge in the form of a statement credit. Several of the premium travel/rewards credit cards offer this perk, so here is a round-up of credit cards that cover Global Entry application fees.

American Express Platinum Cards including (annual fees vary based on product):

  • Corporate Gold Card Members
  • Consumer Platinum Card® Members
  • Corporate Platinum Card® Members
  • Business Platinum Card®Members

Citi Prestige Card ($450 annual fee):

Citi will provide one statement credit for this $100 application fee, once the fee is charged to the account. The $100 application fee credit will renew once every 5 years.

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card ($395 annual fee):

This card doesn’t actually cover Global Entry fees exactly, but it does have an annual $300 travel credit that can go towards “baggage fees, Global Entry fees, seat upgrades, access to your preferred airport lounge and more.”

Expedia + Voyager Card from Citi ($95 annual fee):

This card also doesn’t exactly cover Global Entry, but instead has a $100 Annual Air Travel Fee Statement Credit that can be used toward airline incidentals on qualified airlines, Wi-Fi carriers or for either the Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee.

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard ($450 annual fee):

This card provides one statement credit per account, every five years up to $100, for either the Global Entry or the TSA Pre✓® application fee. Cardmember must charge the application fee of at least $85 to their Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive card to be eligible for the statement credit. Cardmembers will receive a statement credit for the first program (either Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® to which they apply and pay for with their eligible card, regardless of whether they are approved for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.

AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite MasterCard ($195 annual fee):

Primary cardmembers will receive one statement credit for this $100 application fee, once the fee is charged to the account once every five years.

In most cases the Global Entry statement fee credit can probably be used for anyone’s Global Entry application or renewal fees instead of being restricted to just the cardholder themselves. Just keep in mind that the fee will probably only be covered on any one card once every five years. If you aren’t sure when you used the benefit last I would contact the customer service for that particular card and they can likely tell you the date you used it last and the date you will again be eligible to have a statement credit offset the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee.

Which credit card have you used to cover your Global Entry application fees? Have I missed any cards that you know of?

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