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TPG reader Michael sent me a message on Facebook to ask about getting expedited security:
“If I already have Global Entry, can I still use a statement credit to cover someone else’s application?”
I love having access to expedited security programs, and I highly recommend signing up if you travel frequently. Global Entry membership (which includes TSA PreCheck) normally costs $100, but there are several premium credit cards that will give you a statement credit to cover the cost of your application. Those credits might seem redundant if you’ve already enrolled (or if you have more than one available), but you can still put any extras to use.
When you pay for a Global Entry application using an eligible card (like The Platinum Card from American Express or the new Chase Sapphire Reserve), all the card issuer sees is a $100 charge from US Customs and Border Protection. They won’t be able to tell whose name is on the application, so the statement credit should be issued automatically within a few days (assuming you haven’t already used it). Even if the name on the application was apparent, it might not matter, since the terms and conditions don’t limit the fee credit to the cardholder.
If you’ve already used your own credit, you may still be able to help someone else enroll by making them an authorized user on your account. Amex Platinum allows you to add up to three users for $175 (additional users are $175 apiece after that), and each authorized user gets his or her own $100 application credit for Global Entry. If you know a few people who want to sign up for expedited security, you can essentially get it for them at a discount, along with other benefits like lounge access and hotel elite status. Not all cards extend the statement credit to authorized users, so make sure yours is eligible before adding cardholders to your account.
Before you give away a spare application fee credit, make sure you don’t need it yourself. Global Entry membership lasts for five years, but you could end up wanting to reapply sooner. Many application centers are backlogged, and getting an appointment can take a while; it makes sense to renew your membership early so it doesn’t lapse while you’re waiting for an interview. Similarly, you’ll need to reapply if you change your name or citizenship status. Your statement credit can cover the cost of application or renewal in any of those events.
For more on Global Entry and other expedited security programs, check out these posts:
- 5 Key Things to Know About Getting Global Entry
- 10 Ways to Get Through Airport Security Faster
- Why Mobile Passport Can Be Better Than Global Entry