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This Memorial Day Weekend, the skies saw an influx of travelers in masses that hadn’t been seen since the early 2000s. So, if you were traveling and felt like things — from security lines to lounges — were a bit more crowded than usual, you probably weren’t imagining it.

In fact, according to a TSA spokeswoman, on Friday, May 26, the TSA screened more than 2.5 million passengers and crew, making it the busiest day at TSA checkpoints since 2005.

But, while news of crowded TSA security lanes might make you anxious as you think about how unacceptably long lines were last summer, there is some good news. When TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig was traveling on that exact day from Newark (EWR) to Austin (AUS), he zipped through the record-long checkpoint lines in less than two minutes thanks to his TSA PreCheck.

This scenario (and others that likely happen on a daily basis) is a great reminder of the value in having PreCheck. The access to an expedited security lane and one where you don’t have to take off your shoes, take out your laptop, liquids and more is a great way to save you the stress of not knowing how long it’ll take to get through the “regular” line.

As a reminder, TSA PreCheck (and Global Entry) are very easy to get for free. A number of credit cards offer a fee credit for PreCheck ($85) or Global Entry ($100). Global Entry comes with TSA PreCheck access, so that’s the most logical if you have a fee credit from a credit card, as you’ll have access to both services. Cards that comes with the fee credit include the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Platinum Card from American Express, Citi Prestige, among others. Even if you travel only a couple of times a year, PreCheck access is worth the cost in order to avoid long lines — especially if you can get it for free.

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More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
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Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are 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.

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