7 ways to get free or discounted TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and Clear
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If you want to get through the airport without getting stuck in long lines, you’re probably going to need to sign up for programs that reduce your wait time.
However, time is money and it usually costs some cash to get access to these front-of-the-line programs.
While these programs may be worth their retail price tags, many TPG readers don’t actually need to pay that amount. Thanks to deals, having the right credit cards and leveraging certain elite status levels and frequent flyer memberships, these programs may be available to you at a discounted rate — or even for free.
Here are seven ways to save money on TSA PreCheck, Clear and Global Entry.
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How much do TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and Clear cost?
Normally, a five-year membership to TSA PreCheck costs $85, while five years of Global Entry runs you $100. TSA PreCheck renewals are down to $70 if you do it online.
If you have a Global Entry membership, you also receive the benefits of TSA PreCheck since Global Entry includes access to TSA PreCheck. Essentially, you reap the benefits of both programs for an extra $15 every five years.
Meanwhile, an annual membership to Clear retails at $189. Together, they can all add up if you don’t take advantage of available discounts and credits.
‘Free’ TSA PreCheck and Global Entry via credit cards
Currently, there are nearly 50 cobranded airline, hotel and other credit cards offering up to $100 in statement credit reimbursement for the application fees associated with Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. This credit is typically available every four to five years, though you should check the terms for your specific card for the exact frequency.
Some of the cards that convey free TSA PreCheck and/or Global Entry are:
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express.
- United Explorer Card.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve.
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card.
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card.
- United Club Infinite Card.
See here for a complete list of credit cards that offer a discount for TSA PreCheck.
Your miles can pay for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry
In addition to those cards offering credits for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, some loyalty programs allow members to use points or miles in exchange for covering the membership fees. While these are options, the return per point is under TPG point valuations, so they aren’t our top picks for ways to save on these memberships.
- Radisson Rewards Americas: Members can redeem 65,000 points for an $85 application credit.
- Orbitz Rewards: Platinum members get a free TSA PreCheck membership every five years.
- Marriott Bonvoy: Members can redeem 25,000 points for an $85 application credit.
- IHG Rewards Club: Members can redeem 30,000 points for an $85 application credit.
- United MileagePlus: Members can redeem 10,000 miles for a TSA PreCheck membership.
‘Free’ Clear memberships via credit cards
Since it costs $189 per year instead of $85-$100 every five years, there aren’t nearly as many credit cards that provide a free Clear membership as there are with TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. However, you do have a few options if you want your travel credit card to pay for your Clear membership:
- The Platinum Card from American Express.
- The Business Platinum Card from American Express.
- The Centurion Card from American Express.
We’ve also seen some targeted Amex Offers from time to time covering the cost of Clear membership for those with different American Express cards, so keep your eyes peeled for limited-time offers like that.
The information for the Centurion Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Credit cards that save you money on Clear
Free is always best. However, if you don’t have a credit card that makes Clear completely free with statement credits, there are some additional credit cards that can at least reduce your annual Clear membership cost.
- American Express® Green Card: Receive $100 per calendar year in statement credits when you use this card to pay for a Clear membership. Enrollment is required.
- All Delta SkyMiles cobranded Amex cards: $109 annual membership ($70 off the standard rate).
- All United U.S. credit cards: $109 annual membership ($70 off the standard rate).
The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Save on Clear with a frequent flyer membership
Both United and Delta offer their frequent flyers free or discounted membership to Clear.
Discounts from Delta SkyMiles
Top-tier Delta Diamond Medallion members can get Clear for free. The airline’s Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion members can pay a reduced price of $109.
All Delta SkyMiles members without elite status can get a discounted membership for $119.
Similarly, United’s Premier 1K members are entitled to Clear for free, while United MileagePlus Platinum, Gold and Silver members can pay $109.
United MileagePlus members without status can access Clear for $119 per year — which is $60 less than the retail price tag.
Clear discounts for families and students
Those with a family will be relieved to learn that children under 18 can go through Clear with you for free and without needing to scan their eyes or similar.
Once those children go to college, they then have access to a discounted student rate of $50 per year for up to four years.
You can also utilize Clear’s family plan and add up to three adults to your primary membership for $60 per additional person per year. This is a great way to cover your partner, parents, etc. without incurring another full $179 fee for each person every year.
Try Clear for free with a referral code
Lastly, TPG readers can try out Clear for free for two months before deciding if it’s worth keeping. Fair warning: In my experience, once you go Clear, you never go back.
Not only do TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and Clear help travelers save time, there are lots of ways to save money on memberships with these programs.
Additional reporting by Summer Hull.
Featured photo of passengers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Feb. 19, 2022, by DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty Images.
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