Skip to content

Another way to speed through security: Answers to your questions about Nexus

Dec. 10, 2021
5 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

For the past three weeks, I've answered questions about the differences between TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and Clear, three programs popular among TPG readers that help lessen the sometimes inevitable frustration of navigating U.S. airport security and passport checks.

Since then, I've heard from many Canadian TPG readers asking about Nexus, another program that helps Americans and Canadians cross the U.S.-Canada border.

If this is your first time reading my weekly column, welcome, and here's where to get caught up to speed:

Read all about TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and Clear in Column 1, more about those three in Column 2 and last week's column here, where I discussed even more about Global Entry.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Here are this week’s top five questions:

1. What is Nexus?

Not unlike other trusted traveler programs, Nexus provides pre-screened travelers with expedited processing services when entering the United States and Canada by plane, car or boat.

A Nexus membership grants access to:

  1. Nexus-only processing lanes at designated entry ports along the northern border.
  2. Nexus kiosks when entering Canada by air.
  3. Global Entry kiosks when arriving via one of eight Canadian Preclearance airports in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Alberta.

Like the other TTPs, a Nexus membership is valid for five years and there is no minimum age requirement, but those under 18 must have the consent of a legal guardian or parent to participate in the program.

Sign up for our daily newsletter
(Screenshot from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

2. Does Nexus include Global Entry and TSA PreCheck?

It's a little-known fact that a Nexus membership also includes access to Global Entry and therefore TSA PreCheck security checkpoints as well.

"If you are a U.S. citizen/lawful permanent resident and you provided your passport information and your fingerprints were collected at the enrollment interview, you will automatically be eligible for Global Entry benefits," says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Of course, the catch here is that it's really only beneficial for Americans who live near the Canadian border as only border locations will accept applicants for interviews.

(Screenshot from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

3. As a Nexus holder, how do I get TSA PreCheck when traveling?

The same rules apply still apply as they would for any other TSA PreCheck user, with Nexus or otherwise.

"To receive TSA PreCheck, you must include your known traveler number in the appropriate field of your airline reservation, and the TSA PreCheck® indicator must be visible on your boarding pass," says DHS. "You will not be eligible to access the TSA PreCheck lane by presenting a trusted traveler card or other documentation."

Pearson International Airport in Toronto on April 18, 2020. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua/Getty Images)

4. How do I apply for Nexus?

Travelers seeking a Nexus membership should submit an online application in addition to a nonrefundable $50 fee, after which you'll be prompted to arrange an in-person interview at an enrollment center.

There are 12 U.S. locations across Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Vermont and Washington, and 12 in Canada.

The average processing time for Nexus is currently six months.

Travelers waiting to cross the border into the U.S. at the Peace Arch border crossing on Nov. 8. (Photo by Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

5. How does Nexus work?

"It gives all the same privileges that TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry [do], not just in the US, but in Canada as well. When I fly to Europe out of Toronto, I go through the Nexus expedited security lanes with my shoes on and my laptop in my bag, etc. just as I do in the U.S.," a TPG reader said via email. "When I return, I simply walk up to the Nexus kiosk, look into the camera, give a couple clicks on the screen and I’m on my way. In today’s world, it seems too good to be true, but the lowest cost program provides the broadest range of benefits."

The Canada-U.S. border in Surrey, British Columbia, on Nov. 8. (Photo by Liang Sen/Xinhua/Getty Images)

Have a question for next week? Email me at caroline.tanner@thepointsguy.com or tips@thepointsguy.com.

Featured image by Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 5X points
5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 150,000 points120,000 points
The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
Good, Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.