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Going through Global Entry is now easier than ever

Aug. 11, 2021
5 min read
Global Entry can save you time and energy when you're flying back into the U.S. from abroad.
Going through Global Entry is now easier than ever
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The next time you arrive at a U.S. airport from abroad and approach a Global Entry kiosk, you might find the experience to be much smoother than before.

Gone are the days of desperately searching around the bottom of your bag or digging through your pockets for your passport. Now, Global Entry is making its kiosks even more efficient by eliminating passport and fingerprint scans, and relying instead on facial biometric authentication — similar to the technology used by Clear.

Passengers who have Global Entry and arrive at some airports from international destinations will no longer need to scan their passport, put their fingers on a fingerprint sensor or answer a questionnaire. They just need to have their picture taken and then collect a printed receipt from the Global Entry kiosk, which they then give to an officer. Then they can exit the airport immediately after baggage claim.

If for some reason the system cannot match the Global Entry member to an image on record, the system will simply revert to the former process. The traveler would be prompted to swipe their passport and submit their fingerprints.

Several TPG staffers have already experienced this simplified new procedure at airports across the country, including Miami (MIA), Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH), New York-JFK and Newark (EWR). Just two weeks ago, The Points Guy himself, Brian Kelly, experienced it at JFK’s Terminal 4, arriving on an Emirates flight from Milan.

The process of having your fingerprints and passport scanned at Global Entry kiosks is now being phased out and replaced by facial biometrics technology at airports around the country. (Photo by James Tourtellotte via CBP)

This spells good news for parents of children who have Global Entry, as fingerprints on kids — and especially babies — aren’t necessarily fully developed. Prior to this new rolled-out process, families with children who weren’t fingerprinted were required to see an officer prior to entry, which significantly slows down the process.

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Now, facial recognition technology potentially eliminates these issues and allows those globetrotting children (and their parents) to enter the U.S. without a fuss.

While these systems have been implemented at many airports nationwide, it does seem that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is testing the new process at several large hubs first before expanding to all airports. Let’s hope it's expanded quickly so using Global Entry gets that much easier for travelers all over the country.

If you don’t yet have Global Entry, consider using a card that offers a Global Entry fee credit (up to $100) when you pay your application fee, including:

Additional reporting by Juan Ruiz.

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Featured image by Global Entry can save you time and energy when you're flying back into the U.S. from abroad. (Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/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.

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BEST FOR DINING AND GROCERY REWARDS
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

    Earn 60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There’s a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It’s been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you’re hitting the skies soon, you’ll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there’s no reason that the foodie shouldn’t add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x).
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel.
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits.
  • Few travel perks and protections.