Skip to content

Round 2: Answering more questions about TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and Clear

Nov. 26, 2021
6 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.

Last week's column discussed the differences between two of the U.S. government's "trusted traveler" expedited security programs — TSA PreCheck and Global Entry – along with Clear, the private sector's offering.

This week I am diving into the three even more, including how you can save money on each and what to do if your membership is set to expire.

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. Since Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck, how do you use PreCheck?

As previously mentioned, a Global Entry membership also includes a membership to TSA PreCheck, meaning you'll automatically get access to TSA PreCheck by signing up for Global Entry.

To use TSA PreCheck, the TSA PreCheck logo, accompanied by a green checkmark must be displayed on your boarding pass (digital or paper copy). In order to ensure that's the case, you must enter your Known Traveler Number when requested when booking flights departing from the U.S.

“The 'Pass ID' number on the back of the Global Entry card serves as your TSA PreCheck 'Known Traveler Number (KTN)' which when populated into the airline reservation offers you eligibility for TSA PreCheck,” TSA confirmed to TPG. "Because of this, there is no need to enroll in TSA PreCheck [separately] if you are already a member of Global Entry.”

(Screenshot from southwest.com)

2. How long does each program last?

All of the Department of Homeland Security's Trusted Traveler Programs are valid for five years, including TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, so once you pay for a membership, you will not have to do so again until it's set to expire. Clear is valid for one year. All fees for the three must be paid upfront.

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

3. How do you go about renewing – and how far in advance should you do so?

You can renew your TSA PreCheck and Global Entry within one year of expiration, but you can also renew your membership after it has expired.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

"You become eligible to renew your membership 1 year prior to program expiration," says DHS. "If you submit a renewal application before your membership expires, you will be able to continue to use benefits up to 24 months after your membership expiration date."

You can renew your PreCheck entirely online and DHS lowered TSA PreCheck renewal fees from $85 to $70 on Oct.1.

Since June, eligible Trusted Traveler Program members have been able to complete the interview portion of the Global Entry renewal process online through video teleconferencing. Currently, new applications still require an in-person appointment.

CBP also has a program called “Enrollment upon Arrival” to allow for online candidates who have received conditional approval to set up an in-person appointment. If you have been conditionally approved and happen to be traveling abroad, you can set up that appointment upon arrival back in the U.S.

In the case of renewals, an interview may not be required.

"TSA PreCheck does not have any delays in appointments or processing," according to TSA. "We have 400+ enrollments centers nationwide, and most people are approved within a week. Conversely, Customs and Border Protection has about 100 locations and ... some wait times for appointments."

(Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

4. What credit cards offer reimbursement?

Several credit cards offer up to $100 for reimbursement for the fees associated with Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

The below cards offer a statement credit for TSA PreCheck and or Global Entry (up to $100):

"With any of the cards above, you’re eligible for a fee credit every four or five years for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck when you pay for the membership with the card," writes TPG's Madison Blancaflor. "Note that you don’t need to be paying for your own membership: as long as the application fee is charged to the card and you haven’t already utilized the perk, the credit should automatically be applied to your next statement."

A one-year Clear membership costs $189. Many cards offer a statement credit to use for Clear, including the American Express® Green Card, which comes with up to a $189 annual credit. American Express Centurion Cardholders receive an annual statement credit for up to three family members to purchase Clear and The Platinum Card® from American Express offers cardholders up to $189 annually via statement credit (enrollment required).

The information for the American Express Green card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.

Travelers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Nov. 19, 2021. (Photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images).

5. Are there any additional benefits?

TSA PreCheck is a redemption option for several loyalty programs, including United MileagePlus, Marriott Bonvoy, IHG Rewards Club, Radisson Rewards and Choice Privileges, so members can redeem miles/points for the $85 fee for friends and family. That's in contrast to credit card reimbursements, which generally apply to only the member themselves.

And TSA says be sure to select the program that is right for you.

"TSA PreCheck does not compete with Global Entry," per TSA. "We both want the consumer to be fully informed so they select the program that is right for them. Both are government programs that increase security, while providing a better traveler experience."

Passengers at Boston Logan International Airport in Boston on Nov. 18, 2021. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

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

Featured image by Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag
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

Best premium travel card for value
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 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
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

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more