Stop Waiting in Airport Security Lines
MAKE LIFE EASIER
Getting in and out of the airport can quickly dissolve the excitement of traveling. Registering for a trusted travelers program that makes sense for your needs is one way to ease the stress of overcrowded lines and unpredictable wait times. There are two types of passes TSA Pre Check and Global Entry (which includes TSA Pre Check).
TSA PRE CHECK:
This expedited screening program allows domestic U.S. travelers to bypass long security lines and reduce wait times down to 5 minutes on average (source: Transportation Security Administration). It includes a nonrefundable application fee of $85 for 5 years or $17 a year. If your application gets disapproved for whatever reason (criminal charges, customs violations) you will not get your If you travel frequently, this peace of mind may save you rebooking fees if you miss a flight or precious time in your travel days. If you don't travel internationally very often, TSA Pre Check may be the best option for you.
GLOBAL ENTRY INCLUDES TSA PRE CHECK
If you travel internationally often, including driving through the Canadian or Mexican border, Global Entry will preserve your sanity. A Global Entry pass also includes TSA precheck. The application process is a bit more involved since it includes an in-person interview at an TSA processing center. The interview itself is painless though it may take a few weeks to secure an interview reservation. The nonrefundable application fee of $100 for 5 years (or $20 a year).
Once approved, you will be issued a trusted traveler number and an identification card (this is used when driving through the U.S. border). Your passport will automatically update with your status so no need to remember another thing when flying internationally.
CHECK THAT IT'S WORTH IT FOR YOU
Make sure that your frequented airport and airline participate in the program. Check the participating list here.
HOW TO GET IT FOR FREE
There are credit cards that will reimburse application fees as it appears on the credit card statement. If you have one of these cards, take advantage of this perk even though you may not travel frequently. If you're thinking of opening a new card to take advantage of this perk, be sure to weigh whether the annual fees are offset by the perks you rewards you plan to redeem.
- Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite Mastercard
- Citi Prestige Card
- Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
- Platinum Card from American Express
- Business Platinum Card from American Express
- Centurion Card from American Express
- American Express Corporate Gold Card
- American Express Corporate Platinum Card
- U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (new in August 2016).
In addition, if you're an elite member of Delta Airlines, SPG, or Orbitz Rewards, TSA Pre Check is included as one of your perks.
Trusted Traveler programs can make a world of a difference in your travel experience. Unless you like waiting in line and unpacking your bag and tip toeing barefoot through body scanners, consider one of these programs. Who knows, maybe the convenience of flying will encourage you to take trips you never expected.v