Global Entry is a program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States. In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer decision for any frequent traveler to sign up for this program. The $100 non-refundable application fee is a small price to pay to blow past the long immigration lines when returning to the United States. Your Global Entry status is then good for five years. So that’s $20 a year. Where else can you buy VIP treatment for twenty bucks?
What makes this an even better deal is when you’re approved for Global Entry, you also get a Known Traveler Number (KTN), giving you access to TSA Pre✓® lanes at domestic airports. This program charges an $85 membership fee if you apply for it separately, so it only costs an extra $15 to get expedited entry when entering the U.S. on international flights (as well as land crossings and 1 cruise port). You could apply for TSA PreCheck instead of Global Entry but the process is similar and if you’re getting reimbursed, why not go for the better deal?
I’d gladly pay the $100 out of my own pocket every five years for Global Entry but I don’t have to. More and more credit cards are willing to reimburse you the application fee when you charge it to their card. Here’s a list of credit cards that will pay your Global Entry fee for you (please let me know if I’ve missed any):
- Aeroplan Card
- Aesthetics Card
- Arvest Visa Signature® Credit Card
- American Airlines Credit Union
- American Express Platinum
- American Express Business Platinum
- American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant
- Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver World Elite Mastercard®
- Capital One Venture®
- Capital One Spark Miles
- Capital One Venture X
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Choice Privileges® Select Mastercard®
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
- Citi Expedia Rewards Voyager Card
- Citi Prestige
- CNB Crystal Visa Infinite Credit Card With Rewards
- Commerce Bank® World Elite Mastercard®
- Delta Skymiles Platinum American Express
- Delta Skymiles Business Platinum American Express
- Delta Skymiles Reserve American Express
- Delta Skymiles Business Reserve American Express
- HSBC Elite credit card
- HSBC Premier World Mastercard
- IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
- Mastercard Black Card
- Mastercard Gold Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express
- Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Flagship Rewards
- Penfed Pathfinder Rewards American Express
- Provident World+ Travel
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
- Truist Business Travel Rewards credit card
- Truist Enjoy Beyond credit card
- Truist Enjoy Travel credit card
- UBS Visa Infinite credit card
- U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card
- U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
- United Explorer Card
- United QuestSM Card
- United Club Infinite Card
Several of these cards, such as the IHG Rewards Club Premier and United Explorer card, have annual fees that are less than $100. Many of the other cards offering reimbursement of the application fee have high annual fees. Still, their price is reasonable when you combine the $100 credit for Global Entry with the travel credits and lounge access these cards provide. There are travel cards at different price points offering this benefit; isn’t it time to fill out that application???
Sharon used her Citi Prestige card to pay for her renewal application and the credit showed up five days later. I paid my renewal fee with the AMEX Platinum card. Having TSA PreCheck has really transformed the way we travel and makes going through the checkpoint a civilized process. We’re often through the security checkpoint in less than 5-10 minutes when the regular line at Orlando airport was well over 30 minutes. That gives us time to get to the gate and enjoy the upgraded lounges of Orlando Airport.
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