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8 Best Credit Cards for Global Entry & TSA PreCheck™ Reimbursement

8 Best Credit Cards for Global Entry & TSA PreCheck™ Reimbursement

credit card advice

Adam West
By: Adam West
Posted: January 30, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

Frequent travelers understand the misery of long airport security lines — unless they have one of the best credit cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck™. These cards reimburse you for all or part of your fees to join one of these services and can make your travel experience even better with added benefits that come with being a cardholder (lounge access, anyone?).

There’s no need to wait in line while holding your belt and shoes, nervously staring as the minutes melt from the clock and your departure time nears. Instead, you could breeze through security, leave the other travelers in the dust, and still have time to grab a snack before boarding.

Best Overall
Consumer | Business | FAQs | Ranking Methodology

Best Overall Card for Global Entry & TSA PreCheck™

Whether you travel domestically or globally, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has your back. All cardmembers receive a $100 application fee credit for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ — but that’s just the beginning.

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 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
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
Intro (Purchases)
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Regular APR
Annual Fee
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N/A
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16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
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As a cardholder, you’ll receive $300 in travel credits each year that you can use to reimburse travel expenses for business or pleasure. After you receive your travel credit, you’ll begin accruing 3X Ultimate Rewards points on all travel-related expenses. And you’ll get 50% more value for all of your points when you redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

New cardholders now receive one year of complimentary Lyft Pink service as well as a DashPass membership through DoorDash, both recently added to the Reserve card’s long list of benefits. And, you’ll have access to more than 1,000 premium lounges through your Priority Pass™ Select membership.

Other Top Cards for Global Entry & TSA PreCheck™

Some travel credit cards place limitations on how and when you can redeem your points. They impose blackout dates or carrier restrictions, so you can only book your travel during a predetermined availability window.

Other cards, such as the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, accrue miles that you can redeem to cover all or part of a previous travel-related purchase. And, for the benefit you specifically seek — cardholders receive up to a $100 application fee credit for your choice of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™.

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Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

This card is currently not available.

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You’ll find no restrictions on how and when you redeem your miles, and your earnings have no expiration date, giving you the freedom to use your rewards whenever, and however, you choose.

3. Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express has long been a frontrunner in the luxury card category. For a $550 annual fee, you can earn 5X membership rewards points for flights booked directly with airlines or flight and hotel bookings on American Express Travel.

Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ fee credit
  • 5X Membership Rewards® for qualifying travel purchases
  • Earn a $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Access to 1,200+ airport lounges via the Global Lounge Collection

Other benefits include a $100 annual statement credit for purchases made at Saks Fifth Avenue, $15 in Uber Cash for U.S. rides each month ($20 in December), and an average return of $550 in benefits through the Fine Hotels & Resorts® program.

4. United℠ Explorer Card

The United℠ Explorer Card rewards loyal United Airlines customers with 2 miles for every $1 spent on United purchases, as well as 2 miles for every $1 spent at restaurants and hotels. You’ll also receive up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ every four years.

United ℠ Explorer Card

  • Up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ fee credit
  • 2X miles for every $1 spent on United purchases, restaurants, and hotel stays
  • Free first checked bag on all United flights
  • Pay no annual fee the first year, $95 after that

Cardholders also receive two complimentary United Club passes each account anniversary. You’ll also earn a free first checked back for yourself and a companion on all United flights charged to the card.

5. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card pays out 6X Marriott Bonvoy points on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 3X points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. All other purchases earn 2X points.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

  • Up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ fee credit
  • Up to 6X Marriott Bonvoy points on eligible purchases
  • $300 annual Marriott Bonvoy statement credit plus one free night each account anniversary
  • $450 annual fee

All cardholders also receive a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or an $85 credit for TSA PreCheck™ as well as complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and one free night at participating hotels and resorts each year.

Business Cards for Global Entry & TSA PreCheck™

If your business has you constantly traveling by air, you don’t want long security lines slowing you down. After all, time is money — and you can’t make money if you’re waiting in line.

With the cards below, you can earn premium rewards to help your business grow — and some will give you statement credits to pay for your TSA PreCheck™ or Global Entry membership to speed up the security process.

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Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business

This card is currently not available.

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The Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business is our top choice for business travel credit cards because it doesn’t limit how you redeem your miles. Instead of navigating blackout dates and carrier restrictions, you can redeem your 1.5 miles-per-dollar rewards as statement credits that eliminate some, or all, of your previous travel-related expenses.

7. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express charges a $595 annual fee, but you can offset that upfront cost if you properly manage the card’s many rewards. This includes 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels arranged through amextravel.com, an annual $200 airline fee credit, and up to $200 in annual statement credits for purchases made through the Dell Small Business program.

American Express Business Platinum Card®

  • Up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ fee credit
  • $200 annual airline and Dell statement credits ($400 value)
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible travel purchases, 1.5X points on purchases over $5,000
  • $595 annual fee

When you pay with Membership Rewards® points for all or part of an eligible airfare, you’ll get 35% of those points back. A $100 statement credit for Global Entry or $85 toward TSA PreCheck™ membership helps get you through security and into one of the more than 1,200 lounges you’ll have access to through the American Express Global Lounge Collection.

8. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

Southwest remains one of the country’s most popular airlines because of its low prices and high-end customer service. With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, you can access the best of the airline carrier and all it has to offer.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

  • Up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ fee credit
  • Up to 3X points on various travel and business expenses
  • Four upgraded boardings every year (when available), positions A1 – A15.
  • $199 annual fee

After your first year with the card, you’ll also receive 9,000 bonus points that you can redeem for flights, gift cards, and more. You’ll also qualify for A-List status quicker because you can earn up to 15,000 tier qualifying points each year with your card.

You need 35,000 tier qualifying points for 25 qualifying one-way flights per calendar year to qualify for A-List status.

What’s the Difference Between Global Entry & TSA PreCheck™?

You can join TSA PreCheck™ as a standalone service or pay a little more to get the benefits of Global Entry in one membership.

TSA PreCheck™ vs. Global Entry

TSA PreCheck™ provides expedited security screening for flights departing from U.S. Airports. If you’ve flown lately, you’ve likely seen the separate line at most airport security checkpoints.

This line allows travelers to pass to the front of security. Most airports also allow members to get through security with fewer hurdles, such as taking off your shoes and belt.

Global Entry provides expedited U.S. customs screening for international travelers entering the United States. All international travelers must go through a security screening when entering the U.S. that can sometimes take hours to complete (depending on your arrival airport). Global Entry members check in at the Global Entry kiosk, which can save a tremendous amount of time on your trip.

TSA PreCheck™ costs $85 and Global Entry costs $100 for a five-year membership. You can sign up at a local enrollment center or online through the Trusted Traveler Program (TTP).

The current processing time for new member applications is between two weeks and six months, so be sure to apply well before your next trip if you want to save time at the airport.

Can I Upgrade TSA PreCheck™ to Global Entry?

Unfortunately, you cannot. While Global Entry members get all the benefits of TSA PreCheck™, you can only access the expedited customs screening process with a Global Entry membership.

Based on the current fee schedule, Global Entry costs just $15 more ($100) than TSA PreCheck™ ($85) for a five-year membership. If you regularly travel abroad, it’s worth the added cost.

TSA PreCheck™ and Global Entry Price Comparison

You must pay the $100 fee at the time of signup if you decide to add Global Entry — you cannot pay the $15 difference at a later date to add it.

Some people opt only for the TSA PreCheck™ membership because the TSA has a history of rejecting Global Entry applications for seemingly minor infractions. Plus, you’ll likely have to schedule an in-person interview for Global Entry consideration.

These appointments fill up fast and have limited interview locations. Some view this as an inconvenience if you don’t plan on using the service frequently.

If you qualify for both memberships, live close enough to an interview center, and plan on using the membership more than once over the five-year period, it’s worth the small added expense and time investment to minimize the security delays during overseas travel.

What is the Current Wait Time for Global Entry?

The 2019 partial government shutdown resulted in a massive backlog of Trusted Traveler Program applications and renewals. That backlog continues today, nearly a year after the shutdown ended.

If you’re a first-time applicant to the program, you should plan for, at a minimum, a six-month wait for approval. Unlike passports or other travel paperwork, you cannot pay for expedited Global Entry service.

Once you’ve submitted your application, you can track the vetting process through the Trusted Traveler Program website. The website provides updates on your application status and quickly notifies you if you’ve been approved, denied, or received conditional approval pending the submission of more information.

Screenshot from TTP Website

You can check the status of your application from your TTP Dashboard, which is displayed after you log in.

If conditionally approved, you will receive a notification to schedule an in-person interview. You must schedule this within 365 days of the update or risk losing your application fee.

If you’re not a frequent overseas traveler, you may want to consider the basic TSA PreCheck™ program. While this program won’t help you with customs wait times, you can at least breeze through domestic security lines.

The current wait time to receive a decision on your TSA PreCheck™ application is between two and three weeks after you submit it. Your membership — either through TSA PreCheck™ or Global Entry — is good for five years after approval. More than 200 airports support TSA PreCheck™.

Is Global Entry Worth it?

If you regularly travel internationally, you can reap many rewards by breezing through security lines at domestic airports and customs checkpoints.

The average security wait time at some U.S. airports can be as long as one hour during busy times. Other U.S. airports (SFO being the slowest) may take up to an additional hour — or longer — when you’re returning to the U.S. from another country.

That said, the process to gain Global Entry access isn’t quick or painless. It can include an extensive interview, fees, and at least a six-month wait time before you receive a verdict.

And, if you’re denied, you won’t receive a refund of your fees. Archaic rules in the TSA’s acceptance standards cause applicants to be denied for seemingly minor infractions that may have taken place several years ago.

That said, Global Entry is a tremendously beneficial program for frequent international travelers. But, if you don’t plan on leaving the U.S. much over the next five years, you may want to consider signing up for TSA PreCheck™ instead.

TSA PreCheck™ Program

You may consider TSA PreCheck™ instead of Global Entry if your flights are mostly domestic. Photo credits: tsa.gov

This will help you save time on your domestic flights, and it has far more lenient acceptance standards with a two- to three-week turnaround.

Ranking Methodology

Our list of the best credit cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck™ benefits evaluates cards that reimburse cardholders for the fees associated with these services. We assessed each card’s annual fees, rates and terms offered, rewards programs and redemption values, other travel perks offered, and other criteria relevant to this article.

CardRates’ reviews undergo a thorough editorial integrity process to ensure that content is not compromised by advertiser influence.

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CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.