Last Updated on June 7, 2023 by Christine Kaaloa
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Ever wondered how some travelers got to whoosh through TSA and immigration queues while you painfully wait in the back of a long queue? Well, good news– it is surprisingly easy to have that whoosh too. In this post, I share whether you should get a Global Entry pass and things to know so you can make an informed decision.
Global Entry passes and TSA Pre-check are convenient travel perks available to the public at affordable rates.
Should you Get a Global Entry Pass : What you need to know 2022
What is the Global Entry Pass
- TSA Pre-check service: a separate and faster TSA line for trusted travelers
- Speedy immigration & customs screening when you are returning to the U.S. from an international trip.
When going through immigration, use an express kiosk rather than wait in the customs line. You also do not need to fill out a customs declaration form, so no return entry paperwork is required.
How much does the Global Entry Pass cost and when does it expire?
The Global Entry Pass costs a $100 registration fee. The pass expires 5 years from the date of purchase. Visit the website and apply.
What is TSA Pre-check ?
TSA Pre-check is run by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. The TSA Pre-check service expedites airport security lines and allows you access into a line with lighter screening measures: you do not need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts or light jackets.
The registration fee costs $85 and it expires 5 years from purchase. Visit here for more.
Both are a part of the Trusted Traveler program TT program. And are good for the next 5 years.
Global Entry Pass vs TSA Travel Pre-check: Which is the better deal?
The Global Entry Pass costs a little more and is aimed at the international traveler. You are issued a known traveler number and that is what you use when you book flights or checkin.
Meanwhile the TSA Travel Pre-check is aimed at U.S. domestic travel and TSA lines. Both are good for the next 5 years.
Global Entry Pass (+ TSA Travel Pre-check) = $100
TSA Travel Pre-check = $85
If you are an American who travels abroad at least once a year, then for an additional $15 year, you will get the best of both worlds. The Global Entry Pass is certainly the better deal.
Is the Global Entry Pass worthwhile?
YES. Getting the Global Entry Pass means a less intrusive and more expedited TSA experience and that is worthwhile. As I mentioned earlier, the costs break down to $20/year, so even if you travel domestically once a year, that is $20 for that roundtrip expedited TSA experience. If you take a few trips a year, it is a no brainer.
Where can I use my Global Entry Pass?
The Global Entry Pass is only effective within the United States Customs, Border & Transportation departments system. All leading U.S. airports and any lawful land and sea ports of entry into the U.S. (i.e. including Canadian and Mexico borders) apply. So you can use your Global Entry Pass if you’re crossing overland or if you’re taking a cruise.
Who can apply?
The Global Entry Pass is restricted to all U.S. residents and some countries which have trusted traveler arrangements, such as Argentina, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
How to Apply for a Global Entry Pass
It is quick and easy to fill out an application and pay for the Global Entry Pass. But it may be tricky to set up your required in-person interview if your city does not have a Global Entry Pass enrollment center.
Complete an enrollment application form and interview at one of the CPB locations for Global Entry Pass. If do not have an in-person enrollment center near you, you can try finding one at an airport layover to complete your enrollment. If not, then the TSA Pre-check is your best bet.
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Is it true I can get my Global Entry Pass for free?
Yes. Some credit card plans have travel perks and will reimburse the $100 expense of the Global Entry Pass. For instance, I used my Capital One Venture card (a highly recommended credit card for travelers) to purchase my pass and was reimbursed the charge a few weeks later, costing me literally, nothing! It is in the rewards section of my mobile app or when you log into your account.
Use my referral code when you sign up. Your introductory year is free and then it is $95 annually. Some folks like to credit card hack and cancel before their term is up, but $95/annually is so worthwhile for me.
Tip: When signing up for credit cards, always research their mileage reward offers as if you meet requirements, it will pay for your first domestic trip!
Other credit card plans to research are Citi, Chase, American Express, and Bank of America. They all offer Global Entry Pass reimbursement. If you already belong to one of these credit card services, look into your Rewards section to see if it isn’t already included in your plan.
Booking travel through a travel credit card reward point is super easy. With my Capital One Venture card, I can change flights and cancel bookings for free. During the pandemic, I used my miles as credit for Amazon purchases!
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