May 29, 2017
Which is Better-TSA PreCheck or Global Entry?
TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry are government programs which give you expedited security/customs at airports. You have to apply to be admitted to the programs. The government will run a background check on you and collect your fingerprints. If they decide you’re a low-risk passenger, you’ll be admitted and enjoy a host of perks when you fly!
You can find my full guide to TSA Pre-Check here. As an overview, it allows you to pass through airport security in a dedicated Pre-Check lane. You can keep your shoes, belt, and light jackets on as you walk through the metal detectors, and you don’t have to remove laptops and small liquids from your carry-on. The lines are also generally shorter and move faster than the standard security lines. The application fee is $85 and your membership lasts for five years. However, there are multiple ways to be reimbursed for the fee if you have the right credit card.
You can find my full guide to Global Entry here. Global Entry offers expedited customs and immigration clearance when you enter the USA from abroad. Instead of waiting in those horrendously long lines when you’re tired and fresh off a long international flight, you go to special Global Entry kiosks, scan your passport, collect your immigration ticket, and walk to baggage claim. The whole proses takes about 5 minutes.
The second benefit of Global Entry is that it comes with TSA Pre-Check automatically for free. So you save time when entering the country as well as when you’re going through TSA to board your flights. The Global Entry application fee is $100 and your membership lasts for five years, although there’s multiple credit cards which reimburse you for the fee.
And the Winner Is?
Global Entry is the clear choice here as it comes with TSA Pre-Check automatically while giving you expedited customs and immigration clearance. If you can get it for free using an eligible credit card, great. If you don’t have one of those cards and have to pay out of pocket, Global Entry still comes out ahead. I save about an hour every time I fly into the US. For me, that’s worth far more than the $15 price premium over having just TSA Pre-Check.
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