The short answer is, yes. Several credit cards issued in the United States reimburse the cost of applying for membership in TSAPre and Global Entry when those fees are charged to the card. What many don’t realize is this reimbursement applies to anyone whose application fee is charged to the card.

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TSAPre and Global Entry Trusted Traveler Programs

TSAPre and Global Entry are programs designed to make security and immigration easier and faster in the U.S. for air travelers who have been vetted and deemed to be low risk.

TSAPre, a program run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, provides faster and comparatively hassle-free security screening at U.S. airports. When going through airport security, TSAPre members need not take off and put on shoes, belts, and light jackets, and 3-1-1 liquids and laptops stay in your luggage.

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance through customs and immigration. Global Entry is available at 61 U.S. airports and 15 international preclearance locations. Global Entry members are automatically enrolled in TSAPre without having to submit a separate application.

Foreign Global Entry facilities clear passengers to enter the U.S. before they board a U.S. bound flight rather on arrival in the U.S.. I’ve used Global Entry on flights leaving from Canada and the U.A.E.. On arrival in the U.S., precleared passengers simply walk off the plane directly into the terminal like they arrived on a domestic flight.

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The cost of applying for TSAPre and Global Entry are $85 and $100, respectively. Membership is good for five years.

Who is Eligible For Global Entry And TSAPre

Global Entry (and thus TSAPre) is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents and citizens of the following countries:

Non U.S. residents who have Global Entry must still comply with visa requirements, if any.

TSAPre membership is open to:

  • Citizens of the United States of America
  • Lawful permanent residents and U.S. Nationals, and
  • Members of other Trusted Traveler Programs (Global Entry, Nexus, Sentri) including foreign nationals who are members of these programs. 

To activate TSAPre, those who are approved for Global Entry enter their membership number (PASS ID) in the “Known Traveler Number” field when booking reservations, or enter it into the frequent flyer profile with the airline.  Once that information is in the system, boarding passes will automatically be issued indicating eligibility to use TSAPre screening lines.


Which Credit Cards Reimburse For Global Entry And TSAPre?

Many travel related credit cards include reimbursement for Global Entry and TSAPre as a benefit. This benefit sounds nice in the advertisements and the credit card company is on the hook for reimbursing the fee only once every five years, if at all.

The list of cards that reimburse the application fee for Global Entry and TSAPre is long and currently includes:

  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express 
  • Capital One Spark Miles for Business
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® 
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® 
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card 
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card 
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card 
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card 
  • IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
  • IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card 
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card 
  • Mastercard® Black Card™
  • Mastercard® Gold Card™ 
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card 
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express 
  • U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
  • United Club℠ Infinite Card 
  • United℠ Explorer Card 
  • United Quest℠ Card 

Many people including me have more than one of these cards, but need only one reimbursement every five years. The other reimbursement benefits usually go unused.

How To Use The Reimbursement Benefit For Others

Paying the application fee for someone else could involve some risk. It is certainly not a good idea to do this for strangers. The most secure way to pay for someone else’s application is for the cardholder to enter the credit card information at the point of payment in the online application process. A riskier option is to give your card and billing information to someone you trust like family and close friends. The credit card company will see that the card was used for a reimbursable application fee and issue a credit but the company will not know the name of the applicant for whom the credit is being issued.

In addition, some credit cards that offer Global Entry and TSAPre reimbursement permit the cardholder to designate authorized users and reimburse application fees for authorized users as well as the cardholder. Check the terms and conditions or contact card customer service to verify.

Final Thoughts

When paying an annual fee for a credit card, it is a good idea to take advantage of as many of the card benefits as possible. My Global Entry renewed last year so I won’t need to use a reimbursement for another five years. Instead of letting the reimbursement benefit on my other cards go to waste my son who travels infrequently is going to apply for Global Entry and I’ll pay the fee with a card I didn’t use to pay my fee.

Do you have unused reimbursement credits that could be used to pay for TSAPre or Global Entry applications for yourself, family or friends? These programs are extremely worthwhile no matter how much someone travels especially when there is no cost to join.

Hat tip: Eye of the Flyer and The Points Guy.