Most people I know do not like to wait in lines. But do you know what’s worse than waiting in a long line? Waiting in line with your kids!!!! My girls can’t sit still so I always get the “But I’ve been waiting for so so so long!” or “Are we there yet?” comments or my little one simply cries due to frustration. Fun times! I’m sure you have you own stories of waiting in long lines at the airport. However, there is a solution! TSA PreCheck and/or Global Entry!
Yes these services cost money but it’s worth it! Even if you don’t use any credit card sign-ups to get these services for free, it’s still worth the money. But I want to help you save some extra cash and not pay for these two services and get them for free when you sign-up for one of the following premium credit cards. I’m only going to focus on 4 top cards.
In This Post
- American Express Platinum Card ($550 annual)
- American Express Business Platinum Card ($450 annual)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve ($450 annual)
- Citi Prestige ($450 or $350 annual)
American Express Platinum Card
The personal American Express Platinum Card does come with a hefty $550 annual fee but it has a lot of pros that offset the cost. First off it comes with a $200 Uber credit divided into $15 monthly credits plus a $20 bonus in December. You must link your American Express Platinum card to your Uber account for this to work. You also get a $200 airline fee credit towards incidentals (flight changes, upgrades, baggage fees, wifi, food, etc) after you have selected the airline of your choice. Note you can only change your airline of choice once a year so choose wisely. Next you get $100 credit towards Global Entry or $85 credit towards TSA PreCheck, but remember Global Entry comes with free TSA PreCheck so you might as well just get Global Entry.
In the first year alone you are already getting $500 in perks that you normally would have to pay for. Aside from these credits you also get 5X membership rewards on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel, Priority Pass Lounge Pass (valued at $100-$200); Free Boingo wifi access; Centurion Lounge access (one of my favorites); Platinum concierge to book hard to get restaurants such as French Laundry and access to pre sale tickets to well known Broadway musicals such as Hamilton; Starwood Preferred Gold Status and much more. For complete details of all the perks please see here.
If you do decide to apply for this card please use my referral link. It comes with a 60,000 sign up bonus after meeting $5,000 in spending within the first 3 months.
American Express Business Platinum Card
The American Express Business Platinum card offers almost identical benefits as the regular Platinum card with a few exceptions. First of all the annual fee is $100 less at $450. Some other exceptions include 5X points when booking flights or hotels through American Express Travel, 10 free passes for Gogo inflight Wifi, 1.5X points for each dollar spent over $5,000, 35% airline bonus when you use all or some points to book a first or business class seat on American Express Travel, you get 35% of those points back. All other perks listed above remain the same. For greater details see here.
If you do decide to apply for this card please use my referral link. It comes with a 50,000 points sign up bonus after meeting $10,000 spending and an additional 25,000 points after another additional $10,000 spending within the first 3 months of opening the account.
I’ve also learned that if you apply for either or both of these cards towards the end of the year you get to use two airline credits since the airline credits are reset each calendar year in January. You just have to make sure you meet the minimum spends. So within the first year of opening you can get $400 in airline fee credits.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
If you haven’t applied for this card then you’ve missed out on the 100,000 point sign up bonus last year. But don’t worry the current bonus is still a great deal! Click on my referral link for this card to get a 50,000 Ultimate Chase Reward point sign up bonus after meeting minimum spend. We love this card as much as our American Express Platinum cards. This card comes with a $450 annual fee. It, however comes with a $300 travel credit that can be used for anything travel related such as airline tickets, car rental fees, etc. Skies the limit! Note the difference between this travel credit versus American Express Platinum card’s travel fee credit. You also get 3X the points when used to book travel and dining. You also get 50% more travel redemption when booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal which means each point is worth at least 1.5 cents. This card also comes with the $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck credit. The Chase Reserve card also includes Priority Pass Select which allows you and your guests to access thousands of lounges around the world.
You earn 50,000 Ultimate Reward points upon spending $4,000 within the first 3 months. For more details please click here. In the end if you do apply for this card, your first year’s annual fee really comes down to $50 with the travel and Global Entry credit factored in.
Citi Prestige Credit Card
Currently Citi just boosted their sign up bonus to 75,000 Thank You points compared to the past 50,000. I applaud Citi for trying to keep up in the race of the premium credit cards. Some of the perks to the Citi Prestige card include 3X points when you book travel through airlines, hotels and travel agencies, 2X points for dining and entertainment, $250 travel credit (similar to the Chase Reserve), and complimentary 4th night for any hotel worldwide when you book four continuous nights by calling Citi Concierge or booking through the Citi Thank You Portal. Personally I think the latter is the best perk for this card. We have saved thousands of dollars by booking some of our hotels through Citi Concierge. Their rates are the same as the rates you see on the actual hotel website. Citi will honor any published rate that they can search on a hotel’s website.
Similar to the other cards you get a complimentary Priority Pass card which allows you to bring 2 guests with you for free. This is a World Elite Mastercard so you will receive complimentary premium memberships to major car rental companies such as Avis, National, Hertz and Sixt among other benefits. You get up to $100 credit for Global Entry. This card, however will not reimburse you for your TSA Pre application. The trip delay insurance is best among all the other cards. The card will reimburse you for expenses you incur if you flight is delayed by 3 hours! Other cards typically kick in after 12 hours. Apply here, I do not get a referral bonus for this card. If you are a Citigold member your annual fee is $350 but if you’re not the annual fee is $450.
Other Ways to Get FREE Global Entry/TSA PreCheck
Now if you don’t think any of the above credit cards are right for you because of their high annual fees then there are other ways. The following list contain other credit cards and possibilities to get FREE Global Entry and TSA PreCheck:
- First National Bank TravElite American Express® Card (Global Entry only – No annual fee card)
- Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite MasterCard (Global Entry only)
- Citi /AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
- Centurion Card from American Express
- American Express Corporate Gold Card
- American Express Corporate Platinum Card
- U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card
- U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card (exclusive to U.S. Bank customers)
- UBS Visa Infinite (Global Entry only)
- Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card (Global Entry only; must call to request the statement credit)
- Delta Airlines Platinum and Diamond Medallion members can choose to receive free Global Entry vouchers as one of their gifts under Choice Benefits
- Orbitz Rewards Platinum members receive free TSA PreCheck (but not free Global Entry)
We as a family all have Global Entry and it makes traveling such a breeze. We never have to take off our shoes or other belongings and the lines are always short. Rarely have to wait more than 5 to 10 minutes to get through security. If you have kids, I really recommend you consider getting Global Entry or TSA PreCheck via one of the ways listed above. Remember Global Entry comes with TSA PreCheck and lasts for 5 years. TSA PreCheck is free for children under 12 as long as they are traveling with an adult that has TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and it also lasts for 5 years. If you have any questions regarding the cards listed above, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me. Good luck and see you at the airport!
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not endorsed by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Reader acknowledges that the author gets referral point bonuses for readers using the referral links above.