The best credit cards that pay for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry

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The best credit cards that pay for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry
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I can’t decide what the worst part of air travel is: the cramped seats or the long lines and intrusive searches at TSA security checkpoints.

And while traveling in first class typically costs hundreds of dollars per flight, you can eliminate most of the hassles of TSA checkpoints by becoming part of PreCheck.

These 4 credit cards pay for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry

PreCheck members generally get shorter lines and can leave their belts, shoes and light jackets on. You can also leave your liquids and electronics in your bag. Finally, you’ll pass through just a plain old metal detector, not an intrusive full-body scanner.

A PreCheck membership costs $85 and is good for five years. Or, you can pay $100 for Global Entry, which includes PreCheck and also offers you expedited immigration services each time you return to the United States.

Better yet, there are dozens of credit cards that will offer you a $100 statement credit toward the application fee for PreCheck or Global Entry. Here are four of the best ones:

  1. PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express®
  2. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  3. Chase United Explorer
  4. Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card
PenFed Pathfinder Rewards

PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express®

The only no-fee card that offers a PreCheck or Global Entry statement credit
Welcome bonus 25,000 points after spending $2,500 on purchases within three months of account opening
Rewards
  • 3x points on all travel and commuter expenses (4x for PenFed account holders)
  • 1.5x points elsewhere
  • Points can be redeemed for travel reservations, generally worth slightly less than one cent each
Annual fee None
Advantages
  • $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck when the fee is charged to the card
  • Competitive rewards whether or not you’re spending in the bonus categories
Drawbacks
  • Points are worth slightly less than other reward points

Learn more: PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express


Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Waived annual fee, flexible rewards and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit 
Welcome bonus 50,000 Capital One Miles after spending $3,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening
Rewards 2x Capital One Miles per dollar spent on all purchases
Annual fee $95, waived the first year
Advantages
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck when you use your card to pay
  • Reward miles can be redeemed for one cent each as travel statement credits
  • Reward miles can also be transferred to airline miles
Drawbacks
  • Miles transfer to airline partners mostly at a 2:1.5 ratio

Learn more: Capital One Venture Rewards


Chase United Explorer

Chase United Explorer

Lots of bonus miles and travel benefits
Welcome bonus
  • 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 within three months of account opening
  • An additional 20,000 miles after spending a total of $8,000 within six months of account opening
Rewards
  • 2x miles per dollar spent on United purchases, restaurants and hotel stays purchased directly with the hotel
  • 1x miles elsewhere
Annual fee $95, waived the first year
Advantages
  • Up to $100 as a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee for either program when charged to your card
  • 2 free United Club passes each year
  • Free checked bag
  • Priority boarding
Drawbacks
  • United recently eliminated their award charts, so you can’t know in advance how many miles you’ll need for an award flight

Learn more: Chase United Explorer


Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

Earn rewards that you can redeem for cash back
Welcome bonus 50,000 bonus points after you make $3,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening
Rewards
  • 2x points for travel and dining purchases
  • 1.5x points everywhere else
  • 25% – 75% bonus for Bank of America® Preferred Rewards clients
Annual fee $95
Advantages
  • Up to $100 Airport Security Statement Credit toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Application fee, every four years
  • $100 annual airline fee credit
  • Points can be redeemed for cash back or a deposit into a savings or investment account
Drawbacks
  • No option to transfer points to airline miles

Learn more: Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card


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