If you’re tired of taking off your shoes every time you go through airport security, it’s time to enroll in TSA PreCheck. This trusted traveler program allows people to access a separate security line at the airport and eliminates some of the hassles involved in clearing airport security — but it isn’t free. A five-year TSA PreCheck membership costs $85, which might be a little more than some people want to spend for a more streamlined airport experience.
Luckily, many of the top travel credit cards offer TSA PreCheck reimbursement fees. If you sign up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry with one of these travel credit cards, the cost of your application will be reimbursed. Other credit cards offer rewards that can be redeemed for statement credits, and you can use those credits to help cover the cost of TSA PreCheck.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time flyer, TSA PreCheck can shorten your trip through airport security and make your entire travel experience run more smoothly — so here’s what you need to know about getting TSA PreCheck with your credit card.
What is TSA PreCheck?
TSA PreCheck is an official trusted traveler program set up through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. After completing a short online application and a background check, TSA PreCheck members can use a dedicated security line to pass through airport security. TSA PreCheck members are allowed to leave liquids (3.4 ounces or less) and laptops in their carry-on luggage, and they do not need to remove their shoes, belts or light jackets.
According to the Transportation Security Administration, the majority of TSA PreCheck members take five minutes or less to clear airport security.
How much does TSA PreCheck cost?
TSA PreCheck membership costs $85 and lasts for five years. Your TSA PreCheck membership gets you access to dedicated security lines and expedited security procedures at U.S. airports. If you travel internationally and would like to shorten your trips through customs, consider applying for Global Entry instead of TSA PreCheck. Global Entry includes all the benefits of TSA PreCheck plus expedited customs screening for travelers entering the United States, and membership costs $100 for five years.
Credit cards that reimburse your TSA PreCheck fees generally reimburse Global Entry fees as well, so choose the program that makes the most sense for your travel habits.
How can a credit card help you get TSA PreCheck?
There are two ways in which a credit card can help you get TSA PreCheck. Some travel credit cards offer TSA PreCheck and Global Entry reimbursement fees. If you apply for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and pay the fee with a credit card that offers reimbursement, you’ll receive a statement credit to cover the cost of your application.
Other credit cards allow you to earn rewards that you can put towards your TSA PreCheck application, whether you redeem those rewards for statement credits or use them to pay for TSA PreCheck directly. Even a cash back rewards card can help you pay off your TSA PreCheck fee!
Top travel credit cards for TSA PreCheck
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a good choice for your first travel credit card — and if you use your Capital One Venture Rewards to pay for your TSA paycheck or Global Entry application, Capital One will reimburse you for the cost.
The Capital One Venture Rewards card also earns unlimited 2x miles on all purchases, with the opportunity to earn 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
If you’re ready to maximize your travel credit card rewards, it’s time to think about applying for The Platinum Card from American Express. The Platinum Card is one of the best cards for international travel, and TSA PreCheck or Global Entry reimbursement is just one of the many perks you’ll receive as a cardholder.
You’ll earn 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel or directly with the airline; plus 1 point per dollar on all other purchases and 100,000 bonus points if you make $6,000 in purchases in the first six months of card membership. Plus, you’ll get up to $200 in statement credits towards baggage and other fees at one qualifying airline per year, up to $200 in Uber Cash per year, access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection and more. The Platinum Card from American Express comes with a $695 annual fee, which means it’s not for everybody — but if you’re a serious traveler, this card can help you earn some serious rewards.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® card
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is one of our favorite travel credit cards. Like the Platinum Card from American Express, the Chase Sapphire Reserve charges a $550 annual fee — but when you factor in your TSA PreCheck reimbursement, a $300 annual travel credit and the bonus you earn when you use your points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, this card becomes much more affordable.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3x points on travel and dining once you earn your $300 annual travel credit. You’ll also earn a whopping 10x points on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and 1x point on all other purchases — plus 60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months of card ownership. Your point value increases by 50% if you use your points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, which means your 60,000 bonus points are worth $900 if you redeem them on travel bookings. You can also transfer your points to select hotel and airline partners at a 1:1 ratio.
Other Chase Sapphire Reserve perks include complimentary Priority PassTM Select membership, one year of complimentary Lyft Pink membership, one year of complimentary DashPass membership and up to $120 in annual DoorDash credits. You can get a lot out of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, if you take advantage of all its benefits and rewards — which is why the $550 annual fee might not be so bad.
The bottom line
If you want to apply for TSA PreCheck, there are a lot of credit cards out there that will help you cover the cost. Whether you choose a card that reimburses your TSA PreCheck fees or a card that helps you earn statement credits, you have plenty of options to save on the cost of your TSA PreCheck membership — and once you’ve got that TSA PreCheck stamp on your boarding pass, you’ll be able to save time at the airport.