Key takeaways

  • TSA PreCheck is a trusted traveler program offering expedited airport screening to members
  • Memberships for TSA PreCheck begin at $78 and are good for 5 years
  • Several credit cards can help you get TSA PreCheck for free, usually through a credit toward the application costs
  • Choosing the right credit card for TSA PreCheck depends on a number of factors — including the card's annual fee, earning potential, and other benefits

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. The cost of a 5-year TSA PreCheck membership starts at $78, which might be a little more than some people want to spend for a streamlined airport experience.

Luckily, many travel credit cards offer a TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement. This benefit usually comes in the form of a credit of up to $100 for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. That means, if you use one of these cards to sign up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, the cost of your application will be reimbursed. Other credit cards offer rewards or cash back that can be redeemed for statement credits. These credits can then be used for a variety of things — including covering 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. Here’s what you need to know about getting TSA PreCheck with your credit card.

How does TSA PreCheck work?

TSA PreCheck is an official trusted traveler program set up through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Your TSA PreCheck membership gets you access to dedicated security lines and expedited security procedures at U.S. airports.

After completing a short online application and in-person interview, 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 TSA, 99 percent of TSA PreCheck members take 10 minutes or fewer to clear airport security.

How to get TSA PreCheck free with a credit card

There are several ways in which a credit card can help you get TSA PreCheck for free. Many travel credit cards — including general travel credit cards, business credit cards and co-branded airline and hotel credit cards — offer a reimbursement credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. 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.

Over 35 credit cards offer an application fee credit for TSA PreCheck. Some of these cards include:

  • Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
  • Capital One Spark Miles for Business
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®*
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
  • HSBC Elite World Elite Mastercard®*
  • HSBC Premier World Mastercard®*
  • IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card*
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Credit Card*
  • Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
  • United Club℠ Infinite Card*
  • United℠ Explorer Card*
  • United Quest℠ Card*
  • U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card*
  • U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card*

It is important to note that most travel credit cards that cover TSA PreCheck come with an annual fee of anywhere from $95 to $695. While there are travel credit cards with no annual fee, it is very uncommon for them to include a TSA PreCheck benefit. That said, occasionally you may be able to find a travel card with this benefit and no annual fee — but there will likely be a catch.

For example, the HSBC Premier World Mastercard®*, which comes with no annual fee, offers an up to $85 reimbursement credit for TSA PreCheck every five years. However, this card requires a U.S. HSBC Premier checking account to apply — which comes with strict balance, deposit, loan and status requirements.

If you’re not interested in a travel credit card or paying an annual fee, one of the top cash back cards could help you pay off your TSA PreCheck fee. These credit cards allow you to earn rewards or welcome bonuses that you can then redeem as statement credits to cover your TSA PreCheck application.

Should you get TSA PreCheck with a loyalty program?

Alternatively, many airline and hotel loyalty programs allow you to redeem the rewards you earn for TSA PreCheck. Some of these programs include:

  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Orbitz Rewards
  • United MileagePlus

However, this method usually isn’t the best option since you’ll typically spend $100 or more in rewards — which is more than the cost of a TSA PreCheck membership. Even so, if you have a lot of points and miles that are about to expire, this could be a decent option. It is also worth noting that loyalty programs occasionally offer promotions and deals on TSA PreCheck. These promotions can help you to get a discounted membership or a free membership with certain levels of elite status.

Should you get Global Entry instead of TSA PreCheck?

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 fee generally reimburse the Global Entry fee as well, so choose the program that makes the most sense for your travel habits.

Which credit card with TSA PreCheck is right for you?

When determining which travel credit card is right for you, be sure to consider a card’s annual fee, general rewards structure and benefits.

If a particular card is only appealing because it offers a credit for TSA PreCheck, then you should consider a different card that better aligns with your spending habits and interests — even if that card is just a general rewards card that will help you to earn enough cash back to cover the application fee.

You should also be wary of choosing a travel card with a high annual fee if you don’t utilize enough of the card benefits and credits each year to recoup the cost of membership.

Finally, beyond general travel credit cards, many business, airline and hotel credit cards offer a TSA PreCheck benefit. If you own a business, you may want to consider a general business travel credit card (which offers more flexibility) or a credit card for an airline or hotel that you use frequently (which will offer airline- or hotel-specific perks).

Even if you don’t own a business, an airline or hotel credit card could be a great option if you are a fan of a particular airline or hotel chain. This type of credit card could help you to save on bookings and fees, gain numerous travel benefits, achieve elite status and earn rewards faster — which you can then use for free flights or hotels.

Top credit cards that offer TSA PreCheck

Here are the top travel credit cards that offer an application fee credit for TSA PreCheck — including entry-level, luxury, business and airline travel cards.

  • The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a good choice for your first travel credit card. If you use your Capital One Venture Rewards card to pay for your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application, you can receive up to a $100 credit for the application fee.

    The Capital One Venture Rewards card also earns 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases. New cardholders also have the opportunity to earn 75,000 bonus miles when they spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening (equal to $750 in travel). That more than justifies the card’s $95 annual fee.
  • The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card, which comes with a $95 annual fee, is another good entry-level travel credit card to consider. Although the annual fee can be recouped with the up to $100 application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry alone, this card also comes with access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and up to $100 in annual statement credits for any incidental airline expenses.

    Also, note that new cardholders can earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. For regular rewards, you’ll earn 2X points on travel and dining purchases and 1.5X points on all other purchases.
  • If you travel a lot for business — and frequently fly with Southwest — you may want to consider the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. Although its $199 annual fee is higher than other top airline cards, this card comes with a number of travel benefits to make up for it: up to a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or NEXUS once every four years, 9,000 bonus points every account anniversary year, 4 upgraded boardings every year (based on availability), up to 365 in-flight Wi-Fi credits per year and 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) toward elite status for every $10,000 spent each year.

    This card also includes a welcome bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. As for rewards, you’ll earn 4X points on Southwest purchases, 3X points on hotel and rental car partners, 2X points on local transit, commuting and rideshares, 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services and 1X points on all other purchases.
  • The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a good choice for your first travel credit card. If you use your Capital One Venture Rewards card to pay for your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application, you can receive up to a $100 credit for the application fee.

    The Capital One Venture Rewards card also earns 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases. New cardholders also have the opportunity to earn 75,000 bonus miles when they spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening (equal to $750 in travel). That more than justifies the card’s $95 annual fee.
  • The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card is one of the best airline cards currently available. If you frequently fly with Delta Air Lines, this card could easily be worth its $350 annual fee considering all of the benefits you’ll get in exchange.

    Along with a statement credit of up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees, you’ll also get perks like a free first checked bag, plus enjoy Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding and settle into your seat sooner., 20 percent back on in-flight purchases, 1 domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year you renew your card (terms apply) and the chance to receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.

    With this card, you’ll earn 3X miles on Delta purchases (including Delta Vacations) and on direct hotel transactions, 2X miles at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants (including delivery and takeout in the U.S.) and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases. New cardmembers also have the chance to earn 90,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 6 months.
  • Alternatively, if you’re looking for a premium Capital One travel card, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a great option. Its annual fee is on the lower end for premium travel cards at $395, and there is no additional fee to add cardholders to your account. You’ll earn 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases.

    Other perks include: up to a $300 annual credit for bookings made on Capital One Travel, 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary (worth $100 toward travel), up to a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and unlimited access to Capital One Lounges and over 1,300 Priority Pass lounges internationally. Additionally, the card has a great welcome bonus: New cardholders can earn 75,000 bonus miles (equal to $750 in travel) after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 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 could be worth it. This card comes with a statement credit of up to $100 toward application fees for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS (available once every 4 years). When you factor in the $300 annual travel credit, complimentary 2-year Lyft Pink membership (if activated by Dec. 31, 2024), complimentary 1-year DashPass membership (if activated by Dec. 31, 2024), Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership and 50 percent points boost you’ll receive on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, this card becomes much more affordable.

    The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 10X points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025), 10X points on Chase Dining purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 10X points on hotels and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5X points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after earning your $300 travel credit), 3X points on general travel and restaurant purchases (after earning your $300 travel credit) and 1X points on all other purchases. New cardholders can also earn 60,000 bonus points if they spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.

    On top of that, since your point value increases by 50 percent if you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, your 60,000 bonus points could be worth $900. You can also transfer your points to a number of travel partners at a 1:1 ratio.
  • 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 the up to $100 application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (once every four years) is just one of the many perks you’ll receive as a cardholder. Some of the many other Amex Platinum benefits include: up to a $189 annual credit for Clear Plus membership, up to $200 in credits for airline incidental fees with a qualifying airline, up to $200 in credits for select prepaid hotel bookings, up to $200 in Uber Cash annually and up to $240 in digital entertainment credits each year.

    With the Platinum Amex, you’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines and on flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases. Additionally, the card includes a welcome offer of 80,000 bonus points if you spend $8,000 in the first 6 months of card membership.

    The Platinum Card from American Express comes with a $695 annual fee, which means it’s not for everybody. However, if you’re a serious traveler and plan to take advantage of its benefits, this card can help you earn some serious rewards.
TSA PreCheck Credit Annual Fee Welcome Offer Earnings
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Up to $100 credit toward application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (once every 4 years) $95 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in first 3 months after account opening 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 2X miles on all other purchases
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card Up to $100 credit toward application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (once every 4 years) $95 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in first 90 days after account opening 2X points on travel and dining purchases; 1.5X points on all other purchases
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card Up to $100 credit toward application fee for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS (once every 4 years) $199 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in first 3 months after account opening 4X points on Southwest purchases; 3X points with hotel and car rental partners; 2X points on rideshare; 2X points social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services; 1X points on all other purchases
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Up to $100 credit toward application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (once every 4 years) $350 90,000 miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months 3X miles on Delta purchases and direct hotel bookings; 2X miles at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in U.S.) and at U.S. supermarkets; 1X miles on all other eligible purchases
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card Up to $100 credit toward application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (once every 4 years) $395 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening 10X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel; 2X miles on all other purchases
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Up to $100 credit toward application fee for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS (once every 4 years) $550 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening 10X points on hotels, car rentals, and Chase Dining purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 10X points on Lyft rides (until Mar. 31, 2025); 5X points on airfare through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after earning $300 bonus); 3X points on restaurants and general travel purchases (after earning $300 bonus); 1X points on all other purchases
The Platinum Card® from American Express Up to $100 credit toward application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (once every 4 years) $695 80,000 points after spending $8,000 on purchases in first 6 months after account opening 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on flights and hotels booked through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 in purchases each calendar year); 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel; 1X points on all other eligible purchases

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 fee or a card that helps you earn rewards to cover the fee, you’ll 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 (and effort) at the airport.

*All information about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, HSBC Elite World Elite Mastercard®, HSBC Premier World Mastercard®, IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card, Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Credit Card, United Club℠ Infinite Card, United℠ Explorer Card, United Quest℠ Card, U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card and U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.