Can You Gift TSA PreCheck and Global Entry?

You can't gift membership in either program, but you can offer to cover the fee with cash or your credit card.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 
Updated

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Nobody likes standing in line. This is true whether you’re at Disneyland or the airport — hanging out in a queue is a long, annoying process. If someone you know is a frequent traveler but doesn’t have a membership in a Trusted Traveler program, you may be wondering how you can get it to them. Is it possible to gift TSA PreCheck or Global Entry?

The short answer is no. A simple way to gift TSA PreCheck or Global Entry that is managed by either program doesn’t exist. But there still may be a way.

Let’s take a look at these programs, how you can still gift them if you want and ways to pay for the fees that they charge.

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What are TSA PreCheck and Global Entry?

For those who are unfamiliar, TSA PreCheck and Global Entry provide valuable benefits to travelers. TSA PreCheck is a TSA-backed program that allows passengers to speed through airport security. Travelers can use a separate line to enter security; they’ll also be able to keep their laptops and liquids in their bags and keep their shoes on.

Global Entry, meanwhile, provides benefits to those returning from international travel. Rather than standing in the standard U.S. citizen line at customs, those with Global Entry can take advantage of a dedicated line with Global Entry kiosks. After filling out your information, you’ll be able to pass right through immigration.

You’ll need to apply for these programs, and they aren’t free. Global Entry costs $100 for a five-year membership. TSA PreCheck is slightly less expensive, charging $78 for its five-year program.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Active duty service members can use their Department of Defense ID numbers to qualify for TSA PreCheck.

If you’re wanting to gift either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you may want to consider going for Global Entry — it includes TSA PreCheck as part of its membership.

How to apply for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry

Applying for either of these programs is fairly simple. For TSA PreCheck, you’ll want to head to the TSA website. From there, you’ll need to spend five minutes filling out an application. You’ll need to have your personal information available in order to complete the application.

Once done, you’ll need to make an appointment at an enrollment center. Here, they’ll conduct a background check and take your fingerprints. Once that’s done — you’re in.

Global Entry’s process is similar, though you’ll face a much longer application procedure and undergo a background check. Online, you’ll need to have a variety of information at hand, such as your employment history, addresses where you’ve lived and anywhere you’ve traveled within the last five years.

After completing the online portion of Global Entry, you have two options for continuing your enrollment. The first includes you scheduling an appointment at an enrollment center, where they’ll conduct an interview and take your fingerprints. However, appointments can be hard to come by and may have to be scheduled months in advance.

The second option is available to those who are returning from an international flight. If you’re already conditionally approved for Global Entry, you can choose to enroll upon arrival. In this case, you’ll complete your interview once you get off your plane and prior to leaving customs. If you’ve got upcoming international travel, this can be a much faster method.

How to gift TSA PreCheck or Global Entry

So you know somebody who could use one of these programs and you’re wondering how you can gift it to them. Sadly for travelers, there are no TSA PreCheck gift cards available, nor are there options for Global Entry.

Instead, if you’d like to give access to Trusted Traveler benefits as a gift, you’ll need to pay for the application yourself.

Signing up for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck is done online. Travelers need to fill out a variety of personal information, after which they’ll be asked to pay the application fee. If you’re trying to gift TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you really only have two solid options from which to choose:

  1. Give them cash in the equivalent of the application fee.

  2. Use your credit card to pay for the application before they submit it.

Neither of these options is particularly sentimental, but they’ll get the job done and you’ll be able to get them the program you (and hopefully, they) desire.

Travel cards that pay for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

It may behoove you to use your travel card to pay for the application. Not only will you receive better consumer protection when using a card, but you may also be able to have the fee itself reimbursed.

GENERAL TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS

ANNUAL FEE

HOW OFTEN DOES THE CREDIT RENEW?

$95

Every 4 years.

$395 (see rates and fees)

Every 4 years.

$95 (see rates and fees)

Every 4 years.

$550

Every 4 years.

Citi Prestige® Card (this offer isn't currently available through NerdWallet)

$495

Every 5 years.

$49

Every 4 years.

$95

Every 4 years.

$695

Every 4 years when used for a Global Entry application fee; every 4.5 years when used for a TSA PreCheck application fee. Terms apply (see rates and fees).

$0

Every 4 years; maximum credit is $85 for either program.

$400

Every 4 years.

AIRLINE CREDIT CARDS

ANNUAL FEE

HOW OFTEN DOES THE CREDIT RENEW?

$95

Every 4 years.

$595

Every 5 years.

$350

Every 4 years when used for a Global Entry application fee; every 4.5 years when used for a TSA PreCheck application fee. Terms apply (see rates and fees).

$650

Every 4 years when used for a Global Entry application fee; every 4.5 years when used for a TSA PreCheck application fee. Terms apply (see rates and fees).

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Every 4 years.

$250

Every 4 years.

$525

Every 4 years.

HOTEL CREDIT CARDS

ANNUAL FEE

HOW OFTEN DOES THE CREDIT RENEW?

$99

Every 4 years.

$650

Every 4 years when used for a Global Entry application fee; every 4.5 years when used for a TSA PreCheck application fee. Terms apply (see rates and fees).

Terms apply.

This is just a short list of cards that reimburse these application fees. You’ll want to check any cards that you hold to see if this is a benefit that it carries.

If you want to gift TSA PreCheck or Global Entry

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are both highly valuable programs for travelers making their way through airports. While it’s not possible to directly gift either of these Trusted Traveler programs, you can choose to give a cash equivalent or use your credit card to pay the application fee.

Those with travel credit cards will want to double-check the card that they hold to see if it reimburses these fees — many of them will pay for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry once every five years.

The information related to Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.


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NerdWallet Rating
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