How Long Does TSA PreCheck Membership Last?

TSA PreCheck membership lasts for five years.
Jul 9, 2022

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Travel is making a serious comeback, and that means lines at airport security have returned to their former glory. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait in those lines. Consider TSA PreCheck — a Trusted Traveler Program and a game-changing way to speed through airport screening, all while keeping your shoes on your feet and your laptop in your bag.

But whether or not you're already a member, you may be wondering how long TSA PreCheck lasts. Is there an expiration date? And what do you do when your membership is almost up? We explain it all.

How long is a TSA PreCheck membership good for?

The answer is straightforward: A TSA PreCheck membership is good for five years from your date of approval. And for those who travel often, joining can absolutely be worth it. The $85 fee over the course of the included five years breaks down to just $17 per year. And it's possible to get the TSA PreCheck application fee covered through a travel credit card.

With more than 200 airports and 81 airlines participating in TSA PreCheck, you’ll be set up to experience reduced security wait times — sometimes less than 5 minutes. And if you’re traveling with a child 12 or under, they can join you in the TSA PreCheck security lane.

During one trip I took around the holidays, TSA PreCheck actually saved me from missing my flight. Wait times in the regular security lines were an hour or more, but the TSA PreCheck line had only a handful of people in it.

Renewing TSA PreCheck membership

You can being your TSA PreCheck renewal up to six months before your membership is set to expire. As this date approaches, you’ll receive a renewal notification by email (from “Universal Enroll”) or by phone.

You’ll get a heads-up starting six months before your membership expires, and then several more times leading up to the expiration date. You can check your expiration date online.

🤓Nerdy Tip

If you decide to renew early, don’t worry about “wasting” the months or weeks of membership you have left. Your new membership period won't begin until your current one ends, even if you renew early.

Renewing early may be better than waiting: While the Transportation Security Administration says most renewal applications take three to five days to process, they can take up to 90 days. If you don’t want to take any chances that your membership will lapse, plan to renew closer to the three-month mark.

You can renew online or in person at an enrollment center. Starting the process online costs $70, while doing so in person costs $85.

Credit cards that offer reimbursement for TSA PreCheck

If you don’t already have a TSA PreCheck membership, you may be able to sign up at no additional cost if you apply for the right travel credit card. There are many that offer reimbursement for the TSA PreCheck enrollment fee; all you have to do is use the credit card to pay for it.

GENERAL TRAVEL CARDS

Annual fee

How often does the credit renew?

$95.

Every 4 years.

$95.

Every 4 years.

$395.

Every 4 years.

$95.

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.

$0.

Every 5 years.

$0 intro for the first year, then $89.

Every 5 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).

$400.

Every 4 years.

AIRLINE CARDS

Annual fee

How often does the credit renew?

$450.

Every 5 years.

$0 intro for the first year, then $95.

Every 4 years.

HOTEL CARDS

Annual fee

How often does the credit renew?

$99.

Every 4 years.

$450.

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).

In addition, if you’re already a member of United’s MileagePlus loyalty program, you can redeem United miles for a payment code that covers the cost of TSA PreCheck (at a value of just under 0.8 cent per mile, which is less than NerdWallet's valuation of United miles).

When to get or renew TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck membership lasts for five years, and you can renew up to six months before your current expiration date if you’re already a member. Renewing TSA PreCheck can be done online, and there are a slew of travel credit cards that will reimburse you for the application or renewal fee.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

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