How to Get TSA PreCheck for Free

You can pay for the lower TSA PreCheck renewal fee using travel credit cards or loyalty program points and miles.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 
Updated
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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TSA PreCheck is a must for frequent travelers because it can help you speed through security lines at the airport. Better yet, you might not even have to pay for it.

Some travel credit cards offer a benefit to get your application fee — or renewal fee — reimbursed. Another strategy is to use points and miles to pay the application fee.

How to get TSA PreCheck for free

Tactic 1: Get a credit card with a TSA PreCheck credit

The best way to get TSA PreCheck for free is by carrying an eligible credit card. Dozens of credit cards reimburse the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee if you use that card to pay upfront. Here's a quick overview of some of these cards.

CREDIT CARDS WITH NO ANNUAL FEE

Three credit cards offer a statement credit for TSA PreCheck application or renewal fee despite charging no annual fee. But, they're lesser-known cards.

  • The Arvest Visa Signature® Credit Card reimburses up to $100 for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees. Note that the Arvest Visa Signature® Credit Card is only available to consumers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

  • U.S.-based HSBC Premier checking account holders can hold a HSBC Premier Credit Card for $0 annual fee. One of the card's perks: Up to a $85 statement credit every five years to reimburse TSA PreCheck application fee.

  • The Truist Enjoy Travel credit card includes a statement credit for TSA PreCheck application or renewal once every four years.

CREDIT CARDS WITH AN ANNUAL FEE UNDER $100

Additionally, several travel credit cards offer a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee credit despite charging less than a $100 annual fee.

Even better, some of these cards currently waive the annual fee for the first year. So, you'll truly pay $0 out-of-pocket to get TSA PreCheck.

Low-annual-fee credit cards with free TSA PreCheck include:

Low-annual-fee cards with TSA benefits
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
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on Bank of America's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
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IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card
IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
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on Chase's website

Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card
United℠ Explorer Card
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on Chase's website

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PREMIUM CREDIT CARDS

Not surprisingly, several premium travel cards offer a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee reimbursement as a perk of holding the card.

Premium personal cards that offer this perk include:

Premium cards with TSA benefits
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
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on American Express' website

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Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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on Chase's website

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
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Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
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on American Express' website

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Premium business cards that offer TSA PreCheck application fee credits include:

Premium business cards
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
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on American Express' website

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New! Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
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on Chase's website

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
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on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
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on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
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Tactic 2: Use points or miles

A handful of loyalty programs let members redeem their points to cover the application fee for TSA PreCheck.

These redemption options generally provide a poor value; however, if you're looking to reduce your out-of-pocket cost and don't have a qualifying credit card, these redemptions could make sense for your situation.

Get a reimbursement for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry with our favorite cards
Check out our nerdy picks for the best cards for travelers that want TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

United MileagePlus

United flyers can redeem 11,000 MileagePlus miles to cover the cost of TSA PreCheck. For economy redemptions, NerdWallet finds a base value of 1.2 cents per United MileagePlus mile. So, you're giving up around $132 in value to cover the $85 initial application fee or $70 renewal fee.

That's not the best use of your United miles, but it's one of the better redemption options for TSA PreCheck with points and miles.

To get started, visit the United MileagePlus security fees page to sign in and redeem your miles for a redemption code.

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott members need to redeem 25,000 Bonvoy points to get a voucher code for free TSA PreCheck. NerdWallet values Bonvoy points at 0.8 cent each, so, you'd be using $200 worth of points to cover the $78 initial application fee.

IHG Rewards

IHG Rewards members can redeem 30,000 points to cover the application fee for TSA PreCheck.

NerdWallet values IHG Rewards points at 0.8 cent per point, which means you'd be using $240 worth of points to cover the $78 application fee or $70 renewal fee.

Tactic 3: Use your military benefits

TSA PreCheck is free for military members who hold a Department of Defense ID card. These members include:

  • Active duty service members.

  • Reservists.

  • Members of the National Guard.

  • Cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and six State Maritime Academies.

  • Department of Defense civilian employees, though they must opt in via MilConnect before using their Known Traveler Number.

If you’ve retired from the military or left the Department of Defense, unfortunately you cannot get TSA Precheck for free.

When to consider Global Entry instead

Most of the credit cards that offer a statement credit for TSA PreCheck will also cover the application fee for Global Entry. So, even though the application fee for Global Entry is $100, it won't cost you anything extra to sign up for Global Entry instead of TSA PreCheck.

So, which one is best for you: TSA PreCheck or Global Entry? In short, it comes down to two factors. If you travel overseas, Global Entry will save you time when reentering the U.S.; plus, it automatically includes TSA PreCheck benefits.

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However, there are fewer Global Entry enrollment sites, and interview availability can be harder to find compared with TSA PreCheck.

Final thoughts on getting TSA PreCheck for free

For those paying for TSA PreCheck out of pocket, the reduced $70 online renewal fee is great news. However, travelers can sign up or renew TSA PreCheck for nothing out-of-pocket by using the right credit cards or certain loyalty program points and miles.

Just consider which option is best for your situation and whether you should upgrade to Global Entry instead of TSA PreCheck.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Travel Cards from Our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

75,000

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

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Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
5.0
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Rewards rate

1.5%-5%

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

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Up to $300

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
4.7
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Rewards rate

2x-5x

Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Miles
See more travel cards
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