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Credit Cards With TSA Precheck or Global Entry Credits

Prescreening programs that let you speed through airport security come with an application fee. These cards will cover it.
Oct. 21, 2019
Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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  • PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card

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For frequent flyers, having status in the TSA Precheck or Global Entry trusted traveler programs is a must: It helps you speed through airport security and get to your gate faster. And these days, plenty of credit cards will reimburse you for the cost of applying for that status.

The application fee for TSA Precheck is $85; for Global Entry (which includes expedited screening at customs when entering the country), it’s $100. Put one of those charges on a card listed below, and you can recoup those costs.

Here are cards that offer this perk, followed by a few caveats to know:

» MORE: Why more credit cards are helping you speed through airport security

Cards that offer TSA Precheck or Global Entry credits

Current as of March 2019.
GENERAL TRAVEL CARDSHow often does the credit renew?
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit cardEvery 4 years.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit CardEvery 4 years.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Every 4 years.
Citi Prestige® Card (this offer isn't currently available through NerdWallet)Every 5 years.
Navy Federal Credit Union® Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Credit CardEvery 4 years.
PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card
Every 5 years.
SunTrust Travel Rewards Credit CardEvery 5 years.
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressEvery 4 years for when used for a Global Entry application fee; every 4.5 years when used for a TSA Precheck application fee. Terms apply.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card (this offer isn't currently available through NerdWallet)Every 4 years.
AIRLINE CARDSHow often does the credit renew?
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®Every 5 years.
United℠ Explorer Card
Every 4 years.
HOTEL CARDSHow often does the credit renew?
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit CardEvery 4 years.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (this offer isn't currently available through NerdWallet)Every 4 years for when used for a Global Entry application fee; every 4.5 years when used for a TSA Precheck application fee. Terms apply.

What to keep in mind

  • Benefits renew on different cadences. Upon approval, status in these trusted traveler programs lasts for five years. However, the reimbursement benefit on your credit card may renew sooner than that — typically, every four or five years.
  • You need to pay the application fee with your qualifying card to get the credit. If you pay a different way, you can’t take advantage of this perk.
  • Approval isn’t guaranteed. Using the benefit on your card when you apply for this status means that the cost of the application fee will be refunded to you on a later statement; it doesn’t guarantee you’ll be approved for the status.

For no annual fee: PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card

Annual fee of $0. Every five years, the card offers a statement credit of up to $100 to cover either a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee charged to the account.

Benefits of the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card:

  • Rich ongoing rewards: 3 points per dollar spent on all travel purchases and 1.5 points per dollar spent on all other purchases. PenFed Honors Advantage Members are eligible to earn more. Point values vary depending on redemption.
  • $100 annual air travel credit that covers expenses such as bag fees and lounge access.
  • Welcome offer: 25,000 bonus points by spending $2,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Drawbacks of the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card:

  • Redemption options are somewhat limited; you can redeem for travel booked through PenFed’s rewards platform (booking fees apply), gift cards, merchandise and charity donations.
  • Requires PenFed membership to apply. You can qualify through employment or military affiliation, among other ways.

Bottom line:

You’d be hard-pressed to find another $0-annual-fee card that comes with these kinds of perks.

For high ongoing rewards: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95. Every four years, the card offers a statement credit of up to $100 to cover either a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee charged to the account.

Benefits of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card:

  • High ongoing rewards: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Miles are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for credit against travel purchases.
  • Miles are transferable to certain loyalty programs.
  • Sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Drawbacks of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card:

  • Annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95.
  • Doesn’t offer a travel credit to cover certain costs like free checked bags, as some general travel cards do.

Bottom line:

This card is a travel rewards powerhouse, offering excellent upfront value with a big sign-up bonus as well as outstanding ongoing value. Its reimbursement for TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fees makes it even more compelling.

For premium benefits: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee of $550. Comes with a credit of either $100 for a Global Entry application fee (renews every four years) or $85 for a TSA Precheck application fee (renews every 4.5 years) when the fees are charged to the card. Terms apply.

Benefits of the The Platinum Card® from American Express:

  • Luxury benefits, including a $200 airline fee for incidentals (such as checked bags and in-flight purchases) for one qualifying airline you select; Uber ride credits; elite status in certain hotel programs; and access to several airport lounges.
  • Points are transferable to certain loyalty programs.
  • Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Terms apply.

Drawbacks of the The Platinum Card® from American Express:

  • Annual fee of $550.
  • Given the high annual fee, the ongoing rewards could be richer. It offers 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, 5 points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else. Terms apply.
  • AmEx isn’t accepted as widely outside of the U.S. as Visa and Mastercard.

Bottom line:

If you like traveling in luxury, this is your card. Its top-notch airport lounge benefits make it stand out among other premium cards. Combined with its TSA Precheck and Global Entry application fee credits, this card can make your time at the airport much more pleasant.

For an airline card: United℠ Explorer Card

Annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95. Every four years, the card offers a statement credit of up to $100 to cover either a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee charged to the account.

Benefits of the United℠ Explorer Card:

  • Decent ongoing rewards, compared with other airline cards. You’ll get 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays and United purchases, and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. Miles are worth 1.3 cents apiece on average when redeemed for domestic flights on United, according to NerdWallet’s valuations.
  • Sign-up bonus: 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • Free-checked-bag benefit for you and a companion on United flights, two one-time passes each year to the United Club and other benefits.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Drawbacks of the United℠ Explorer Card:

  • Annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95.
  • Miles aren’t as versatile as the ones you might earn on a general travel card.

Bottom line:

It’s unusual for a mass-market airline card to offer reimbursements for TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fees, but this one does just that. It also features bonus categories for everyday spending and offers one-time passes to its United Club each year to cardholders, which sets it apart from the competition.

For a hotel card: IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Annual fee of $89. Every four years, the card offers a statement credit of up to $100 to cover either a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee charged to the account.

Benefits of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card:

  • Decent ongoing rewards. Earn 25 points per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel; 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants; and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
  • Free anniversary night every year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Drawbacks of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card:

  • Annual fee of $89.
  • Points are worth 0.6 cent apiece on average, according to NerdWallet valuations.
  • Points aren’t as versatile as the ones you might earn on a general travel card.

Bottom line:

The free anniversary night each year on this card more than makes up for the annual fee for many travelers. Its reimbursement for TSA Precheck and Global Entry application fees makes it even more valuable.