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Global Entry can save you a ton of time at the airport because it cuts down on customs wait times upon reentry to the U.S. Global Entry also includes TSA Precheck, which allows you to go through an expedited security line at the airport where you won't need to remove shoes, electronics or light jackets.
If you are in a rush to catch a flight, or you simply don’t enjoy arriving early at an airport, Global Entry membership can make your travel experience much easier.
What is Global Entry?
Global Entry is a Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) regulated and administered by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), open to U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents and citizens of other participating countries.
The goal of the program is to verify travelers' identities and enroll them in expedited security screening. This means you'll get to do away with long security lines when arriving at the airport and never-ending customs lines when you return to the country from abroad.
More than 10 million people are enrolled in Global Entry or another Trusted Traveler Program. As more enrollment centers open, these programs will likely continue to grow in popularity.
Does Global Entry include TSA PreCheck?
Yes, it does. If you have Global Entry you will automatically be enrolled in TSA PreCheck. However, TSA PreCheck does NOT include membership for Global Entry. For that reason, we recommend applying for Global Entry to reap the benefit of both programs. TSA PreCheck allows pre-vetted passengers to pass through an expedited TSA (transportation security administration) security line without taking off their shoes or removing electronics or light jackets.
Does Global Entry include other Trusted Traveler Programs?
The Trusted Traveler Programs include Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, SENTRI, NEXUS and FAST, but Global Entry only includes TSA PreCheck. While each of these programs is intended to facilitate pre-vetted passenger entry, Global Entry is the most inclusive.
Benefits of Global Entry
While there are several benefits of Global Entry, the most significant benefit is saving time at airport security screenings, including at Customs when you reenter the U.S. No one enjoys standing in long TSA lines, and having Global Entry can help you avoid that.
Global Entry membership also includes the following benefits:
- It includes TSA PreCheck membership, which means expedited security lines.
- No paperwork needed upon arrival in the U.S.
- No processing lines.
- Ability to clear customs before arriving in the United States (where applicable).
- Shortened wait times.
Pros and cons of Global Entry
Pros and cons of TSA PreCheck
How does Global Entry work?
Using Global Entry is a simple process. Once you have gone through the application and approval process, all you will need is your Known Traveler Number. This is commonly referred to as "KTN."
To make your Global Entry experience more seamless, it is best practice to add your KTN to all of your frequent flyer programs.
Once you do this, your ticket will pre populate with your TSA PreCheck/Global Entry membership, and you can breeze through airport security. If you don’t do this, you will need to manually add your KTN to each flight you purchase, or manually add it at the airport with an airline representative.
If your KTN has been successfully added to your reservation, you should see the phrase "TSA PreCheck/Global Entry" on your boarding pass. When you approach security, show the attendant your boarding pass, and you will be on your way.
How does TSA PreCheck work?
TSA PreCheck works in much the same way. Once you receive your Known Traveler Number, simply add it to your frequent flyer profiles, or make sure to add it each time you book a flight. Once added to your passenger profile, "TSA PreCheck" will show up on your boarding pass. Head right to the TSA PreCheck security line, show your boarding pass to the representative, and you're good to go. Even if you have TSA PreCheck, note that you will still need a physical ID to pass through security, in addition to your boarding pass. A photo or online version of your regular ID typically will not be accepted.
How to apply for Global Entry
Applying for Global Entry can seem like a daunting process, especially the first time around. Before you begin the application, get familiar with the steps of the process:
- Create a Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) account.
- Log in to your TTP account and complete the Global Entry application. A $100 nonrefundable fee is needed to process the application. If you have a credit card that reimburses for the Global Entry fee, be sure to input that card info here to qualify for your fee waiver.
- From there, the Customs and Border Patrol will review your application. If you are conditionally approved, your account will prompt you to schedule an in-person interview. The interview will take place at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. For your in-person interview, you must bring your passport and one other form of ID.
If you are approved, you can use your Global Entry membership immediately. You will receive your physical Global Entry card in the mail within 10 business days. However, all you need is your Known Traveler Number (KTN) to begin using your membership.
What should you expect during your Global Entry interview?
During the Global Entry interview, you will be asked a few basic questions, such as:
- Why do you want to get Global Entry?
- Who do you work for?
- What is your profession?
- Do you have a criminal record?
After the questions, a photograph of you will be taken for your ID, so arrive camera-ready for your interview.
The interview should last no longer than 15 minutes. However, be prepared in case the interview lasts longer.
Global Entry interview locations
There are locations in nearly every state, select U.S. territories, Canada, Qatar and Singapore. However, some locations are busier than others. If you live near a busy enrollment center, it may be beneficial to complete your in-person interview while away from home.
Enrollment on arrival
The Global Entry Enrollment on Arrival program is a great way to enroll in the program and immediately utilize the benefits of Global Entry. If you are conditionally approved for Global Entry, you can complete your interview as you are returning back to the United States. This eliminates the need to schedule an interview. All you need to do is follow the signs at an international terminal directing you to CBP officers.
You will need a passport and documents providing evidence of residency including a driver’s license, utility bill or mortgage statement. If you are under 18, this is not necessary.
Not all Global Entry terminals have the Enrollment on Arrival program. If you plan on traveling internationally and want to complete your interview when you return to the United States, here’s a list of airports that qualify.
How to check your Global Entry application status
You can check your application by logging into your TTP account. From there, you will be able to see on your dashboard where you are in the application process.
How to renew Global Entry
Global Entry lasts five years, so you will need to update it every fourth year of membership. If your membership has less than 365 days until expiration, you can renew on your Global Entry dashboard by logging into your TTP account online.
How to get Global Entry for free using a credit card
Though Global Entry costs $100 for five years of membership, there are several excellent Global Entry and TSA PreCheck cards that reimburse the full membership fee. If you're looking to use this benefit, make sure to use that card when paying for the application or you won't be eligible for the fee credit.
Global Entry cards
Global Entry waiver amount
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.||$695||Up to $100|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®||$550||Up to $100|
|United℠ Explorer Card||Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.||$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95||Up to $100|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®||Earn 80,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening||$450||Up to $100|
|United Club℠ Infinite Card||Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.||$525||Up to $100|
What's the difference between Global Entry,TSA PreCheck and CLEAR?
Global Entry, CLEAR and TSA PreCheck offer very similar services in regards to expedited security clearance. However, each program offers different benefits, access and price points. Here are the benefits of each program, along with their costs for enrollment.
|TSA PreCheck||$85/Five years|
|Global Entry||$100/Five years|
With each program, there are simple ways to drop the cost. For TSA PreCheck™, you can sign up for a travel credit card, like the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card, that will waive the cost of enrollment. For CLEAR, you can lower the enrollment fee by using their partnerships with Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Hertz or a student discount.
Frequently asked questions
Your Known Traveler Number (KTN) is the identification number issued to you upon approval for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. You will add this number to your passenger profile in order to use the Global Entry benefit.
Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) are government programs that allow pre-vetted passengers to go through expedited security procedures at U.S. airports. These include Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, NEXUS, FAST and SENTRI.
Global Entry membership lasts five calendar years.
Global Entry is $100 for a five year membership.
You can renew Global Entry by logging into your Trusted Traveler Program profile, and begin the application process there.
The entire application process depends on how soon you are able to get an appointment at an Enrollment Center.
You need to bring your passport, one other valid ID and additional proof such as bills to verify your residency.
Regardless of how often you travel, Global Entry is worth it because of the potential long lines of regular security screenings and when reentering the U.S. from abroad.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here