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How to Decide Between Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

by Allie Moore

Jul 29, 2020

© Kathrine Martin | Dreamstime

Tips / Travel

Long lines are often the main reason travelers loathe spending time in airports, but with programs like Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, travelers can expedite their arrival and departure processes so long as they adhere to pre-authorization guidelines. But which program is beneficial for which reasons? Below is a comparison of the two to help you decide how they might benefit your next trip.


To Speed Through Security
TSA PreCheck is a program wherein travelers are pre-approved to breeze through security checkpoints without having to take electronics or liquids out of their bags or take off their shoes. This program is best for frequent travelers or those who travel for work purposes and may not have time to linger at security lines while rushing to a flight after a business meeting. TSA PreCheck costs $85 for a membership of five years, and some select rewards credit cards will reimburse cardholders for this fee.


To Speed Through Passport Control
Global Entry requires travelers to go through a background check and an in-person interview but, if approved, travelers can bypass long re-entry lines at passport control and customs upon returning to the United States from abroad. An added bonus of Global Entry membership is it includes TSA PreCheck, but the application and approval process is far more rigorous and time-consuming. Membership costs $100 for five years. Global Entry is a better bet for frequent international travelers and is available in 50 airports across the country.


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