We can’t imagine traveling without TSA Precheck. As most of you know, TSA Precheck usually allows you to go through airport security quicker and it is easier not to have to remove shoes, belts, light outerwear, laptop and bag with liquids. The TSA Precheck application fee is $85 (or $100 for Global Entry which includes TSA Precheck) but there are many ways to offset the cost and get TSA Precheck for free.
Credit Cards That Pay for the Cost of TSA Precheck
Several credit cards and charge cards provide a reimbursement of the TSA Precheck application fee. The free TSA Pre benefit appears as a $85 statement credit after that card is used to pay for the TSA Precheck fee. You can use also use the fee credit to pay for another person – the banks can’t see the name of the person who applied for TSA Precheck. The TSA Precheck benefit can only be used once every 4 or 5 years depending on the card.
Please note that most of these credit cards also reimburse cardholders for the cost of Global Entry. Global Entry gives you TSA Precheck benefits in addition to expedited entry into the US, so for most people it is worth it to apply for Global Entry rather than TSA Precheck. See related post: TSA Precheck vs. Global Entry: Which Is Best For You?
If you already have one of these cards make sure you use it to pay for your application fee in order to get the fee credit. If you want to apply for TSA Precheck but the price is too high, you might want to consider applying for one of these credit cards first. Some of these cards charge high annual fees but they offer airline fee credits and other benefits which may offset the fee.
Below is a list of all cards that will reimburse you for the TSA Precheck fee:
• Provident World+ Travel – No annual fee
• PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express – No annual fee
• HSBC Premier World Mastercard Credit Card – No Annual Fee for qualified Premier clients
• SunTrust Travel Rewards Credit Card – $89 annual fee ($0 for the first year)
• BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Credit Card – $89 annual fee ($0 for the first year)
• Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – $95 annual fee ($0 for the first year)
• Spark® Miles from Capital One – $95 annual fee ($0 for the first year)
• Chase United Explorer Card – $95 annual fee ($0 for the first year)
• Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Flagship Rewards – $49 annual fee but only available for members of the armed forces, veterans and their families
• U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express® Card – $85 annual fee
• IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card – $89 annual fee
• Bank of America® Premium Rewards Credit Card – $95 annual fee
• Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi – $95 annual fee – Not open to new applicants
• Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card – $199 annual fee
• Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card – $250 annual fee
• HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard Credit Card – $395 annual fee
• U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card – $400 annual fee but exclusive to U.S. Bank customers
• Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card – $450 annual fee
• SKYPASS Select Visa Signature Card – $450 annual fee
• Citi /AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard -$450 annual fee
• Citi Prestige Card – $495 annual fee
• United ClubSM Infinite Card – $525 annual fee
• Platinum Card from American Express – $550 annual fee
• Chase Sapphire Reserve – $550 annual fee
• Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card – $550 annual fee
• Business Platinum Card from American Express -$595 annual fee
• Centurion Card from American Express – invitation only
More specific information regarding the reimbursement of the TSA Precheck fee credit can be found in the terms and conditions for each card.
Redeeming Miles and Points for Free TSA Precheck
You can also redeem some of your miles and points for free TSA Precheck. Personally I would not use my points for TSA Precheck given that so many credit cards offer TSA Precheck reimbursement but if you have points/miles in a travel loyalty program that you don’t need it is good to have the option.
• Southwest Rapid Rewards: Redeem 10,000 Rapid Rewards points for TSA Precheck
• United MileagePlus: Redeem 10,000 miles for TSA Precheck
• Marriott Bonvoy: Redeem 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for TSA Precheck
• IHG Rewards: Redeem 30,000 points for TSA Precheck
• Radisson Rewards: Redeem 65,000 points for TSA Pre-Check
Additional Ways to Get Free TSA Precheck
• Orbitz Rewards Platinum members have a choice to receive free TSA Precheck as one of their perks
• Children ages 12 and younger may use the TSA Pre✓® lane when traveling with a parent or guardian who has the TSA Precheck indicator on their boarding pass. See this post for more information.
• All members of the U.S. Armed Forces (including those serving in the Reserves and National Guard), Cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy and Air Force Academy) and DoD civilians get free TSA Pre✓ by using their 10-digit Department of Defense identification number (DoD ID number) as their known traveler number. See this page from the TSA for more information.
As you can see there are several ways to get TSA Precheck for free so you should be able to find a way to get TSA Precheck without paying the $85 fee.
An even better deal is to get Nexus. This has all of the benefits of TSA Pre and Global Entry and expedited entry into and out of Canada. It only cost $50 for five years.