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Arguably, one of the least enjoyable parts of air travel is the security checkpoints. In the U.S., the agency in charge of security screenings at airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), bears the brunt of any frustration associated with air travel. Fortunately, though, the TSA does offer a program in which most people can enroll that makes going through security at the airport a breeze.

What is TSA Pre✓?

TSA Pre✓

Imagine going through security screenings at the airport in less than 5 minutes and without having to remove your shoes, laptop, liquids, belts and light jackets. For a fee of $85, which includes a 5-year membership, that is what you get with TSA Pre✓.

TSA Pre✓ is available to U.S. citizens, nationals, and legal permanent residents. All you need to do to enroll is submit an online application, which should take 5 minutes according to the TSA, and schedule a background check appointment at one of 380+ enrollment centers where you will be fingerprinted. Assuming you successfully complete your background check, you will be enrolled in the TSA Pre✓ program within a couple of weeks.

Once you are enrolled, you will be assigned a Known Traveler Number, which can be added to your frequent flyer accounts and/or air travel reservations so that airlines are aware of your membership. This will allow participating airlines to add a TSA Precheck indicator on your boarding pass, which, in turn, allows you to use the Precheck security lines at participating airports. Please note that enrollment in the TSA Precheck program does not guarantee your boarding passes will be printed with this indicator every time (although it should happen most of the time).

TSA Pre Facts

Is Global Entry a Better Alternative?

Global Entry is a program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Global Entry membership includes enrollment in TSA Pre✓. At $100, the membership fee is only $15 higher than the TSA Pre✓ fee. This fee also covers a 5-year membership period.

If you fly internationally at least once within a 5-year period, Global Entry membership is likely the better choice. However, if you know for a fact you will not be flying internationally in that window, then a TSA Pre✓ membership will cover the objective of getting through security screening as quickly as possible.

TSA Pre✓ Participating Airlines and Airports

AirlineRegion
AeromexicoLatin America and the Caribbean
Air CanadaNorth America
Air FranceEurope
Air SerbiaEurope
Alaska AirlinesNorth America
All Nippon Airways (ANA)Asia
Allegiant AirNorth America
American AirlinesNorth America
Aruba AirlinesLatin America and the Caribbean
AviancaLatin America and the Caribbean
Boutique AirlinesNorth America
British AirwaysEurope
Brussels AirlinesEurope
Cape AirNorth America
Cathay PacificAsia
Condor AirlinesEurope
Contour AviationNorth America
Copa AirlinesLatin America and the Caribbean
Delta Air LinesNorth America
Dominican WingsLatin America and the Caribbean
EmiratesMiddle East
Etihad AirwaysMiddle East
FinnairEurope
Frontier AirlinesNorth America
Hawaiian AirlinesNorth America
IcelandairEurope
InterCaribbean AirwaysLatin America and the Caribbean
JetBlue AirwaysNorth America
Key Lime AirNorth America
KLM Royal Dutch AirlinesEurope
Korean AirAsia
LufthansaEurope
Miami Air InternationalNorth America
Norwegian AirEurope
OneJetNorth America
Philippine AirlinesAsia
Porter AirlinesNorth America
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)Europe
Seaborne AirlinesNorth America
Silver AirwaysNorth America
Singapore AirlinesAsia
Southern Airways ExpressNorth America
Southwest AirlinesNorth America
Spirit AirlinesNorth America
Sun Country AirlinesNorth America
Sunwing AirlinesNorth America
Swift AirNorth America
Swiss International Air LinesEurope
Thomas Cook Airlines (Scandinavia)Europe
Thomas Cook Airlines (UK)Europe
Turkish AirlinesMiddle East
United AirlinesNorth America
Via AirNorth America
Virgin AtlanticEurope
WestJetNorth America
World AtlanticNorth America
Xtra AirwaysNorth America

The number of international airlines participating in the TSA Pre✓ program is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.

There are more than 180 airports that participate in TSA Pre✓, including all major airports in the U.S.

Credit Cards that Provide TSA Pre✓ Enrollment or Renewal Fee Credit

Thanks to a large number of credit cards that provide credits in connection to applications or renewals for TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry, you can enjoy all the advantages provided by either of these programs just by having the right card. These credit cards include the following:

CardCredit Frequency
Chase Sapphire Reserve®4 years
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card4 years
The Platinum Card® from American Express4 years
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express4 years
United℠ Explorer Card4 years
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card4 years
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card4 years
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®5 years
Citi Prestige® Card5 years
U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card4 years
TravElite American Express® Card5 years
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card4 years
PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card5 years
HSBC Premier World Mastercard® credit card5 years - TSA Pre✓® only
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard® credit card5 years - TSA Pre✓® only

Bottom Line

TSA Pre✓ can be worth it even for the infrequent traveler. While enrollment does require a small amount of cost and effort, frustration saved can easily be worth it. For those that travel internationally, Global Entry is the better option, as you get all of the TSA Pre✓ benefits plus the perks of expedited immigration processing with dedicated Global Entry Kiosks at many major international airports throughout the country. Make sure to pay for your application or renewal fee with one of the credit cards we mentioned to receive a full credit. And, if you've already got TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry, you can use your card for someone else to receive the statement credit on any of those cards. Check out each card for the specific terms and conditions of the benefit.

Credit cards without a link are are not available on this site. If you would like to support AwardWallet through an affiliate link, you can find more offers from Capital One on our partner site.

TSA Pre✓, Participating Airlines, and Credit Cards That Provide an Enrollment Credit
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