How to Get TSA Precheck Free: 19 Proven Ways

TSA airport security
Photo by EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Airport security checkpoints are among the most annoying and time-consuming aspects of global air travel. They’re right up there with seemingly ever-shrinking plane seats and legroom.

You must take off your shoes, unzip your carry-ons and wait in line for who knows how long — unless you shelled out for TSA Precheck program. It’s definitely convenient to have the screening process expedited. So how much does TSA precheck cost?

It’s a solid $85. Not exactly cheap.

Luckily, it turns out there is a way to get the precheck benefits for free: if you have specific credit cards or belong to certain travel loyalty programs.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reports that at least 19 cards and loyalty programs offer free TSA Precheck either by covering the fee for you or enabling you to pay for it with points.

Read on to find out how to get TSA precheck free using these cards and loyalty programs.

How much is TSA Precheck?

A TSA Precheck membership costs $85 to apply and is good for five years. Having one enables you to breeze through security at 200 airports, currently.

TSA reports that in December, 93 percent of Precheck passengers waited less than five minutes.

TSA Precheck members do not have to remove the following at security checkpoints:

  • Shoes
  • Belts
  • Light jackets

Nor do they have to remove liquids or laptops from their carry-on luggage.

Applying for a Precheck membership is done through the TSA website, although the process involves an in-person appointment that TSA says takes 10 minutes. You’ll undergo a background check and be fingerprinted.

To learn more about TSA Precheck and similar programs, check out “The 4 Ways to Get Cleared Through Airport Security and Across Borders Fastest.”

How do I get TSA Precheck for free?

There are currently at least 14 credit cards and five loyalty programs that will enable you to receive a TSA Precheck membership without dinging your budget for the $85 fee.

The credit cards generally cover membership for free, while the loyalty programs generally enable you to pay for it with points.

Those credit cards are:

  1. Certain American Express credit cards
  2. Bank of America Premium Rewards
  3. Capital One Venture Card
  4. Chase Sapphire Reserve
  5. Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
  6. Citi Prestige
  7. Diners Club Carte Blanche Corporate
  8. Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi
  9. MasterCard Black Card
  10. MasterCard Gold Card
  11. SunTrust Travel Rewards World Elite MasterCard
  12. United Explorer Card
  13. U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite
  14. U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express

The loyalty programs are:

  1. Club Carlson
  2. IHG Rewards Club
  3. Marriott Rewards
  4. Orbitz Rewards
  5. United Airlines MileagePlus

Got any other tips on how to get TSA Precheck free? Let us know what you think of it by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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