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 something like the 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 to apply. 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 36 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 for free using these cards and loyalty programs.
How much is TSA PreCheck?
A TSA PreCheck membership costs $85 to apply (and now $70 to renew online) and is good for five years. Having one enables you to breeze through security at more than 200 airports, currently.
TSA reports that in November, 94% of PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes.
TSA PreCheck members do not have to remove the following at security checkpoints:
- 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 32 credit cards and four 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:
- Arvest Visa Signature Credit Card
- Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card
- BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Card
- Capital One Spark Miles Card
- Capital One Venture Card
- Capital One Venture X Card
- Certain American Express credit cards
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
- Citi Prestige Card
- Commerce Bank World Elite Mastercard
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
- Diners Club Carte Blanche Corporate Card
- Expedia Rewards Voyager Card from Citi
- HSBC Elite World Elite Mastercard
- HSBC Premier World Mastercard
- Marriott Bonvoy
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
- Mastercard Black Card
- Mastercard Gold Card
- Navy Federal’s Visa Signature Flagship Rewards Card
- PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card
- Provident World+ Travel
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
- SunTrust Travel Rewards World Elite Mastercard Credit Card
- UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card
- United Club Infinite Card
- United Explorer Card
- United Quest Card
- US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
- US Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card
The loyalty programs are:
- IHG Rewards Club
- Radisson Rewards
- Orbitz Rewards
- United Airlines MileagePlus
You can compare the other benefits of many of these cards and apply for them through the Money Talks News Solutions Center.