How to Get TSA PreCheck Free: 36 Proven Ways

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TSA security checkpoint lines
Jim Lambert /

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:

  • 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 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:

  1. Arvest Visa Signature Credit Card
  2. Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card
  3. BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Card
  4. Capital One Spark Miles Card
  5. Capital One Venture Card
  6. Capital One Venture X Card
  7. Certain American Express credit cards
  8. Chase Sapphire Reserve
  9. Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
  10. Citi Prestige Card
  11. Commerce Bank World Elite Mastercard
  12. Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
  13. Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
  14. Diners Club Carte Blanche Corporate Card
  15. Expedia Rewards Voyager Card from Citi
  16. HSBC Elite World Elite Mastercard
  17. HSBC Premier World Mastercard
  18. Marriott Bonvoy
  19. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
  20. Mastercard Black Card
  21. Mastercard Gold Card
  22. Navy Federal’s Visa Signature Flagship Rewards Card
  23. PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card
  24. Provident World+ Travel
  25. Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
  26. SunTrust Travel Rewards World Elite Mastercard Credit Card
  27. UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card
  28. United Club Infinite Card
  29. United Explorer Card
  30. United Quest Card
  31. US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
  32. US Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card

The loyalty programs are:

  1. IHG Rewards Club
  2. Radisson Rewards
  3. Orbitz Rewards
  4. 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.

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