Most airport regulars know of reliable ways to avoid the most egregious lines. Those who fly often enough to qualify for the higher ranks of airline frequent flyer status can typically bypass ticketing lines and head straight to the counter. Those with coveted airport lounge memberships — often a perk of elite flyer status — don’t need to wait for counter service at public terminal eateries and watering holes.
And those willing to endure a lengthy vetting process may qualify for two federal programs that confer expedited entry privileges at airport security checkpoints and U.S. points of entry: Global Entry and TSA PreCheck.
Unlike frequent flyer status and airport lounge privileges, expedited entry isn’t an automatic perk of high-end travel rewards credit cards. Everyone must go through the same application and vetting process, with no guarantee of approval.
Best Credit Cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck
But many premium travel rewards credit cards extend a financial incentive to TSA PreCheck and Global Entry applicants: a credit against the programs’ application fees. With Global Entry application fees clocking in at $100 and PreCheck’s at $85, and both programs requiring reapplication every five years, this credit is worth up to $20 per year.
Unless noted otherwise, each card credits only the first application fee charged to the card: $85 for TSA PreCheck or $100 for Global Entry. Cardholders generally cannot receive credit for more than one application fee within a five-year period. Credits appear on card statements, usually within one statement cycle of payment.
Without further ado, these are the best credit cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application fee credits.
1. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
2x Miles on Most Eligible Purchases; 5x Miles on Hotel and Car Rental Purchases Made Through Capital One Travel
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a general-purpose card that’s great for frequent travelers who prefer not to remain loyal to one or two travel merchants. With all purchases earning miles at the same rate, there’s no practical difference between travel and nontravel spending here.
- Early Spend Bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on the card within 3 months from account opening. That's worth $750 in travel expenses at redemption.
- Earning Rewards: Earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent on most eligible purchases. Earn 5 miles per $1 spent on hotel and car rental purchases made through Capital One Travel.
- Redeeming Rewards: The best way to redeem is for statement credits against prior travel purchases, such as car rentals and hotel stays, always at a flat $0.01-per-mile rate. Other redemption options include cash-back statement credits and gift cards, but those methods may undervalue points.
- Introductory APR: None.
- Key Fees: The annual fee is $95. There is no foreign transaction fee.
- Other Perks: In lieu of redeeming for statement credits, you can transfer your miles to any of 15+ participating travel partner programs at favorable ratios. Plus, enjoy value-added travel benefits like complimentary rental car coverage when you pay for the rental in full with your card, plus shopping benefits such as extended warranties.
2. Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card
$300 Annual Travel Credit; Complimentary Airport Lounge Access at 1,000+ Locations
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card is one of the most generous general-purpose travel credit cards on the market.
Sapphire Reserve’s signature benefit is a $300 annual travel credit that automatically applies to a wide range of primary and incidental travel purchases, including airfare and hotel bookings. When the credit is fully exploited, the $550 annual fee effectively drops to $250.
Another must-note benefit: the card grants complimentary airport lounge access at more than 1,000 locations worldwide through the Priority Pass Select program.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Spend at least $4,000 in qualifying purchases within 3 months to earn 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points. That’s worth up to $900 when redeemed for airfare, hotels, and other travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
- Earning Rewards: Earn 3 points per $1 spent on eligible travel and dining purchases. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
- Redeeming Rewards: The best way to redeem Ultimate Rewards points earned through Chase Sapphire Reserve spending is for travel bookings (including hotels, airfare, and car rentals) at the Ultimate Rewards travel center. This method values points at $0.015 apiece, 50% more than the baseline. Other redemption options include cash back, point of sale purchase subsidies, gift cards, and general merchandise.
- Introductory APR: None.
- Key Fees: The annual fee is $550. The fee for additional authorized users is $75 per user per card. There is no foreign transaction fee.
- Other Perks: Beyond the travel credit and Priority Pass Select benefit, Sapphire Reserve offers a generous point transfer arrangement with about a dozen Chase travel partners. Cardholders may transfer Ultimate Rewards points to participating loyalty programs at a 1-to-1 ratio, potentially multiplying their baseline value by two, three, or more.
3. U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
4x Points on Travel, Gas Station, and EV Charging Station Purchases; Annual Streaming Service Credit; Great Welcome Bonus
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card delivers a $100 application fee credit for TSA PreCheck® and Global Entry® members every four years. The card also earns 4 points per $1 spent on eligible travel, gas station, and EV charging station purchases (see rates & fees). And it earns 2 points per $1 spent on purchases made at the grocery store and grocery delivery, restaurant dining, and streaming purchases.
After the first year, expect to pay a $95 annual fee for your Altitude Connect privileges. But $30 in annual credits against eligible streaming service purchases, including Netflix and Spotify®, softens the blow. So does an attractive sign-up bonus with qualifying spend.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening. This bonus is worth up to $500 at redemption.
- Rewards Rate: Earn 4 points per $1 spent on eligible travel, gas station, and EV charging station purchases. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases at the grocery store and on eligible grocery delivery, dining, and streaming purchases. All other eligible purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent. As long as your account remains open and in good standing, your points won’t expire.
- Redeeming Rewards: Redeem for a variety of items, including travel, gift cards, merchandise, cash back, and more.
- Key Fees: The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95. There is no foreign transaction fee.
- Other Perks: Enjoy $30 in annual statement credits against eligible streaming purchases, including Netflix and Spotify® and get up to $600 in cellphone protection coverage (for a lost or stolen device) when you pay your monthly cellphone bill with your card.
- Terms and Conditions Apply: See rates & fees.
Learn more about this card here.
4. The Platinum Card® From American Express
$200 Annual Airline Fee Credit (Enrollment Is Required and Terms Apply); Complimentary Airport Lounge Access at 1,000+ Locations (Enrollment Is Required and Terms Apply); Great Welcome Bonus
The Platinum Card® from American Express can’t quite match Chase Sapphire Reserve’s annual travel credit. Its $200 airline fee credit (enrollment required and terms apply) applies only to fees charged by one airline of the cardholder’s choice, so it’s much more restrictive.
But Platinum’s overall travel benefits package is more than a match for Sapphire Reserve’s, with an expansive array of airport lounges in its complimentary access program and up to $200 in Uber ride credits each year (enrollment required).
- Welcome Offer: Earn 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $6,000 within six months of opening your account.
- Earning Rewards: Earn 5 points per $1 spent on airfare purchased directly with airlines and prepaid hotel and airfare bookings made through the American Express travel portal. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
- Redeeming Rewards: The best way to redeem your accumulated rewards is for travel bookings made through American Express’s travel portal. This option values points at $0.01 apiece under normal circumstances. Other redemption options include cash, purchases with partner merchants, general merchandise, and gift cards. Redemption minimums and ratios vary.
- Introductory APR: None.
- Key Fees: The annual fee is $695. There is no foreign transaction fee. See this card’s rates and fees page.
- Other Perks: Enjoy potentially valuable perks at participating partner hotels and resorts, such as flexible check-in and room upgrades where available. Claim complimentary Gold and Gold Elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, respectively (enrollment required). Other benefits abound.
5. Mastercard® Black Card™
$100 Annual Airline Credit; Complimentary Access to 1,000+ Airport Lounges Worldwide
The Mastercard® Black Card™ is the middle child of the three-product Luxury Card family. It’s by no means the best value on the market, but the $100 annual airline credit and complimentary access to more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide help justify the annual fee.
The return on airline redemptions isn’t bad, either, although it can’t compete with Amex Platinum, Citi Prestige, or Chase Sapphire Reserve.
- Sign-Up Bonus: There is currently no sign-up bonus. Check Luxury Card’s website for up-to-date promotion information.
- Earning Rewards: All eligible purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent, with no caps or restrictions on how much you can earn.
- Redeeming Rewards: Double your redemption power (2% return on spending) when you redeem for airfare. Cash-back redemptions offer a 1.5% return on spending.
- Introductory APR: See terms for the latest introductory promotions.
- Key Fees: The annual fee is $495. Authorized users cost $195 per user per year. There is no foreign transaction fee.
- Other Perks: This card comes with a slew of travel protections, including trip interruption and cancellation coverage, baggage delay reimbursement, and complimentary car rental coverage when you pay for the rental car in full with your card.
See our Mastercard Black Card review for more information. (For a more exclusive experience, consider upgrading to the Mastercard Gold Card, but mind the $995 annual fee.) Learn more about this card and find out how to apply for this card here.
Fantastic Sign-Up Bonus and First-Year Spending Bonus
The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card packs a big punch for a hotel credit card with a sub-$100 annual fee. The TSA PreCheck and Global Entry application fee credit is just the beginning. Cardholders also enjoy opportunities to earn multiple free nights each year and take advantage of an unusually generous rewards program.
IHG has a huge network too — including thousands of Holiday Inn, Staybridge Inn, and Candlewood Suites properties — so you’ll have little trouble finding places to earn and redeem.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Best Points Offer Ever - Earn 175,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night IHG hotel stay.
- Earning Rewards: Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent at IHG hotels, depending on your membership tier. Earn 5 points per $1 spent on travel, gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
- Redeeming Rewards: Redeem for free nights at participating IHG properties, starting at 10,000 points for the lowest-tier properties and 70,000 points for the highest-tier properties. Alternatively, combine points and cash to subsidize nightly stays.
- Introductory APR: None.
- Key Fees: The annual fee is $99. There is no foreign transaction fee.
- Other Perks: When you book a reward stay of at least 4 nights and pay entirely with points, you’ll get a free reward night. Earn 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit when you spend at least $20,000 on purchases and make one additional purchase in a calendar year. Enjoy one free reward night each year after your cardmember anniversary.
See our IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card review for more information.
More Credit Cards With Global Entry and TSA PreCheck Credits
These credit cards don’t make our list of the best cards with Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application fee credits, mainly because their non-entry benefits aren’t as compelling or their use cases are limited for cardholders not loyal to specific airlines and hospitality families. But they’re worth noting here nonetheless.
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is the small-business card companion to the consumer Platinum Card. It’s well worth the $695 annual fee — the Global Entry and TSA PreCheck fee credit is way down the list of perks here.
For more, read our review of the Business Platinum Card from American Express. See this card’s rates and fees page.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Like Amex Business Platinum, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has many perks more valuable than free application to these two popular trusted traveler programs. Highlights include a $300 annual statement credit against eligible restaurant purchases worldwide (terms apply) and complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which confers free access to hundreds of airport lounges worldwide (terms apply).
See this card’s rates and fees page.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business card earns 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases, every day. Points are worth $0.01 apiece when redeemed for travel, making for a 2% return on spending — more than enough to justify the $95 annual fee when you make this your primary credit card.
Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.
Earning a $100 credit every five years may not seem like a big deal. The subsidy works out to $20 per year, small change compared with luxe travel cards’ $200 to $300 annual travel credits. Still, every dollar counts when you’re trying to save money on travel.
Saved time is the real perk of expedited entry status. With its guarantee you’ll whisk past busy security lines at U.S. airports, TSA PreCheck allows you to cut your airport arrival time a little closer. If you’re a regular at U.S. points of entry, Global Entry makes the back ends of those exhausting return journeys a bit more bearable — welcome relief when your fuse is shorter than usual.
Are TSA PreCheck and Global Entry worth the application fee? For frequent travelers, the answer is probably yes. For those who qualify for one of the credit cards on this list, it’s a definite yes.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this rates and fees page.
For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this rates and fees page.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, please visit this rates and fees page.