TSADon’t Pay for TSA PreCheck
If you get my weekly newsletter (sign up here) or visited the website last week (here’s the story) then you know that I have a love/hate relationship with TSA PreCheck. I love it because the line is usually much shorter and I don’t have to take off my shoes, belt and jacket, etc.—but at the same time I sort of hate it because it seems they’ve been allowing totally random, unapproved people enjoy the benefits of the program. Here’s my rant on the subject.

However, according to the New York Times, it looks like the Transportation Security Administration plans to end the free rides for those who haven’t applied. So, you’ll need to get TSA PreCheck if you want the benefits—but you don’t need to pay for it. Instead, sign up and pay for one of these:

  1. Global Entry—for international travel — TSA PreCheck costs $85 for five years, which seems like a fair deal. But if you travel internationally at all (and especially if you do it frequently), it makes sense to instead get Global Entry, which gives you expedited processing through CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) at airports and land borders upon arrival in the U.S. as well as TSA PreCheck for only $15 more ($100 total) and is also good for five years!
  2. NEXUS—for travel to Canada — An even better deal, if you travel to and from Canada often, is to get NEXUS. It’s basically the same thing as Global Entry except only for Canada—and it also includes Global Entry and TSA PreCheck and only costs $50 for five years. The downside is that you need to have your face-to-face appointment in Canada or one of their enrollment centers near the Canadian border, like in Seattle or Niagara Falls.
  3. Sentri—for travel to Mexico — For those frequent travelers to and from Mexico, get Sentri ($122.25) as it’s just like NEXUS but for Mexico and it too includes Global Entry and TSA PreCheck.

Click here for more in my story from last week.



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2 Comments On "Travel Tip of the Day: Don't Pay for TSA PreCheck"
  1. JT Genter|

    Global Entry is AMAZING! My wife and I signed up in July and just used it a week ago for the first time. It really makes customs a breeze. Worth the $100 to not fill-out the annoying customs form and stand in the hour-long line just once, much less every time we travel internationally for the next 5 years – plus PreCheck when traveling domestically!

    Good to hear that TSA is shutting down the free-rider side of PreCheck. They really can’t end this annoying program fast enough.

  2. travel57|

    I have heard that getting Global Entry does not automatically get you TSA pre-check…sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t

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