TSA Ends Free Pre-Check

If you are a semi regular traveler, it is probable that you may have been the recipient of a complimentary pass to go through TSA Precheck lane at the airport. This is a program that has been on going with the TSA for quite a wile now. Those of you who aren't in the trusted traveler program, the TSA is no longer going to be giving out access to Precheck for free.

There are a number of ways to get access to the Precheck program and still get the benefits that you may have become used to. First off, there is to option to enroll in the Precheck program directly, this requires an interview and an $85 fee to apply. The Precheck status lasts 5 years before you'll have to renew the program. Before the renewal date you will not need to pay another fee.

The second option, one I would argue is much better, is to apply to the Global Entry program. For anyone who travels internationally, the Global Entry program speeds up travel through customs check points. So when you return for an international flight, you can use an automated kiosk to enter the country, including claiming any goods you're bringing back to the country. This is the program I am a part of. The great thing is, you get TSA Precheck as part of the program. The fee to enter this program is $100, so not a whole lot more than Precheck, so it's probably very much worth it.

Keep in mind that some of the major high end credit cards off credits for the Global Entry program fee. Which means that if you pay using that credit card, you can file to have that money credited back to your account. A few cards offer this, so take a look at your options if you plan to go this route.

Keep this in mind for the future, as it may change the way you have been traveling lately.