I’ve flown around the world 6 times with my wife in first class, and having been through so many different country customs lines that there are two services that I absolutely cannot live without: TSA Precheck (which allows me to breeze through domestic security) and Global Entry (which allows me to quickly go through US customs and get the hell out of the airport as fast as possible).
I wanted to break down each of the services for you to determine what’s the best fit for your travel lifestyle. I personally signed up for both, and suggest you do as well.
The trick is, you need to schedule an appointment for Global Entry (you get TSA Precheck automatically then) as opposed to just TSA Precheck.
Here’s how the programs break down: Global Entry vs. TSA Precheck.
Global Entry vs TSA PreCheck
Enlisting in TSA PreCheck may be a great idea if you are not a frequent traveler. But if you do leave the country more than once a year, you may want to look into Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry Program.
For just $15 more (and a meeting which TSA PreCheck now requires you to partake in), Global Entry gifts you all of the benefits of TSA PreCheck (assisted screening, no lines or expelling your shoes) in addition to facilitated screening at Customs and Border Protection checkpoints when entering the U.S.
The Department of State describes the correlation between the two administrations, specifying that both are five-year enrollments that require ID confirmation and finger printing for approval. Global Entry is slightly pricier, yet some U.S. air terminals don’t have TSA PreCheck paths, which implies you can’t use it everywhere anyway.
If You Only Travel Domestically…
Suppose you’re the sort of individual that only gets on a plane a couple times each year to visit your out-of-state relatives and take the yearly excursion to Florida. Believe it or not, it still pays to put your money into PreCheck, as indicated by the TSA.
The program, which is currently accessible at 180 airplane terminals all through the nation, has a $85 charge and lasts a long time.
To enroll, you can complete an application on the web. Just remember to plan for an in-person visit so that you can give required data, documentation, and fingerprints. These meetings can happen at various airports as well as other areas throughout your city.
If You Travel Internationally…
If you like to take the occasional excursion abroad, it is more than recommended that you look into the U.S. Traditions and Border Protection’s Global Entry program. Keep in mind as well that the Global Entry Program INCLUDES TSA PreCheck, which makes it well worth the consideration.
The program costs somewhat more than PreCheck—$100 submitted with your application, and lasts 5 years. However, notwithstanding PreCheck, it likewise gets you a speedier customs experience when you’re coming back to the U.S. from abroad, through one of the 60 participating airports across the country. That can spare you a hour or so on landing, especially in the event that you touch base at a more prominent air terminal where different universal flights come in at once.
There’s one calculated hitch, however. Similar to TSA PreCheck, you can only begin the Global Entry application on the web. To finish the procedure, you have to experience a more broad meeting at a CBP focus, many of which are situated at or close airports.
Things that you need to know about Global Entry.
1.Get Global Entry (hopefully for free).
Applying for Global Entry is easy. All you have to do is fill out an online application and pay the $100 fee associated with it. Once that’s taken care of, schedule a meeting for your interview.
Keep in mind, however, that many travel credit cards offer Global Entry for free. B
It isn’t just them, either. Many Credit cards, such as the Platinum Card from American Express, The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN and the Platinum Card from American Express all delay payment.
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card offers the best travel bonus of all. Customers are gifted with a $300 yearly travel credit so they can be reimbursed on things like Global Entry, transportation, etc.
It is also important to note that you can use your waivers to buy Global Entry for someone else in your life. For example, if you know someone with unused credit on one of their cards, they can pay for your Global Entry for free.
If you have Platinum or Diamond status with Delta Airlines, you will receive a voucher meant to be used towards Global Entry.
2.Expect a relatively short Global Entry interview.
Now that payment is out of the way, it’s time to make your appointment. Don’t forget to bring your passport, confirmation of residency, and any/all print outs the site tells you to bring, as you want this inconvenience to be a one-time-only event.
Typically, you will wait 5-10 minutes before you are greeted by a Customs and Border Protection officer and your interview can begin. From there, the interview lasts anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes and you will discuss what is talked about in your application. They will ask you to confirm the countries you had visited and whether each had been for business or pleasure. After that, they take your fingerprints and you are out of there in a breeze.
If all goes well, you will receive your Global Entry card in around a week. You will also receive your Known Traveler Number, which qualifies you for TSA PreCheck as well.
3.How To Use the Global Entry Kiosk
Once you have been accepted into Global Entry, you’ll wonder why you ever did customs the old fashioned way. All you have to do is find one of the Global Entry kiosks when you touch down at the airport. Use your fingerprint to identify yourself, answer a few questions to confirm your identity, and allow the booth to take your photogrpa.
Then you’re done! It’s that easy.
4.You Typically Get TSA PreCheck with Global Entry.
Receiving your KTN all but promises that you are eligible for TSA PreCheck, which makes going through security a breeze at even the most frustrating airports.
It isn’t a 100% guarantee all of the time, but I have never been denied TSA PreCheck since receiving Global Entry and I don’t see why anyone else would be, either.
5. Global Entry for NON-US Citizens
Believe it or not, Global Entry is available outside of the US Residents of Mexico, The Netherlands, Germany, Panama, South Korea, and the UK are all qualified to join the program as well.
Canadians have their own Global Entry through NEXUS, which is much less expensive than Global Entry. The best part? Getting NEXUS also gets you Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. Clearing Canadian customs can be a real drag, so this is also highly recommended to US citizens who often travel to Canada.
The newest Global Entry program, which is now in the UK, is a bit different than the US application process in the sense that British natives need to first enroll through their government website and pay a 42 GBP (about $63) fee. Once the government OK’s their application, they can finally apply through GOES and pay the $100 fee to the US government.