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How to use your Global Entry membership for TSA PreCheck

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    For travelers, the different programs that offer expedited security screenings may get confusing. If you already have Global Entry membership, you may be wondering how to use Global Entry for TSA PreCheck®. While there are differences between the two programs, the good news is you might have access to TSA PreCheck with a Global Entry membership.

    Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck

    Despite some similarities, Global Entry and TSA PreCheck remain two separate programs with different benefits. One of the biggest differences is that TSA PreCheck is reserved for expedited security screenings for boarding flights in participating U.S. airports. Global Entry, meanwhile, is intended to expedite travelers upon arrival in the United States. Global Entry membership may also allow access to the TSA PreCheck line, potentially providing benefits on both ends of a trip. 

    The application processes are similar, with both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck requiring online applications and background checks. Global Entry currently costs $100 to apply for a five-year membership, while TSA PreCheck costs $78 to apply for the same duration. Both application fees are nonrefundable. Some travel credit cards, such as Chase Sapphire Reserve®, will reimburse you for the cost of TSA PreCheck or Global Entry if you pay the fee with that credit card.

    Accessing PreCheck with Global Entry

    If you have Global Entry, you may want to know exactly how to use TSA PreCheck with Global Entry. When you're approved for Global Entry, you will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN). This nine-digit number, also called the CBP PASSID for Global Entry members, is found on the back of your Global Entry membership card. You can also find this number by logging into your Trusted Traveler Program account.

    To access TSA PreCheck, you must enter this number into the Known Traveler Number box when booking your airfare. Provided you're eligible and the airline you're flying partners with TSA PreCheck, your boarding pass will display a little TSA PreCheck logo, indicating you can use the PreCheck security line.

    Two commonly asked questions when comparing TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are:

    • If I have Global Entry, do I need TSA PreCheck? In short, no. Global Entry provides the same access to TSA PreCheck security lines. However, ensure you enter your Global Entry number when booking your flight and that your boarding pass includes the TSA PreCheck symbol.
    • Is my Global Entry number the same as TSA PreCheck? Yes, they can be used interchangeably when booking flights. Just be aware that the number will be referred to as a Known Traveler Number.

    In brief, Global Entry and TSA PreCheck may share the same benefits when it comes to boarding flights in the United States. However, Global Entry could offer the additional benefit of expedited customs when arriving in the United States after an international trip. 

    It is important to note that not everyone with a Global Entry membership will be eligible for TSA PreCheck. For example, some citizens of other countries are eligible for Global Entry but will not be eligible for TSA PreCheck. 

    Other Trusted Traveler Programs

    Both TSA PreCheck and Global Entry exist under an umbrella called Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP). Other TTP include NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST. NEXUS and SENTRI may both offer access to the TSA PreCheck line as well.

    • NEXUS: The NEXUS program has a $50 non-refundable application fee (as of May 2024) and expedites pedestrian or vehicle entrance into the U.S. or Canada, as well as expedited marine entry into the U.S. from Canada. It may also provides access to TSA PreCheck lanes at U.S. airports for eligible U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents and Canadian citizens.
    • SENTRI: The SENTRI program has a non-refundable application fee of $122.25 for five years of membership. It's designed to expedite vehicle and pedestrian access into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico. It may also include access to TSA PreCheck lanes at U.S. airports for eligible U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents.
    • FAST: The FAST program has a non-refundable $50 application fee for a five year membership that expedites customs processing for commercial carriers. It gives carriers access to designated lanes to more quickly bring goods into the U.S. There are two divisions of FAST, FAST North and FAST South. If you're approved for FAST North, you'll have full benefits at both the Mexico and Canadian borders. If you're approved for FAST South, you'll have to apply for FAST North to receive benefits for processing into Canada.

    In summary

    If you were wondering how to use Global Entry for TSA PreCheck access, you now know how you may be able to use your Global Entry ID number when booking airfare. If you are eligible, this may allow full access to the TSA PreCheck lanes, while still allowing you to benefit from the customs benefits when returning to the U.S. from abroad.

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