If you're looking for a way to help get through security lines in airports, you may want to consider applying for TSA PreCheck. Before you sign up, learn more about the cost for TSA PreCheck, how it works and how you may be able to get reimbursed for the membership fee.
What is TSA PreCheck?
TSA PreCheck is a program run by the Transportation Security Administration to expedite airport security for travelers who pass a background check. The line is generally quicker than the regular security line and has a few different rules to keep it moving.
Because travelers with TSA PreCheck have already been subject to risk assessment by the TSA, they aren't required to remove shoes, belts, light jackets/outerwear, liquids or laptops. Liquids still must be 3.4 ounces or less each and all fit in a quart-sized bag.
When you are approved for PreCheck, you will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN). You must input this number when reserving flights to gain access to the TSA PreCheck line. TSA PreCheck is available in about 200 airports across the country.
So, how much does TSA PreCheck cost to gain access to these benefits?
TSA PreCheck cost
There is an application fee associated with TSA PreCheck for a five-year membership. It is $78 as of April 2023, which covers the cost of the background check and operational costs. Once you're approved, your membership is good for five years, after which you will again have to pay a fee for renewal. Fees are always subject to change, so be sure to check the TSA's website for the most up-to-date costs.
To apply for TSA PreCheck, you must first complete the online application on the TSA website. This is a short application that asks for basic information such as your full name, birth date, gender and contact information.
Once you complete the online portion, you must schedule an in-person appointment at an enrollment center. At that appointment you will be fingerprinted and will have to present identification documents. This is also when you pay your fee. Fees can be paid with a credit card, debit card, company check, money order or certified/cashier's check. It's possible your application will be approved within a handful of business days, but you can always check on your status online.
Reimbursement for TSA PreCheck
While there's no outright way for most people to avoid paying a fee, there is a way to be reimbursed for it. Many travel credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, offer a statement credit of up to $100 every four years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card.
In order to take advantage of this feature, pay the fee at your appointment with your credit card. Your card issuer will then post the reimbursement to your account, the timing of which will depend on your issuer. Check your card's benefits for the most accurate information.
If you're looking for a smoother way through airport security, you may find the cost for TSA PreCheck well worth it. But before you head to your enrollment appointment, be sure to check your credit card benefits.