If you have the right credit card, you can jump the airport security line at no cost to you. These cards will cover your application costs to TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or Clear, so you can receive expedited security clearance.
Demand for domestic and overseas travel has ramped up significantly over the last year. But while the demand for travel has increased since the pandemic, so have many of the travel-related issues. A shortage of airline employees has led to long waits, canceled and delayed flights and frustrated travelers this summer. And, these issues, coupled with the higher demand for travel, have also led to long lines for security checks at the airport.
While long lines at security are never ideal, an extended wait at security can throw a wrench into your travel plans if you’re crunched for time. But you may not have to face long waits with the right travel credit card. These cards will cover your application costs to TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or Clear, so low-risk travelers can take advantage of the perks that expedited security clearance offers.
Capital One Venture X: Best for luxury travel benefits
Why we picked it: The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers some of the most popular travel card perks on the market for a competitive annual fee. Like many highly sought-after travel cards, the Venture X provides credits to cover the membership cost of either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
This card also provides the luxury benefit, usually reserved for the most premium travel cards, of airport lounge access, with its complimentary Priority Pass Select membership.
- Sign-up bonus: 75,000 bonus miles (equal to $750 in travel) if you spend $4,000 in three months
- 10X miles on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel
- Up to $300 statement credit annually for Capital One Travel bookings
- 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary (worth $100 when redeemed for travel)
- $395 annual fee
- Few benefits outside of travel, unlike some other premium cards
Who should apply: The Venture X is a great choice if you’re a frequent traveler due to its high rewards and generous welcome bonus. If you’re curious about luxury travel cards but aren’t quite ready to commit to higher annual fees (like $550 on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card) may find this card worth considering.
Who should skip: If you don’t travel quite enough to warrant the $395 annual fee, there are other travel cards that offer statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, but at a lower cost.
Capital One Venture Rewards: Best for value-seekers
Why we picked it: One card that charges a lower annual fee (at $95) but still offers you credit for expedited airport security is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. This card also offers a large sign-up bonus and unlimited 2X miles on every purchase. If you qualify for the Visa Signature version of the card, you’ll also receive several travel benefits, such as roadside assistance, auto rental collision damage waiver and lost luggage reimbursement.
- 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
- Welcome bonus: 75,000 bonus miles (equal to $750 in travel) if you spend $4,000 in three months
- Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years
- Transfer miles to over 15 travel partners
- Airline partners exclude any major U.S. airlines
Who should apply: If you want to earn decent rewards and spend them on travel, you may not need to look any further than this straightforward mid-tier travel card.
Who should skip: If you spend a lot of time in airports, the card’s entry fee ($45 per visit, per guest) to get into Capital One Lounges could quickly add up. In that case, you may be better off with a card that offers credit on Global Entry and TSA PreCheck as well as airport lounge access.
American Express Green Card: Best for expedited security beyond airports
Why we picked it: The American Express® Green Card* rewards you for what you do in preparation for and during travel, including expedited airport security. Rather than a credit for your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application, this card offers a statement credit of up to $189 towaTd the cost of a Clear membership. Clear is available at over 40 airports and select stadiums.
The Amex Green Card may also be worth considering because you get 3X points spent on dining, travel and transit purchases. You’ll not only be rewarded for your flight and hotel booking but also for the taxis and rideshare services you use.
- 3X points on travel, transit and dining worldwide
- Welcome offer: 45,000 points when you spend $2,000 in the first six months
- Up to $189 statement credit toward Clear membership
- Up to $100 statement credit annually when you purchase lounge access with LoungeBuddy
- Terms apply
- $150 annual fee
- Lacks some travel insurance that other travel cards provide
Who should apply: If you tend to spend on campground reservations, tours, ferries, tools, taxis, trains and the like while traveling, you may appreciate the flexibility of the card’s transit and travel categories.
Who should skip: If getting credit specifically for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is important to you, you should skip this card. Or, if you value travel perks like lounge access and trip cancellation and interruption insurance, you may want to keep shopping.
U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card: Best for foodies
Why we picked it: With a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature ® Card* is one of the more affordable options on our list, while also coming with a statement credit of up to $100 to reimburse your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee every four years.
The rewards are also worth mentioning. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center; 4X points on travel, gas stations and EV charging stations; 2X points on grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining and streaming services and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.
- Intro offer: 50,000 points (worth $500) when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases in the first 120 days
- Up to $30 in credits for annual streaming service purchases, such as Netflix and Spotify
- $95 annual fee (waived the first 12 months)
- No foreign transaction fees
- Redemption options seem limited and not as flexible as the major issuers
- Cannot transfer points to any travel partners
Who should apply: If you want to earn decent rewards on the purchases you make, you may appreciate the straightforward nature of this card. It’s also a good card for infrequent vacationers due to its great everyday categories (gas stations, EV charging stations, grocery stores and dining).
Who should skip: If you love maximizing rewards cards and stretching the value of your points by transferring them to airline and hotel partners, you should probably look elsewhere.
IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card: Best card for hotel rewards
Why we picked it: It’s relatively rare for a hotel credit card to offer cardholders up to $100 in statement credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, which is why the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card is so unique.
Depending on your IHG One Rewards Elite status, you could earn up to 26X points on IHG hotel stays, as well as 5X points on travel, gas station and restaurant purchases with this card. All other purchases offer 3X points. You can also earn a free reward night when you redeem IHG points for any stay of four or more nights. There is no annual limit on how many hotel stays this applies to, either.
- Sign-up bonus: 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first three months
- Automatic Platinum Elite status at IHG Hotels
- Rewards night on your card anniversary
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance and travel accident insurance
- $99 annual fee
- Hotel bookings are the only good redemption option
Who should apply: If you’re an IHG Hotel fan, it may be worth applying for this card due to the various hotel perks, complimentary Elite status and travel insurance it comes with. It’s also a good card if you like to pamper yourself at the hotel or speed through security lines at the airport.
Who should skip: If you care more about convenience and efficiency at the airport than luxury at your lodgings, you may want to skip this card. And, of course, if you’re loyal to other hotel brands, you may not get much out of the IHG Rewards Premier Card.
Comparing the top cards for expedited airport security
See how all the cards on this list compete with each other when compared side by side:
|Card||Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/Clear benefit||Reward structure||Annual fee|
|Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card||Up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years||$395|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years||$95|
|American Express Green Card||Up to $189 for Clear membership per year||$150|
|U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card||Up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years||Waived for first year, $95 thereafter|
|IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card||Up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years||$99|
How to choose the best card for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit is one of the card benefits that luxury travel cards, and select mid-tier cards, tend to provide. When shopping around for a card that offers this credit, be sure to consider the following:
- Rewards structure: Travel credit cards that bring in serious rewards are really worth their weight in gold. After all, you can really only put a travel card to use when you have enough points or miles to redeem, so be sure to find a card with a rewards structure that aligns with your spending habits and regular spending categories.
- Annual fee: Since Global Entry and TSA PreCheck credit is a luxury card perk, you should keep an eye out for the expensive annual fees these cards may charge. Consider what the card gives you in return: statement credits, a sign-up bonus, flexible redemption options and more, to make that annual fee worth it.
- Other travel perks: Does the card you’re eyeing also include a fourth night award, monthly statement credit for streaming services or car rental insurance? The kind of consumer you are and what you prioritize, whether it’s watching your favorite TV show whenever you want or credit for your spa visit at the hotel, will help you narrow down the travel card for you.
As traveling abroad becomes more and more popular, you’ll surely run into longer lines at the airport. Whether you’re flying to your company’s foreign headquarters or a relative’s home in another state, getting through the line will save you time and energy.
A credit card that provides you credit for expedited airport screening would be an advantageous addition to your wallet — compare cards’ rewards rates, benefits and annual fees to pick a product that’s right for you.
*Information about the American Express Green Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.