TSA Precheck, Global Entry credits now offered on lower-annual-fee cards

Capital One Venture card, Chase United Explorer are latest to add the travel perk

Mike Cetera
Personal finance writer
Writes about banking, credit cards and mobile finance.

TSA Precheck, Global Entry credits not just available on high-end rewards cards now

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Speeding through airport security checkpoints is no longer out of reach for the frequent flyer uninterested in paying a $450 credit card annual fee. 

Capital One announced this week it would begin reimbursing Capital One Venture Rewards cardholders when they apply for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, the programs that allow you to skip to the front of the security screening line prior to heading to your gate – and avoid taking off your shoes. 

Beginning June 12, Venture Rewards cardholders can get a refund for either the $100 application fee for Global Entry (best for frequent international travelers) or the $85 fee for TSA Precheck once every four years.

“This offer was created with our customers in mind,” Cecilia King, a Capital One spokeswoman, wrote in response to emailed questions. “We know they travel frequently and are constantly looking for ways to save time and money, and TSA Precheck and Global Entry helps make travel more efficient.”

TSA Precheck and Global Entry credits used to be a fairly exclusive benefit offered as part of an extensive package of travel goodies that came with premium rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card® from American Express. But, while these cards are extremely valuable to the road warrior, they may not be worth the annual fees ($450 and $550 respectively) to some travelers.

Venture Rewards waives its $95 annual fee the first year. It’s among a handful of less expensive cards that come with the credits to speed cardholders through airport security checkpoints. Chase’s United Explorer Card ($95 annual fee, waived the first year) began offering TSA Precheck and Global Entry fee refunds earlier this month.

Other lower-annual-fee cards that offer the perk include:

  • Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card ($95 annual fee)
  • Expedia+ Voyager Card ($95 annual fee)
  • U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card ($85 annual fee)

See related: Global Entry card perk can help you fly through the airport

Why TSA Precheck matters

Last month, 92 percent of TSA Precheck passengers waited less than 5 minutes in line during the security screening process, according to the Transportation Security Administration. That beats the experience of many travelers forced to snake back and forth in long security lines.

TSA Precheck benefits

And some 14 percent of consumers have missed a flight in the past 12 months due to long security lines, the Capital One spokeswoman said, citing data from the issuer’s recent travel survey.

Along with speed, the Precheck designation allows you to avoid some of the other inconveniences of airport travel. You won’t have to remove your belts, shoes or light jackets when going through security. And the TSA says laptops and your see-through toiletry bag can remain stored in your carry-on gear during the screening process.

Precheck is available at more than 200 airports nationwide. Before you travel, make sure your airport – and airline – are participants. Here’s a Precheck location map.

If you already have Global Entry or TSA Precheck, you can use your travel credit to pay for someone else’s application with your Venture Rewards card, the spokeswoman said.

Venture Rewards and Explorer card improvements

The Precheck/Global Entry reimbursement benefit is the second major improvement added to the Venture Rewards card this year.

In January, Capital One announced a partnership with Hotels.com that allows cardholders to earn 10 miles per dollar spent on reservations booked on Hotels.com with the Venture Rewards card. 

“We are always thinking about our customers’ needs and are constantly evaluating new opportunities to help them save time and money,” King wrote. “We are dedicated to creating effortless experiences and will continue to evolve the Venture card to make it a more rewarding and valuable option.”

See related: Earn 10x miles on hotel stays with Venture, VentureOne

On June 1, the Chase United Explorer card boosted rewards that can be earned with the card.

For example, cardholders now earn 2 miles per dollar on hotel stays and 2 miles per dollar on restaurant purchases. Previously, MileagePlus Explorer cardholders earned 1 mile per dollar on all non-United purchases.

In addition to the TSA Precheck and Global Entry $100 credit, Explorer cardholders also get a 25 percent discount on in-flight purchases (including Wi-Fi, food and beverages).

See related: New United Explorer card offers 2x miles on hotels and restaurants

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Updated: 02-15-2019