Do you travel frequently and hate waiting in long lines at the airport? Do you want to breeze through customs and security checkpoints without hassle? Do you want to enjoy perks like expedited entry to other countries and access to exclusive lounges?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need Global Entry. Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows pre-approved travelers to enter the country faster and easier. It also includes TSA PreCheck, which lets you skip the regular security screening and keep your shoes, belt, and liquids on.
Global Entry sounds great, right? But there’s one catch: it costs $100 to apply and the membership lasts for five years. That may not seem like a lot, but what if we told you that you can get Global Entry for free? Yes, you read that right. There are ways to get Global Entry for free and save hundreds of dollars in fees and time.
In this article, we will show you how to apply for Global Entry, how to get Global Entry for free with credit cards, how to renew or update your membership, and how to maximize your benefits. By the end of this article, you will be ready to join the elite club of Global Entry members and enjoy hassle-free travel.
What is Global Entry and Why You Need It
Global Entry is a trusted traveler program that allows U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and citizens of certain countries to enter the U.S. faster and easier. It also includes TSA PreCheck, which allows you to use dedicated lanes at airport security checkpoints.
To apply for Global Entry, you need to fill out an online application form, pay a $100 non-refundable fee, and schedule an interview at a Global Entry enrollment center. During the interview, you will have your fingerprints and photo taken, and answer some questions about your travel history and eligibility. If approved, you will receive a Global Entry card and a Known Traveler Number (KTN) that you can use when booking flights.
Global Entry has many benefits that make it worth applying for. Here are some of them:
- You can use automated kiosks at U.S. airports instead of waiting in line at passport control. You just scan your passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place your fingerprints on the scanner, answer a few questions on the touchscreen, and collect a receipt. You then proceed to the exit where you show your receipt to a CBP officer.
- You can use expedited entry programs in other countries that have agreements with the U.S., such as Canada (NEXUS), Mexico (SENTRI), Australia (SmartGate), New Zealand (eGate), Singapore (Enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System), South Korea (Smart Entry Service), Germany (EasyPASS), the Netherlands (FLUX), Panama (Global Pass), United Kingdom (Registered Traveller), and more.
- You can access TSA PreCheck lanes at over 200 airports in the U.S. and save time and hassle at security screening. You don’t need to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, laptop, liquids, or other items from your carry-on bag. You also don’t need to show your boarding pass or ID as they are verified by a scanner.
- You can enjoy complimentary membership in other trusted traveler programs such as CLEAR and Mobile Passport Control that offer additional convenience and speed at airports.
- You can access exclusive lounges and discounts at airports, hotels, car rentals, and more with your Global Entry card or KTN.
As you can see, Global Entry is a must-have for frequent travelers who want to save time and money at airports. But what if you don’t want to pay $100 for it? Is there a way to get Global Entry for free? The answer is yes!
How to Get Global Entry for Free with Credit Cards
One of the easiest ways to get Global Entry for free is to use a credit card that offers a statement credit for the application fee. There are many credit cards that offer this benefit, but they usually have high annual fees and require good or excellent credit scores. Here are some examples of credit cards that offer Global Entry fee credits:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: This card offers a $300 annual travel credit that can be used for any travel-related purchase, including Global Entry fees. It also offers 3x points on travel and dining, a 50% bonus on point redemptions, access to over 1,000 airport lounges, and many other perks. However, it has a $550 annual fee and requires excellent credit.
- American Express Platinum Card: This card offers a $200 annual airline fee credit that can be used for incidental fees such as baggage fees, in-flight purchases, or Global Entry fees. It also offers 5x points on flights and hotels, access to over 1,200 airport lounges, and many other benefits. However, it has a $695 annual fee and requires good or excellent credit.
- Capital One Venture Rewards Card: This card offers a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fees every four years. It also offers 2x miles on every purchase, a 50,000-mile sign-up bonus, and no foreign transaction fees. It has a $95 annual fee and requires good or excellent credit.
- Bank of America Premium Rewards Card: This card offers a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fees every four years. It also offers 2x points on travel and dining, a 50,000-point sign-up bonus, and no foreign transaction fees. It has a $95 annual fee and requires good or excellent credit.
These are just some of the credit cards that offer Global Entry fee credits. There are many others that you can find online or by contacting your card issuer. Before you apply for any of these cards, make sure to compare their features, fees, rewards, and eligibility requirements. Also, make sure to pay your balance in full every month to avoid interest charges that may outweigh the benefits.
If you already have one of these cards or decide to get one, you can use it to pay for your Global Entry application fee and receive a statement credit within a few weeks. You can then enjoy Global Entry for free for the next five years!
How to Renew or Update Your Global Entry Membership
Global Entry membership lasts for five years from the date of approval. You can renew your membership up to one year before it expires by logging into your Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) account and submitting a new application with updated information. You will need to pay another $100 fee unless you have a credit card that covers it.
You may or may not need to schedule another interview depending on your eligibility and travel history. You will receive an email notification if you need to schedule an interview. If you don’t need an interview, you will receive an email confirmation of your renewal.
You should renew your membership as soon as possible to avoid any gaps in your benefits. If your membership expires, you will lose access to Global Entry kiosks, TSA PreCheck lanes, and other expedited entry programs until you renew it.
You should also update your membership whenever you have any changes in your personal information, such as name, address, passport number, driver’s license number, email address, phone number, or employment status. You can update your information by logging into your TTP account and editing your profile. You don’t need to pay any fees or schedule any interviews for updating your information.
You should also update your membership whenever you have any changes in your eligibility status, such as criminal convictions, violations of customs or immigration laws, or revocation of visas or passports. You should report these changes to CBP as soon as possible by calling 855-873-4637 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Failure to report these changes may result in the suspension or cancellation of your membership.
Tips and Tricks to Maximize Your Global Entry Benefits
Now that you know how to get Global Entry for free and how to renew or update your membership, here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most of your benefits:
- Use your KTN when booking flights: To use TSA PreCheck lanes at airports, you need to enter your KTN when booking flights online or by phone. You can find your KTN on your Global Entry card or in your TTP account. You should also print or save your boarding pass with the TSA PreCheck logo on it.
- Check the airport map before arriving: To use Global Entry kiosks at U.S. airports, you need to know where they are located. You can check the airport map online or on the CBP app before arriving at the airport. You should also look for signs that direct you to the Global Entry kiosks.
- Have your documents ready: To use Global Entry kiosks at U.S. airports, you need to have your passport or U.S. permanent resident card ready. You also need to have your receipt from the kiosk when exiting the customs area. To use expedited entry programs in other countries, you need to have your passport and any other required documents ready.
- Be courteous and respectful: To use Global Entry kiosks at U.S. airports, you need to be courteous and respectful to the CBP officers and other travelers. You should not argue, joke, or lie to the officers or try to bypass the kiosks. You should also not use the kiosks if you have anything to declare or if you are traveling with someone who is not a Global Entry member.
- Use your benefits wisely: To use Global Entry kiosks at U.S. airports, you need to use your benefits wisely and responsibly. You should not abuse your privileges or share your KTN or Global Entry card with anyone else. You should also not use your benefits for illegal or unethical purposes. If you do, you may lose your membership and face legal consequences.
Global Entry is a trusted traveler program that allows you to enter the U.S. faster and easier and enjoy other benefits such as TSA PreCheck, expedited entry to other countries, and access to exclusive lounges and discounts. It costs $100 to apply and the membership lasts for five years. However, you can get Global Entry for free with a credit card that offers a statement credit for the application fee.
You can also renew or update your membership online or by phone before it expires. By following the tips and tricks in this article, you can make the most of your Global Entry benefits and enjoy hassle-free travel. If you don’t have Global Entry yet, you should apply for it today and get it for free with a credit card. If you already have it, you should use it whenever you travel and keep it updated.
Global Entry is a must-have for frequent travelers who want to save time and money at airports and enhance their travel experience.
Tip on Trips hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. Please let me know if you have any questions or feedback. Thank you for reading and happy travels! 😊
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