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HomeTravelGlobal Entry Vs TSA PreCheck: Which One Is Right For You?

Global Entry Vs TSA PreCheck: Which One Is Right For You?

As the airline industry has developed, so has airport security (especially after 9/11). Sometimes, security checks at the airports can take a lot of time (making some people nervous they will miss their flights). Fortunately, the United States offers two programs designed to help speed up security screening for trusted travelers. TSA PreCheck and Global Entry have a number of pros and cons, and they do make flying in the USA much more straightforward.
The TSA PreCheck may be sufficient for those who fly frequently within the United States, while those who travel internationally should consider applying for Global Entry.
Photo: Kit Leong | Shutterstock
TSA PreCheck: The Best Option For Domestic Travelers
TSA PreCheck is a program destined to help expedite travelers as they pass through participating TSA security checkpoints around the country. Those who have been approved for the program do not need to remove their shoes, laptops, belts, and more at airports.
TSA PreCheck does not include expedited processing through US Customs.
Membership Duration: 5 Years (renewable online)
5 Years (renewable online) Best For: Domestic Travel
TSA PreCheck is intended to make domestic travel within the United States easier and quicker. Members can enjoy the dedicated airport security lanes for TSA PreCheck members. TSA PreCheck is certainly worth it for those who fly domestically relatively frequently.
TSA PreCheck is a more basic program when compared to Global Entry (Global Entry members enjoy all the benefits of TSA PreCheck plus more). That being said, one benefit of TSA PreCheck is that it also includes accompanied minors under 12 (children need their own Global Entry memberships).
Related: 10 Things To Know About A Nexus Fast-Track Card, From Those Who Have One
Photo: David Tran | Shutterstock
Global Entry: The Best Option For International Travelers
Like TSA PreCheck, the Global Entry program is destined to help reduce the wait times at airport security. It is a US Customs and Border Protection program to help expedite entry for low-risk travelers arriving in the United States. These Global Entry lines also provide for accelerated entry at certain US Customs locations around the country.
As the name suggests, Global Entry is best suited for international travelers – plus it includes TSA Pre-Check benefits.
Another benefit is that there are reciprocal arrangements with some other countries around the world (including Australia’s SmartGate).
Membership Duration: 5 Years
5 Years Best For: International Travel
Using the Global Entry program at participating airports is easy. Just go to the Global Entry lanes, where a photo is taken by processing technology to verify their Global Entry membership. After that, go to the CBP officer, who then confirms that the traveler has completed the process.
Includes: TSA PreCheck
To become a member of the Global Entry program, applicants are required to undergo a rigorous background check as well as attend an in-person interview. The interview takes around 10 to 15 minutes. If there are no enrollment centers nearby, it is also possible to “enroll on arrival” at over 65 airports.
There are over 100 enrollment centers for the Global Entry program (compared to over 500 for TSA PreCheck).
Global Entry members may still be selected for more examination upon arrival in the United States.
The program also has an upcoming Global Entry Mobile App that allows people to validate their arrival in the United States before arriving in the Federal Inspection Services area.
Photo: everythingforall | Shutterstock
Eligibility For TSA PreCheck & Global Entry
Both the TSA PreCheck and the Global Entry programs are open to US citizens, US permanent residents, and citizens of selected countries. Those who are enrolled in the Global Entry, NEXUS, and Sentri programs are also eligible for the TSA PreCheck.
TSA PreCheck Eligibility:
US citizens & permanent residents
Citizens of partner countries enrolled in Global Entry, NEXUS, or Sentri programs
Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS
Global Entry Eligibility:
US citizens & permanent residents
Citizens of selected countries (e.g. UK, Germany, South Korea, Mexico)
Canada’s NEXUS members (don’t need to apply, but they can enjoy Global Entry benefits).
Both the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry memberships are affordable. It costs around $70 for TSA PreCheck membership and $100 for Global Entry.
Applicants can start their application online for Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Programs. Start the application now for the next international trip (the Global Entry program has a lengthy estimated 4 to 6-month processing time).

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