Disclosure: Basic Travel Couple, LLC has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Basic Travel Couple, LLC and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
There are a million reasons why being expedited through Airport Security may come in handy for you. We have found ourselves running late for a flight on more than one occasion and each time it has been an equally stressful experience. From navigating bumper-to-bumper traffic on a crowded highway, alarms not going off for an early morning flight, and timezone miscalculations! Thanks to our handy-dandy TSA Pre-Check Status we have been lucky enough to make all of those flights with sometimes only seconds to spare! This includes the time we arrived at our gate only to find the door had just been closed. Luckily, the boarding hadn’t been completed yet and the fantastic Southwest Agent was able to persuade someone to open the door for us to board our flight! (This is extremely rare!)
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What IS TSA-Pre-Check
If you haven’t heard of TSA Pre-Check yet it allows you to:
- Access a Special Line to Access Expedited Airport Screening
- Keep your Shoes, Sneakers and Belt on
- Keep your Liquids in your Bag
- Keep your Laptop in your Bag
According to the TSA website, in 2018, travelers who had TSA Pre-Check waited on average 5 minutes or less while going through Airport Security. Because of this, travelers are able to save precious time getting through airport security quickly and not risk the possibility of missing a flight. We can say from experience that this is pretty spot-on. At our home base in Buffalo, NY, we average around 10 minutes from walking into the airport and going through security. That sure beats the 30-60 Minute wait times that you might find in the regular line!
How much does TSA PreCheck Cost?
The TSA PreCheck Membership typically costs $85 and is good for 5 Years. However, many Credit Cards offer statement credits covering the cost of this fee! You just have to use that credit card to pay for it.
There is a variety of Credit Cards that offer the TSA PreCheck Membership Credit. Two of our favorites are the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card.
Visit our Top Credit Cards Page for our favorite cards!
Basic Steps to Applying for TSA Pre-Check and Using Credit Card Statement Credit
- Submit an online application which takes approximately 5 minutes
- Schedule an appointment at any of the 380+ enrollment centers across the United States
- Attend the appointment where you conduct a background check and fingerprinting which takes approximately 10 minutes to complete
- Remember to pay the $85 with the Right Credit Card!
- Once you’re approved, you will be assigned a Known Traveler Number (KTN). Be sure to add this number to every flight that you book so that you receive TSA Pre-Check access when traveling.
Add your Known Traveler Number (KTN) to all of your Airline Profiles so is automatically saved for future use. If not, a gate agent can also add it to your boarding pass if you ever arrive at the airport and realize that you forgot to add it.
If you travel internationally, you may want to consider Global Entry. This enables you to have expedited entry into the United States! Global Entry does cost more money than TSA Pre-Check, but, it also includes TSA Pre-Check. Another perk is that the same credit card will reimburse your TSA Precheck fee OR Global Entry fee! Whether you decide to get Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check, both options should save you time at the Airport. Hopefully, that extra time that you save going through Security quickly will provide you an opportunity to visit a lounge and relax before taking off!
Let us know if you’ve had any close calls and if TSA Pre-Check came through to save the day for you below in the comments section!
Disclosure: Basic Travel Couple, LLC has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Basic Travel Couple, LLC and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.