Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck®: What’s the difference?
September 28, 2023 4 min read
Love to travel but don’t like waiting in line at the airport? Programs like TSA PreCheck® and Global Entry can help you skip the long lines and make your way through the airport sooner. But Global Entry and TSA PreCheck® aren’t exactly the same.
Learn about some key differences. Plus, find out how you can use your eligible Capital One Venture, Venture X, Spark Miles or Venture X Business card to pay for the application fee of either program.*
- Global Entry and TSA PreCheck® help speed up airport security and customs screening when traveling.
- TSA PreCheck® applies only to domestic airports.
- Global Entry applies to international travel and includes TSA PreCheck®.
- Travel credit cards, such as Venture, Venture X and Venture X Business, will reimburse cardholders for the Global Entry and TSA PreCheck® fees.
What’s the difference between Global Entry and TSA PreCheck®?
TSA PreCheck® and Global Entry are both Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) run by government agencies that can make travel to and from U.S. airports a little bit easier. Both programs require an in-person interview at an enrollment center and a background check.
But they differ in important ways:
TSA PreCheck® is run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and allows travelers to skip airport security lines—ideally leading to a smoother screening process and shorter wait times. TSA PreCheck® is available at more than 200 U.S. airports with more than 90 participating airlines nationwide.
Global Entry is a TTP run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The program simplifies the customs process after traveling abroad from the U.S. It also includes TSA PreCheck® and its perks.
Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck®: Which is better?
The program you choose may depend on your travel plans. TSA says that “if you travel internationally four or more times a year, consider enrolling in Global Entry.” But TSA PreCheck® might be a better choice if you mostly travel within the U.S.
|TSA PreCheck®||Global Entry|
$78 with Idemia or $85 with Telos for a five-year membership
|$100 for a five-year membership|
$70 with Telos and online with Idema
$78 for in-person with Idemia
|Benefits||Expedited security screening for domestic air travel||Expedited customs screening when entering the U.S. and includes TSA PreCheck®|
|Application process||Online and in person||Online and in person|
Eligible for Venture and Venture X credit?
Does Global Entry include TSA PreCheck®?
Yes. A Global Entry membership includes TSA PreCheck®. When you qualify for Global Entry, you are automatically enrolled in TSA PreCheck®. But TSA PreCheck® doesn’t include Global Entry access.
CLEAR, NEXUS and SENTRI
Global Entry and TSA PreCheck® are two common travel programs, but there are a few others:
- CLEAR: Unlike TSA PreCheck® and Global Entry, CLEAR isn’t a federal program. CLEAR is a company that uses biometrics to quickly verify a traveler’s identity and let them skip to baggage scanning. It costs $189 yearly. CLEAR and TSA PreCheck® can be used together.
- NEXUS: A TTP for Canadian and American citizens. Similar to Global Entry, NEXUS gives travelers expedited entry into Canada and the U.S. NEXUS costs $50 for a five-year membership, and it may include TSA PreCheck®.
- SENTRI: A TTP for travelers moving between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Members get expedited vehicle and pedestrian access to Mexico and Canada. And it may include TSA PreCheck® in U.S. and Canadian airports. SENTRI costs $122.25 for a five-year membership.
Benefits of applying using a Capital One travel credit card
If you’re an eligible Capital One cardholder, you can receive up to a $100 statement credit on your application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®. Simply use your eligible travel card to pay the application fee when you apply to become a member of either program. Within two billing cycles, Capital One will reimburse you for the application fee. Both TSA PreCheck® and Global Entry are valid for five years, and you’ll receive one statement credit per account every four years.
Keep in mind that your account must be open and in good standing when the credit is applied. Fees charged to a VentureOne or Spark Miles Select card aren’t eligible.
Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck® in a nutshell
TSA PreCheck® gives travelers expedited security screening for domestic flights. Global Entry does the same, and it also helps speed up the customs process when reentering the U.S.
Remember, you can get reimbursed for the application fee for TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry when you use a Capital One Venture, Venture X, Venture X Business or Spark Miles card.