TSA pre-check vs. global vs. clean input

Nothing increases travel time like waiting in long airport security lines.

For travelers who would rather avoid this delay, there are three options: TSA pre-screening, global entry, and clearance. One or all of them may be right for you.

What is TSA Pre-Validation?

TSA PreCheck, the Trusted Traveler program, allows you to get through airport security more quickly. That’s because if you have PreCheck, you can stand in a shorter, faster line where you don’t have to take off your shoes, belt, or light jacket, and you don’t have to take out your laptop or carry-on. bag.

The Federal Transportation Safety Administration reports that in May 2022, 93% of PreCheck passengers waited in line for less than five minutes.

Where can I use TSA PreCheck?

TSA pre-screening is available at most US airports and can dramatically reduce airport wait times. Plus, not only is it the cheapest of the three options, if you have the right credit card, it can even be free (see tables below).

“I’m a fan,” says Scott Keys, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights. “Unless you are traveling during peak hours from an airport such as DCA [Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C.]Siberian Federal District [San Francisco International Airport] or Kennedy [John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City]it’s rare to see TSA PreCheck queues longer than the 60 second wait.”

If you’re still in doubt, TSA PreCheck is usually best if you’re only traveling domestically (since it doesn’t require a passport) and flying at least once or twice a year.

What is a global login?

Global Entry, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program, offers everything TSA PreCheck does and more. When you return from a trip abroad, Global Entry means that you no longer need to stand in long lines at customs and fill out paperwork. One quick check-in at the e-kiosk and you’re ready to go to baggage claim. In addition, TSA pre-validation is included in the Global Entry.

Where can I use Global Entry?

Global Entry is available at several domestic and international airports, but is best for those who travel around the world. For just $15, you get both pre-screening and the ability to get through customs. Also, as with PreCheck, many credit cards return a $100 fee for your monthly report.

“I have Global Entry and I love it,” says Adam Riemer, marketing consultant and frequent flyer. Global Entry even saved Riemer from missed flights.

“I was in Houston one day, returning from Mexico, and there was a light storm that delayed entry,” he said. “If I didn’t have Global Entry, I wouldn’t have time to connect in time.”

What is clear?

Clear is a biometric secure identity platform that stores the personal information of its users – what it calls “biometric identifiers” – and uses that data to allow users to skip airport queues.

Unlike TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, Clear is run by a technology company known as AlCLEAR, LLC, not by the government. The program uses your irises and fingertips to prove that you really are you.

The Clear agent scans your eyes and hands, matches you with the information you previously provided to the company, and voila, you pass the identification line at the stadium or airport. Clear, certified under the Safety Act, offers a futuristic alternative to bypass queues at airports and elsewhere.

Clear improves on PreCheck. With PreCheck, you can still be accidentally excluded from the fast track. Not so with Clear. After verifying that you are truly yourself, a Clear agent will escort you directly to the security check.

Where can I use Clear?

Clear is currently available at over 50 airports, stadiums and other locations in the US. These are the airports where you can use it:

  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
  • Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI)
  • Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM)
  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
  • Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
  • Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • George Bush International Airport (IAH)
  • Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Nashville International Airport (BNA)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
  • San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
  • Westchester County Airport (HPN)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)

Clear membership is best for frequent flyers and frequent flyers from airports where Clear operates. For example, in Southern California, there are Clear kiosks at Los Angeles International Airport. But there are four other airports serving the area: San Diego, Orange County, Inland Empire, and Burbank. None of these airports have Clear, so for those who fly regularly from San Diego International Airport, for example, it might not make much sense to shell out about $200 a year for a Clear membership.

Credit cards that offer membership credits

Many travel credit cards offer credit statements for two federal programs. However, American Express has two cards that offer Clear membership deals. The Platinum Card® from American Express will cover the cost of a $189 Clear membership if you purchase it with the card, and the American Express® Green Card* offers its holders a $100 annual credit that they can use towards their Clear membership.

Cards that offer credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry:

bottom line

If waiting in line to check in at the airport isn’t for you, choose from three programs to help you get to the gate faster. Whichever one you choose, you may have to spend some time applying, but it’s worth it when you leave the long lines behind you.

*All information regarding the American Express Green Card, SunTrust Travel Rewards, US Bank Altitude Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card, and Citi Prestige Card has been independently collected by and has not been verified by the issuer.

Editorial disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective judgment of our contributors and is not based on advertising. It was not provided or ordered by credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to our partners’ products.

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