TSA PreCheck is a program that helps you go through airport security faster, and it’s one of the best things about flying. You know you’re in for a long day when you get to the airport and find out that TSA PreCheck is unavailable. But luckily there are ways to get TSA PreCheck without paying the $85 application fee—you just have to jump through some hoops first. Here’s how:
Wait until your flight confirmation email comes in, and then check if you can pre-check in before you leave for the airport.
- When you get your flight confirmation email, make sure to check if you can pre-check in before you leave for the airport. If so, do it! If not, don’t worry—just go to the airport anyway and ask at the TSA PreCheck counter. They may be able to help.
- Don’t forget to print your boarding pass at home!
Check with your credit card issuer.
If you’re looking for a way to pay for TSA PreCheck, look into your credit card issuer. Many of them offer this service as a benefit. For example, Citi and Bank of America offer it with their premium cards.
A word of caution: it’s important not just to pick the right card but also the right rewards program. If you want free flights or hotel stays, a cash back program might be better than one that offers points (which are only good for travel). But if getting new clothes from Amazon is more your style, then go ahead and sign up for an airline-specific travel rewards card or one that offers cash back at restaurants or department stores.
Join a frequent flyer program or another travel membership program with the airline or airlines that you fly.
- Join a frequent flyer program or another travel membership program with the airline or airlines that you fly.
- Some airlines offer free TSA PreCheck to members of their frequent flyer programs, so be sure to check if you are eligible for one of these programs in order to get your own PreCheck number.
- There are a few different types of travel membership programs available, including membership cards for specific airlines and credit cards tied directly to the airlines.
If you’re in the military, or are a government employee, see if you’re eligible.
If you’re in the military, or are a government employee, see if you’re eligible. Military personnel and federal employees can apply for TSA PreCheck through their employer.
If you work for an airline company that offers this service to their employees (like Delta Air Lines), use your company’s application process to verify your eligibility as a PreCheck candidate.
If you aren’t eligible through work but think it would be beneficial while traveling domestically during school breaks or summer months—and don’t mind paying full price—you can also opt out of TSA PreCheck during those times and then reapply when school starts again in the fall because the program isn’t tied to any specific period of time (unless it’s part of your job).
Some credit cards offer TSA PreCheck as a benefit. Look into those cards and their rewards programs to see if they’re worth it to you.
You can also get TSA PreCheck for free if your credit card has this benefit. Look into the benefits and rewards of the credit card to see if it’s worth it, as well as its annual fee. If you travel a lot and spend more than $500 per month on travel, then this might be a good deal for you!
If your goal is to always have TSA PreCheck, some of these options might be worth it to you.
If your goal is to always have TSA PreCheck, some of these options might be worth it to you. You can apply for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck at the same time. If approved, you’ll still have to wait four to seven weeks before receiving your interview appointment. This can be frustrating if you’re in a hurry, but it’s worth it in the end if you qualify. In addition to Global Entry and TSA Precheck benefits, being a United frequent flyer member offers other perks such as priority boarding and other travel-related benefits.
Once approved for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck via one of these methods, each subsequent renewal requires only an online application rather than an in-person interview at a designated enrollment center (although some airports may have additional forms).