With more and more countries dropping all their COVID-19 regulations and quarantine restrictions, international travel will continue to ramp up. Unfortunately, this also means long lines at airports are back.
An extended wait at security can throw a wrench into your travel plans, particularly if you’re running late for your flight. Thankfully, if you have the right travel credit card, you can jump the line at no cost to you. These cards will cover your application costs to TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or Clear, so low-risk Americans can receive expedited security clearance.
Capital One Venture X: Best for luxury travel benefits
Why we picked it: The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers some of the most popular travel card perks on the market for a competitive annual fee. Like many highly sought-after travel cards, the Venture X provides credits to cover the membership cost of either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
This card also provides the luxury benefit, usually reserved for the most premium travel cards, of airport lounge access, with its complimentary Priority Pass Select membership.
Sign-up bonus: 75,000 bonus miles (equal to $750 in travel) if you spend $4,000 in three months10X miles on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One TravelUp to $300 statement credit annually for Capital One Travel bookings10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary (worth $100 when redeemed for travel)
$395 annual feeLacks any non-travel benefits, unlike some other premium cards
Who should apply: The Venture X is a great choice for frequent travelers, thanks to its abundant perks, high rewards and generous welcome bonus. Anyone who’s curious about luxury travel cards but isn’t quite ready to commit to even higher annual fees (like $550 on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card) can take a stab with this card.
Who should skip: If you don’t travel quite enough to warrant the $395 annual fee, there are other travel cards that offer statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck but at a lower cost.
Capital One Venture Rewards: Best for value-seekers
Why we picked it: One such card that charges a lower annual fee (at $95) yet still offers you credit for expedited airport security is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. It also offers a large sign-up bonus and unlimited 2X miles on every purchase. If you qualify for the Visa Signature version of the card, you’ll also enjoy several travel benefits such as roadside assistance, auto rental collision damage waiver and lost luggage reimbursement.
5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One TravelWelcome bonus: 75,000 bonus miles (equal to $750 in travel) if you spend $4,000 in three monthsUp to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four yearsTransfer miles to over 15 travel partners
Airline partners exclude any major U.S. airlines
Who should apply: Cardholders looking to earn decent rewards and spend them on travel don’t need to look any further than this straightforward mid-tier travel card.
Who should skip: If you spend a lot of time in airports, the card’s entry fee ($45 per visit, per guest) to get into Capital One Lounges could quickly add up. In that case, you’re better off finding a card that gives credit on Global Entry and TSA PreCheck as well as airport lounge access.
American Express Green Card: Best for expedited security beyond airports
Why we picked it: The American Express® Green Card* rewards you for everything you do in preparation for and while traveling, including getting you through airport security faster. Instead of credit for your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application, the card offers up to a $189 statement credit toward the cost of a Clear membership. Distinct from the other two programs, Clear is operated by a government and is available at over 40 airports and select stadiums.
Other than that, the Amex Green Card is worth it because you get 3X points spent on dining, travel and transit purchases. You’ll not only be rewarded for your flight and hotel booking, but also for all the taxis and rideshare services you will use while you’re at your destination.
3X points on travel, transit and dining worldwideWelcome offer: 45,000 points when you spend $2,000 in the first six monthsUp to $189 statement credit toward Clear membershipUp to $100 statement credit annually when you purchase lounge access with LoungeBuddyTerms apply
$150 annual feeLacks some travel insurances that other travel cards provide
Who should apply: This card is great for cardholders who spend plenty of time both at home and elsewhere thanks to its forgiving rewards structure. While traveling, if you tend to spend on campground reservations, tours, ferries, tools, taxis, trains and the like, you’ll appreciate the flexibility of the card’s transit and travel categories.
Who should skip: If getting credit specifically for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is important to you, you should skip this card for the others on this list. Plus, cardholders who also value travel perks like lounge access and trip cancellation and interruption insurance should keep shopping.
Tip: “This card doesn’t give you Global Entry but instead offers entry through specific airports and even some stadiums for concerts and sporting events. This makes it a viable option if you tend to see a lot of live shows in addition to travel. The Amex card also offers points on spending during your vacations so points can add up more quickly than expected.” – Jeff Zhou, CEO of Fig Loans
U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card: Best for foodies
Why we picked it: With a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature ® Card* is one of the more affordable options on our list, while also coming with a statement credit of up to $100 to reimburse your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee every four years.
The rewards are quite great as well: You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center; 4X points on travel, gas stations and EV charging stations; 2X points on grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining and streaming services and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.
Intro offer: 50,000 points (worth $500) when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases in the first 120 daysUp to $30 in credits for annual streaming service purchases, such as Netflix and Spotify$95 annual fee (waived the first 12 months)No foreign transaction fees
Redemption options seem limited and not as flexible as the major issuersCannot transfer points to any travel partners
Who should apply: Those who’d like to earn decent rewards on the purchases they make for the whole family will like the straightforward nature of this card. It’s also a good card for infrequent vacationers due to its great everyday categories (gas stations, EV charging stations, grocery stores and dining).
Who should skip: If you love maximizing rewards cards, stretching points’ value by transferring them to airline and hotel partners, you should look elsewhere.
IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card: Best card for hotel rewards
Why we picked it: It’s relatively rare for a hotel credit card to give its cardholders up to $100 in statement credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, which is why the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card is so special.
Depending on your IHG One Rewards Elite status, you could earn up to 26X points on IHG hotel stays, as well as 5X points on travel, gas station and restaurant purchases. All other purchases will give you 3X points. You can also earn a free reward night when you redeem IHG points for any stay of four or more nights. Thankfully, there is no annual limit on how many hotel stays this applies to, so you can take advantage as many times as you want to redeem your points.
Sign-up bonus: 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first three monthsAutomatic Platinum Elite status at IHG HotelsRewards night on your card anniversaryTrip cancellation and interruption insurance and travel accident insurance
$99 annual feeHotel bookings are the only good redemption option
Who should apply: Diehard IHG Hotel fans should surely sign up for this card, especially for its various hotel perks, complimentary Elite status and numerous travel insurances. It’s also a good card for travelers who love to pamper themselves at the hotel as well as speed through security lines at the airport.
Who should skip: If you care more about convenience and efficiency at the airport than luxury at your lodgings, you should skip this card. And of course, those loyal to other hotel brands won’t enjoy the IHG Rewards Premier Card.
Comparing the top cards for expedited airport security
See how all the cards on this list compete with each other when compared side by side:
CardGlobal Entry/TSA PreCheck/Clear benefitReward structureAnnual feeCapital One Venture X Rewards Credit CardUp to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel2X miles on all other purchases$395Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardUp to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel2X miles on every purchase, every day$95American Express Green CardUp to $189 for Clear membership per year3X points on travel, transit and dining worldwide1X point on other purchasesTerms apply$150U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature CardUp to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked via Altitude Rewards Center4X points on travel, at gas stations and EV charging stations2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining and streaming services1X point on all other eligible purchasesWaived for first year, $95 thereafterIHG Rewards Premier Credit CardUp to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 yearsUp to 26X points on IHG hotel stays5X points on travel, gas station and restaurant purchases3X points on other purchases$99
How to choose the best card for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit is one of those card benefits that mostly luxury travel cards, and select mid-tier cards, provide. When shopping around for card that offers this credit, be sure to consider the following factors:
Rewards structure: Travel credit cards that bring in serious rewards are really worth their weight in gold. After all, you can really only put a travel card to use when you have enough points or miles to redeem, so be sure to find a card with a rewards structure that aligns with your spending habits and regular spend categories.Annual fee: Since Global Entry and TSA PreCheck credit is a luxury card perk, you should keep an eye out for the expensive annual fees these cards may charge. Consider what the card gives you in return: statement credits, a sign-up bonus, flexible redemption options and more, to make that annual fee worth it.Other travel perks: Does the card you’re eyeing also include a fourth night award, monthly statement credit for streaming services or car rental insurance? The kind of consumer you are and what you prioritize, whether it’s watching your favorite TV show whenever you want or credit for your spa visit at the hotel, will help you narrow down the travel card for you.
As traveling abroad becomes more and more popular, you’ll surely run into longer lines at the airport. Whether you’re flying to your company’s foreign headquarters or a relative’s home in another state, getting through the line will save you time and energy.
A credit card that provides you credit for expedited airport screening would be an advantageous addition to your wallet — compare cards’ rewards rates, benefits and annual fees to pick a product that’s right for you.
*Information about the American Express Green Card and the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.