Global Entry: Everything you need to know

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Global Entry is a must have

Global Entry is an incredible service that not only expedites your International arrival, but grants you a known traveler id that works for TSA Pre as well. Currently Global Entry costs $100 which is only $15 more than TSA Pre and will make your life infinitely better if you do travel internationally.

Global Entry is something that those who are travel enthusiasts know all about, but I also talk to A LOT of people that have no idea what it is so I thought I’d do a deeper dive.  I couldn’t stress how valuable it has been to me, and since many credit cards reimburse fees for Global Entry, there isn’t really any reason to not get it.


Global Entry is a program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance through automatic kiosks at select airports upon arrival into the United States. As of May 4, 2018, Global Entry was available at 53 US airports and 15 preclearance locations. By April 2018 more than 5 million people were enrolled in Global Entry and approximately 50,000 new applications for the program were being filed monthly

As I mentioned, many credit cards give a FULL $100 refund on your Global Entry fee

Yes, there is a long list of credit cards that will actually reimburse the fee when you charge it. If you carry more than one of the cards down below, and you’re looking to get family members Global Entry, you could spread them on various cards. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe that the person getting Global Entry has to be the cardholder in order to receive the credit.

I’d like to charge it to a card that will reimburse the $100 fee. Here’s a list that will

My favorite:

Capital One Venture X

Learn More



This isn’t an extensive list – leave comments and I’ll add to it.

Who is eligible to get Global Entry?

Provided by Wikipedia, Lawful permanent residents and aliens from the following countries

You may be ineligible if you:

  1. Provide false or incomplete information on the application;
  2. Have been convicted of any criminal offense or have pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants (to include driving under the influence);
  3. Have been found in violation of any customs, immigration or agriculture regulations or laws in any country;
  4. Are the subject of an ongoing investigation by any federal, state or local law enforcement agency;
  5. Are inadmissible to the United States under immigration regulation, including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation; or
  6. Cannot satisfy CBP of your low-risk status.

OK great, you’re eligible! Here’s what you do to apply:

The application process is quite simple and straight forward, but it could take a couple of months to get enrolled with the back up interviews.  If you have a trip coming up sooner than later and would like to take advantage of Global Entry, it may be worth calling your local interview center and see if they accept walk ins…many have been known to permit them.

Step 1: Create an account with Trusted Traveler

You’ll see this on the screen and you want to select Global Entry. It may prompt you to get TSA Pre instead, but you actually have access to TSA Pre when you’re a Global Entry cardholder, and it’s only $15 more.

Trusted Traveler Programs including Global Entry

Step 2: Log in to your Account and fill out an application and pay the $100 fee

Remember, if you have one of these cards, you’ll get that fee back as a statement credit.

Here’s a look at the fee credit when I charged it to my Amex Platinum

Step 3: Once you are approved, you will be asked to schedule an appointment

  • Make sure to bring your passport and another form of ID to your appointment.
  • There is an enormous list of interview locations in the United States and Canada as well as Qatar and Singapore

What’s the appointment like?

Nothing to it. They will take a digital pic of you and scan your fingerprints. Mine took about 5-10 minutes and the officer asked me various questions about my identity and wanted to make sure that Miles I hadn’t committed any crimes, etc. It’s a quick and easy process that I HIGHLY recommend going through to make travel soooooo much faster.

How long does Global Entry Last?

5 years

Should I get TSA PRE as well?

You don’t need to do that because Global Entry gives you TSA PRE via your trusted traveller ID number. Simply input that number into your reservation and TSA PRE will be added to your reservation.

When can you renew your Global Entry Membership?

Global Entry only lasts for 5 years, and you can renew up to ONE YEAR PRIOR TO EXPIRATION, and up to 6 MONTHS AFTER. You don’t have to have another interview in order to renew; however, when I renewed mine last year it required one. Ordinarily you have to have that interview within 6 months, but because of Covid that has been extended.

Go Here for more details:

As you can see…I had been given extra time to get that interview done. I’m fully renewed now.

What is the Immigration and Customs experience like with Global Entry?

First you use a kiosk where you scan your passport and fingerprints.  I’ve never waited more than a couple of minutes to use a kiosk or have my global entry ticket examined. Both your passport and fingerprints are linked to your Global Entry account, and collectively it’s saved me hours at the airport.

When you arrive you’ll see a sign that will direct you to a set of kiosks that you will enter your information, scan your fingerprints, and answer a few questions.

In fact, now, most of these kiosks don’t even require that – they will just know who you are walking up and seeing you. Super fast.

You do not need your customs and immigration declaration since those questions are asked on this screen.

You’ll then see a US Immigration Officer who will clear you to get your bags. After you’ve gotten your bags, you’ll then proceed again to a Global Entry line where you receive expedited customs processing by a US Federal Agent.

After this…you’re good to go! Just make sure you wave at everyone who didn’t get Global Entry as you whiz by them 😉

Hope this helps!

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  • Geoff February 26, 2022

    Delta Reserve card also reimburses.

  • Steven Appel July 26, 2021

    I have an Amex Bonvoy card and I got Global
    Entry for myself, wife and two daughters completely reimbursed. The catch is: each person needed their own card and charge the fee accordingly. They are authorized users on my account, therefore only one Amex annual fee.

  • Tom July 20, 2021

    Don’t forget to tell them if you got caught drinking underage. Or if you had sealed arrests when you a minor. Cause they will tell you to gfy.

    I’m still salty and it’s been 5 years. Precheck is happy to have me. And mobile passport works decently

    • Earl Lee July 20, 2021

      Actually Tom as long as you are open and honest with them and tell them about the arrest it is ok. I had the same issue as you did. They asked me if I was ever arrested and I said no as I forgot about when I was 16 and got in a fight. They rejected me saying I didn’t tell them about it but I appealed it via letter and they let me get it.

      So just be totally honest. If you get rejected, try appealing.

  • scott April 16, 2018

    Sooo, how do you tell when your Global Entry is due to expire?

    • Steve April 17, 2018

      You will get an automated email from CBP saying “Your Trusted Traveler membership will be expiring soon.”

    • Patricia April 23, 2018

      The expiration date is on your card. It’s your birthday. I renewed a day after my birthday (and a year before expiration). The updated card arrived in the mail (no additional interview) and it was good for SIX years–the year I had left on my old card and an additional five years. So, it makes no sense to wait to be reminded. On your birthday a year before expiration (on your card), just fill out the form and you will (at least I did) get a new card in the mail and the fee will be paid for if you have a credit card that supports paying for it. Easy.

  • lenin1991 April 16, 2018

    Bank of America Premium Rewards is one to add to your list, and one of the lowest AFs

  • Wes April 15, 2018

    “…you can renew up to ONE YEAR PRIOR TO EXPIRATION, and up to 6 MONTHS AFTER. ”

    This is not what the FAQ. That you referenced says. Rather, it specifies thatbif you submit your renewal prior to expiration, you can continue using your current TTN for up to six months after expiration while your renewal is being processed.

    That’s very different from being able to submit for renewal after expiration.

    On a different note, the FNBO Travelite card also provides the reimbursement for GE/ Precheck.

  • Steve April 15, 2018

    We did this. Very easy on-line. Once you do it, be sure to reflect the new TT number in your profile for all airlines. Also, if you bought tickets already and are flying after you get the new card, you may need to call the airline and change in your flyer information. On American, my wife got surprised with no Pre-check. We found out the record reflected the old #, even though her profile had the right number. One call to AA and it was fixed for the return flight.

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