MMMondayMemo: What is Global Entry?

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MMMondayMemo: What is Global Entry?

Every Monday, MonkeyMiles sends out a Memo with a tip on how you can save time, money, and points. Many of you may already know the tips, but more and more new monkeys are flocking to this hobby every single day and knowledge is power. This Monday we are looking at Global Entry.

Sooooooo What is Global Entry?

As defined by the US Customs website itself:

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.

global entry
courtesy of

In practice it’s a super duper quick way to breeze through Immigration and Customs when entering the country after being abroad.

Miles, How Do I get Global Entry?

  1. Fill out the application and pay the $100 Fee
  2. Schedule an Interview
  3. Complete the Interview

1) Filling out the application

It’s pretty straight forward and takes 10-15 minutes. The fee is non-refundable and you hear very quickly if you qualify to move on to the next round: Scheduling an interview

2) Scheduling an Interview

  • I received a confirmation email a few days after my application was processed
    • It can take up to a couple weeks
  • Once you receive your confirmation email, you log back into the GOES system to schedule an interview. It’s a straight forward process.
    • You have a limited time to schedule an interview after receiving confirmation. You can change this interview as many times as you want, but if you don’t schedule within the allotted time, it will be forfeited.

I found that this process is surprisingly easy, but availability at my home airport (LAX) was booked up for months. I went ahead and scheduled in San Diego and waited to see if anything ever opened up at LAX. It didn’t.

3) Completing the interview

  • Interview is short, quick, and easy.
    • Standard security questions are asked
  • They take a picture of you, scan your fingerprints
  • Remember to bring a passport, alternate form of ID. If you hold a green card or other permanent resident identification, you need to bring that as well.
  • You’ll get a quick tutorial on the Global Entry Kiosks.
global entry
courtesy of

As I mentioned, I wanted to interview at LAX, but couldn’t because all of the time slots were booked up and I ended up driving down to San Diego to do my interview. It was the border crossing location and VERY busy. However, LAX does allow walk ins and I know a few people who have done it successfully. In hindsight, I wish I would have tried to do this because it would have saved a lot of time. The word on the street about ‘walking in’ is that they will give you the cold shoulder for a while, but after waiting an hour or two people have been worked into the process. If you have a trip coming up and are willing to wait…Tom Bradley International Terminal is where you’ll head if interviewing at LAX.

Where are the enrollment centers for my interview?

You can find the list here

How long is my Global Entry good for?

5 years.

Can I renew it online?

Yes, by going here – It’s hit or miss as to whether or not you will be approved without an interview. Some people have had to go back in, some haven’t.

Does Global Entry give me TSA Pre as well?

Yes, you simply add your trusted traveler ID to your booking reservation or your airline customer profile.

Is Global Entry really worth it? Does it save much time?

I can only speak to my own personal experience, but it saves LOADS of time. It’s quick, easy, and smooth. The kiosks work extremely well, and I don’t think I’ve spent more than 5 minutes going through the Immigration process since acquiring Global Entry.

Also, it has given me TSA Pre which has saved me hours in security lines over the last couple years.

Do credit cards offer a Global Entry fee credit?

Yes, there are credit cards out there that will give you the $100 application fee credit back as a statement credit. This is one of the perks that many people miss when they are assessing the value of a credit card in their wallet.

End thoughts

I love my Global Entry. It’s one of the easiest and most useful products a frequent flier can obtain and keep. Not only does it expedite international immigration, but it gives you TSA Pre – a perk that far more people can utilize and enjoy the benefits of quick and less intrusive security screenings.


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The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based. 

Welcome Offer

60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months

80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

Super solid welcome offer.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

  • 3x on dining
    •  including eligible delivery services for takeout
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Primary rental car coverage is my favorite

There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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