June 19, 2024
Explore the costs and benefits of TSA Precheck and whether it's worth it for you with this comprehensive guide. Learn about associated fees, how to get TSA Precheck for free, and how it compares to other trusted traveler programs. Don't let long security lines slow you down - enroll in TSA Precheck today and travel stress-free.


Have you ever found yourself waiting in a slow security line at the airport, feeling frustrated and anxious about making your flight on time? If so, you may be wondering if TSA Precheck is worth the cost. In this article, we will explore all aspects of the program to help you make an informed decision.

Is TSA Precheck Worth the Cost?

TSA Precheck is a trusted traveler program that offers a faster and smoother security screening process at airports across the United States. There are many benefits to the program, including the ability to keep your shoes, belts, and jackets on during the screening process, as well as not having to remove laptops and liquids from your carry-on bags. For frequent travelers or those who dislike long security lines, TSA Precheck can be a game-changer.

To be eligible for TSA Precheck, you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and have no criminal convictions or disqualifying offenses. Additionally, you must provide biographic and biometric information during the application process and attend an in-person appointment to complete the process. The program costs $85 for a five-year membership, which breaks down to $17 per year.

While the fee may seem steep to some, the time and stress saved by using TSA Precheck can be worth it. However, for infrequent travelers, the cost may not be justified. It’s up to you to decide if the benefits are worth the fee.

A Guide to TSA Precheck Fees

While the cost of TSA Precheck is relatively straightforward, there are some other associated fees to consider. First, there is the application fee of $85, which is non-refundable. Then, when your membership expires after five years, there is a renewal fee of $85.

However, some credit cards offer perks that can cover the cost of the TSA Precheck application fee. For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a statement credit of up to $100 for TSA Precheck or Global Entry fees, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers free TSA Precheck as well.

To get the most out of the program, it’s important to keep track of your expiration date and renewal deadlines. You can also use TSA Precheck in conjunction with other trusted traveler programs, such as Global Entry or NEXUS, to get even more benefits.

How to Get TSA Precheck for Free

Getting TSA Precheck for free is possible, but it may not be the best option for everyone. Some credit cards offer sign-up bonuses that can cover the cost of the program, but be sure to consider any additional fees or higher interest rates that come with the card. Additionally, some airlines offer the perk of TSA Precheck for frequent flyers with elite status.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option and consider your travel plans as well as eligibility requirements before deciding on the best course of action.

TSA Precheck vs Clear vs Global Entry: Which One is Right for You?

While TSA Precheck is a popular option, there are other trusted traveler programs to consider as well. Clear is a program that offers expedited security screening but with a higher cost of $179 per year. Global Entry, on the other hand, offers many of the same benefits as TSA Precheck but also includes expedited processing at customs when returning from international trips. The cost for Global Entry is $100 for a five-year membership.

When deciding between these programs, it’s important to consider not only the costs but also the specific benefits and application requirements. For example, Clear is only available at certain airports and includes biometric identification, while both TSA Precheck and Global Entry require in-person interviews.

TSA Precheck for Families: Are the Fees Worth It?

If you’re traveling with children, the benefits of TSA Precheck can be even more significant. TSA Precheck allows children ages 12 and under to go through security screening with an eligible traveler, and many airports have designated family lanes to make the process even smoother. If you’re a frequent traveler with children, the added convenience can be worth the cost.

However, it’s important to note that all members of a traveling party must have TSA Precheck to use the expedited security lanes. If you’re considering enrolling your children in the program, be sure to factor in the additional costs and eligibility requirements.

The Hidden Costs of Not Getting TSA Precheck

While the cost of TSA Precheck may seem steep to some, there are hidden costs to not enrolling in the program. For example, missed flights due to long security lines can result in added expenses such as rebooking fees or missed accommodations. Additionally, longer waiting times can add stress and frustration to the travel experience.

Ultimately, the decision to enroll in TSA Precheck is a personal one, but it’s important to consider all the factors involved, including the financial and emotional costs of not having expedited security clearance.


In conclusion, while TSA Precheck does come at a cost, the benefits can be significant for frequent travelers or those who dislike long security lines. We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with the information necessary to make an informed decision about whether the program is right for you. Remember to weigh the costs and benefits and consider your travel plans and eligibility requirements before signing up.

If you do decide that TSA Precheck is right for you, be sure to keep track of your expiration date and renewal deadlines and consider using it in conjunction with other trusted traveler programs for maximum benefit.

Don’t let long security lines slow you down – consider enrolling in TSA Precheck today.

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