19 Ways to Get TSA Precheck for Free

You don't need to shell out $85 to breeze through airport security checkpoints. Here is how to get the perk for free.

19 Ways to Get TSA Precheck for Free Photo by EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Airport security checkpoints are among the most annoying aspects of air travel. They’re right up there with seemingly ever-shrinking plane seats and legroom.

You must take off your shoes, unzip your carry-ons and wait in line for who knows how long — unless you shelled out for TSA Precheck.

It turns out there’s another way, though: You can avoid the $85 TSA Precheck fee if you have specific credit cards or belong to certain travel loyalty programs.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that at least 19 cards and loyalty programs will now either cover the fee for you or enable you to pay for it with points.

What is TSA Precheck?

A TSA Precheck membership costs $85 and is good for five years. Having one enables you to breeze through security at 200 airports, currently.

TSA reports that in December, 93 percent of Precheck passengers waited less than five minutes.

TSA Precheck members do not have to remove the following at security checkpoints:

  • Shoes
  • Belts
  • Light jackets

Nor do they have to remove liquids or laptops from their carry-on luggage.

Applying for a Precheck membership is done online, although the process involves an in-person appointment that TSA says takes 10 minutes. You’ll undergo a background check and be fingerprinted.

To learn more about TSA Precheck and similar programs, check out “The 4 Ways to Get Cleared Through Airport Security and Across Borders Fastest.”

19 ways to get TSA Precheck for free

There are currently at least 14 credit cards and five loyalty programs that will enable you to get a TSA Precheck membership without dinging your budget for the $85 fee.

The credit cards generally cover membership for free, while the loyalty programs generally enable you to pay for it with points.

Those credit cards are:

  1. Certain American Express credit cards
  2. Bank of America Premium Rewards
  3. Capital One Venture Card
  4. Chase Sapphire Reserve
  5. Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
  6. Citi Prestige
  7. Diners Club Carte Blanche Corporate
  8. Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi
  9. MasterCard Black Card
  10. MasterCard Gold Card
  11. SunTrust Travel Rewards World Elite MasterCard
  12. United Explorer Card
  13. U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite
  14. U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express

The loyalty programs are:

  1. Club Carlson
  2. IHG Rewards Club
  3. Marriott Rewards
  4. Orbitz Rewards
  5. United MileagePlus

Have you used TSA Precheck? Let us know what you think of it by commenting below or over on .

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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