One of my favorite frequent traveler perks is TSA PreCheck. Sure shorter lines are nice, but leaving my laptop in my bag is the best part. It is nice to simply put my luggage on the belt and pick it up on the other side. Getting TSA PreCheck is definitely worth the $85 fee for 5 years, but there are several credit cards which offer a statement credit for the application fee.
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve
I have written extensively about the Chase Sapphire Reserve and still believe it is one of the best travel rewards credit cards on the market. Although the signup bonus is now just 50,000 points I still think the card is worth signing up for. Sure the card comes with a $450/year annual fee, but you get $300 back in travel credits and an additional $100 or $85 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years. I already had TSA PreCheck when I opened the card so I decided to use my card to pay for a friends application and still received the statement credit. If you are thinking about signing up for TSA PreCheck it may be worth applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve to pay for it.
2. American Express Platinum Card
While the Chase Sapphire Reserve may have dethroned the American Express Platinum Card as the ultimate travel rewards credit card, the Platinum card still offers some incredible travel features. If you are a frequent Delta Air Lines traveler the Platinum card will get you into Delta Sky Clubs. In addition, the card grants access to Centurion Lounges and offers a complimentary Priority Pass membership. If you opt for the business version of the card you also receive a membership rewards points rebate of 50% when using points to pay for travel.
Additionally, the card comes with $200 worth of annual statement credits for your airline of choice and a credit of $100 or $85 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 5 years. Unlike the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I would not open the American Express Platinum card exclusively to enjoy the TSA PreCheck statement credit. However, existing card members should use their Platinum Card when paying the application fee for TSA PreCheck.
3. Citi Prestige
The Citi Prestige card used to be my favorite card in my wallet. For a $450 annual fee I received access to Admirals Club lounges, priority pass membership, and $250 in statement credits toward airfare. I never left home without the card. Citi recently made some changes to the card, but the continuation of the 4th night free hotel benefit makes the card worth carrying. Citi Prestige cardholders also receive an $85 or $100 statement credit every 5 years when paying for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees.
The Citi Prestige definitely lacks some major benefits offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum cards. One key benefit which neither of the previously mentioned card carries is the 4th night free hotel benefit. To use the benefit, cardholders must call the Citi Concierge to book a qualifying booking. When checking out, simply pay for the stay with the Citi Prestige card. Then a statement credit for the 4th night will be deducted to your monthly statement. This benefit can be incredibly valuable, especially for business travel which is reimbursed by your employer.
4. Citi AAdvantage Executive World-Elite MasterCard
Although I am not a huge fan of co-branded airline credit cards this card may be my favorite. For just $450 the card comes with full American Airlines Admirals Club Membership. Unlike the Citi prestige and Amex Platinum cards, you have access to the Admirals Club no matter what airline you are flying on that day. The card also comes with a slew of benefits such as priority boarding when traveling on American Airlines. These benefits may be even more valuable now with the addition of Basic Economy fares.
Unlike other cards listed above the Executive AAdvantage card offers only the TSA PreCheck / Global Entry statement credits. This effectively only lowers the annual fee to $350 every 5 years. If you are loyal to American Airlines it may be worth applying for the card. Otherwise, existing cardholders should make sure to pay for their application fees with the card.
5. Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card is on the of heavies metal credit cards on the market. Enough said. Actually as far as travel reward credit cards go, this card is highly competitive. The card comes with a $395 annual fee, but offers $300 back in travel related statement credits. Unlike other cards, the statement credits are not automatic and you must call customer service to apply the credits to specific charges. Again, I do not think the card is worth signing up for just to get the travel credits, but it is nice to know you can use the credits toward global entry fees.
6. U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card
This card may be the most interesting on the list so far. All of the cards listed above have annual fees of over $395/year, but this cards annual fee is just $85/year. The card offers 3x points on restaurants, 2x points on gas and airfare, and 1x points on all other purchases. On top of that, the card comes with an automatic statement credit reimbursement for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Unlike the other cards listed above, the FlexPerks Gold card is essentially a cash back credit card. Points are basically used as statement credits to offset charges. FlexPerks points can be extremely valuable when redeeming points for airfare. I am not too familiar with this card, but this post by FrequentMiler helps better explain the value of this card.
Personally, this card would create a ton of redundancy in my wallet, but would be a great option for anyone looking for an excellent rewards credit card with a low annual fee. Although the Chase Sapphire Reserve is an excellent card, the $450 turns off many people at face value. This card may just be the answer for anyone looking for Sapphire Reserve benefits for a lower annual fee.
7. Luxury Cards (Black Card & Gold Card)
Black and Gold cards from Luxury Card both come with annual statement credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees. The Black Card is basically a 1.5% cash back credit card and the Gold Card is basically a 2% back card. However the annual fees on these credit cards are simply outrageous. Black Card carries a $495 annual fee and Gold Card carries a $995 annual fee. Sure the cards are made out of some cool materials and are definitely some sort of “status symbol,” but are definitely not the best high-end cards on the market.
Above are just a few of the credit cards on the market which offer statement credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees. A complete listing can be found at TSA.Gov. Personally, I highly recommend signing up for either program although Global Entry is
a little much more difficult to be accepted into. If you already carry one of the above credit cards, make sure to pay your application fees using a card listed above.
Featured Image Courtesy of TSA.Gov