TSA PreCheck vs Global Entry

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TSA PreCheck vs Global Entry
By Katie D'Amore
Published on Oct 10, 2022
Edited by Daniel Zeevi

One thing just about everyone can agree on regarding air travel is that it would be nice to move through the airport with more ease. Skipping security lines, keeping on your shoes, and dealing with as little red tape as possible is a dream for many travelers.

With that being the case, it’s no wonder the Department of Homeland Security's Trusted Traveler Programs are so popular. These programs make flying easier, and as a result, over 10 million people are currently signed up for one.1 Two of the most popular are TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. 

So, when it comes to TSA PreCheck vs Global Entry, is one superior? Let’s look at Global Entry vs TSA PreCheck to see their similarities, their differences, and why you may want to opt for one over the other.

TSA PreCheck Benefits

Transportation Security Administration or TSA PreCheck is a trusted program that covers flights departing from any airport in the United States. If you’ve passed all the TSA PreCheck requirements, and are approved after you’ve answered the TSA interview questions, you may forgo many of the hassles that generally come with passing through security. Some of the benefits include:2

  • You can use the TSA PreCheck line at security, which is generally expedited compared to the regular security line.
  • You can keep your jacket on.
  • You can keep your shoes on.
  • You can keep your belt on.
  • You can keep your laptop in its case and do not have to have it scanned separately.
  • You are not subject to the 3-1-1 liquids rule.

In short, you are a trusted frequent traveler who does not have to be screened by security in the same way other travelers are. This can make for a much smoother and easier process for you when preparing to board your flight.

Benefits of Global Entry

One of the reasons Global Entry is such a popular trusted program is that if you are approved for it, you have access to all of the same TSA PreCheck benefits. In addition, you see some added benefits when flying internationally:3

  • No processing lines to deal with customs upon entry to America.
  • No paperwork when going through customs upon returning to America.
  • Expedited entry benefits when entering a foreign country.
  • Overall, less time spent in the participating airport when flying internationally.

With Global Entry program, upon arriving in the US from an international flight, you can simply go to a Global Entry kiosk instead of dealing with customs lines. And a Global Entry kiosk isavailable at most major U.S. airports. For frequent international travelers, this can be a great trusted traveler program to save time and make travel more hassle-free.

However, while Global Entry has all the benefits of TSA PreCheck plus additional benefits for international travelers that TSA PreCheck does not provide, there are still compelling reasons why you may prefer TSA PreCheck. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security website suggests most travelers would benefit more from TSA PreCheck than they would from Global Entry.4

Downsides of Global Entry

Global Entry membership, like TSA PreCheck, lasts for five years following your approval. If you are approved for Global Entry, you also get access to all the benefits of TSA PreCheck. So, why would anyone opt for TSA PreCheck instead? There are actually some very good reasons:

  • Processing time – Possibly the most compelling reason to opt for TSA Pre Check is that you’re likely to be approved for it much faster. Especially since the pandemic, Global Entry processing has experienced long delays. Currently, it’s not uncommon to find it can take up to 18 months before you finally get approved for membership in the Global Entry program.1

    On the other hand, you may hear about TSA PreCheck in a matter of weeks. That makes it a much more practical option for most people who don’t want to wait a year and a half before seeing the Global Entry benefits.

  • Price – Both TSA PreCheck and Global Entry membership do require you to pay an application fee when you apply. For TSA PreCheck, this fee is $85. For the Global Entry program, the price rises to $100. The difference of $15 may not be significant, but for many travelers, the domestic benefits will be more useful than the international benefits. Why pay more for benefits you don’t need?

  • Need – The real determining factor about which program is right for you is your flying habits. Most Americans report flying two or fewer times per year.5 And it’s safe to assume most of those flights aren’t international. If you do travel internationally regularly, then getting Global Entry membership may be the right onefor you, but most people will likely see just as much benefit from becoming TSA PreCheck members.

Make Applying Easy with GOV+

Signing up for TSA PreCheck can be an easy process when you rely on GOV+. We take the guesswork out of the application process by guiding you through it every step of the way. After you fill out our easy online form, we’ll set up any appointments for you and make sure you have all the documents you need. 

TSA PreCheck expedites getting on a plane. GOV+ expedites getting TSA PreCheck approval.


1. Travel + Leisure. Why Travelers Are Being Encouraged to Apply for TSA PreCheck Instead of Global Entry. https://www.travelandleisure.com/tsa-PreCheck-global-entry-delays-dhs-6504448 

2. TSA. TSA PreCheck® Application Program. https://www.tsa.gov/news/press/factsheets/tsa-PreCheckr-application-program 

3. US Customs and Border Protection. Benefits of Global Entry. https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/benefits 

4. DHS. Trusted Traveler Programs. https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/ 

5. Gallup. U.S. Air Travel Remains Down as Employed Adults Fly Less. https://news.gallup.com/poll/388484/air-travel-remains-down-employed-adults-fly-less.aspx  

Katie D'Amore
About the author
Katie D’Amore is the Chief Operating Officer at GovPlus, the go-to portal for all your government forms and applications. Katie is a serial entrepreneur with experience starting and growing companies from scratch into profitable businesses.

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