How to apply for Global Entry — and ways to get it for free (2024)

If you're tired of waiting in long lines after traveling abroad, you might want to apply for Global Entry — especially if your credit card reimburses you for the application fee.

Issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Global Entry expedites the customs process for approved American citizens, permanent residents and citizens from certain other countries. It's valid for five years and comes with free TSA PreCheck.

We review who is eligible for Global Entry, how to apply and which credit cards will cover the cost of your application.

What we'll cover

  • Who is eligible for Global Entry?
  • How does Global Entry work
  • How to apply for Global Entry
  • Credit cards that cover the cost of Global Entry
  • Bottom Line

How does Global Entry work?

More than 70 airports in the US and Canada — including Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport — have automated Global Entry kiosks. After you disembark, go to the kiosk and scan your passport or U.S. permanent resident card. After you place your finger on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration form, you'll get a receipt and can exit.

Global Entry travelers may still be required to go through an additional security examination and admission into the program can be revoked if any terms and conditions are broken.

Who is eligible for Global Entry?

Most U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for Global Entry. (Applicants under 18 must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian)

Citizens of the following countries can also apply, according to CBP.

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Bahrain
  • Canada (through membership in the NEXUSprogram)
  • Colombia
  • Germany
  • India
  • Mexico
  • The Netherlands
  • Panama
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom

There may be additional Global Entry requirementsdepending on your country of citizenship.

Individuals who have broken immigration laws in any country are ineligible for Global Entry, as is anyone convicted of a crime or the subject of an investigation. For a full list of reasons for ineligibility, check the CBP website.

How to apply for Global Entry

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply for Global Entry. The process can take up to several months, so be sure to apply far in advance of any overseas travel.

  1. Create a Trusted Traveler Programs account on the CBP website and complete an online application. There is a $100 non-refundable fee (though, with the right credit card, you can get reimbursed).
  2. If and when your application is approved, you'll be instructed to schedule an in-person interview.
  3. During the interview, a CBP officer will ask questions, take your photo and scan your fingerprints. In addition to a driver's license or other valid ID, bring your passport or machine-readable permanent resident card.

Credit cards that cover the cost of Global Entry

If you don't want to shell out $100 for Global Entry, there are credit cards that will reimburse your application fee.

One of CNBC Select's top picks for travelers, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a statement credit of up to $100 toward a Global Entry application every four years. There's also a welcome bonus of 75,000 points after you spend over $4,000 in the first three months. That's worth $750 when redeemed for travel purchases or potentially even more when transferred to Capital One's airline and hotel partners.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Learn More

Terms apply.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card also offers a $100 Global Entry credit every four years. It hasa$550 annual fee but benefits like an annual travel credit of up to $300 and access to over 1,500 airport lounges with Priority Pass Select membership (valued at approximately $469) can make it a worthwhile expense.

New cardholders can also earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠ — and could be worth even more if you transfer those points and redeem them with one of Chase's airline or hotel partners, like United or Hyatt.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase’s secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 5X total points on flights and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases plus, 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

  • Annual fee


  • Intro APR


  • Regular APR

    22.49% - 29.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee


  • Credit needed


  • Terms apply.

Read our Chase Sapphire Reserve® review.

Another way to get reimbursed for Global Entry is with a United℠ Explorer Card, which costs $0 the first year and then $95 each year thereafter. Travel rewards include 2 points for every $1 spent on flights, restaurants and hotels, as well as 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

There is also a 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening the card.

United℠ Explorer Card

On Chase's secured site

  • Rewards

    2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases; 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, eligible delivery services and hotel stays; 1 mile earned on every $1 spent on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

  • Annual fee

    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

  • Intro APR


  • Regular APR

    21.99% - 28.99% Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fees


  • Credit needed


Member FDIC. Terms apply.


Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck, which costs $78 if you apply separately. So, if you plan on traveling both overseas and domestically, Global Entry is probably a better bang for your buck.

Once you receive final approval, scan your passport or residency card at a kiosk at customs, place your fingerprints on a scanner for verification, and sign a customs declaration. Once you get a receipt, you'll be directed towards an exit.

There is a $100 non-refundable application fee.

Bottom line

Global Entry is a government program that allows approved travelers to skip long lines at customs and head to an automated kiosk. There is a $100 application fee, but many premium credit cards will reimburse you.

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Read more

Get reimbursed for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee with these credit cards

TSA PreCheck vs. Global Entry vs. CLEAR: What's the difference?

How to apply for Global Entry

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

How to apply for Global Entry — and ways to get it for free (2024)


What is the easiest way to get Global Entry? ›

Just follow these steps.
  1. Create a Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) account. Regardless of your age, you must have your own Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) account.
  2. Log in to your TTP account and complete the application. ...
  3. Schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. ...
  4. Complete the application process.

Is Global Entry $100 for 5 years? ›

Global Entry: $100 (includes TSA PreCheck)

It costs $100 to apply, and the membership lasts for five years. Some credit cards and elite frequent flyer programs reimburse your application fee. This program refers to the Known Traveler Number as PASSID, but the number is used the same way.

Can you walk in and apply for Global Entry? ›

You cannot walk in for a Global Entry on arrival appointment unless you are just arriving from an international trip. Since it is a walk-in visit, an interview is not guaranteed if there is a long line, but it's worth a shot to try and get an earlier Global Entry appointment.

Does AAA do Global Entry? ›

Members can use designated lanes at northern land border crossings and also get the benefit of expedited screenings of the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs.

Why is it so hard to get a Global Entry interview? ›

Due to backlogs, limited capacity and increased demand, getting a Global Entry interview appointment is not unlike trying to buy Taylor Swift concert tickets—luckily, it's less expensive and you only have to do it once every five years.

Is Global Entry worth it anymore? ›

Whether or not Global Entry is worth it will depend on your personal situation. If all your travel is domestic, Global Entry may not fit your needs. But if you have international travel plans within the next five years, Global Entry can save you a lot of time at the airport.

Is there a downside to Global Entry? ›

The only potential downsides of Global Entry is that it requires fingerprinting and background check and costs $100 every 5 years. Scheduling and completing your Global Entry interview can also be a hassle, which is why taking advantage of Enrollment on Arrival can be wise.

Which is better, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry? ›

If you travel internationally four or more times a year, consider enrolling in Global Entry. If you take less than four international trips a year, TSA PreCheck is a great choice for domestic travelers. For more information on all of the DHS Trusted Traveler Programs use the DHS interactive Trusted Traveler Tool.

How long does Global Entry take to get approved? ›

The average processing time of a Global Entry application can take up to six months, according to the TTP website . In part, that's because of the program's popularity, but the time the application process takes can also be based on the availability for interviews at your nearest enrollment center.

Can my wife go through Global Entry with me? ›

My travel companions (children, spouse, or co-travelers) are not Global Entry members; can they come through the Global Entry lane with me? No, only Global Entry members can use the Global Entry lanes.

What countries accept Global Entry? ›

CBP has welcomed 16 Global Entry countries to date, including Croatia, Bahrain, Argentina, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Brazil, the United Kingdom and, most recently, the Dominican Republic.

How do I get Global Entry ASAP? ›

Tips to find a Global Entry appointment
  1. Start looking for appointments early. ...
  2. Use Enrollment on Arrival. ...
  3. Check back on the first Monday of the month. ...
  4. Be open to last-minute appointments. ...
  5. Attend an enrollment event. ...
  6. Consider a third-party service. ...
  7. Go to an unconventional place. ...
  8. Consider TSA PreCheck.
Sep 20, 2023

Can I upgrade my TSA PreCheck to Global Entry? ›

You can't upgrade from TSA PreCheck to Global Entry

Even if you already have TSA PreCheck, you must apply for Global Entry separately. There is no way to get an automatic upgrade from TSA PreCheck to Global Entry. You must complete the Global Entry application documents and then make an interview appointment.

How do I get TSA PreCheck for free? ›

How Do I Get Free TSA Precheck?
  1. Aeroplan® Credit Card.
  2. The Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms apply, see rates & fees)
  3. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms apply, see rates & fees)
  4. Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card.
  5. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
5 days ago

Who is not eligible for Global Entry? ›

Reasons for Ineligibility

You may not be eligible for participation in the Global Entry program if you: Provide false or incomplete information on the application; Have been convicted of any criminal offense or have pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants (to include driving under the influence);

How quickly can you get approved for Global Entry? ›

Global Entry helps members move through customs more quickly when reentering the U.S. To become a Global Entry member, you'll need to fill out an application, pay a fee and schedule an in-person interview. CBP says it typically takes four to six months to get approved for Global Entry after applying.

Is it easier to get Global Entry with TSA PreCheck? ›

Strictly speaking, TSA PreCheck membership does not make a Global Entry application easier.

Can I use TSA PreCheck while waiting for a Global Entry interview? ›

No. To receive TSA PreCheck®, you must include your Known Traveler Number (your CBP PASSID for Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI members) in the appropriate field of your airline reservation, and the TSA PreCheck® indicator must be displayed on the boarding pass to access the lanes.


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