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Global Entry Fee Is Increasing to $120, but Kids Will Be Free

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Brett Holzhauer
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Brett Holzhauer

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Countries Visited: 22U.S. States Visited: 29

Brett is a personal finance and travel junkie. Based out of Fort Lauderdale, he's had over 100 credit cards and earned millions of credit card rewards.
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On October 1, 2024, the enrollment fee for Global Entry will jump to $120. This is the first fee hike in 15 years, according to the agency.

For the next 6 months, you’ll be able to apply for Global Entry at the current $100 cost. Global Entry is one of the best expedited security programs as it also includes the benefits of TSA PreCheck. And with the right credit card, you can get the fee completely waived.

While a fee increase isn’t great news, there’s a very positive change that’s also happening on October 1, 2024 — minors under 18 years old will have their application fees waived when a parent or legal guardian is already a member of, or is applying for, Global Entry.

Here’s what you need to know about the application process for Global Entry, and what credit cards offer enrollment credits.

$20 Fee Increase, Fee Waived for Minors

Global Entry Kiosk at Newark Liberty International
Passenger uses Global Entry Kiosk at Newark Airport. Image Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency has announced price hikes to its Trusted Traveler Programs. The application fee for Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI will all increase to $120 for a 5-year membership on October 1, 2024. Also beginning in October, kids under 18 will have their fee waived if a parent or legal guardian is already a member of one of these programs or is concurrently applying.

This jump in cost is for “continuation and management of the programs.” This is a different direction than the TSA PreCheck program which cut its price from $85 to $78 for a 5-year membership in 2022.

But with Global Entry containing all of the benefits of TSA PreCheck, it still will be the best value for travelers — even if flying internationally isn’t a regular part of your schedule.

I always recommend Global Entry, even if you only may travel internationally 1 to 2 times per year. It’s a small investment to make your travel experience much easier. In instances where customs can get extremely backed up, having access to an expedited security membership could potentially save you hours of time.

And since children will soon be free, you can potentially get even more value out of your Global Entry membership if you travel with kids.

Hot Tip:

The application fees for 3 trusted traveler programs — Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI — are increasing to $120 on October 1, 2024.

How To Apply for Global Entry, Step-by-Step

Applying for Global Entry is a simple process, but will take about 15 minutes as the application asks many questions, including previous employers, residences, and more.

Here’s where to get started:

1. Visit the CBP website.

2. When you reach the next screen, be sure to select Global Entry, the second option from the left. When you hit Apply Now!, you’ll see a page that looks like this:

trusted traveler program costs
Image Credit: Customs and Border Protection

3. You will then create a log-in, and begin your application process.

At the very last page of the application, you’ll be prompted to put in your card information. While you can use your preferred debit or credit card, there are cards available that have enrollment credit waivers. This means that when you use the right card, you can get a statement credit for the cost.

If you pass the background check, you will be given preapproval. You will then need to schedule an interview and visit a Global Entry Enrollment Center. The interview only takes a few minutes, and approval is often immediate.

The final step after approval is to find your Known Traveler Number. Once you have this, you can enter this number when you purchase flights, and you will be able to stroll through either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry lines for the next 5 years.

Credit Cards with Global Entry Credits

There are many credit cards that come with Global Entry credits, so be sure to look around for one that fits your criteria. Here are a few of my favorites.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum card comes with a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck. Additionally, the card also offers CLEAR Plus credit of up to $189 annually for the separately operated CLEAR security program. With both enrollments, you can quickly choose which line is shorter and zoom your way to your gate.

The card also comes with a myriad of other benefits, including lounge access, travel insurance, and more.

However, the card does have a steep $695 annual fee (rates & fees).

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

The IHG Premier card is a solid hotel credit card for those who enjoy IHG brands like Holiday Inn and InterContinental. The card comes with benefits like an annual free night certificate and IHG One Platinum Elite status, and also has a $100 credit towards either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

In fact, I used my IHG Premier card to renew my Global Entry membership a few months ago, and it was an extremely simple process. This is what the end payment (and credit) looked like on my statement:

Global Entry credit on card Statement
Image Credit: Chase

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

The Bank of America Premium Rewards card has a much lower annual fee than the Amex Platinum card, but still comes with the same $100 credit towards applying for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

In addition, the card comes with $100 in airline incidental statement credits for purchases like seat upgrades, baggage fees, inflight services, and more.

The card has a modest $95 annual fee, which can be easily earned back by using just these 2 benefits.

Bottom Line:

The cost of Global Entry is increasing from $100 to $120 beginning in October. However, it’s unclear whether the credit cards that offer a Global Entry application fee credit will update their benefits to cover the entire cost or will cap the credit at $100.

Final Thoughts

Global Entry is a great way to save time and headaches at the airport. And with several credit cards offering a Global Entry application fee credit, it’s a smart choice. Beginning on October 1, 2024, the fee to apply for Global Entry is increasing from $100 to $120. Additionally, starting on that day, kids under 18 will be able to apply for free as long as a parent is applying or is already a member.

The information regarding the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Brett Holzhauer's image

About Brett Holzhauer

Brett is a personal finance and travel junkie. Based out of Fort Lauderdale, he’s had over 100 credit cards and earned millions of credit card rewards. He learned the tricks of the trade from his mom, and has taken many steps forward. He wasn’t exposed to much travel as a kid, but now has a goal of reaching 100 countries in his life. In 2019, he sold all of his possessions to become a digital nomad, and he says it was one of the best decisions he ever made. He plans to do it again at some point in his life.

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