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How I Gift Global Entry to Friends and Family

Brett Holzhauer's image
Brett Holzhauer
Brett Holzhauer's image

Brett Holzhauer

Content Contributor

52 Published Articles

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.
Edited by: Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

News Managing Editor

108 Published Articles 739 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 25U.S. States Visited: 22

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...

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There’s nothing worse during your travels than seeing a long line at airport security, sucking the joy and excitement out of the experience and induce more stress than necessary. Even worse can be watching other travelers breeze through security with an array of expedited programs.

For those who don’t travel often, paying for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, CLEAR, or any other expedited security program can feel wasteful or unnecessary. However, rather than paying, there are a handful of cards with application credits for enrolling in one or more of these programs.

And, chances are that many travelers have these cards in your wallet (or sock drawer) with unused credits. Rather than letting them sit unused, I use them as presents for close friends and family. Most recently, I gave a close friend my Global Entry credit as part of a birthday present, and she loved it.

And the best part? It’s a straightforward process. Here’s what you need to know.

An Easy Gift: Redeem Unused Credit Card Perks

There are several credit cards available that give cardholders a spending credit to apply for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Typically, these credits can be used every 4 years as you have to reapply every 5 years. If you’re enrolled for the next few years, it could be an opportunity to give your extra credits away.

The spending credits for enrolling in security clearance programs from your credit card don’t expire as long as you keep the card open so that you can enroll anytime. For example, I have these cards currently open with security clearance credits:

To use the credits, simply pay the enrollment fee at the end of the application using the card with the eligible credit — the card doesn’t need to be in the other person’s name. When I gave my IHG Premier card to my friend to use as her gift, she used it to pay the fees, and the credit immediately applied to my statement.

Credit Card Security Clearance Credit
Merry Christmas! Image Credit: Citi

So be sure to give your credit card information to someone you trust. The credit card issuer doesn’t know (or care!) who is applying for the security clearance.

Bottom Line:

My Global Entry renewal isn’t until 2028, so if I apply for another card with a security clearance credit, I make a note to give it away to someone.

Global Entry Is the Best Bet for Any Traveler

There is a long list of expedited security clearance programs to apply for, but for the majority of travelers, there are only 2 words to remember: Global Entry.

The program is $100 for a 5-year membership, although it will be $120 starting on October 1, 2024. Most credit card companies have adjusted the credits on their respective cards to match this, like Citi and Chase.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Upgraded Points LLC
Cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® come with a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Global Entry membership comes with all of the benefits of TSA PreCheck. I fly frequently within the U.S. (20-30 flights per year), and TSA PreCheck has saved me many hours of waiting in unnecessary lines. Since I travel exclusively with a backpack and only occasionally visit airport lounges, I try to show up 1 hour before boarding time.

Hot Tip:

TSA is seeing a record number of travelers in 2024. As more people are traveling post-pandemic, expect longer lines at security.

But Global Entry makes traveling home from another country a breeze.

When you fly back into the U.S., security clearance times are a crap shoot. It can be a few minutes to a few hours. So even if you rarely travel outside the U.S., Global Entry can save you time and headaches.

What’s more, many airports have switched to a contactless model. When you arrive back in the U.S., you will approach a kiosk that will quickly scan your face and detect your identity. Your information is then stored when you approach a security officer, who will ask you a few questions and get you on your way quickly.

When I flew home from Cartagena to Miami, I timed myself. It took me 37 seconds to get from the start of the security process to the Customs and Border Patrol officer saying, “Have a good day.” If I would have had to go through traditional security, it would have likely been 30 minutes to 1 hour of wait time.

Final Thoughts

Travel isn’t always cocktails on the beach and beautiful sunsets — it can get messy and give you unnecessary headaches.

I’ve had my fair share of rough travel days, but Global Entry has been essential for making travel days seamless. Since I regularly apply for new cards, I enjoy giving this ease to close friends and family as well.

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.

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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