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TSA Benefits for Military Service Members [Free TSA PreCheck]

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Joining the service comes with a lot of sacrifices, but it also comes with a lot of perks. We’ve talked a bit about those — from the best Chase and Amex cards for military members to discounts offered to active-duty service members and veterans.

But did you know there are more perks available to you when you’re flying? As a service member, you’re entitled to TSA PreCheck, the airport service that allows you to speed through security. Let’s take a look at what TSA PreCheck is, how to get it, and why you should.

What Is TSA PreCheck?

TSA agent looking at screen
You’ll be able to spend less time in line with TSA PreCheck. Image Credit: TSA

When was the last time you made your way through the airport? How early did you need to arrive? And when you finally made it through check-in and headed over to security, how long was the line? Did it feel a little weird traipsing through the airport without any shoes?

If, like many others, you find the general airport experience stressful, TSA PreCheck is probably a good option for you. TSA PreCheck is a program administered by the Transportation Security Administration that allows you to speed right through the airport. Among its many other benefits, it allows you to:

  • Keep your shoes on
  • Leave your laptop in your bag
  • Keep liquids in your luggage without having to worry about digging them out

Even better, most of the time, the line for TSA PreCheck is much shorter and proceeds much more quickly than regular security, which means you can save valuable time at the airport. According to the TSA’s website, 98% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited 5 minutes or less in line. That’s a hefty time savings — and especially important when you’re trying to get through the airport with family.

Fortunately for service members, the Department of Defense (DOD) and TSA have joined forces to allow service members access to TSA PreCheck for free.

Why Should You Get TSA PreCheck?

TSA Airport Security Family
Your TSA PreCheck is good for you and your children under 12. Image Credit: Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

TSA PreCheck is a must-have for the savvy airport traveler. As a traveler with kids under 12, you and your family can use the TSA PreCheck line without having to complete additional paperwork.

In addition, since spring 2023, children 17 and under who are flying on the same reservation as a TSA-approved adult may also use the TSA PreCheck line!

This can be a lifesaver when you’ve got 4 iPads, bags of toiletries, and 5 sets of shoes that you’d otherwise have to remove from bags.

Although TSA PreCheck isn’t available at all airports, it has a huge presence throughout the U.S. — with lines located at 200+ airports and 85+ participating airlines. This means that whether you’re flying from Los Angeles (LAX) or Raleigh (RDU), you’ll be able to make use of this service.

Aside from those flying with families, TSA PreCheck can be especially helpful when flying through large airports. We’ve all seen those long lines snaking back for miles at New York (JFK), and while there may still be a bit of a line even with TSA PreCheck, you’re still going to save a lot of time.

Finally, if you’re a frequent flyer or someone who likes to piece together separate tickets — such as positioning flights, award and cash tickets, or cheap one-ways — getting TSA PreCheck can mean peace of mind (and actually making your next flight) during a tight connection.

Which Military Members Get TSA PreCheck?

A US Navy sailor presents his travel documentation to a TSA officer
Image Credit: TSA via Department of Homeland Security

The partnership between the DOD and TSA is far more generous than most military benefits. It extends to all service members — whether you’re active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard, you can take advantage of this benefit. In short: as long as you have a DOD ID card and thus a DOD ID number, you can use the TSA PreCheck for U.S. Armed Forces.

Even better, you can still use the program if you aren’t quite in the military yet. If you’re a cadet or midshipman of the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and Air Force Academy, you can get and use TSA PreCheck for free.

Unfortunately, veterans are not able to take advantage of this perk. Once you’ve received that DD214, you’ll no longer be eligible to use the partnership. In this case, you’ll need to separately apply for and receive TSA PreCheck.

Hot Tip:

Make sure you check out all of the other flight discounts that are available to military members.

How To Get and Use TSA PreCheck

Navy sailor goes through TSA checkpoint
Navy sailor goes through TSA Checkpoint. Image Credit: TSA

For Service Members

Getting TSA PreCheck as a member of the military is simple. Since service members undergo their own strenuous levels of screening, there is no additional interview or application required for TSA PreCheck. Instead, you’ll simply need your DOD ID card, which will act as a military Known Traveler Number.

In order to actually utilize your access, you’ll first need to begin booking your flight. How you’re booking will change how you add your number. If you’re booking through an online travel agency (OTA) or a website that otherwise doesn’t save your information, you’ll input your information during the booking process.

Many websites, such as Delta’s, will save passenger information on your account so you won’t have to enter it every time you book. This option can be found within your online profile.

In any case, you’ll need to enter the 10-digit DoD ID number located on the back of your card into the “Known Traveler Number” section of your booking.

This can be done at the time of booking, after booking, or even once you’ve checked in and arrived at the airport.

Hot Tip:

You can still get TSA PreCheck after you’ve checked in. You’ll just need to head to the airline service desk and ask them to add your Known Traveler Number to your booking. They can reprint any boarding passes for you — which should refresh to populate with TSA PreCheck.

Do note that if you’ve entered your DOD ID number and TSA PreCheck doesn’t show up on your boarding pass, you’ll need to speak to the airline desk at the airport. While TSA PreCheck isn’t necessarily guaranteed 100% of the time, if you’ve entered your number correctly you should be getting clearance. There may be an issue with what you’ve put in or it may not have been saved — in any case, be sure to speak to someone in order to get the issue rectified.

For Everyone Else

Unfortunately for your friends and family, the DOD/TSA partnership providing free TSA PreCheck doesn’t extend beyond the service member. In this case, they’ll have to apply for and receive TSA PreCheck just like everyone else.

What About Global Entry?

Global Entry Kiosk Miami International Airport
Global Entry lets you skip the line at passport control. Image Credit: Larry Panetta via U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Global Entry is a program offered by Customs and Border Protection. It allows travelers returning from abroad to speed through customs instead of having to wait in lines. Unfortunately, unlike TSA PreCheck, Global Entry is not automatically granted to service members. It also isn’t free, though several credit cards (detailed in the next section) offer a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit. But if you’re going to be traveling overseas anytime soon, it’s well worth getting Global Entry.

Hot Tip:

You have questions, we have answers. Check out our helpful frequently asked questions for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry!

How To Get Global Entry

You’ll first need to create a Trusted Traveler Program account via the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website. You can then complete the application for Global Entry. After completing your forms, you’ll have to go to an appointment to complete enrollment. You can either schedule an appointment in advance — or some locations offer walk-in service.

The regular fee for Global Entry is $100 and membership is good for 5 years, after which you’ll need to renew (and possibly complete another interview). Global Entry comes with the added benefit of TSA PreCheck, so if you’re trying to enroll your family you may as well opt straight for Global Entry rather than just TSA PreCheck. This is doubly true once you get out of the military and TSA PreCheck is no longer a complimentary offering.

Bottom Line:

Global Entry is an invaluable benefit when traveling internationally, even if you’re only using it once or twice a year. Use a credit card that does not charge the annual fee to get your membership for free

Mobile Passport Control

If you’re dead set against getting Global Entry or have a trip coming up too quickly for you to complete your Global Entry application, you may want to consider the CBP’s Mobile Passport Control app.

This free application allows you to fill out your personal information prior to getting to passport control. This allows you to bypass the snaking lines of folks waiting for kiosks. Although it isn’t always as fast as Global Entry, it is completely free and a good option to use while you’re waiting for your membership to be approved.

Credit Cards That Offer a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Credit

Although the Global Entry fee is not charged for active-duty military, you can still snag Global Entry (and thus TSA PreCheck) for free by using the right credit cards. Every credit card that’ll give you a TSA PreCheck reimbursement of up to $78 can instead give you a Global Entry credit of up to $100. This credit renews every 4 or 5 years, depending on which card you hold. You can use the credit for yourself or a family member or friend.

We’ve talked a few times about the best credit cards for military members, whether that’s Amex or Chase, but here are some of the best credit cards for scoring a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit so that you can enjoy high-end travel perks and your friends and family can join you in the speedy security line.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits including best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros
  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

One of our favorite credit cards for military members due to its absurdly generous benefits, the Amex Platinum card normally comes with a hefty $695 annual fee (rates & fees) — one of the steepest you’ll find anywhere). If you’re an active-duty military member, Amex doesn’t charge the annual fee and you’ll be able to get all of those perks for no additional fee.

Along with the TSA PreCheck credit, you can also get these perks (some of which require enrollment) with the Amex Platinum card:

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth $1,125 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$550
22.49%-29.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

Pros
  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
Cons
  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • 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 TravelSM.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM 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
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $1125 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority PassTM Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 22.49%-29.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase also waives the annual fee for its premium Chase Sapphire Reserve card for active-duty service members. The card offers a TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS credit as well as tons of other benefits:

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • DoorDash DashPass subscription
  • Rental car elite status with National and Avis
  • Trip cancellation/trip delay insurance
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty protection

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
95,000 bonus points
$665
$650
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.

So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?

Pros
  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 3x points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines and restaurants worldwide
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $300 Brilliant Dining Credit: Each calendar year, get up to $300 (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card at restaurants worldwide.
  • With Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, you can receive room upgrades, including enhanced views or suites, when available at select properties and booked with a Qualifying Rate.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, you will be eligible to select a Brilliant Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year. See https://www.choice-benefit.marriott.com/brilliant for Award options.
  • $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, which offers unlimited airport lounge visits to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • With Cell Phone Protection, you can be reimbursed, the lesser of, your repair or replacement costs following damage, such as a cracked screen, or theft for a maximum of $800 per claim when your cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month's wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account. A $50 deductible will apply to each approved claim with a limit of 2 approved claims per 12-month period. Additional terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

In addition to the Global Entry fee credit, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card has tons of other high-end perks (some of which require enrollment):

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card comes with a $650 annual fee (rates & fees).

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The perfect card for IHG fans, offering a free night every year, automatic Platinum Elite status, and your fourth night free on award stays.

The perfect card for IHG fans, offering a free night every year, automatic Platinum Elite status, and your fourth night free on award stays.
Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
140,000 points
$700
$99
21.49% - 28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

If you regularly visit IHG hotels throughout the year, then the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is probably a perfect card to have in your wallet.

The IHG Premier card offers a great bundle of perks and benefits, including automatic Platinum elite status, an annual free night certificate, and travel protections.

Pros
  • Up to 26x points per $1 on IHG stays
  • 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, at gas stations, and restaurants
  • 3x points per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • $99 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable points
  • Earn 140,000 Bonus Points
  • Enjoy an Anniversary Free Night at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Plus, enjoy a fourth reward night free when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night IHG® hotel stay.
  • Earn up to 26 total points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, at gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Automatic Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier cardmember
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG One Rewards Bonus points are redeemable at Hotels & Resorts such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49% - 28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Although the IHG Premier card is considered a mid-tier credit card from Chase, you’ll still find plenty to like about this card, which, offers a $100 Global Entry or NEXUS credit.

It also has a few other perks worth mentioning:

Bottom Line:

Although your family members don’t qualify for TSA PreCheck by virtue of your military status, you can still get them free TSA PreCheck status by using a credit card that reimburses membership fees. 

Final Thoughts

TSA agent and soldier
TSA agent with a soldier. Image Credit: TSA

As a military member, there are so many benefits to take advantage of, especially when flying. Don’t waste your time in line at security — simply use your DOD ID number to score complimentary TSA PreCheck and keep those liquids in your bag.

If you’re flying with family or traveling overseas, consider getting a credit card that features a statement credit that will reimburse you for any Global Entry or TSA PreCheck costs. As long as you’re on active duty, those annual fees won’t be charged and you’ll be able to enjoy easy airport access without encountering any costs.

And don’t forget to hit up the USO airport lounge! Visit our extensive list of detailed U.S. airport guides to find out more about the lounges military members can access at the airports you plan to transit through.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is TSA PreCheck free for military?

Yes! As long as you have a DOD ID card, such as an active-duty member or a cadet or midshipmen of the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and Air Force Academy, you can get and use TSA PreCheck for free.

How do you get TSA PreCheck in the military?

TSA PreCheck is automatically granted to members of the military due to a partnership between the DOD and TSA. You simply need your DOD ID number to use as your KTN.

Can a military spouse get TSA PreCheck?

Unfortunately, TSA PreCheck for military spouses is not available under the partnership program. If you want your spouse to receive your extended TSA PreCheck benefits, you’ll have to apply and be approved for the standard TSA PreCheck just like everyone else.

Can you use your CAC card for TSA PreCheck?

You sure can. The DOD ID number located on the back of your common access card (CAC) will get you TSA PreCheck when flying.

Does TSA accept retired military ID for complimentary TSA PreCheck?

Unfortunately, no. TSA PreCheck has no special program for veterans which means you’ll have to get it via the standard application.

How do military dependents get TSA PreCheck?

Military dependents can get TSA PreCheck by applying for access. Children (under the age of 12) of active-duty military members can receive TSA PreCheck along with their parents. Children under 18 can also get benefits, but only if they are flying on the same reservation as you. Service members can opt to get credit cards that will reimburse those membership fees. If they’re on active duty, those credit card annual fees won’t be charged.

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About Carissa Rawson

Carissa served in the U.S. Air Force where she developed her love for travel and new cultures. She started her own blog and eventually joined The Points Guy. Since then, she’s contributed to Business Insider, Forbes, and more.

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