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The Global Entry Program – 21 Frequently Asked Questions [2024]

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Global Entry is an expedited screening program for people entering the U.S. from a foreign country. It essentially prescreens participants for major red flags and criminal history to judge whether or not they’d be a risk entering the U.S. from a foreign area. 

In this article, we’re going to explore:

  • How to apply for Global Entry
  • How to use Global Entry properly
  • How TSA PreCheck relates to Global Entry
  • What not to do with Global Entry
  • What credit cards you can use to negate the Global Entry fee

Let’s take a look at several of the most popular questions surrounding Global Entry.

1. Does Global Entry Come With TSA PreCheck?

Yes, Global Entry does come with TSA PreCheck. TSA PreCheck is an expedited form of security within the U.S., where members can keep their shoes on, electronics in their bags, and light jackets on their bodies.

This process usually allows participants to go through a standard metal detector and not a full-body scan machine. Just because you have TSA PreCheck doesn’t mean you’ll always get the perks of TSA PreCheck, however.

Members of the program are subject to random full scans where you’ll be sent to the regular security line and asked to remove your laptop, liquids, and shoes, so don’t always assume you’re going to have PreCheck perks when you arrive at the airport.

Bottom Line: Global Entry does come with TSA PreCheck, allowing expedited security screening within the U.S.

2. What Should I Expect During the Global Entry Interview?

The Global Entry interview is done at an enrollment center, which can be found at most major airports. Once you arrive, you’ll be checked in and will watch a video about the Global Entry program, what’s included, and what’s not.

Eventually, you’ll meet with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. This officer will review your paperwork to ensure everything is in order, and also ask you simple biographical questions to verify your identity and intentions surrounding using the program.

Also — probably the most important part — your fingerprints will be recorded and programmed into the system so when you use the Global Entry kiosk you can be easily identified. The whole process should take around 30 minutes.

3. What if I’m Having Trouble Making an Appointment Due to Waiting Times?

Scheduling a Global Entry interview can be tedious. Sometimes, appointments aren’t available for months, and I know several travelers who have personally had problems securing a confirmed appointment.

There are several things you can do to help expedite this process:

  • Check on the Global Entry website for cancellations or openings. People are constantly shifting their schedules and plans, so last-minute appointments certainly do open up. You can also try calling your local center to see if there are any last-minute openings.
  • Go to another nearby airport. For example, in the Washington, D.C. area, both Washington-Dulles (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington (BWI) have interview appointments, so if you can’t find anything at one airport, consider driving to the next nearest one. There’s no restriction on which airport you can do your interview.
  • Consider making your appointment while you’re traveling. Let’s say there are no appointments in your home market of New York City, but you plan on traveling to Seattle in the coming weeks, and there’s an appointment there. You can make an appointment in Seattle and do your interview there.
  • Try out Enrollment on Arrival. If you’re traveling internationally, you may be able to conduct your interview upon arrival back in the US. This option is only available for applicants who are conditionally approved and doesn’t require an appointment. Check out the list of eligible airports on the CBP website.

Hot Tip: If you’d like to be alerted of last-minute cancellations at your desired enrollment centers, consider a paid subscription to Appointment Scanner, a third-party service. You can set your notification preferences to alert you of last-minute interview cancellations and can designate the date limit.

4. Am I Guaranteed Not To Have Any Secondary Screening With Global Entry?

No. You’re always potentially subject to extra screening or questioning, even without declaring anything. This extra examination could include looking at your bags, asking about where you’re coming from, a search by a drug dog, or other precautionary measures.

Several years ago, I was stopped at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York upon coming back from a long weekend in Hong Kong (because that’s what crazy people with miles do, ya know?) and I was stopped by CBP officers upon showing my Global Entry receipt when trying to exit. I was told to step into a secondary area and waited while an officer searched all of my belongings, including my entire suitcase and backpack.

Each article of clothing was removed and searched. Eventually, a drug dog was brought over to sniff me and the luggage, but of course, nothing was found.

The entire process took around 15 minutes or so from start to finish and was extraordinarily thorough. For clarification, I was not declaring anything and didn’t mark “yes” to any of the questions on the Global Entry form itself, so I believe this was some sort of random check.

Bottom Line: You are never guaranteed not to have secondary screening when using Global Entry — so don’t think you can get away with anything.

5. Do I Need To Fill Out the Customs Declaration Form on My Flight?

You don’t, which is a cool benefit.

As a member of the Global Entry program, you are NOT required to fill out the customs declaration form, so as you see the flight attendant walking down the aisle with them, you don’t need to take one. You’ll answer all the questions found on the form at the Global Entry kiosk in the customs area.

6. What’s the Process for Using a Global Entry Kiosk?

As you approach the kiosk, your photo will be taken, which will then be printed on a receipt that you’ll show to the customs agent.

You then proceed to an exit point to present this receipt and passport to a CBP officer. Most times they’ll just wave you through, but occasionally they ask a confirmation question regarding your flight, countries you visited, or if you are bringing in any food.

Once you’re past this point, you can collect any checked baggage and then proceed out of the baggage hall.

Global Entry Kiosk Miami International Airport
An individual uses the Global Entry kiosk at Miami’s International Airport. Image Credit: Larry Panetta via U.S. Customs and Border Protection

7. Which Credit Cards Pay For Your Global Entry Membership Fee?

There are a variety of premium credit cards that will reimburse you for purchasing Global Entry.

Some of those cards include:

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
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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.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

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 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 out there 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 like 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

150K OFFER
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
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.

This card is ideal for business travelers who enjoy luxury travel and are looking for a card loaded with benefits!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)
This card is ideal for business travelers who enjoy luxury travel and are looking for a card loaded with benefits!
Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
150,000 points
$3,300
$695
19.49% - 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)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium travel rewards card tailored toward business owners who are frequent travelers with a high number of annual expenses.

When you factor in the large number of perks that the card offers like the best airport lounge access at over 1,400 lounges, along with tons of annual credits, it’s easy to see why this card can is a top option for frequent traveling business owners.

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a huge welcome bonus offer of up to 170,000 points with the Amex Business Platinum. The current public offer is 150,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

Pros
  • 5x Membership Rewards points per $1 on flights and prepaid hotels at Amex Travel
  • Access to over 1,400 worldwide airport lounges as part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards points (1.5 points per $1) on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more (cap applies)
Cons
  • High annual fee of $695 (rates & fees)
  • Airline fee credit does not cover airfare, only incidentals like checked bags
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on each eligible purchase at US construction material, hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in statement credits on select purchases, including tech, recruiting and wireless in the first year of membership with the Business Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. See how you can unlock over $1,000 annually in credits on select purchases with the Business Platinum Card®, here.
  • $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 the Card.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your card and get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use the Business Platinum Card®.
  • 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.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.49% - 28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

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

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
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.

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$95
19.99% - 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 Credit (670-850)

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.

Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.

Pros
  • 5x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
Cons
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

Hot Tip: If you have one of the cards listed above, apply for the Global Entry program as normal and then use the card to purchase the service. Once you do and it posts to your card statement, the charge will automatically be reimbursed.

8. Do I Need To Declare All Food?

YES. I emphasize this because it’s incredibly important, and I’ve seen many people get burned by ignoring this rule.

You have to declare any and all food you have on you — even if it’s a prepackaged snack. Most people think of “food” as fresh meat, produce, or vegetables, but forget about the bag of chips or cookies in their bag. Anything and everything has to be reported, no matter where you got it from or what you may deem safe or prepackaged.

Failure to report even the most minor of food items can result in your Global Entry membership being revoked, or in you being charged with a crime, so please make sure to tell the officer about anything you may have brought with you.

Bottom Line: ALWAYS declare all food you may have brought with you back into the country.

9. How Does Global Entry Compare to the Regular Customs Process?

Essentially the premise of Global Entry is an expedited screening for pre-vetted citizens. With your interview and background check, you’re essentially deemed to be an unthreatening person, not likely to bring in anything illegal, lie on any questionnaires, or try to circumvent the customs and border process in any way.

It’s by no means a guarantee — there are plenty of people who misuse the system every year — but based on the statistical analysis, folks who are part of the program are less likely to do anything illegal. 

Back to the differences between the regular line and the Global Entry line: folks in the regular line have not been vetted. These passengers must fill out a customs declaration form on their inbound aircraft and physically speak with an officer at a booth upon entering the U.S.

This officer generally asks more probing questions to see why this person is entering the country and examines their form and passport. Because these individuals have not been pre-vetted, the officer needs to make a judgment on whether that person is a threat or not.

10. What Kind of Trouble Can I Get Into for Misusing Global Entry?

If you lie on any Global Entry questions when you come into the country, it’s almost near certain that your Global Entry will be revoked. Depending on the severity of what you bring in or fail to report, you may also be criminally prosecuted.

11. If I Have a Criminal History Can I Still Apply for Global Entry?

Yes, you can still apply for Global Entry with a criminal history.

Whether or not you are approved will depend on the crime, how much time has elapsed from it occurring, and what judgment was served.

There’s really no hard science to this, however, what is known is that people with previous misdemeanors and even higher crimes have still been accepted into the Global Entry program.

Your background application is reviewed along with the in-person interview, so if you do have some sort of criminal past, you need to fully disclose this without hiding anything. It’s not guaranteed you’ll get approved, but just because you have a criminal past doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be disqualified.

Bottom Line: Just because you have a criminal history does not mean your Global Entry application will be denied.

12. What Is TSA PreCheck and How Is It Different From Global Entry?

TSA PreCheck is actually a separate program from Global Entry, but because you’ve been through the rigorous background check of Global Entry, TSA PreCheck is automatically given to you without any additional fee. 

Essentially, PreCheck is the domestic expedited screening membership and is only available within the U.S. Most airports within the U.S. have some sort of PreCheck lane, though smaller airports may not use a dedicated lane and instead ask you to present a card to the officer by the metal detector to signal your participation.

At those airports with a dedicated lane, you’ll scan your boarding pass like usual, and the reader will indicate your eligibility for PreCheck. Sometimes, you may be directed to the regular lane as a random security check, though in my experience, it doesn’t happen often.

As you proceed through the security process, you don’t need to take your shoes off and can leave your electronics and toiletry kit in your bag. You can even keep a light jacket on your person, but if it’s a heavy winter coat, it must come off. You’ll then proceed through a normal metal detector and not the full-body scan machine. It’s a much quicker security process.

13. Do I Need To Carry the Physical Global Entry Card With Me?

APC and Global Entry Kiosks Passengers
Image Credit: James Tourtellotte via U.S. Customs and Border Protection

No, the card is not required to go through the Global Entry lanes — this information is embedded in your passport number. You can also go through PreCheck without this card. For the most part, this card doesn’t serve a day-to-day function.

That said, this card is a form of government ID, just like your passport or driver’s license. So, when you go through security, you can show your Global Entry card as proof of identity. You can also use it with any other service or company requiring a government ID.

Some jobs or services require multiple forms of ID — some federal — for you to partake in whatever application or service they’re offering. Along with your passport, your Global Entry card is a second form of valid identification. 

14. What Is a Known Traveler Number?

Your Known Traveler Number (KTN) is basically your identifier in the program — it’s the number that carries your Global Entry and your TSA PreCheck. That number has to be on your reservation (PNR) for you to gain access to both Global Entry and PreCheck.

15. Which Airlines Participate in TSA PreCheck?

The following airlines are currently part of the TSA PreCheck program (this table is updated regularly):

SCROLL FOR MORE
TSA PreCheck Airlines
Advanced AirBritish AirwaysiAero AirwaysSilver Airways
Aerolane Lineas Aereas Nacionales del EcuadorBrussels AirlinesIberiaSingapore Airlines
AeroMexicoCape AirIcelandair
Southern Airways Express
Air CanadaCathay Pacific AirwaysInterCaribbean AirwaysSouthwest Airlines
Air EuropaCayman AirwaysITA AirwaysSpirit Airlines
Air FranceChina AirlinesJapan AirlinesSTARLUX Airlines
Air IndiaCondor AirlinesJetBlue AirwaysSun Country Airlines
Air PremiaContour AviationKey Lime AirSunwing Airlines
Air SerbiaCopa AirlinesKLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Swiss International Air Lines
Air Tahiti NuiDelta Air LinesKorean AirSwoop
Air TransatEastern AirlinesLa Compagnie
TAM-Linhas Aereas S.A.
Alaska AirlinesEdelweiss AirLAN Peru S.A.TAP Air Portugal
All Nippon AirwaysEL AL IsraelLATAM AirlinesTitan Airways
Allegiant AirEmiratesLufthansaTurkish Airlines
American AirlinesEtihad AirwaysNew Pacific AirlinesUltimate Jet Charters
Aruba AirlinesEurowings DiscoverNorse Atlantic AirwaysUnited Airlines
Asiana AirlinesEVA AirNorwegian AirVirgin Atlantic
Austrian AirlinesFiji AirwaysOmni Air InternationalViva Air Colombia
Avelo AirlinesFinnairPAL ExpressVivaAerobus
AviancaFlair AirlinesPhilippine AirlinesVolaris
Azul AirlinesFlycanaPorter AirlinesWestJet
BahamasairFrench beeQantasWorld Atlantic
BermudAirFrontier AirlinesQatar AirwaysZIPAIR
Boutique AirlinesGlobal Crossing AirlinesScandinavian Airlines
Breeze AirwaysHawaiian AirlinesSeaborne Airlines

16. What Is the NEXUS Program and How Does That Work With Global Entry?

Good question, because this can get a little complicated.

NEXUS is basically the Trusted Traveler Program for the U.S. and Canada, so when you enter Canada, you receive expedited entry, similar to using Global Entry when coming into the U.S.

Interestingly enough, NEXUS also gets you Global Entry, so you actually receive expedited border crossings on both ends of your journey to or from Canada.

That said, Global Entry does NOT get you benefits going into Canada, so NEXUS is actually a more-inclusive program. Chase credit cards that reimburse the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck generally include NEXUS as a third option for the reimbursable application fee.

In addition, because the program is a Trusted Traveler Program of the border between the U.S. and Canada, you can only enroll in cities near those ports of entry.

If you live in Miami, for example, it will be fairly difficult to enroll in NEXUS without flying up to a city in the northern part of the U.S.

Hot Tip: We’ve got an entire piece dedicated to NEXUS if you want to learn more: NEXUS Trusted Traveler Program – Applying, Eligibility, Benefits & More.

17. What Is the SENTRI Program and How Does That Work With Global Entry?

SENTRI is the Trusted Traveler Program for the U.S. and Mexico. Similar to NEXUS, the program allows expedited entry to and from Mexico, helping you bypass customs lines.

SENTRI is even more limited in terms of where you can apply. You can only apply in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. Like NEXUS, SENTRI is not reimbursed by any major credit card, so unless you frequent Mexico, it’s probably not the best membership — you’re better off sticking with the “free” (via reimbursement) Global Entry program.

18. What Happens if You’re in a Group or Traveling With Multiple People?

Here’s one of the (few) downsides of Global Entry.

If you’re coming off of a flight and are with family or other large group and not everyone has Global Entry, you must either (a) split up: you use the Global Entry lane and everyone else uses the regular lane, or (b) everyone uses the regular lane, and you receive no benefit as a Global Entry member.

In most situations like this, I recommend that those who are eligible use the Global Entry lanes and then wait for the rest of the group on the other side of customs and immigration. This way, you can collect your bags (and those of the others in your group) and take care of any necessary things beyond the border, such as checking in for onward flights.

19. What Is CLEAR and How Does That Relate to Global Entry and PreCheck?

CLEAR is an entirely separate screening service and is run by a private, third-party company. It is not related in any way to Global Entry. CLEAR members pay an annual fee to go through security without having to show an ID. 

Basically, members walk up to a kiosk and scan their fingerprints or eyes as well as a boarding pass. Once the system correlates the 2, you’ll be authorized to proceed through security — which is generally just walking past the TSA agent without further verification.

If you have PreCheck you’ll be placed in the PreCheck line, and if you don’t, you’ll be placed in the regular line.

Bottom Line: CLEAR is a third-party service that’s not Global Entry and is not PreCheck. 

20. How Long Does the Entire Global Entry Enrollment Process Take?

CBP advises that the entire Global Entry process will take about 4 to 6 months end-to-end.

The Global Entry application process follows these steps:

  • Fill out your application
  • Wait for the application to be approved
  • Schedule and complete an interview with Customs and Border Protection
  • Look for your Global Entry card in the mail (remember the physical card is not necessary for travel)

Bottom Line: Applying to Global Entry is not an overnight task — if you have an upcoming international trip, you want to make sure you apply and get approved with plenty of time to spare.

21. Does Global Entry Get You Expedited Service or Benefits on the Ground?

Aside from expedited screening in customs and immigration coming back into the U.S., there are no expedited ground handling or other services. For these, you would either need to pay a separate fee with your airline or have elite status with the carrier you’re flying on. It’s important to note that just because you have Global Entry doesn’t mean your bags will come out first on the carousel.

Final Thoughts

Global Entry can be a great way to speed through customs on your way into the U.S. and beat the lines. Since it comes as a perk of many premium credit cards, it’s a no-brainer to sign up. It also allows you to use TSA PreCheck screening when you leave the U.S., too. All around, it’s a great time saver and one that I’d highly recommend exploring if you travel more than a few times a year.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Global Entry come with TSA PreCheck?

Yes, Global Entry does come with TSA PreCheckTSA PreCheck is an expedited form of security within the U.S., where members can keep their shoes on, electronics in their bags, and light jackets on their bodies.

How much does Global Entry cost?

Global entry costs $100 and is valid for 5 years. This fee is payable by credit card, and many cards will reimburse this fee!

Unfortunately, this application fee is nonrefundable — even if your application is denied.

How long does it take to get approved for a Global Entry pass?

The current processing time to get approved for Global Entry is 4 to 6 months (as of April 2023). Getting an appointment scheduled is typically the part that takes the longest, so check back frequently in case there have been cancellations.

Other options include looking at nearby airports or Enrollment on Arrival.

Is Global Entry still worth it?

If you are traveling internationally, Global Entry is absolutely worth it due to the time you’ll save upon arrival back into the U.S.

Global Entry also includes TSA PreCheck, so if you travel domestically, you can save time each and every visit to the airport.

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About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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