If you’re new to TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you may be wondering what a Known Traveler Number (KTN) is, how it works, and why there’s a KTN box when booking flights, but there isn’t one for your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry number. Here’s what you should know about your KTN.
What Is a Known Traveler Number?
Your Known Traveler Number is your membership number with a Trusted Traveler Program. This number is what allows you to access TSA PreCheck security lanes and Global Entry lanes (depending on which Trusted Traveler Program you join).
How To Get a Known Traveler Number
To acquire a Known Traveler Number, you must participate in one of the Trusted Traveler Programs. These are:
Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are by far the most popular options in the U.S. The NEXUS and SENTRI programs also provide a Known Traveler Number, though these programs are much less commonly used in the U.S.
Credit Cards That Reimburse for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, and/or NEXUS Application Fees
Many premium credit cards will reimburse you for the application fee for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (including American Express, Capital One, Chase, and Citi, which all provide cards that offer an application fee reimbursement).
Since several cards offer this benefit, consider the other benefits of your credit card options before you choose one. Look at the points they earn, trip delay protection, purchase protection, elite status, or airport lounge access.
If your priority is earning tons of valuable (and transferable!) points, you might choose the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. It earns 5x points on air travel and 10x points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 10x points on Lyft (through March 2025), 3x points on all other travel, and it comes with a Priority Pass Select membership for lounge access. You’ll also receive a $300 travel credit that is automatically applied to your first $300 in travel purchases each cardmember year (this includes taxis, Uber, Lyft, train tickets, flights, hotels, and more).
If airport lounge access and elite status are your top priorities, the Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card provide world-class lounge access, including Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), on top of a Priority Pass Select membership upon enrollment. Cardholders also receive elite status with both Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy upon enrollment. To top it off, you’ll earn 5x Membership Rewards points when booking flights directly with an airline.
And for travelers who value simplicity in earning and redeeming their rewards along with a reasonable annual fee, consider the CapOne Venture X card. It earns 2x Capital One miles on all purchases and comes with the lowest annual fee among the most popular premium credit cards.
Whichever card you choose, all you have to do is use it to pay for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, and you’ll automatically be reimbursed.
How To Find Your Known Traveler Number
Hot Tip: You can find your PASSID (also known as your Known Traveler Number) on the back of your Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI card.
If you only have TSA PreCheck, log in to the Trusted Traveler Program website to access your PASSID/Known Traveler Number. If you lose your Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI card, you can use the Trusted Traveler Program site to find the number.
How To Add Your Known Traveler Number to Bookings
While it might not be apparent at first, you’ll be happy to know that your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry number is, in fact, your Known Traveler Number. Simply enter your Known Traveler Number in the appropriate field when booking your flight. This can also be done later — even at the check-in desk at the airport.
The vast majority of the time, you do not need to carry your Global Entry card to access the airport’s TSA PreCheck or Global Entry lanes. That said, there have been some recent reports of travelers being asked to show their physical card. This appears to happen most at airports that allow travelers with Global Entry to preclear security, especially for flights departing from Canada. It also may happen when entering the U.S. by car via NEXUS or SENTRI lanes.
Hot Tip: Unlike when returning from most countries, if you want to access Global Entry lanes when returning from Canada, you will need your physical Global Entry card with you.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Which One Is Right for You?
As anyone who’s been through airport security knows, it can be a frustrating hassle. To expedite the screening process at many U.S. airports, TSA PreCheck access provides a much better experience. If you are returning to the U.S. from an international destination, Global Entry can make getting through customs a breeze.
If you mainly travel within the U.S., you might think that you only need to get TSA PreCheck — this is understandable, considering the fee is $85 compared to $100 for Global Entry.
However, a Global Entry membership also provides access to TSA PreCheck. When you account for the application fee reimbursement offered by several credit cards, why wouldn’t you go ahead and get Global Entry? With the right card, the impact on your wallet is the same — neither should cost you a dime!
By getting Global Entry, you can enjoy a quicker security experience when boarding flights in the U.S. If you decide to travel abroad, you can take comfort in the fact that returning to the U.S. will be easy.
Hot Tip: If you have additional questions, don’t miss our piece on the top Global Entry FAQs and TSA PreCheck FAQs.
Airports are becoming busier by the year, so having access to TSA PreCheck and Global Entry is vital for quicker and smoother security screenings. With so many credit cards offering to reimburse you for the application fee, there is no excuse not to have a Known Traveler Number.
Whether you get TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you’ll be all set for a better airport experience — just enter your PASSID/Known Traveler Number when booking your flight.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X 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.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
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