How to Use Your Amex Platinum Card for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and Clear Statement Credits

Keep your coat on. You're a VIP now.
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What are travel credit cards, and how do they work?

Travel credit cards are financial products that offer various rewards and benefits geared towards frequent travelers. They typically earn you points or miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. These rewards can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses. Travel credit cards may also include perks like travel insurance, airport lounge access, and no foreign transaction fees.

How do I choose the best travel credit card for my needs?

Choosing the best travel credit card depends on your travel habits, spending patterns, and preferences. Consider factors like the type of rewards offered (points, miles, or cash back), the card’s annual fee, sign-up bonuses, earning rates, redemption options, and additional travel perks. Analyzing these features will help you find a card that aligns with your lifestyle and offers the most value.

What are the benefits of using a travel credit card over other types of credit cards?

Travel credit cards provide unique advantages for travelers, such as earning rewards specifically tailored to travel expenses. Additionally, many travel credit cards offer travel-related perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, and travel insurance. Some cards also waive foreign transaction fees, making them ideal for international travelers.

What is a sign-up bonus, and how can I qualify for it?

A sign-up bonus is a promotional offer provided by the credit card issuer to entice new cardholders. To qualify for a sign-up bonus, you usually need to meet specific spending requirements within a certain timeframe after opening the account. The bonus can be in the form of points, miles, or cash back, and it’s a great way to jump-start your rewards earning.

Do travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees?

Not all travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees. Many of the top-tier travel cards waive these fees, making them ideal for international travel. However, it’s essential to read the card’s terms and conditions to confirm this before using it abroad.

How can I maximize the rewards earned with my travel credit card?

To maximize rewards, use your travel credit card for everyday expenses and large purchases. Take advantage of bonus categories and special promotions to earn more points or miles. Consider combining your travel credit card with loyalty programs to stack rewards and get even more value out of your purchases.

It’s 1 am. You’ve just disembarked an eight-hour flight home from Munich. You’ve had two weeks there. It was Oktoberfest. You’re not feeling the best.

The immigration line is backed up and crawling forward at a snail’s pace. You look to the far side of the hall and see a smug-looking passenger breeze through the Global Entry line. You swear you see him skip a little.

To the uninitiated, it might seem like he’s some kind of VIP or paid a small fortune for the privilege of skipping, but there’s a good chance he just has The Platinum Card® from American Express in his wallet.

The Amex Platinum TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and Clear statement credits are some of the strongest perks out there for regular travelers. Let’s check out the details of all three and how to activate them.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

80,000 Membership Rewards® Points

after you spend $8,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of card membership

Annual Fee: $695  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

What are the Amex Platinum TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and Clear application fee credits?

The Amex Platinum TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and Clear Application fee credits are exactly as they sound. When you apply for any of the services and pay for the fee using your Amex Platinum, you’ll receive a credit to your account covering the fee for the service.

What’s the small print?

There are some specifics to consider before purchasing your memberships for any of the services. You won’t be able to use the statement credits for all three. You’ll receive one $100 statement credit for Global Entry or an $85 statement credit for TSA PreCheck. This credit is only available once every 4.5 years, which covers the length of your chosen membership.

So you’ll need to decide which one is more valuable to you.

The CLEAR credit, on the other hand, renews every year and isn’t tied to the other two services. In this case, you’ll receive $189 each calendar year when you pay for a CLEAR membership with your Amex Platinum card.

How do you activate the Amex Platinum TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and CLEAR application fee credits?

Activating the Amex Platinum TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and CLEAR application fee credits is simple.

For TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, no sign-up or enrollment is necessary. The credit is activated and processed whenever you use the Amex Platinum card to pay for the service. Of course, if you purchase both TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, the one you pay for first will receive the credit while the other will remain as a debt on your credit card account.

The CLEAR statement credit requires enrollment before it’s activated, but this takes just a few moments inside your Amex account. Just log in to your account and navigate to the “Rewards and Benefits” tab. Once there, select “Benefits” and locate the CLEAR credit statement. There should be an option to activate the benefit.

What is TSA PreCheck?

TSA PreCheck is a service that allows successful applicants to waltz through select airports’ security screening processes.

When using the service, travelers use a separate security line from the majority of passengers. Because they’ve been pre-screened, they are allowed to keep their jackets and shoes on and leave laptops and liquids in their bags.

In short, it removes the frantic scramble to undress and dress or ruin a perfect packing job by rummaging through your bag.

The Amex Platinum TSA PreCheck covers the $85 application fee.

Before you can use the Amex Platinum TSA PreCheck statement credit, you’ll need to start the TSA PreCheck process by completing an application. Once your initial application is in, you’ll need to book an in-person appointment to be interviewed and vetted with a background check. You’ll also give your fingerprints and other important details.

After this, you’ll pay for the service and discover if your application was successful. The Amex Platinum TSA PreCheck statement credit will drop into your account soon after this.

There are currently around 200 airports utilizing the service, and it can significantly quicken the security process. If you’re a regular traveler, it’s a massive tool. For occasional travelers, it’s an enjoyable perk.

What is Global Entry?

Global Entry is often confused with TSA PreCheck, but they are extremely different services. While TSA PreCheck expedites the security process in US airports, Global Entry allows for accelerated reentry to the US from abroad.

Global Entry members can skip the traditional customs and immigration line and use a specified kiosk. In some cases, facial recognition eliminates any contact with an immigration officer.

The process to apply for Global Entry is similar to TSA Pre Check but is notorious for taking a considerably longer time due to the smaller pool of centers for processing. The application fee is $100 and is covered by the Amex Platinum TSA PreCheck and Global Entry statement credit.

Should I pick Global Entry or TSA PreCheck?

Which service you opt to use the Amex Platinum TSA PreCheck and Global Entry statement credit depends on your preference. TSA PreCheck is more useful for domestic travelers. If foreign travel is not on the agenda for a member, Global Entry will be almost useless.

One thing to consider is that the TSA PreCheck is included if you are successfully enrolled in Global Entry. This information may make it seem like an easy choice—why would you pay for both individually when you can save money and bundle?

But the issue you may come across here is the length of time it takes to get a Global Entry appointment. Some members reported waiting as long as two years. That’s a wait of two years for both services when you could have your TSA PreCheck far sooner.

If you have no travel planned it might be worth waiting, but for travel before, you may want to prioritize TSA PreCheck.

What is CLEAR?

CLEAR is another misunderstood and often overlooked program. While many assume it’s a similar program to TSA PreCheck, it’s actually a complementary one. Instead of speeding up the security screening process, CLEAR allows travelers to bypass the security identification process.

Instead of waiting in line to have their passport checked, CLEAR members check-in at designated kiosks and are escorted to the front of the security line. If the member also has a TSA PreCheck membership they’ll be escorted to the front of the PreCheck line ahead of everyone else.

It’s easy to see why a combination of these two programs is the holy grail of air travel services.

CLEAR’s application process is far easier than the other two programs and can be done in person at a CLEAR kiosk or online. The membership costs $189 a year—this fee is covered by the Amex Platinum’s statement credit.

Additional credit cards that offer TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and CLEAR statement credits

 Let’s get to the elephant in the room—the annual fee on the Amex Platinum is extremely high and it might not be a sensible card for you to have in your wallet depending on your financial situation. 

Don’t despair: Plenty of other cards offer identical or similar benefits to the Amex Platinum TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and CLEAR statement credit. Here are three more excellent cards that might fit your budget or lifestyle a little better.

card_name

One of the best alternatives to the Amex Platinum is the Capital One Venture X. Not only does it offer the exact same statement credits for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and CLEAR, but it does so for a far lower annual fee. Better still, its other easy-to-use perks offset the $395 annual fee with almost no effort. 

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee: $395  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Sapphire Reserve doesn’t offer a CLEAR membership, but TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are included as benefits of this excellent card. Again, its annual fee is lower than the Platinum but still comes with many of the same perks, like Priority Pass access and some stellar travel statement credits.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

75,000 Bonus Points

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee: $550  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

card_name

Last on the list is the easiest way to earn TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. Once again, it doesn’t include CLEAR (only four cards offer a full statement credit for this), but it does come with the full statement credit for the other two. Its $95 annual fee can be offset by the Global Entry credit alone, so if you’re looking for a card that doesn’t clog you up with fees, the Venture One is your go-to.

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

Annual Fee: $95  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

The point

TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and CLEAR are some of the most helpful services in the travel world for easing you in and out of your airport days.

The Amex Platinum offers the chance to enjoy all three perks for free thanks to the Amex Platinum TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and Clear statement credits.

But if the Platinum is out of your budget, check out one of our other suggestions for enjoying the services.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This post contains references to products from one or more of our partners and we may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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