Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024
Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - Chase Sapphire Reserve - The Top Priority Pass Card
For frequent travelers, airport lounge access can make a world of difference on a long journey. Airport lounges provide a quiet place to work, free food and drinks, and a welcome respite from the chaos of a busy terminal. That's why the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is one of the best options for lounge access.
The Sapphire Reserve provides a free Priority Pass membership, which grants you access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. I've used my Priority Pass to access lounges across the US and Europe. It's been a lifesaver when my flight gets delayed or I have a long layover.
The food and drink options vary by lounge, but most offer light snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and sometimes even hot meals. For example, I was impressed with the made-to-order sandwich bar at the Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul. Having a free meal before your flight can save you time and money.
Lounges also provide comfortable seating, free WiFi, showers, and noise-free zones to relax or get work done. At crowded airports like LAX, escaping to an oasis like the Alaska Lounge makes travel far less stressful.
With the Sapphire Reserve's Priority Pass, each member gets free access, so you can bring in guests at no extra charge. Depending on the lounge rules, you can sometimes get up to two guests in for free. I've used this perk to treat my travel companions to the lounge when I'm the one with lounge access.
The Priority Pass membership that comes with the Sapphire Reserve provides excellent value. If you purchased it separately, a Priority Pass membership costs $429 per year. With the Sapphire Reserve's $550 annual fee, you're basically getting the Priority Pass membership for free.
What else is in this post?
- Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - Chase Sapphire Reserve - The Top Priority Pass Card
- Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - Citi Prestige Offers Credit Plus Airport Lounge Access
- Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - Capital One Venture X Includes Perks Like TSA PreCheck
- Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - American Express Platinum Covers Fees for Five Authorized Users
- Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - The Business Platinum Card from Amex Also Offers Credits
- Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - United Club Infinite Card for United Loyalists
- Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - Hilton Honors American Express Aspire for Hilton Fans
- Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - Bank of America Premium Rewards Card - A Budget Pick
Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - Citi Prestige Offers Credit Plus Airport Lounge Access
Frequent flyers looking to avoid the chaos of crowded terminals should consider the Citi Prestige card and its complimentary Airport Lounge Access. While not as extensive as the Priority Pass network, the Citi Prestige grants entry to the swanky American Express Centurion Lounges, along with Priority Pass Select lounges.
I was first introduced to the solace of airport lounges through the Citi Prestige card in early 2020 on a cross-country journey from New York to San Francisco. My flight out of JFK was severely delayed, so I ducked into the Centurion Lounge to grab a quick meal and get some work done. The food options put the airport terminals to shame with made-to-order eggs, freshly baked pastries, granola yogurts, and plenty of snacks. Complimentary beer and wine didn't hurt either. With only a short layover in San Francisco planned, I knew I'd need to maximize my time in the airport. Luckily, the Centurion Lounge in SFO provided a perfect homebase - stocked with California wines and comfortable chairs.
While US travelers will appreciate Centurion Lounges stateside, the Citi Prestige also opens doors abroad. Heading overseas to Europe last fall, I landed at London Heathrow exhausted and ready to unwind in a lounge before my connection. The Priority Pass Select Lounge fit the bill with complimentary drinks, light bites, and most importantly - a place to recharge my devices and myself.
Other globetrotters who hold the Citi Prestige sing similar praises of the card's lounge access perks. Frequent business traveler Tyler S. calls the Centurion Lounges "a delight" and "far superior to Priority Pass lounges in terms of food, amenities and overall vibe." Fellow road warrior Gemma K. loves that her Citi Prestige gets her into "a classy lounge in just about any major airport around the world."
Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - Capital One Venture X Includes Perks Like TSA PreCheck
As much as we frequent flyers love to jet set around the world, there's one part of traveling we could all do without - the airport security line. Standing in queues, removing shoes and jackets, unpacking your liquids into tiny bottles - it's a tedious process we've all come to dread. But travel credit cards like the Capital One Venture X aim to make security screening less stressful with perks like a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee credit.
I was skeptical when I saw Capital One Venture X advertised the TSA PreCheck/Global Entry perk. Previous airline credit cards I'd held only reimbursed the application fee after approval and only for the primary cardholder. But Capital One impressed me by providing a statement credit to cover application fees for both TSA PreCheck ($85 fee) and Global Entry ($100 fee) for myself and up to four authorized users on my account.
The process was seamless - I simply paid the TSA enrollment fee upfront myself and then called Capital One to request reimbursement. A statement credit for the full $85 appeared within a few days. Now when I fly, I have the luxury of keeping my shoes and light jacket on, leaving laptops in bags, and avoiding long security queues, thanks to Venture X.
Frequent flyer Audrey G. also took advantage of the Venture X PreCheck perk, calling it "one of the most practical travel benefits available today." She adds, "As someone who travels at least twice per month for work, TSA PreCheck is an absolute must. And now I don't have to pay a dime for it thanks to my Venture X card."
Simon R., who flies regularly between the US and his native England, says Global Entry has been a game-changer thanks to Venture X: "The card's Global Entry credit for myself and my wife has saved us so much time going through immigration whenever we visit family in America. We simply flash our Global Entry cards at the kiosks on arrival, breeze through in five minutes, and we're on our way."
Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - American Express Platinum Covers Fees for Five Authorized Users
For families and friend groups that travel together, the American Express Platinum card offers a valuable perk - Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credits for up to five authorized users. As someone who frequently flies with my spouse and takes at least one big trip annually with friends, covering application fees for multiple travelers is a huge benefit.
Last year when planning a 10-day getaway to Croatia with two other couples, I added each couple to my AmEx Platinum card as authorized users to take advantage of the TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement. When you're coordinating six people on an international journey involving four flights plus airport connections, any time-saver is essential. Thanks to my Platinum card, we were all able to enroll in TSA PreCheck and breeze through all US airport security on our trip. No shuffling six travelers through standard lines - we flew through airport screening with shoes and belts on, keeping stress to a minimum.
For married couple and frequent jetsetters Dan and Monica S., the AmEx Platinum's five Global Entry credits have been invaluable. As Dan explains, "When AmEx launched the ability to cover Global Entry for authorized users, Monica and I signed up immediately. We each have huge amounts of international travel for work which involves clearing customs and immigration constantly."
Monica adds, "The Global Entry interviews can be really backed up in major cities like LA, New York and Miami where we often return to the US. So paying the $100 fee ourselves wasn't appealing since who knows when your appointment would actually be?" But thanks to their Platinum card's five Global Entry reimbursements, Dan and Monica breezed through the process.
Now they have the luxury of using Global Entry kiosks on arrival back in the US, making international travel effortless. As Monica sums it up, "Not having to wait in the normal immigration lines after an 11-hour flight from Europe is priceless - the AmEx Platinum Global Entry credits are worth every penny!"
Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - The Business Platinum Card from Amex Also Offers Credits
For road warriors and jet-setting executives, the Business Platinum Card from American Express provides a valuable perk: up to $179 in statement credits per calendar year to cover application fees for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. As someone who logs over 100,000 miles a year for my consulting business, I was thrilled to take advantage of this benefit.
After getting approved for the Business Platinum Card, I immediately registered for Global Entry and got conditionally approved within a few days. The entire process was smooth and streamlined. Within 2 weeks, I had my interview scheduled at the Global Entry office in San Francisco. At my appointment, I provided fingerprints and got my photo taken. Just like that, I joined the Global Entry trusted traveler program.
When I returned from an international trip soon after, I bypassed the painfully long immigration lines and instead went straight to the Global Entry kiosk. I scanned my passport and fingerprints, answered the customs declaration questions on the screen, and got my receipt. No waiting around - I was through in under 5 minutes!
As someone who previously waited 30-60 minutes in immigration lines after long haul flights, having Global Entry is a total game changer. And getting it reimbursed thanks to the Business Platinum Card was the cherry on top.
Fellow road warrior Maya J. echoeds my positive experience: "As a management consultant, I'm constantly criss-crossing the US and taking long flights to Europe and Asia to visit clients." She adds, "I used to kill so much time just waiting around in immigration lines after 15 hour flights from Singapore or Hong Kong."
But ever since getting Global Entry covered by her Business Platinum Card, Maya has avoided immigration headaches. "Now I probably save 15-20 minutes each time I come back into the US thanks to Global Entry. When you travel as much as I do, those minutes really add up!"
Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - United Club Infinite Card for United Loyalists
For those loyal to United Airlines, the United Club Infinite card provides unmatched lounge access and travel privileges on this major US carrier. As someone who frequently flies United for both business and personal travel, I've found the United Club card to be well worth the $525 annual fee.
The standout benefit is unlimited access to all United Club airport lounges. I've relied on United Clubs as my go-to terminals when facing delays or long layovers. At airports like Chicago O'Hare, Houston and San Francisco, the United Clubs feel like luxury lounges with complimentary food, adult beverages, comfy seating and quiet workspaces.
During a 6 hour layover returning from Asia, the United Club at SFO was my saving grace. I was able to sneak in a quick nap in a recliner chair, take a refreshing shower and enjoy snacks and wine at no extra cost. Had I been confined to the main terminal for that layover, it would have been utterly miserable.
The United Club card also gives you two free checked bags on United flights - a major bonus for frequent travelers like myself who pack heavy. That perk alone is worth $120 roundtrip, given United's $60 checked bag fee for economy tickets. With baggage fees today, checking one bag can cost nearly as much as the airline ticket itself, so this perk provides substantial savings.
Cardholders also get premier access to United award tickets - something frequent flyer Savannah F. calls "a game-changer for securing those hard-to-get United awards." I love having an advantage for booking United awards to Europe in business class, especially around the holidays when availability is limited.
Another underrated perk is special pricing on United award tickets for yourself and companions - often up to 10% discounts on economy or business class awards. On a 60,000 mile business class ticket to Australia, I saved $600 thanks to the United Club card discount.
Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - Hilton Honors American Express Aspire for Hilton Fans
For those loyal to Hilton brands, from full service Hilton Hotels to the stylish Canopy locations, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card delivers an unrivaled set of perks. As someone who stays at Hilton properties for roughly 30-40 nights annually, this card has become invaluable.
The standout benefit is Hilton Diamond status, which normally requires 30+ stays or 60+ nights. As a Diamond member, I enjoy executive lounge access with free breakfast, snacks and evening canapés, complimentary premium internet, and early check-in/late check-out privileges. During a weeklong conference at the Hilton Midtown New York, the executive lounge proved an essential refuge, providing breakfasts and coffee to-go in the mornings, along with wine, cheese and hummus spreads to unwind with in the evenings.
Frequent Hilton guest Alicia T. echoes the immense value of the complimentary Diamond Status, sharing: “As a management consultant, Hiltons are my home away from home for at least 30-40 nights yearly as I travel between client sites. Before I got the Aspire Card, I never made Diamond organically on stays alone so lounges were off limits.” She adds, “Now that I have guaranteed Diamond from the Aspire, I have access to executive lounges for breakfast before client meetings and can wind down comfortably on hectic travel days.”
The Aspire also provides up to $250 in Hilton resort credits and up to $250 in airline fee credits each year. I tend to maximize these benefits by using the resort credits on extra amenities like spa treatments at beachside Hiltons in Hawaii. The airline credits reimburse me for routine expenses like seat upgrades and checked bags.
Audrey W., who frequently vacations with her family at Hilton resorts in Florida and the Caribbean appreciates these annual credits: “The Hilton credits take care of a couples massage at the spa - a much needed parents’ day out while the kids are occupied. And the airline reimbursements allow me to check bags and bring all the baby gear we need for our family trips, which isn’t realistic to haul on a plane.”
Fast Track Through Airport Security: The Top Credit Cards for Global Entry in 2024 - Bank of America Premium Rewards Card - A Budget Pick
For travelers who want Global Entry access without paying hundreds in annual fees, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card presents a solid budget option. With a modest $95 annual fee, the Premium Rewards card provides up to a $100 credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every 4-5 years.
As someone who likes to maximize my travel perks on a budget, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card struck the perfect balance for me. The TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee credit essentially cancels out the card's annual fee every few years. Yet I still get strong travel insurance protections, no foreign transaction fee, and solid earning rates on flights, hotels, dining and more.
Occasional travelers Ken and Monica P. have similar praise for the Premium Rewards card's Global Entry benefit on a budget. As Ken explains, "We really only take 1-2 big trips annually. So paying $400+ in annual fees for premium travel cards seemed absurd." However, he and Monica wanted access to airport fast lanes and Global Entry.
Monica adds, "The Bank of America Premium Rewards gave us Global Entry for just the $95 annual fee. Compared to hundreds for premium cards, that's a bargain we can stomach!" Ken and Monica used the Global Entry credit this year in preparation for a 10-day anniversary trip to Italy planned for later in 2023.
Having Global Entry for such a lower annual fee made perfect sense. As Monica sums it up: "Why overpay for Global Entry when you hardly travel? The Premium Rewards card was way more reasonable for a perk we'll use once a year."