October 17, 2019

Is Global Entry Worth It?

Is Global Entry Worth It? Yes.

There are three fast-track programs that can be used in the U.S. to speed up different parts of the airport experience: Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, and CLEAR. Each have their own benefits and can be used together for the best possible business travel experience.

Global Entry is focused on streamlining re-entry into the United States from travel abroad while TSA PreCheck allows for faster security screening at U.S. Airports. TSA PreCheck can be added to Global Entry membership once a traveler is accepted. Clear is a private biometric-based "fast pass" that gets business traveler to the front of the U.S. security line.

But why choose one when you can easily sign up for all?

We believe in-person connections drive businesses forward, but too often the process to get there is riddled with poor booking experiences, weather delays, and long lines. Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, and Clear can get business travelers through the security process and immigration and customs faster so they can focus on being there rather than the process of getting there.


What is Global Entry?

U.S. Global Entry is a fast-track program that gives business travelers access to an easier and faster customs and immigration process when returning to the U.S. from an international airport. Global Entry includes the benefits of TSA PreCheck, reducing friction in arrivals and departures for business travelers at more than 200 domestic and international airports.

When departing, TSA PreCheck allows business travelers access to expedited security lines where they can keep their shoes and belts on and keep laptops and liquids inside carry-on bags. On arrival to the U.S. from abroad, U.S. Global Entry allows business travelers to skip the customs lines and go to the U.S. Global Entry kiosk to scan their passports and fingerprints and complete the customs form. U.S. Global Entry also allows access to expedited entry benefits in other countries such as Abu Dhabi, Dublin, and Montreal.

How much does U.S. Global Entry cost?

U.S. Global Entry costs $100 for 5 years. For only $15 more business travelers can access all the benefits of TSA PreCheck ($85) and much more for the same period of time. TripActions recommends applying for both U.S. Global Entry and TSA Pre Check in the same application. Some credit cards will even give business travelers a credit for the application fee.

Where is U.S. Global Entry available?

Business travelers can use U.S. Global Entry at approximately 75 airports in the U.S., some major Canadian airports, and some international airports including Abu Dhabi, Aruba, Bermuda, Dublin, Grand Bahamas, and Nassau. This is in addition to the 200+ domestic U.S. airports where fast tracks are available through TSA PreCheck.

Are you eligible for U.S. Global Entry?

In addition to U.S. citizens and permanent residents without a criminal history, U.S. Global Entry is also available to citizens of the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Argentina, India, Colombia, Panama, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. Canadian citizens are also eligible through the joint U.S.-Canadian NEXUS program.

How do you sign up for Global Entry?

Business travelers need to apply and be pre-approved for the U.S. Global Entry program. There’s an application process, background check, and in-person interview -- but we know business travelers are short on time so we highlight the easiest ways to enroll below.

To apply, you must create a Trusted Traveler account, complete an application, and pay a $100 non-refundable application fee. If the application is approved, business travelers will be notified to schedule an interview, which takes place at U.S. Global Entry Enrollment Centers within international airports in the United State, Canada, Qatar. Applicants must bring a valid passport and second form of ID.

TIP: If going to the airport solely for the interview sounds unrealistic, approved applicants can also complete their interview upon arrival to the United States from an international trip. When landing in an international terminal, travelers can follow the signs to CBP officers who will complete the U.S. Global Entry interview. This is a great way to save time if an international business trip is already planned on the horizon.

U.S. Global Entry members will also receive a U.S. Global Entry Card to use at land and sea ports of entry.

What’s included in TSA PreCheck?

U.S. Global Entry members who opt in are immediately eligible for TSA PreCheck. It gives business travelers access to shorter security lines and a faster screening, because members don’t need to remove their shoes, laptops, or liquids when passing through security screening. According to the TSA, 92 percent of TSA PreCheck members wait less than five minutes for screening.

To receive the added TSA PreCheck benefits, U.S. Global Entry members must enter their membership number in the “Known Traveler Number” field when booking reservations or enter it into their frequent flyer profile within TripActions.

What is Clear?

Clear is the newest player to the fast-track market and offers something that neither TSA PreCheck or Global Entry do.

Instead of showing an ID and boarding pass to a TSA agent, Clear members scan their eye or fingerprint at a Clear kiosk and head directly to the front of the security line -- either regular or TSA PreCheck depending on whether TSA PreCheck is on the boarding pass. Business travelers will still have to remove their shoes and laptops unless they belong to TSA PreCheck or U.S. Global Entry.

Clear is available at approximately 52 of the most popular U.S. airports and expected to grow each year. Clear costs $179 per year, but some airlines such as United and Delta provide free Clear membership for customers with a certain status.

The TripActions Recommendation

TripActions is dedicated to making the business travel experience as frictionless as possible. Adding to your seamless TripActions experience, options like U.S. Global Entry, TSA PreCheck and Clear come in. Each save time by trusting frequent flyers to know what to do and do it while on the road and in the air.

We recommend business travelers sign up for all three fast-track options so they can get where they’re going as efficiently as possible. Frequent flyers from our executive team, including Chief Marketing Officer Meagen Eisenberg and VP of Brand Greg Perotto, confirm what a difference these programs make. Adding Global Entry only makes sense.