If you’re a US Citizen who flies a decent amount, there are three things you should absolutely do.
1. The Trusted Traveler Program (Global Entry)
With Global Entry, you get the ability to bypass the customs line when coming into the United States. Instead, you move quickly off to the side where you scan your Passport and fingerprint on a machine, and that’s it.
The process is fairly painless: you sign up for an interview (usually at an airport), and you answer some questions with someone for around 10 minutes. And within a week or two you get approved. Then, not only do you get easier access back into the US, but once you have Global Entry you automatically get Pre-check on every flight as well!
Cost: $ 100/5-years
CLEAR is a service that lets you get through lines faster in many US airports. You can enroll right at the airport, and it becomes active immediately.
Instead of waiting in the regular line, or even the Pre-Check line, you go to the CLEAR lane, scan your ticket and your fingerprint, and an attendant takes you to the front of either the Pre-Check or regular line (depending on what kind of ticket you have).
Cost: $ 179/year
3. Priority Pass
I tend to get the one that gives you 10 free per year.
Priority Pass gives you access to over 1,200 airport lounges around the world. You simply show your card (or digital version), and you get in for free, depending on what level you get.
Cost: $ 299/year
Getting these three services will significantly improve your life if you travel more than 5-10 times a year.
There is seriously no comparison between flying naked (no priority access or membership benefits) vs. flying with preferred status and options.
Go do it!
- Make sure every flight you take is tied to your frequent flyer account with your airline.
- Look for interactions between hotel points, airline points, and credit card benefits.
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card (as well as many other top cards), will pay for (or at least offset) the cost of Global Entry and Priority Pass. Those benefits alone make might make premium cards worth it for some.
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