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When you book 12 or more hotel nights with Orbitz in a calendar year, you’ll receive a TSA PreCheck rebate code worth $85. You can earn the rebate once every 5 years.
I’ll explain which kinds of travelers might consider this. And I’ll show you other (and perhaps better!) ways to pay $0 for your application fee!
What’s the Deal?
TSA PreCheck is available with these airlines:
- Air Canada
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Sun Country
- US Airways
- United Airlines
- Virgin America
So this is a nice perk to have!
That said, there are credit cards which include statement credits for the TSA PreCheck application fee (I’ll talk about them later!).
And I would NOT want to lose out on earning Hyatt or Hilton points or having my elite status recognized just to qualify for an $85 credit.
But if you’re staying at an independent or boutique hotel, it could be worth booking through Orbitz to earn Orbitz Orbucks points and this new perk!
When you book hotels through the Orbitz mobile app, you’ll get 5% back in the form of Orbucks, their rewards currency. You’ll get 3% back when you book hotels online. And 1% back on flights or vacation packages.
Is This a Good Deal?
It can be. But I’d rather have my TSA PreCheck application fee refunded by 1 of the credit cards I’ll discuss in moment. In fact, I’d recommend applying for Global Entry instead. I’ll explain!
Orbitz can be useful for booking paid stays at hotels where you can NOT easily collect loyalty points.
Because when you book hotels through Orbitz, you generally will NOT earn hotel points, and you might NOT have your elite status recognized. And, you may not receive stay credits toward elite status.
So if you want to earn elite status with a hotel chain, it’s better to book your stay directly through the hotel instead of through a 3rd-party website like Orbitz.
And some hotel chains, like Hilton, include free Wi-Fi when you book directly through their websites.
If you want to get the best price on a hotel stay, it’s worth shopping around on other sites, including:
- Hotels.com (My review of Hotels.com)
- Expedia (My review of the Expedia Rewards program)
- Google Hotel Finder (My review of Google Hotel Finder)
- Rocketmiles (My review of Rocketmiles)
- TravelPony (My review of TravelPony)
For example, after 10 nights booked with Hotels.com, you’ll earn a free night based on the average cost of all 10 nights.
But if you like to stay at non-chain or boutique hotels and Orbitz has the best price, this could be a great deal!
So if you’re paying with cash, you might consider booking through Orbitz to earn Orbucks rewards and this new perk. A 12-night stay in Jamaica could get you a TSA PreCheck application fee credit worth $85.
Other Ways to Earn TSA PreCheck
Link: Global Entry
If you have Global Entry (which allows you to clear US customs and immigration quickly), you’re automatically eligible for TSA PreCheck.
You’ll get a Known Traveler Number which will usually get you TSA PreCheck each time you travel, as long as it’s with an eligible airline.
You can apply for Global Entry if you’re a:
- US citizen
- Lawful permanent resident of the US
- Dutch citizen
- German citizen
- Mexican national
- Panamanian citizen
- South Korean citizen
And some credit cards will reimburse the cost of Global Entry as a statement credit, including:
- The Platinum Card from American Express
- The Enhanced Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN
- The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz
- Citi Prestige
The American Express Platinum cards also offer a TSA PreCheck reimbursement (but you can’t get both TSA PreCheck and Global Entry credits – you must choose).
In most cases, it’s better for folks to apply for Global Entry, because it comes with TSA PreCheck eligibility.
TSA PreCheck is valuable because it can save you time at airport security.
But if you already have certain cards, like the Citi Prestige and The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN, you can get a statement credit for Global Entry. And you’re eligible for TSA PreCheck as part of Global Entry
This is a nice perk if you stay in non-chain or boutique hotels. But if you simply want the best price or aren’t concerned with elite status and stay credits, it’s worth shopping around on other sites, like Hotels.com or TravelPony.