Global Entry fees may increase big time for some, vanish for others

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If you’re unfamiliar with Global Entry, it’s a membership that grants you special expedited entry back into the U.S. after you’ve traveled abroad. It’s fantastic — I’ve recouped time that amounts to literal days thanks to Global Entry.

You can save hours by skipping the lengthy, serpentine queue at immigration. Just spot the Global Entry signs, and grapevine past the disgruntled line of travelers to an exclusive kiosk. After a quick passport and fingerprint scan, you’ll be on your way. Global Entry gives you automatic TSA PreCheck, too, which comes with its own set of time-saving perks.

For the privilege of Global Entry, you currently need to pay a $100 application fee for a five-year membership (though you could have this fee effectively waived with the right travel credit card). Unfortunately, the cost of this beloved travel perk will likely soon increase.

Global Entry is worth the $100 fee. But it could soon become notably more expensive. (Image via the U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

Global Entry price changes

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has proposed two notable changes in Global Entry prices:

  • Raise the $100 application fee to $120 for adults (a 20% increase!)
  • Eliminate the $100 application fee for kids 17 and under — with conditions

If you’ve got kids who you desire to enroll in Global Entry, these changes might sound pretty great. However, minors will only receive free membership if:

  • They apply at the same times as their parents

Or

  • The parents already are already Global Entry members

If neither of these conditions are met, you’ll have to pay $120 per child. This shouldn’t hinder too many families as there doesn’t seem to be much reason for a minor to be the sole Global Entry member.

NEXUS, a trusted traveler program that includes Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, would also raise its application fees from $50 to $120 under this plan.

What does this mean for travel credit cards?

It’s possible to receive a free membership to either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry if you hold the right credit card. The cards come with a statement credit worth up to $100, automatically triggered when you use that card to pay for your application fee.

So what happens if the Global Entry fee is raised to $120? We don’t know for certain, but it only makes sense that these credit cards would adapt to offer an improved $120 credit. After all, a selling point of these travel credit cards is free membership with Global Entry. “Free membership” sounds significantly more appealing than “83% off.”

Again, these changes in price aren’t yet written in stone. But here’s hoping card issuers will bump their credit cards to continue to completely offset Global Entry fees if prices do increase.

Some of our favorite cards to offset TSA PreCheck and Global Entry fees are:

Let us know what you think of these potential changes! And subscribe to our newsletter for more travel news delivered to your inbox once per day.

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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