Forward this to your friends in the military right now: The secret to free TSA PreCheck!
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.INSIDER SECRET: Military members can easily get TSA PreCheck benefits by entering their DOD ID number when making a flight reservation.
If you have a friend or family member in the military, there is a super-simple way for them to get TSA PreCheck benefits. Anyone in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the Reserves, National Guard and U.S. service academies can get TSA PreCheck for free on their next flight. Please share this post with any military members that you know.
A side note: Active-duty military members should also consider applying for The Platinum Card® from American Express. Amex Platinum cardholders can also get the TSA PreCheck fee reimbursed once every 4.5 years (up to $100), which would make PreCheck available for free for another family member, and American Express waives the annual fee for all of its cards for active-duty service members.(And if you aren’t in the military, you can get the same perks through a card like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, which will reimburse the TSA PreCheck fee once every four years, up to $100.)
The secret to free TSA PreCheck
If you have taken any commercial airline flights over the past few years, you almost certainly have seen the TSA PreCheck lines at airport security. They are generally shorter lines and have fewer requirements for removing clothes and personal items at security checkpoints, making TSA PreCheck a great service for almost any traveler. Normally, TSA PreCheck costs $85 for a five-year period, but if you are in the military, you can get this benefit at absolutely no cost.
To get TSA PreCheck benefits, U.S. military members can simply enter their 10-digit Department of Defense ID Number in the Known Traveler Number (KTN) field when making a reservation.
This perk is available to anyone in the U.S. armed forces, including the Reserves, National Guard and service academies. Military members can take advantage of TSA PreCheck for both personal and military travel and are not required to be in uniform to receive the benefits.
If you are a Department of Defense civilian employee, you can also take advantage of this same free benefit, with one additional step. According to the Department of Defense: “Civilian employees must opt into the program using milConnect website at https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/. Their DOD ID number is also their KTN.”
Retired veterans, as well as spouses and family members of military members are not eligible for this benefit, but can of course apply for TSA PreCheck through the normal process. Children under 12 travelling with a military member can accompany that member through the TSA PreCheck security line, even if they don’t have it listed on their boarding pass.
Other things to consider
As mentioned above, active-duty military members and their spouses should strongly consider applying for the Amex Platinum card, since the annual fee is waived. The Amex Platinum card comes with tons of incredible benefits like airport lounge access, hotel elite status, Uber credits, airline-fee credits and more. Plus, the Amex Platinum card reimburses the TSA PreCheck application fee once every 4.5 years, allowing military members to get PreCheck for another family member.
Similarly, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is also worth considering for active-duty military members. Like the Amex Platinum, the Sapphire Reserve waives its annual fee for members of the military, reimburses the TSA PreCheck application fee and has some incredible points-earning ability, along with the opportunity to transfer points to numerous airline and hotel travel partners.
Finally, if you are not in the military, there are many credit cards that will reimburse the TSA PreCheck application fee, like the Capital One Venture Card. If you are interested in travel miles and points, you should definitely consider one of these cards to get PreCheck for free and start earning towards your next free flight or hotel stay.
Anyone in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the Reserves, National Guard and U.S. service academies can get TSA PreCheck for free on their next flight by entering their 10-digit Department of Defense ID Number in the Known Traveler Number (KTN) field when making a reservation. Active-duty military members should also consider applying for the Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve, both of which come with tons of benefits and no annual fee.
If you aren’t in the military but want the benefits of TSA PreCheck, consider applying for a card like the Capital One Venture, which reimburses the application fee. And please consider sharing this article with a service member. We want as many military folks as possible to take advante of this free benefit.
Thanks to Your Mileage May Vary for the tip on this article.Featured image by David Tran Photo/Shutterstock For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.
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