The Disney Park Nerds love saving time and money and TSA PreCheck Credit Cards help us do both!
So, you are ready to visit the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. As you daydream about your upcoming trip, your mind begins to wander. You start to think about the airport…and the lines…and the crowds. Then, you remember that the Disney Park Nerds always have your back and they suggested you get TSA PreCheck (or better yet, Global Entry!).
Global Entry vs TSA PreCheck
TSA PreCheck currently costs $85 for five years of benefits in the program. TSA PreCheck, when associated with your airline frequent flyer account and/or your flight, allows you to zip through security at domestic US airports. Not only is the line generally shorter (often much MUCH shorter), you will not need to remove your shoes, jacket, belt or unpack your carry-on. That’s right! You can leave your laptop, iPad, and liquids and be on your way. It’s really a must have for any travel; even if relatively infrequent.
Global Entry currently costs $100 for five years of benefits in the program. Global Entry provides automatic entry into the TSA PreCheck program PLUS it will help you speed through passport control and customs when returning to the United States of America from a foreign country.
It’s been said that an expert is someone who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a specific field. Well, Disney Park Nerds must be nearing expert status because we’ve made a LOT of mistakes; though we think we still have a lot more to make. But here is one where you can learn from our screw-ups. Since TSA PreCheck is included in Global Entry, it’s worth an extra $15 ($3 per year for the five-year program) just in case. We didn’t understand this and had to pay the $85 for TSA PreCheck and less than a year later, paid an additional $100 for Global Entry with our two memberships running simultaneously for about four of the five years. Seriously…it’s $15!
Securing that TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Appointment
2020 has sure been interesting and getting an appointment for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry has been more challenging than ever. Right now, the next available appointment in San Diego is August 2021. But fret not! Remember, Disney Park Nerds have your back. We recently used Appointment Scanner and we were able to get two back-to-back appointments within a couple of weeks. Appointment Scanner costs $15 for a 3-month membership and they search for appointments at the facilities of your choice and text/email you when appointments are available. It was a great experience!
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck for Free
There are a number of credit cards that include one credit for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every five years. They range from $95 (waived the first year) to $550. The premium credit cards at the higher end – like the Chase Sapphire Reserve – include a lot of perks that make up for the annual fee and then some.
For an excellent analysis of seven different credit cards that will cover the cost of your Global Entry / TSA PreCheck application, check out this article at The Points Guy. They go through the cards benefit by benefit, including sign-on bonuses and plusses/minuses of one card versus another along with links to apply.
A Note on the Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the favorite travel card of the Disney Park Nerds. The card includes the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit every five years, as discussed, and has strong points earning from travel in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards. More importantly, redeeming Ultimate Rewards points is generally pretty easy. Each year, cardholders will receive an automatic credit for the first $300 spent on travel as well as an annually renewed membership in Priority Pass; an airport lounge program that allows access to lounges in airports around the country and around the world. There are many other benefits as well.
Now that you know how to secure your Global Entry membership for free, your visit to the Walt Disney World Resort will be even more fun!