Global Entry: Everything you need to know

Global Entry is a must have

Global Entry is an incredible service that not only expedites your International arrival, but grants you a known traveler id that works for TSA Pre as well. Currently Global Entry costs $100 which is only $15 more than TSA Pre and will make your life infinitely better if you do travel internationally.

Global Entry is something that those who are travel enthusiasts know all about, but I also talk to A LOT of people that have no idea what it is so I thought I’d do a deeper dive. I couldn’t stress how valuable it has been to me, and since many credit cards reimburse fees for Global Entry, there isn’t really any reason to not get it.


Global Entry is a program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance through automatic kiosks at select airports upon arrival into the United States. As of May 4, 2018, Global Entry was available at 53 US airports and 15 preclearance locations.[1][2] By April 2018 more than 5 million people were enrolled in Global Entry[3] and approximately 50,000 new applications for the program were being filed monthly

As I mentioned, many credit cards give a FULL $100 refund on your Global Entry fee

Yes, there is a long list of credit cards that will actually reimburse the fee when you charge it. If you carry more than one of the cards down below, and you’re looking to get family members Global Entry, you could spread them on various cards. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe that the person getting Global Entry has to be the cardholder in order to receive the credit.

I’d like to charge it to a card that will reimburse the $100 fee. Here’s a list that will

This isn’t an extensive list – leave comments and I’ll add to it.

Who is eligible to get Global Entry?

Provided by Wikipedia, Lawful permanent residents and aliens from the following countries

 South Korea (members of Smart Entry Service)
 United Kingdom (British citizens only[13])
 United States (nationals and permanent residents)

You may be ineligible if you:

  1. Provide false or incomplete information on the application;
  2. Have been convicted of any criminal offense or have pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants (to include driving under the influence);
  3. Have been found in violation of any customs, immigration or agriculture regulations or laws in any country;
  4. Are the subject of an ongoing investigation by any federal, state or local law enforcement agency;
  5. Are inadmissible to the United States under immigration regulation, including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation; or
  6. Cannot satisfy CBP of your low-risk status.

OK great, you’re eligible! Here’s what you do to apply:

The application process is quite simple and straight forward, but it could take a couple of months to get enrolled with the back up interviews. If you have a trip coming up sooner than later and would like to take advantage of Global Entry, it may be worth calling your local interview center and see if they accept walk ins…many have been known to permit them.

Step 1: Create an account with Trusted Traveler

You’ll see this on the screen and you want to select Global Entry. It may prompt you to get TSA Pre instead, but you actually have access to TSA Pre when you’re a Global Entry cardholder, and it’s only $15 more.

Trusted Traveler Programs including Global Entry

Step 2: Log in to your Account and fill out an application and pay the $100 fee

Remember, if you have one of these cards, you’ll get that fee back as a statement credit.

Here’s a look at the fee credit when I charged it to my Amex Platinum

Step 3: Once you are approved, you will be asked to schedule an appointment

  • Make sure to bring your passport and another form of ID to your appointment.
  • There is an enormous list of interview locations in the United States and Canada as well as Qatar and Singapore

What’s the appointment like?

Nothing to it. They will take a digital pic of you and scan your fingerprints. Mine took about 5-10 minutes and the officer asked me various questions about my identity and wanted to make sure that Miles I hadn’t committed any crimes, etc. It’s a quick and easy process that I HIGHLY recommend going through to make travel soooooo much faster.

How long does Global Entry Last?

5 years

Should I get TSA PRE as well?

You don’t need to do that because Global Entry gives you TSA PRE via your trusted traveller ID number. Simply input that number into your reservation and TSA PRE will be added to your reservation.

When can you renew your Global Entry Membership?

Global Entry only lasts for 5 years, and you can renew up to ONE YEAR PRIOR TO EXPIRATION, and up to 6 MONTHS AFTER. You don’t have to have another interview in order to renew; however, when I renewed mine last year it required one. Ordinarily you have to have that interview within 6 months, but because of Covid that has been extended.

Go Here for more details:

As you can see…I’ve been given extra time to get that interview done

What is the Immigration and Customs experience like with Global Entry?

First you use a kiosk where you scan your passport and fingerprints. I’ve never waited more than a couple of minutes to use a kiosk or have my global entry ticket examined. Both your passport and fingerprints are linked to your Global Entry account, and collectively it’s saved me hours at the airport.

When you arrive you’ll see a sign that will direct you to a set of kiosks that you will enter your information, scan your fingerprints, and answer a few questions. You do not need your customs and immigration declaration since those questions are asked on this screen.

After you enter all of your details, you’ll be given a print out with your picture and information on it. This process normally takes less than 60 seconds. You’ll then see a US Immigration Officer who will clear you to get your bags. After you’ve gotten your bags, you’ll then proceed again to a Global Entry line where you receive expedited customs processing by a US Federal Agent.

After this…you’re good to go! Just make sure you wave at everyone who didn’t get Global Entry as you whiz by them 😉

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