Which is better TSA PreCheck or Global Entry?

If you are a frequent traveler, you have probably heard about the Trusted Traveler Programs already. Depending on your citizenship, you can choose between Global Entry, Nexus or Sentri. All of the programs are specially designed for people who travel often internationally. On the other side, the department of Homeland Security has developed another separate program that is designed especially for domestic travelers. In this short article we will make a comparison between two of the most common programs – TSA pre-check and Global Entry, and provide you our advice on that matter.

But first, let see what benefits does both programs hold.

TSA Pre-check: How it works

Departures from U.S. Airports

Application type: Online
Interview requirements: Attend your in-person appointment to provide fingerprints, supply citizenship and ID documents
Membership validity: Once accepted, add your Known Traveler Number to your airline reservations and enjoy your membership for 5 years.

Benefits of using TSA precheck:

  • Expedited Security screening and checks
  • You don’t need to remove shoes, jackets, belts, liquids and laptops
  • You can use TSA precheck at more than 200 US airports and over 60 participating airlines
  • Children under 12 may accompany a parent/guardian with TSA Pre✓® in the designated lanes for domestic US flights

Cost: $85

Global Entry: How it works

Entry into the U.S. from International Destinations


Application type: Online
Interview requirements: Schedule & attend your in-person appointment to provide fingerprints, supply citizenship, ID documents etc.
Membership validity: Once accepted, your membership will last for 5 years
Benefits of using Global Entry:

  • Includes TSA Pre✓® and ALL TSA benefits*
  • Reduced wait times with self-serve kiosks.
  • Global Entry program members can use Global Entry Customs Kiosks at more than 75 airports when returning to the U.S. from travel abroad.

Cost: $100


All in all, TSA precheck is a great option for frequent domestic travelers, especially for those who travel with their kids, as children under the age of 12 may accompany the parent, no membership required. However, Global Entry is a perfect fit for those who travel internationally. Andon top of that Global Entry includes TSA pre-check, so you can get the best of both programs for less money. The bad news is if you travel internationally with your children, you need to get a GE for each kid, regardless of the age. However, if you already have Global Entry, but travel domestically with your child, you can use the included TSA benefits to your membership.