Most products on this page are from partners who may compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how they appear on the page. However, opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain. This page may include information about American Express products currently unavailable on Slickdeals. American Express is not a partner of Slickdeals.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screens more than two million people each day nationwide. With the long waits at security checkpoint lines and the worry of potentially missing a flight, being at the airport can be a stressful experience for many travelers.

Luckily, travelers with TSA PreCheck can experience less airport anxiety because they get to skip the long security check line by enjoying an expedited screening through the separate, shorter TSA PreCheck lanes. PreCheck travelers also do not need to remove 3-1-1 liquids from their carry-on bags.

Learn more about how to get TSA PreCheck the next time you fly with certain airlines, and check out our TSA PreCheck guide on whether the program is worth it.

How to Sign Up for TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck is a traveler program that requires a background check, verification, and in-person interview process at an enrollment center to ensure those who qualify are low-risk travelers. You will need to provide a government-issued ID and proof of citizenship. The cost to enroll is $85 for five years.

Once a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident has been approved for the TSA PreCheck program, they can be eligible for expedited screening at participating U.S. airports. Members will also be given a nine-digit Known Traveler Number (KTN) that will be used when booking airline travel reservations so that TSA PreCheck status will appear on their boarding passes.

Travel Tip: When you add TSA PreCheck to your airline rewards program, the information is automatically added to any new flight you book.

Can You Get TSA PreCheck for Free?

Yes, there are several ways to get TSA PreCheck for free:

  • Active members of the military or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees can qualify for free TSA PreCheck by using their DOD ID number as their “Known Traveler Number.”
  • Certain travel credit cards offer to reimburse the TSA PreCheck application fee as a part of the card perk.
  • Random passengers may be selected to receive TSA PreCheck as a way to introduce people to the program and hope they sign up.

Best Credit Cards for TSA PreCheck

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees
  • Our Rating 4.5/5 Read the review
  • APR21.24% – 28.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$550
  • 60,000 60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after using your card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,320 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * .022 base)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is among the best travel credit cards available. Not only does it offer one of the best credit card sign-up bonuses, but the card also comes packed with a number of valuable travel and lifestyle benefits that warrant its premium price tag.

Overview

If you’re looking to elevate your travel experience, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. When you first get approved, you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months — that’s worth at least $900 in travel-related spending booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and potentially more if you transfer your rewards to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners.

Pros

  • An array of premium travel perks including access to Priority Pass lounges
  • Easy-to-use $300 travel credit that helps offset card’s annual fee
  • Generous rewards rates for spending

Cons

  • High annual fee may be a deterrent for some
  • Perks are starting to get stale relative to newer competition

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 Read the review
  • APR20.24% – 27.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$99
  • 175,000 175,000IHG Rewards Points More Info

    Earn 175,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening Dollar Equivalent: $875 (175,000 IHG Rewards Points * 0.005 base)

With an impressive welcome offer and an unbeatable rewards rate, the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card comes with a mile-long list of benefits. It even comes with automatic Platinum Elite status, which is almost unheard of for a card with a $99 annual fee.

Overview

Frequent customers of IHG hotels and other people who enjoy earning rewards nights for hotel stays and premium hotel status should consider picking up this card.

Pros

  • Generous rewards rate on IHG Hotels and Resorts purchases
  • Automatic IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status which gets you perks like upgrades
  • Free reward night every account anniversary, with the potential to be worth hundreds of dollars

Cons

  • Has an annual fee
  • Only makes sense if you plan to stay at IHG properties

Aeroplan® Credit Card

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

  • Our Rating 4.0/5 Read the review
  • APR20.74% – 27.74% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$95
  • 100000 100000Air Canada Aeroplan Points More Info

    Earn 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open, plus 40,000 points after you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months your account is open.

This card isn’t just for those that fly Air Canada. Cardholders across North America will benefit from the automatic Aeroplan 25K elite status for the first year of account opening, offering perks such as upgrades to premium cabins. Plus, with a generous 3x earning rate on multiple categories, this can be a go-to everyday spending card.

Overview

New credit card offers come out regularly, but this one stands out thanks to the welcome bonus’s huge value, 3x points for dining and groceries, Air Canada status, and much more. Even with a $95 annual fee, it’s easy to see how you can come out ahead with this big offer. Even if you don’t fly on Air Canada regularly, you can use reward points with United Airlines and many other partners.

Perks

  • Automatic elite status at the 25K Status level for the remainder of the calendar year and the entire following calendar year.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Trip Delay Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Free first checked bag on flights booked with the card
  • TSA or NEXUS Fee Credit: Get up to $100 back as a statement credit for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS

Pros

  • Unlimited 3x points at groceries, dining and Air Canada purchases
  • Complimentary Aeroplan 25K status for the first year of account opening, with a pathway to the next tier of elite status
  • Free first checked bag on Air Canada flights
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS application fee reimbursement

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Rewards aren’t as flexible as transferable points

How to Add TSA PreCheck on Delta

Delta app on phone
Delta

You can add your KTN information to your Delta Airlines SkyMiles account so it applies to all future bookings. Under your personal details, just add your information to the “TSA PreCheck/Known Traveler ID” section.

While Booking Travel:

If you have a SkyMiles account, open the app. Your information should populate automatically, but triple-check it is there.

Not a SkyMiles member? No problem. On the page where you enter personal information, look for “Secure Flight Info.” This is where you’ll add the KTN. There will be an option to add a Redress Number. You can leave this part blank. 

For Existing Reservations:

Adding TSA PreCheck information to an existing Delta airline reservation is easy:

  • Open the app.
  • Go to your travel itinerary.
  • Add in your KTN.

You should do this at least three days ahead of your scheduled travel or you risk missing the TSA PreCheck opportunity. 

Delta US Hub Airports:

Delta has hubs at the following domestic airports, with these average wait times listed by the airline.

  • Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport: 16 minutes
  • Boston Logan International Airport: 18 minutes
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport: 11 minutes
  • Los Angeles International Airport: 17 minutes
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport: 13 minutes 
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport: 13 minutes
  • LaGuardia Airport: 17 minutes
  • Salt Lake City International Airport: 10 minutes
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: 7 minutes

Tip: You can download the TSA app to see current wait times at these airports, interact with a TSA member, and learn about flight delays. 

Delta plane taking off Related Article

Delta’s SkyMiles Rewards Program Review: How to Save Money and Find Deals on Flights

Read More

How to Add TSA PreCheck on American Airlines

American Airlines app screen
American Airlines

If you are an AAdvantage member, you can add your TSA PreCheck KTN to your account under the “Information and Password” section. 

While Booking Travel:

Those who are not AAdvantage members can add their KTN to the personal information page, along with their name and birthdate during booking.

For Existing Reservations:

If you already have a reservation but need to add your TSA PreCheck information, log into your reservation and select “Manage Trip.” You can also call American Airlines Customer Service at 1-800-433-7300. 

AA US Hub Airports:

American Airlines has hubs at the following airports with the following average wait times. 

  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport: 3 minutes
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport:  6 minutes
  • Chicago-O’Hare International Airport: 13 minutes
  • Los Angeles International Airport: 5 minutes
  • Miami International Airport: 10 minutes
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport: 8 minutes
  • LaGuardia Airport: 8 minutes
  • Philadelphia International Airport: 4 minutes
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport: 4 minutes
  • Washington Reagan National Airport: 31 minutes

How to Get TSA PreCheck on Southwest

inside Southwest plane
Unsplash

Southwest Airlines does a thorough job of explaining how TSA PreCheck works and how some travelers might be randomly chosen for expedited screening without being a TSA PreCheck member or having to pay the fee. 

While Booking Travel:

If you are logged into your Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards account, you can add the KTN to your member profile. 

If you are not a Rapid Rewards member, you will add the KTN on the same page you enter your personal information. Look for the “Known Traveler #” slot. You do not have to enter a Redress number here, but you can add your Rapid Rewards number if you have one but aren’t logged into your account. 

For Existing Reservations:

Log into your flight reservation under the “Traveler Info” section. You can add your KTN there.

You must have been approved for TSA PreCheck before you booked the flight in order for it to be used during a trip. 

Southwest Hub Airports:

Southwest Airlines has a list of every hub where TSA PreCheck is available. Some major airports include:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  • Austin International Airport
  • Nashville International Airport
  • Burbank Airport
  • Baltimore/Washington International Airport
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • Orlando International Airport
  • Chicago Midway International Airport
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
  • Oakland International Airport
  • Palm Beach International Airport
  • San Diego International Airport
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
  • San Francisco International Airport
  • Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport
  • Tampa International Airport
Southwest plane taking off Related Article

A Roundup of Southwest Credit Card Deals: Earn $700 in Free Airfare for New Cardholders (50,000 Points)

Read More

How to Get TSA PreCheck on United Airlines

Person using United app
United

United Airlines offers the option of using your miles to pay for the TSA PreCheck application fee. You’ll need to cash in 11,000 miles to cover the $85 cost. 

While Booking Travel

If you are logged into your United MileagePlus account, enter your KTN into your personal profile so it will apply to future reservations. 

When booking a flight, you will add the KTN on the traveler information page under the heading “Known Traveler Number and Redress Number” section. Leave the Redress field blank. 

For Existing Reservations:

For flights that are already booked, go to “Manage Reservations” and “Edit Traveler Information.” Add in the KTN as described above. 

United Airlines Hub Airports

United has hubs in the following airports with the average wait times listed:

  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport: 13 minutes
  • Denver International Airport: 6 minutes
  • Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport: 0-15 minute average wait time (per MyTSA app)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston: 5 minutes
  • Los Angeles International Airport: 5 minutes
  • Newark Liberty International Airport: 15 minutes
  • San Francisco International Airport: 23 minutes
  • Dulles International Airport: Almost 10 minutes

Renewing TSA PreCheck

For all the work you do on the front end to get approved for TSA PreCheck, it’s good to know that renewing it can be done online and much faster. TSA PreCheck is $85 and is valid for five years, while renewals cost $70 for five years. 

You can renew your TSA PreCheck membership online six months before it expires. Even better, the renewal will take effect on the expiration date or the current membership, not the date of renewal. 

When renewing online, you don’t have to reveal any personal information you don’t want to, but if you leave anything out — accidentally or on purpose — you risk not being renewed and having TSA PreCheck privileges revoked. 

What If I Changed My Name Since Qualifying for TSA PreCheck?

You can’t use the online renewal if you changed your name. Start by calling the TSA Help Center at 1-855-347-8371. You might be required to go back to a TSA PreCheck physical site to get your name renewed. Make sure your driver’s license and/or passport match the new name.

What If I Need to Change My Gender Identity?

TSA PreChecklaunched a new process in April of 2022 where a person will select a gender when enrolling or renewing, but it does not have to match the gender on other documents or IDs. By the end of 2022, the TSA expects to offer an “X” option for gender identity. 

TSA PreCheck Makes Traveling Easier

TSA PreCheck is worth it if you travel often but do not enjoy the stress and long wait times in the security lines. TSA PreCheck allows members to expedite the screening process, which only lasts approximately five minutes on average. If you fly once a year, the TSA PreCheck fee will break down to $17 per flight. The more you fly, the more worth it the program becomes.

Travelers need to remember that TSA PreCheck is not guaranteed to be at all airports and there are no refunds for the fee if there isn’t expedited screening available. You might have a boarding pass with a TSA PreCheck mark and be at an airport where expedited screening isn’t an option. 

For those who travel internationally often, Global Entry may be another travel program to consider.

S

SDstaff