Best Travel

TSA Just Lowered the Price of PreCheck Enrollment

In a world of increasing costs, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has delivered some good news: The cost of TSA PreCheck enrollment has been reduced from $85 to $78.

This is good for a five-year subscription to PreCheck, which touts the ability to shorten the amount of time you spend waiting in airport security lines.

The online renewal fee price remains unchanged at $70.

So, to recap the changes:

  • You could previously buy five years of TSA PreCheck for $85. Now it’s just $78.
  • You can also renew for another five years in person for $78. This was formerly $85.
  • If you renew online for five years, the price remains $70.

In case you’re not familiar with TSA PreCheck, in this article, I’ll walk you through what the subscription provides. I’ll also look at a way to save even more money on your subscription by using the right credit card.


What Is TSA PreCheck and Is It Worth It?

TSA PreCheck is a five-year membership offered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

TSA reports that, in October 2022, 91% of PreCheck customers experienced wait times of less than five minutes at airport security checkpoints.

Team Clark has spent some time analyzing TSA PreCheck compared to its competitors. TSA PreCheck is a good value for most Americans who travel domestically more than a few times a year.

How It Works

TSA PreCheck, which can be used at more than 200 airports, is designed for domestic travel in the United States.

Applicants are required to attend a short, in-person appointment for fingerprinting and a background check. Once you’ve cleared the required assessments and are added to TSA’s approved list, you’ll be issued a credential that allows you to enter special, expedited security lines at participating airports.

Clark Howard on TSA PreCheck

Clark, who in addition to being a money expert is also a self-described travel nut, is a fan of TSA PreCheck. We asked him to give you a taste of what it’s like to be a PreCheck member.

“You go through this expedited security area. You don’t take your shoes off, don’t take your liquids out and don’t take your laptop out. You go through the old fashioned metal detector instead of the full-body scan. And it in most airports, PreCheck is going to be a reliable and really, really quick way through security.”

Steps To Apply

The Transportation Security Administration provides the following steps for obtaining your TSA PreCheck membership:

  1.  Apply Online: Submit an online application in 5 minutes & schedule an appointment at any of 380+ enrollment centers.
  2. Enroll in Person: 10-min in-person appointment that includes fingerprinting for a background check.
  3. Travel with Ease: Add your Known Traveler Number to your airline reservation to enjoy faster, more seamless screening.

Using the Right Credit Card Could Save You Even More Money

While this price reduction is great news, Team Clark wants to make sure you’re saving the most money possible when it comes to purchasing TSA PreCheck.

You could get the full cost of the subscription covered by one of the credit cards in your wallet.

Travel credit card issuers often try to find ways to entice customers to apply and then stay with their brands for the long term. One of the ways they do that is with “freebie perks” that give added value to the consumer beyond the spending power and rewards programs of their credit cards.

An increasing number of these cards will pay your TSA PreCheck fee, usually as a statement credit, provided that you pay for your application with the credit card. You’re often limited (as per the fine print) to one statement credit for PreCheck (or Clear or Global Entry) every five years.

Team Clark has compiled a list of credit cards that offer this perk.


Final Thoughts

With the cost of travel frustrating consumers in 2022, it’s nice to be writing about the price going down on something travel related — even by just a few dollars.

Unfortunately, this price decrease doesn’t do much for travelers who already pay for the service, as the online renewal fee remains $70.

But if you’ve never enrolled in TSA PreCheck before, perhaps the slightly lower cost will encourage you to check it out.

And, remember, check the benefits list of all your credit cards before paying up. Many travel cards offer to reimburse your enrollment fee, provided that you make the purchase with that credit card.

Will you take a closer look at TSA PreCheck as a result of this price decrease? Let us know in the Clark.com community.