Is Global Entry free for the Military_

Is Global Entry free for the Military?

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Is Global Entry free for the military? A former active duty Marine buddy of mine asked me this question the other day and I unfortunately I had to gave him a classic military “thousand-yard stare.” I had no clue.

As a Marine Sergeant myself (no longer active duty here…that was ages ago) I did a little travel too while serving, but it was Pre-9/11 travel and security was relatively lax. Services like Global Entry and TSA PreCheck didn’t even exist.

I couldn’t answer his question. So, in classic military style, I had to do a little digging and after researching the United States Customs and Border Patrol website, the Transportation & Security Administration (TSA) website and some popular Military sites I follow I found the answer to this question and a few other related questions.

In this article we examine the ins and outs of Global Entry for Military Members. Specifically, you will learn:

  • What is Global Entry?
  • Is Global Entry free for the Military?
  • Is Global Entry free for Veterans?
  • Is Global Entry free for federal employees (specifically GS employees working on Military Bases)?

Note: We address the military benefits available under the TSA PreCheck program in more detail (although it’s worth noting here that members of the military do get TSA PreCheck for free).

What is Global Entry?

Global Entry is a program that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to enter the United States in an expedited manner. Through a vigorous background check and in-person screening process travelers can be granted access to the Global Entry program giving them what will likely be a much faster re-entry experience into the United States.

Global Entry Logo - is global entry free for military members

In practical terms Global Entry is a program that allows you to get through customs MUCH faster than a traditional re-entry. After paying a small fee of $100, filling out some online forms, having your background checked, then having an in-person interview and getting fingerprinted, you can radically improve your US Custom’s experience as a member of the Global Entry program.

For my military readers, remember that old phrase “hurry up and wait?” Well, without Global Entry reentering the United States after international travel is often a classic case of “hurry up and wait!” There’s no need to embrace the suck here…just get Global Entry (more on this below).

Note: when you sign up for Global Entry you are also enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program

Did you know that active duty military members get access to the TSA PreCheck program for free? Yep, they sure do. Here’s how to get enrolled. Please note that getting TSA PreCheck does NOT give you access to Global Entry. 

Is Global Entry free for the Military - we have the answer_

Is Global Entry free for the Military?

No, unfortunately Global Entry is not free for the military, nor is it automatically granted for simply being in the military. While TSA PreCheck is free for military members, Global Entry is not. Members of the military seeking Global Entry access must sign up for it.

As a Military Member, How do I sign up for Global Entry?

Members of the military seeking to Global Entry status must sign up using the same process as civilians. Visit the US Customs and Border Patrol website, create a Trusted Travel Account, complete the application, submit the $100 fee, and schedule/complete your in-person interview.

Apply for Global Entry Here

Is Global Entry free for Veterans?

No, unfortunately Global Entry is not free for Veterans. Vets wishing to secure Global Entry access must complete the same process as civilians including creating a Trusted Travel Account, completing the application, submitting a $100 fee, completing an in-person interview.

Travelers CAN get their Global Entry Fee reimbursed several different ways including using a credit card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is one such card. It currently offers a credit for Global Entry (or TSA PreCheck) thereby essentially making it free.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card gives travelers a credit for Global Entry

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Is Global Entry free for GS employees?

Global Entry is not free for government (GS) employees who must, like all civilians, complete the normal Global Entry application process including paying the $100 fee, creating a Trusted Travel Account and completing an in-person interview with the US Customs & Border Patrol.

Is Global Entry free for Military Families?

No, Global Entry is not free for families of military members. Family members seeking Global Entry status must complete the application and registration process like any other civilian.

Is Global Entry free for Military Families_

Sorry, no shortcuts here including for military members, vets, government employees and families of military members.

Additional FAQs about Military Global Entry

There is a lot of confusion about what travel benefits are available to Military Members (and their family) including a great deal of confusion about the difference between TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and if one qualifies you for the other (because you are military). We try to untangle this a bit for our readers:

Do I automatically get Global Entry if I have TSA Precheck?

No! Global Entry is a separate program. Enrollment in TSA PreCheck does NOT automatically enroll you in Global Entry. This applies to all travelers including members of the Military.

Do I automatically get TSA PreCheck if I have Global Entry?

Yes. Members who sign up for Global Entry automatically receive access to TSA PreCheck. But not the other way around.

Military Members already get TSA PreCheck for free (they simply have to sign up for it using their DoD ID number), however, Global Entry is NOT free to Military Members who must pay the $100 application fee. Because Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck military members are sort of paying for TSA PreCheck even though they don’t have to.

Nothing you can do about that. Except…use the right credit card. Several credit cards now offer to cover your Global Services fees.

Travelers CAN get their Global Entry Fee reimbursed several different ways including using a credit card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is one such card. It currently offers a credit for Global Entry (or TSA PreCheck) thereby essentially making it free.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card gives travelers a credit for Global Entry

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Do military members have Global Entry?

No, the military does not have Global Entry by default or automatically. Military members must sign up for (and be approved) Global Entry services like all other United States citizens.

Do I need to be in uniform to use Global Entry?

No, military members do not have to be in uniform to use Global Entry services. But it looks badass if you are!

Do I have to get Global Entry if I am in the military?

Members of the military do not have to get Global Entry unless they want to. If you are not doing international travel for personal or military orders there may not be any value to you. Save the $100.

Thanks for your service and for stopping by

We appreciate your service. No matter your branch, you served and we are grateful. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out some of our other great travel content including some of these interesting articles:

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IS GLOBAL ENTRY FREE FOR THE MILITARY - WE EXAMINE

Is Global Entry free for the Military - we investigate

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Author Biography

We. Do. Business Travel. The CBoardingGroup.com is a leading business travel focused travel blog. The principal author has over 18 years of consistent & frequent business travel. Over the years, he has developed various travel habits, travel tips, advice and more that he shares with fellow travelers of all skill levels. From hotel life, to airplane tips, to the weekly grind of frequent travel, plus a little travel humor, this blog is a haven for business travelers. Read his full bio here.

Advertiser Disclosure: CBoardingGroup has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. CBoardingGroup and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

2 comments on “Is Global Entry free for the Military?

  1. DaninMCI

    Interesting. What I find surprising is that air traffic controllers don’t get TSA Pre or GE automatically. If there was ever a group that should be trusted it would be the folks that guide the planes.

    Reply

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