Best Credit Card for Free TSA PreCheck If You’re New to Miles & Points

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I have some friends who earnestly desire TSA PreCheck, but become glossy-eyed when I immediately launch into the magical world of free travel via miles & points.  All they want is to blaze through airport security.  They’re not trying to get caught up in miles & points intricacies.

Lots of you want a simple answer for receiving TSA PreCheck for free.  The answer is easy:

Open the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.  I have the card, and I’m an expert.

Not only will you get a free TSA PreCheck credit, but you can super easily earn $500 in free travel.

TSA PreCheck Has Saved Me Hours and Hours Over the Course of My Membership

Best Credit Card for FREE TSA PreCheck

The Capital One Venture will reimburse you when you use it to purchase one of the following:

  • TSA PreCheck – Gives you a dedicated airport security line, where you don’t have to remove your jacket, shoes, laptop, etc.
  • Global Entry – Lets you skip the giant immigration lines when arriving back into the US (it also comes with TSA PreCheck)

I have Global Entry, and I recently signed my girlfriend up for TSA PreCheck.  I received the TSA PreCheck statement credit the same day.

If you’re new to collecting miles & points (or not involved at all) and your primary interest is TSA PreCheck, the Capital One Venture is the no-brainer card you’re after.  There are 2 reasons for this.

1.   No Annual Fee the First Year

The Capital One Venture has a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year.  So you can open the card and immediately use the TSA PreCheck credit.  Then, if you find within the next 11 months that you aren’t using the card’s other benefits, you can cancel the card before the annual fee is due.

If you cancel the card within the first year, you will still receive a full 4 years of TSA PreCheck.  And you will not have paid a single dime for it.

2.   It Comes with an Easy $500 in Free Travel

It’s difficult to earn TSA PreCheck for free without also getting hundreds and hundreds of dollars in free travel.  Any travel credit card with that benefit will also have a valuable sign-up bonus.  But the Capital One Venture is especially handy for anyone who doesn’t know much about miles & points, because the miles are so easy to redeem.

You’ll receive 50,000 Capital One miles (worth $500 in travel) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

To redeem your $500 in travel, just use the card to purchase travel as you would with any credit card:

  • Buy your flights or hotel nights directly from the airline or hotel
  • Buy your flights or hotel nights through a site like Hotwire or Kayak
  • Buy your rental car directly through the rental agency
  • Make your purchases through a travel agent

You’ll have 90 days after the purchase to visit your online account, find the travel transaction, and “erase” it with your Capital One miles.

For example, if you reserve a $450 flight, you will use 45,000 Capital One miles when you erase the bill from your balance.  Or, if you spend $200 on a hotel stay, you’ll use 20,000 Capital One miles erasing that purchase from your balance.

Bottom Line

The Capital One Venture will give you a TRULY FREE TSA PreCheck membership.  The credit card’s annual fee is waived the first year, so if you decide you don’t like the card’s benefits, you can cancel it before you pay a single penny.  As long as you use the card to pay for your TSA PreCheck application within that year, you’ll get 4 free years of TSA PreCheck.

Also, the card’s sign-up bonus is the easiest to use of all miles & points credit cards.  So it’s perfect for folks new to this hobby.

I’d love to hear from anyone new or uninterested in miles & points who JUST wants TSA PreCheck.  I know there are quite a few out there!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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