Global Entry (GE) is an expedited immigration program that can make traveling internationally a relative breeze. It allows you to bypass the lines at immigration by using a kiosk rather than speaking to a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agent.
The application process for Global Entry requires you to complete a lengthy application and then schedule an in-person interview at one of the various CBP offices, most of which are at airports. I found the application more onerous than the interview. It also requires a $100 application fee.
United Will Pay The GE Fee for GS, 1K, and Platinums
For the past several years, United has had a Global Entry benefit whereby Mileage Plus members with Global Services, 1K, or Platinum status have been eligible for a payment code that covers 100% of the fee. It’s a very easy and seamless process — quite a rarity for United these days.
Sadly, United has announced that the Global Entry fee reimbursement will not be a benefit of the 2015 Mileage Plus program.
As for February 1, 2015, MileagePlus will no longer provide a payment code which can be used as the form of payment for the $100 Global Entry application fee. Eligible members may continue to request a payment code until January 31, 2015.
So if you’re eligible and haven’t done so already, I would request a payment code ASAP. I actually just helped a friend through the process. It’s really easy.
Steps To Request A GE Payment Code From United
1. Go to the United Global Entry benefit page.
2. It should request that you log in to your account.
3. Click “Request Code”.
4. Verify the address where the payment code will be sent.
United then emails you what is effectively a credit card number to put on your Global Entry application. That means United will be charged directly which makes it really convenient. United says you should have the code within one business day.
After you receive the code, you can use it for payment on your Global Entry application through the Global Entry Enrollment System (GOES) website. I’m not sure how long you have to use the payment code, but I wouldn’t procrastinate because who knows when they’ll deactivate the credit card account that these are being charged to.
Will United Pay For My Renewal?
Global Entry is good for five years, at which point you have to renew and pay the fee again. I’m about midway through that time, so I was wondering if I could renew early and get United to pay for it. When I try to get a code from my account, this is the message I get:
Considering that the program is ending in two days, it seems that maintaining eligible status is probably the least of my concerns……
My credit card reimbursed my GE fee. Can I use my United payment code for someone else?
Effectively yes. United sends a credit card number which you can use for anyone. That’s not to say they intended the benefit to work like that, but it does.
My entire family has Global Entry and it really does make a difference. Just this week we arrived at Dulles at the peak of the afternoon European arrivals. The immigration lines were long. My kids were tired and cranky. It was very nice to be able to breeze through Global Entry.
I plan to have another post on our experiences using Global Entry with kids later, but suffice it to say that it does work.
Did you get United to pay for your Global Entry fee? Are you sad to see this benefit go?