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I love Global Entry. For those of you not familiar with Global Entry, it’s a trusted traveler program which offers expedited immigration in the United States to pre-screened passengers.
In order to be eligible you have to join Global Entry, pay a fee, get interviewed, etc., but it’s well worth it. I can’t even begin to imagine how many dozens of hours I’ve saved by having Global Entry. I used to be stressed when I landed back in the US off a longhaul flight, wondering whether immigration would take five minutes or 90 minutes, but nowadays it’s not something I even think about.
I go up to a kiosk, insert my passport, get fingerprinted, answer a few questions, and I’m on my way. Easy peasy.
Those that are part of Global Entry also receive TSA Pre-Check, which provides for expedited security in the US thanks to dedicated lanes where you don’t have to take off your shoes, or take your laptop or liquids out of your bags.
Applying for Global Entry is a much better deal than outright applying for TSA Pre-Check. Applying for Global Entry costs $100, and it gets you access to TSA Pre-Check as well. Meanwhile if you spend the $85 to apply for TSA Pre-Check, you don’t get Global Entry.
Some credit cards get you free Global Entry
As I’ve explained before, there are some credit cards that offer $100 Global Entry fee credits as a benefit. Some of those cards include the following:
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Citi Prestige® Card
The process is super easy, as you just use the eligible card to pay for the Global Entry fee, and then you’ll automatically be reimbursed.
For example, last year I used the fee credit on my Citi Prestige® Card to get Ford Global Entry (which was reimbursed within a couple of weeks).
Meanwhile I just used the fee credit on The Platinum Card® from American Express for my Global Entry renewal (with was reimbursed within three days).
How long is Global Entry valid for?
Global Entry is valid for roughly five years after you apply. The reason I say “roughly” is because it’s valid for five years from your next birthday. In other words, if your birthday is December 1, and you apply January 1, 2010, your membership would be valid through December 1, 2015. If you strategically apply for Global Entry, you can get it for almost six years with one membership.
When can you renew your Global Entry?
You can apply to have your Global Entry renewed up to a year before the expiration date. There’s no penalty for renewing early, in the sense that it will still be valid for five years from when your membership currently expires, and not five years from when you’re approved. So you might as well renew early.
For what it’s worth, you won’t want to let your membership lapse, since apparently the process is more complicated for a lapsed membership. So be sure to apply for renewal well before your Global Entry is set to expire.
My experience renewing Global Entry
To renew your Global Entry membership, log into the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES), and enter your account information.
In my case, I noticed that I had applied on July 22, 2011, and that my membership was valid through April 20, 2017 (my birthday is April 20, and the membership is valid through your birthday in the fifth year). To start the process of renewing my membership, I clicked “Renew Membership.”
From there I had to go through the same 15 step process I went through when I first applied for Global Entry. The good news is that most of the information is already pre-populated, so you just have to confirm nothing has changed. Perhaps the one time consuming part of the application is the “Travel History” section, where you have to enter the countries you’ve been to in the past five years. For some of us, that can be a rather long list.
The whole process of checking everything and adding all the countries took maybe 15 minutes, and then I was brought to the payment page, where I had to pay the $100 renewal fee. I used The Platinum Card® from American Express.
I was then brought back to the account overview page, where I saw that my application was “Pending Review.”
From there I just had to wait. I submitted my application on May 24, 2016, and this morning I finally received an email indicating that I had an “Account Status Change.”
So I logged into my account, and noticed that my Global Entry renewal was approved. Apparently your account can be renewed, denied, or in some cases, you have to come in for an interview. So it’s awesome that I don’t have to come in for another interview.
In my case it took almost three weeks from the time I applied until the time I was approved.
What happens when your passport expires?
My passport expires in 2019, while my Global Entry is valid through 2022. Nowadays you don’t need a Global Entry sticker for your passport, so it’s my understanding that the only thing that needs to be done is that you need to log back into your GOES account and enter your new passport information, and your Global Entry (and TSA Pre-Check) will work seamlessly.
The process of renewing Global Entry is easy. I just had to confirm all the information I entered into my application five years ago, add in the countries I’ve visited since then, and pay the fee. From there it was about a three week wait for my application to be approved. Best of all, I don’t even to go in for another interview.
If your Global Entry expiration is coming up within a year, you might as well get started with your renewal.
What has been your experience with getting Global Entry renewed?