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TSA Pre-Check vs Global Entry vs Nexus vs SENTRI: What's the best program for you?

Updated: May 31, 2023

If you travel often I'm sure you've noticed the 2 separate lines for airport security. One of the lines always moves faster, The Trusted Traveler's Program (TTP) line, recognizable as the "TSA Pre-Check" sign when you go through security checks.

TTP has 4 air travel programs that you can sign up for, all with different capabilities and permissions. Depending on your travel needs, one program may make more sense over others if you decide to join. No matter what plan you get, they all last 5 years before you're required to renew it.

Below is a simple breakdown of each TTP program and what they are best used for. The information below is based on the U.S. Homeland Security website and may change based on government regulations.

What are the 4 TTP's (Trusted Traveler Programs) for air travel?


  2. Nexus

  3. Global Entry

  4. TSA Pre-Check

Who can apply to the TTP programs?

  1. SENTRI - U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, foreign nationals

  2. Nexus - U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents, Mexican nationals

  3. Global Entry - U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, select foreign nationals

  4. TSA Pre-Check - U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents

What is each one for?

SENTRI is for expedited screening when entering the U.S. from Canada or Mexico only.

Nexus is for expedited screening when entering the U.S. from Canada only.

Global Entry is for expedited screening when entering the U.S. from any international destination.

TSA Pre-Check is for expedited screening when departing from U.S. airports.

How much does each program cost?

There is a non-refundable application fee for each membership (below) that does not include processing fees.

SENTRI : $123

Nexus : $50

Global Entry : $100

TSA Pre-Check : $78

What are the benefits of each program?

TSA Pre-Check offers an expedited security screening at 200+ airports in the U.S. for departures and is also offered to travelers with SENTRI, Nexus, and Global Entry membership. These 3 programs also offer expedited re-entry into the U.S. after international travels.

How long does my membership last?

As of 2022, all TTP memberships last 5 years.

When will my application be approved?

Due to staff shortages and facility closure, active membership can take 2+ months to achieve based on interview availability and final approval.

Where can I apply for a TTP membership?

You can apply for membership on the Homeland Security website.

How do I use my TTP membership?

Enter your Known Traveler Number when you book any flights on the booking website. There should be a section outlined in the booking process. This will allow the airport to pre-screen you and make your airport security checks quick and simple.

Let me know in the comments if you join TTP and how your first experience is using this program!


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