You don't see this very often these days: prices going down.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration and its enrollment partner IDEMIA, eager to get more travelers signed up for the queue-cutting TSA PreCheck program, have marked down the price of membership.
The enrollment fee is now $78, down from $85.
Members of TSA PreCheck are issued a special Known Traveler Number (KTN) valid for 5 years. When a KTN is added to a reservation for a flight on 80+ participating airlines at more than 200 airports, ticket holders are entitled to use the expedited PreCheck security inspection lanes, where passengers speed through the checkpoint without having to remove their shoes or most of their consumer electronics from luggage. (Here's our indispensable guide to applying for TSA PreCheck.)
"In September 2022, 93% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes at airport security checkpoints nationwide," the TSA said in a statement announcing the price reduction.
Online TSA PreCheck renewals still cost $70, but rarer in-person renewals completed at an enrollment center require a nonrefundable renewal fee of $78, which has also been reduced from $85. Most renewals do not require a new in-person interview.
U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and lawful permanent residents are eligible for the voluntary program.
Probably the biggest factor preventing more flyers from joining PreCheck has been the hassle of scheduling the mandatory one-time, in-person screening interview at one of around 500 permanent locations. But the TSA has been working to expand the membership base of TSA PreCheck by making that requirement easier, even going as far as to host pop-up events for interviews to process incoming applicants quicker.
You might already be eligible to sign up for TSA PreCheck for free. There's a bevy of credit cards that automatically refund the application fee for cardholders; click here to see the TSA's current list of cards that will pay your TSA PreCheck fee for you.
At the moment, the federal government recommends applying for PreCheck rather than Global Entry, another Trusted Traveler Program that speeds passengers through Customs and Border Protection upon return to the United States. Global Entry memberships automatically come bundled with TSA PreCheck for an application fee of $100 (some credit cards will refund that, too).
But due to long processing delays, the U.S. government currently recommends opting for TSA PreCheck unless you travel internationally "multiple times per year."