American Express has really started to beef up the benefits for their Platinum and Centurion cardmembers. In spring of 2011 they expanded their airport lounge program by adding Priority Pass Select free of charge. I don’t know what’s better, that or the new $100 discount for the Global Entry program.
What is Global Entry?
In short, it’s a program run by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that essentially gives velvet rope treatment for qualified travelers. It allows you to skip the lines and go straight to a kiosk for entry into the US.
Currently the program is available to citizens and permanent residents of the United States, as well as Dutch citizens and Mexican nationals. Although Global Entry is geared towards frequent international travelers, anyone can apply regardless of how often (or not) they travel. As you can imagine, this program is specifically for low-risk travelers (translation: criminals need not apply).
How to apply?
There is an online application at GlobalEntry.gov and the cost is $100. If you pass the preliminary approval, you will be scheduled for an interview, where your photo will be taken and fingerprints scanned. Why fingerprints you ask? Well the kiosks that you will be using when re-entering the U.S. will require you to scan your fingerprints to confirm your identity. Your enrollment is good for five years.
How to get it for free?
If you are the primary accountholder of an American Express Platinum or Centurion, your $100 fee will be reimbursed as long as your charge it to your card. This perk along with the new $200 yearly fee reimbursement on a qualifying airline of your choice for checked bags, in-flight food, etc. have really upped the ante on the Platinum appeal. If you’re interested in learning more, I would suggest you check out this sponsored offer for CreditCardForum visitors: Learn more about the Platinum Card and take advantage of this special promotion