2 IHG Rewards Credit Cards Debut Bigger Sign-Up Bonuses

Two of the three IHG Rewards credit cards have new sign-up bonuses — and one is the card’s highest-ever points…

Two of the three IHG Rewards credit cards have new sign-up bonuses — and one is the card’s highest-ever points offer. The bonuses became available Jan. 26 on the co-branded cards issued by Chase.

Consumers who regularly spend at IHG hotels and resorts, such as Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites and Hotel Indigo, might want to consider getting a card. You can redeem your points for free stays, with nights starting at 10,000 points.

IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card

Annual fee: $99.

Sign-up bonus: 175,000 for spending at least $3,000 in the first three months with an account, the best-ever sign-up bonus on this card. Previously, new cardholders could earn 140,000 bonus points for the same spending.

Rewards: It’s possible to earn up to 26 points per dollar at IHG properties. You’ll get five points per dollar on travel, gas station and restaurant purchases, and three points per dollar on all other spending.

Select benefits: Cardholders get Platinum Elite status in IHG One Rewards, unlocking perks including free room upgrades and amenities. The card also comes with a statement credit of up to $100 every four years to cover the application fee for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or Nexus. You’ll get a reward night each year after your account anniversary, and when you redeem your rewards for four or more eligible nights in a row, you’ll get every fourth night free.

IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: 120,000 bonus points to cardholders who spend at least $2,000 in their first three months with the card, a 40,000-point increase over the previous offer.

Rewards: It’s possible to earn up to

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Credit Cards With Airport Lounge and Expedited Security Access

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

It’s been a rough year for domestic and international travelers. Marred by issues related to understaffing, many airlines have found themselves in a precarious position — in this case, not having enough planes and crew members to accommodate so many travelers — leading to lots and lots of flight cancellations.

So far this year, over 130,000 flights have been canceled. For reference, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, from 2013 to 2021 — with the exception of 2020 — the number of flight cancellations never exceeded 80,000. At this rate, that number could end up close to the record 263,941 number of flights that were canceled in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Needless to say, it’s been a stressful time for those who have had to fly. And as demand for travel remains strong, it’s predicted that this will be a long-standing issue.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to make your next trip to the airport a little bit easier, especially if you have the right credit card.

Whether you’re a frequent flyer or you simply want to make your upcoming flight less of a headache, these seven credit cards are worth considering, as they each include complimentary lounge access and statement credits toward expedited airport security to make your next travel experience less stressful.

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Best credit cards for lounge access and expedited security

Statement credits for expedited airport security

Before you hit the airport lounge, you’ll need to get through a potentially long security line. While wait times are completely out of your control, there are a

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Is CLEAR Worth It (And Does It Really Save Time at the Airport)?

Apart from flight delays and cancellations, waiting in security lines can be one of the worst experiences at the airport. Lines are often crowded, it can take a lot of time to get through them, and you typically can’t avoid them completely.

With paid programs such as CLEAR, however, you could reduce your airport screening times and get on to your gate and final destination faster. Learn how this new ID platform works and whether it might be right for you.

7 Nearly Secret Things to Do If You Fly Southwest

What is CLEAR?

CLEAR is a secure platform that offers touchless ID verification in dozens of airports and sports and entertainment venues nationwide. The company was founded in 2010 by Caryn Seidman-Becker and Ken Cornick and has more than 1,000 employees and over 5 million members.

You might have already seen CLEAR at the airport close to a TSA security checkpoint. The blue and white kiosks are easily recognizable as are the friendly CLEAR employees standing nearby. The kiosks can help you avoid long airport lines by placing you directly at the physical screening section rather than in the line where you have to wait for a TSA agent to check your documents.

CLEAR offers a quick and touchless process for verifying your boarding documents as part of the standard security screening. Rather than interacting with a person, you use the CLEAR kiosk to verify your identity using biometrics. The kiosk may require an eye, face, or fingerprint scan as well as a scan of your boarding pass. From there, you’ll move on to the physical part of the TSA screening.

Who is eligible for CLEAR?

CLEAR is available to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who are 18 and older and have

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Top credit cards for Global Entry & TSA PreCheck

What is Global Entry and TSA PreCheck?

Both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are services administered by the federal government to provide expedited security screening. TSA PreCheck allows for expedited screening for flights that depart from the United States. Global Entry provides expedited U.S. customs screening for international travelers that enter the United States. Global Entry members receive TSA PreCheck as a part of their membership.

When members qualify, their status with both programs will last for five years and members are eligible to renew their membership. Application cost for Global Entry is $100, which is slightly more expensive than TSA PreCheck’s application cost of $78. 

Related: 7 ways to get free or discounted TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and Clear

With any of the cards above, you’re eligible for a fee credit every four or five years for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck when you pay for the membership with the card. Note that you don’t need to be paying for your own membership: as long as the application fee is charged to the card and you haven’t already utilized the perk, the credit should automatically be applied to your next statement.

Related: 14 things you should know about Global Entry before your next trip

How we chose the best cards for Global Entry and TSA/PreCheck

The most obvious requirement for being chosen for this list is that each card has a statement credit benefit for your Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee. But this isn’t an exhaustive list of cards that offer these credits. Instead, it represents the cards that provide the perk and offer the most valuable additional benefits to card holders, such as airport lounge access or travel credits.

We also considered whether authorized users also receive the benefit, the card’s sign-up bonus and other

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How Global Entry for Family Works

The tourism industry is recovering from the pandemic, and so are airport lines. Security and immigration wait times can be as long as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and thankfully, there are ways to shorten them (at least in the United States) by utilizing Global Entry and TSA PreCheck lines.

Global Entry is designed to save time for trusted travelers returning to the United States from a trip abroad. Here’s all you need to know about getting Global Entry for your family and possibly getting it for free.

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler program allowing sped-up customs clearance. Enrolling in Global Entry will enable you to wait in a much shorter immigration line upon returning from abroad. Travelers head to the designated Global Entry kiosk and present their travel documentation. Once cleared, you’re directed to the baggage claim as usual.

Global Entry also includes TSA PreCheck, which lets you go through a dedicated security line and save time at more than 200 U.S. airports. Add your Known Traveler Number to your air ticket and enjoy a shorter security line that lets you keep your shoes on and your laptop in the bag.

Does everyone in my family need their own Global Entry membership?

Using Global Entry with kids differs from using TSA PreCheck, which allows children ages 12 and younger to join their parents in the fast lane at the airport. Global Entry doesn’t offer this added flexibility. Only Global Entry members can enter a Global Entry immigration line.

This means that if you want your spouse or your children to go through a usually shorter immigration queue with you, they must enroll in Global Entry, no matter their age. Otherwise, you must separate and wait for them at the baggage claim.

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Virgin Atlantic to end Pakistan flights

Virgin Atlantic is terminating its Pakistan flights later this year as the airline continues to restructure its route network following the pandemic.

Flights to Lahore will end on 1st May whilst flights to Islamabad will continue a while longer, until 9th July.

Virgin confirmed the news to us in a statement:

Virgin Atlantic to end Pakistan flights

“It is with regret that we’ve taken the difficult decision to suspend our services between London Heathrow and Pakistan. Since commencing operations in December 2020, we have been proud to offer choice for customers travelling between London and Manchester in the UK, and Islamabad and Lahore in Pakistan. During that time, we have also provided important cargo capacity, as well as delivering vital medical supplies. ​

This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we’d like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.  We would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone in Pakistan; our customers, teams, partners and the authorities for their support over the past two years.”​

Both flights were launched in August 2020 as a way to diversify away from the United States, which didn’t re-open to tourists for another 15 months. The routes catered to the ‘visiting friends and family’ market which remained fairly buoyant during covid.

Virgin Atlantic clearly feels it can use those aircraft more profitably on other routes. As well as forthcoming new routes to the Maldives and Turks & Caicos, two more new routes were rumoured to be on the cards. The Korean press has speculated that Seoul may be one of them – home of Virgin’s upcoming SkyTeam partner Korean Air – with a deal done to get EU approval for the pending Korean / Asiana merger.

The move may also have been spurred by rumours that the EU flight ban of Pakistan International Airlines will soon be lifted.

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Which One Is Right for You?

Even if you don’t fly often, it’s easy to see the appeal of paying around $70 every five years so you can dodge lengthy airport security lines, keep your shoes on and your electronics stowed away, and then zip through to your gate. Add in the fact that TSA PreCheck is available with more than 85 participating carriers – including international airlines such as Air Canada and Aeroméxico – at more than 200 airports across the U.S., and you may be compelled to sign up, stat.

But before you submit your application, it’s important to understand the details of the enrollment process, added status perks and general details of how the program works, as well as the key differentiators between TSA PreCheck and the other U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler Programs such as Global Entry and NEXUS.

The difference between TSA PreCheck and Global Entry

Program Cost Membership period Application fee covered by select credit cards? Benefits
TSA PreCheck $78 to enroll; $70 to renew online Five years Yes: Chase Sapphire Reserve, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant and more Expedited security screenings in special lanes without needing to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, etc.
Global Entry $100 Five years Yes: Capital One Venture X, Chase Sapphire Reserve and more TSA PreCheck benefits at security checkpoints, plus fast-track lanes at U.S. customs screenings

These two programs will allow you to pass speedily through certain screening points in airports. The main difference is that TSA PreCheck works for security screenings in the U.S., while Global Entry also allows you to move quickly through customs checks. The security screening process is conducted before departure, whereas you’ll typically go through a customs checkpoint upon your arrival into a U.S. airport after an international trip. Customs checks may also occur before you depart if you’re flying

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What Is TSA PreCheck? Requirements, Benefits, More

Travelers often dread going through TSA security lines, but by signing up for TSA PreCheck, you can save a lot of time and hassle at airport security.

Exactly how much time can you save? We’ll put it this way: In June 2021, 97% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes at airport security.

Travelers with TSA PreCheck can use dedicated security lines, keep their shoes on and leave their 3-1-1 liquids and laptops in their bags. These benefits are available when flying on dozens of airlines at over 200 airports.

Here, we answer your questions: What is TSA PreCheck, how much does it cost and how can you get it for free?

TSA PreCheck is a membership program that offers dedicated airport security lines and streamlined screening at a few hundred airports across the U.S.

Upon approval, members receive a Known Traveler Number that lets the airlines know that you are eligible for TSA PreCheck benefits.

More than 80 airlines participate in TSA PreCheck to provide a smoother airport screening process. Simply add your Known Traveler Number to your flight reservations to receive a “TSA PreCheck” designation on your boarding pass and use the dedicated security lines. On some flights you may not receive TSA PreCheck benefits based on the airline you’re flying, which airport you are flying from or TSA procedures.

Children 12 and under do not need their own TSA PreCheck membership. As long as they are traveling with an adult who is a member, they can use the TSA Security lanes too.

Differences between TSA PreCheck and Global Entry

  • TSA PreCheck makes domestic travel simpler, offering dedicated airport security lanes, lower application fees and several locations where you can enroll.

  • Global Entry, on the other hand, is best for international travelers. This program includes

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6 Best Credit Cards With Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Benefits

Most airport regulars know of reliable ways to avoid the most egregious lines. Those who fly often enough to qualify for the higher ranks of airline frequent flyer status can typically bypass ticketing lines and head straight to the counter. Those with coveted airport lounge memberships — often a perk of elite flyer status — don’t need to wait for counter service at public terminal eateries and watering holes.

And those willing to endure a lengthy vetting process may qualify for two federal programs that confer expedited entry privileges at airport security checkpoints and U.S. points of entry: Global Entry and TSA PreCheck.

Unlike frequent flyer status and airport lounge privileges, expedited entry isn’t an automatic perk of high-end travel rewards credit cards. Everyone must go through the same application and vetting process, with no guarantee of approval.

Best Credit Cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

But many premium travel rewards credit cards extend a financial incentive to TSA PreCheck and Global Entry applicants: a credit against the programs’ application fees. With Global Entry application fees clocking in at $100 and PreCheck’s at $85, and both programs requiring reapplication every five years, this credit is worth up to $20 per year.

Unless noted otherwise, each card credits only the first application fee charged to the card: $85 for TSA PreCheck or $100 for Global Entry. Cardholders generally cannot receive credit for more than one application fee within a five-year period. Credits appear on card statements, usually within one statement cycle of payment.

Without further ado, these are the best credit cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application fee credits.

1. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

2x Miles on Most Eligible Purchases; 5x Miles on Hotel and Car Rental Purchases Made Through Capital One Travel

Capital One Venture Card Art 4 23 21

The Capital

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The Quick And Easy Way To Complete Your TSA PreCheck Enrollment You May Not Know About

As the number of air travelers continues to grow — and security lines get longer — many people are thinking about enrolling in Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program.

If you’ve thought about enrolling in TSA PreCheck but haven’t due to the inconvenience of scheduling an enrollment appointment at the airport, there’s good news: You can now schedule that appointment at many Staples locations while you’re there picking up office or school supplies. While appointments are preferred, walk-ins are also welcomed.

TSA Precheck, Explained

TSA PreCheck, one of the Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Programs, allows pre-screened low-risk travelers to use their designated lines rather than the other TSA security lines, the agency explains. That line moves quicker because PreCheck passengers don’t need to remove their shoes, belts, or light jackets, or remove their liquids bag or electronics from their carry-on luggage.

Last December, 91 percent of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than 5 minutes, according to the TSA. Travelers can use TSA PreCheck lanes at more than 200 U.S. airports when flying on 85 domestic and foreign airlines.

Here’s what you need to know about having your TSA PreCheck in-person appointment at Staples.

How To Apply For TSA PreCheck

The first step is to search for a Staples location near you that offers TSA PreCheck services. You can search for those locations on the Staples website.

Once you verify that there is a participating Staples near you, the next step is to begin the enrollment process on the TSA PreCheck website. You’ll need to complete the application by supplying identifying information, including your date of birth, current address, and biometric information such as height, weight, and eye color.

Once you’re conditionally approved for TSA PreCheck, you’ll then need to schedule an in-person appointment at

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