The Price of Global Entry Is About to Go Up

The price increase is the first one ever for the Trusted Traveler Program, which launched in 2008 and allows passengers to whisk through customs after landing in the United States from abroad.

A U.S. passport with a Global Entry form tucked inside, on a table

This is your chance to get Global Entry before the price increases.

Evgenia Parajanian/Shutterstock

You might want to double-check when your Global Entry membership expires and, if it’s not too far in the future, consider reapplying early. Or, if you’ve been meaning to finally sign up, now is the time, because for the first time since the program started in 2008, the price of the popular Trusted Traveler Program is going up.

Starting October 1, 2024, the price for Global Entry, a program that allows preapproved, low-risk travelers to zip through immigration in a matter of minutes after an international flight, is increasing from $100 to $120, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). With it, the application fees for the Nexus (which allows for expedited entry into the United States from Canada) and SENTRI (similarly providing quick access from Mexico) programs are also both increasing to $120. Previously, Nexus cost $50 and SENTRI had an “à la carte” fee structure. The agency is calling these now equal costs—$120 each for all three programs—a “fee harmonization.”

“As these programs have matured and expanded, updating the fee structures is critical to the continuation and management of the programs,” CBP said in a press release.

The popularity of Global Entry has exploded in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic: In April 2018, just 5 million Americans were enrolled in the program, whereas by September 2023, more than 12 million people were signed up. In 2023 alone, 3.2 million Americans applied. Those record-setting numbers (coupled with a seven-month scheduling pause on interviews during the pandemic) caused wait times for approval to soar to 18 months last year (even today, Global Entry estimates it’ll take a new applicant 11 months to be accepted into the program). However, because Global Entry is primarily funded through application fees, the increased price could help alleviate the backlog by enabling the program to hire more staff. Additionally, there are several hacks for scoring an earlier Global Entry interview appointment for those who want to get membership sooner rather than later, including a service that will monitor appointment availability for subscribers.

While the increase does equal a 20 percent bump, considering Global Entry is good for five years, it breaks down to just an extra $4 per year.

And though the price will be higher for individual adults, there is good news for families: Children under the age of 18 will no longer have to pay the application fee, provided a parent or guardian is already a member of Global Entry, Nexus, or SENTRI. Currently, travelers, regardless of their age, must pay the $100 application fee for Global Entry, and those under the age of 18 are still required to schedule an interview alongside a parent or guardian. When the new fee structure kicks in on October 1, minors will still need to submit an application and will be interviewed, but will not pay a fee, a CBP spokesperson tells AFAR.

Some travel-focused credit cards offer a $100 refund for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry as a member perk (you charge it to your credit card and get the funds back as a statement credit). There’s no official word yet on whether the credit cards will increase the fee to match the new Global Entry cost.

In addition to fast-tracking entry into the United States after an international flight, Global Entry also includes TSA PreCheck, a dedicated security line at participating airports that is typically faster and simpler than standard lines. It’s important to note that while Global Entry prices have gone up, there have been no announcements regarding an increased price for TSA PreCheck, which decreased in price in 2022, from $85 for a five-year membership to $78.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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