Over the last couple of years, we have seen a move by many credit card issuers to include Global Entry reimbursement as a perk, even a headline perk, of a credit card offer. While I absolutely love Global Entry [Guide to Global Entry] and find it to be the best thing for travel that the US government has done, the benefit of Global Entry reimbursement is not a game-changer for credit cards!
Credit Card Issuers: Global Entry Reimbursement Is Not a Game-Changing Benefit
I was thinking about this recently after the flood of posts came out about Capital One including Global Entry reimbursement to their Venture card. I was not alone in this thinking as Mark wrote about something similar over at Miles to Memories.
We have seen cards add this feature in great abundance, even on cards that waive the annual fee for the first year. This is great for anyone that does not have Global Entry or TSA Precheck yet, but the majority of us that have been in this for a while probably have at least two cards that give us that reimbursement.
The nice thing is that you can use the credit for anyone’s Global Entry application. So, even if you have it, you can use it for another family member/friend to let them get their Global Entry for free.
The $100 Is NOT Each Year
The rant part about this, though, is what this actually means as a credit card benefit. Yes, it is a $100 credit but that credit only comes up every 4 years. Global Entry is good for 5 years so this means you can pay to renew your card when the renewal period opens (1 year from the day of expiration).
So, in reality, this credit card benefit is like a $25 benefit over the course of the 4 years. Again, nice, but not game-changing. I would definitely not get a credit card for the purpose of a Global Entry reimbursement and I would not keep a credit card for that purpose. I am also very sure that I am not alone in that!
What Should Credit Card Issuers Offer Instead?
Why Do Cards Offer Global Entry Reimbursement?
I am not sure about this but my guess is that the credit card issuers are getting some kind of bounty from the government for signing people up or at least a discount – doesn’t really sound like the government, though. 🙂 But, there has to be a reason we are seeing this benefit popping up on so many cards! I know that credit card companies do like to offer the Global Entry credit for one big reason – they feel comfortable knowing that many people will not use it.
I mean, think about it. The credit cards that are marketed with this are likely being received by people who have other cards that have this. As a result, it may slip people’s minds to use it. From the number of people I have spoken with about card benefits, I can tell that there are many people that do not realize that it is a benefit on their cards! The airline gets to market it as a benefit and people forget to use it – perfect! 🙂
What Would Be a Better Benefit?
I would really like to see credit card issuers get original in their benefits, though. Even though I do not have it, I love that the Uber card went a different way with their benefits offering – (see this post for more about that).
I think more people would appreciate something like a $25 Uber credit each calendar year. That would work out to costing the same as the Global Entry credit and likely more useful to many.
Or, how about $100 luggage voucher every 4 years? It could be for a certain manufacturer (like Tumi, Briggs&Riley, or Travelpro) or for a retailer.
Or, since card issuers are enjoying going for the millennials, how about something like iTunes credit, Amazon digital credit, or a 5 month code for Netflix? These are all things that I think we could see as being quite different and even potentially more useful than the same-old Global Entry reimbursement.
How about it? What benefits would you like to see instead of Global Entry reimbursement? Or are you glad so many cards offer it?