What do I have to do to get it?
Fill out an application online, which you can find here. The application asks you to list where you've lived -- and which countries you've visited -- in the last five years. Aside from that, it's just the basics of passport numbers and other identification data. The provision approval takes a few weeks.
From there, you have to schedule an in-person interview at one of 38 Global Entry Enrollment Centers, where a CBP officer will ask you a few perfunctory questions (like, why are you applying?) for a grand total of about seven minutes, under the guise of a “rigorous background check”. You’ll also get your fingerprints scanned, and a photo taken for the ID card.
If you're approved, you'll be handed a sheet of paper giving you provisional approval, along with your trusted traveler number. You can then begin using that number for any flights you've already booked, or plan to book. The ID card should come in the mail in just a few weeks.
How much does it cost?
There's a $100, non-refundable (read: even when denied) fee for the application, though certain credit cards (like an American Express Platinum or Business Platinum card, and the Citi Prestige) will reimburse you for Global Entry fees. In contrast, TSA PreCheck costs $85, and doesn't give you Global Entry. So $15 more gets you both.
It's worth the extra $15.
And it lasts forever?
No, you’ll have to renew it every five years, for an additional fee. But $100 over the course of five years isn't that bad a deal, right?
What if my passport expires?
You’ll need to re-visit your favorite, tight-lipped CBP officer with the new passport.
While this might be the only reason she's even speaking to you, let her down easy; only Global Entry members can use Global Entry kiosks.
Where can I apply?
Click right here.
Sophie-Claire Hoeller is Thrillist's über-efficient German associate travel editor, and has had frequent flyer status since she was born in a Lufthansa terminal. Follow her @Sohostyle