A Global Entry Card is only $15 more than the TSA PreCheck Application. My vote is for a Global Entry Card.
Here is what to do with the card. The card contains a Known Traveler number, on the upper-left hand corner of the back of the card. To take advantage of TSA PreCheck, you’ll want to input this into your traveler profile whenever you fly on participating airlines: Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Hawaiian, Jet Blue, Southwest, Sun Country, United US Airways, and Virgin America. Without this number on your boarding pass, you’ll have to line up as usual, which really defeats the purpose (no, you cannot wave your card at a TSA agent). There are plans to get international airlines on board as well, but it’s currently a work in progress. There is one other bonus of the physical card: it works as another form of government-issued ID.
How Do I Use Global Entry?
When you land at a major airport after an international flight, head directly toward signs for Global Entry kiosks (they have been well-marked at every airport I’ve been to). At the kiosk, scan your passport, which typically brings up your flight details to confirm. You’ll answer the customs form electronically (hint: there’s a useful "No to All" check box). The kiosk will then take your photo—stand way back if you’re short like me, or they will only get your forehead—and scan your fingerprints, and spit out a tiny receipt that you hand to the customs agent on your way out.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Your time from landing to picking up luggage will decrease substantially. People have told me that when they arrived at JFK, they went from their airplane seat to the back of a taxi in less than 25 minutes. (flying coach, so the majority of that time was deplaning.) If time is important to you, you will apply.
Travel and Leisure Melissa Locker 5/29/2016