Many Credit Cards offer off perks like ‘Free TSA Pre-Check’ and ‘Free Travel Credits’ for certain designated items like Luggage, Flight Changes, or drinks/snacks bought during flight. The Amex Gold and Platinum Cards include a $100 or $200 ‘Travel Credit’ that technically can’t be used to buy regular airline tickets… But you CAN buy a SouthWest or other brands of Gift Cards – and the charge will be ‘erased’ within two days. The same concept applies to the Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check Fee. They get ‘canceled out’ about 3 days after the charge hits.
You’ll also notice that the good folks at Amex automatically know to match up the ‘IDENTIGO’ Service which performs the TSA PreCheck services to the TSA PreCheck fee.
The $200 From Amex can be used in each fiscal year, so you actually get $400 in FREE* SW or AA Gift Cards, on top of the points you get from these cards… Which helps to offset the $450 Annual Fee.