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Old Mar 2, 15, 4:19 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SJC, SFO, YYC
Programs: AA-EXP, AA-0.41MM, UA-Gold, Ex UA-1K (2006 thru 2015), PMUA-0.95MM, COUA-1.5MM-lite, AF-Silver
Posts: 13,437
My renewal experience

TL/DR - Canadian, green card holder with who had a difficult time getting GE the first time but no GE violations had his renewal approved in under 72 hours. Amex Plat delivered the fee credit in the same time frame. No CBP interview required.

I am a Canadian citizen who holds a Permanent Resident Card which authorizes me to live and work in the US.

I first applied for GE in 2009. At the time, the process required one to schedule an interview at the time of application. I had a rigorous, yet professional interview at the LAX GE office. I was expecting to be rejected.

Several weeks later, I received notification that I was approved for GE. In the those days, the CBP sticker was required, and so before my next international trip, I went to the GE office at ORD for the sticker. At ORD, I had a shorter, equally rigorous, but unprofessional interview, upon which I received my sticker.

During the 5+ years since, I used GE dozens of time, and the only X I ever had from the kiosk was when I noted that I had exceeded my duty free exemption. I think I had 3 Xs in all. I paid duty on just one occasion; I exceeded my exemption by $3000 and paid under $50 in duty. The other times, the CBP waived the duty. At all three times, the CBP verbally noted my honesty.

I only encountered one kiosk that would not read my Permanent Resident Card (green card), and in that case it let me enter my Alien registration number manually.

There was one time in YYC, when I used GE, got the receipt, and somehow in the process of picking up my receipt, green card, and BP, I lost the receipt. I told the CBP officer at passport control in the priority line what happened, and was processed without filling out a blue form as a GE member.

I only had one secondary inspection while holding GE (at IAD). I had no X at that time. The customs agent looked at my receipts for my purchases, did the conversion, shrugged, then started searching my suitcase, got bored 5 minutes into it, and never got below the first layer of clothing.

That was an interesting time. On the plane I did the foreign conversion on my receipts, and I was just under $800, and I was sweating whether the Indian Rupee might have gained strength while I was in the air. It did not.

My GE status was due to expire on my birthday in March of 2015 (this year). Thus I received about 5 years, 9 months of GE the first time around.

In December 2014 and February 2015, the CBP sent two courtesy emails from the CBP that my GE status was due to expire in March of 2015.

In January of 2015 I started my renewal, and from what I can tell, it was the same application and sets of questions as 2009.

On Friday February 27, I completed my renewal, paid for it with my Platinum American Express. The renewal process did not require me to schedule an interview in advance.

I anticipated some difficulty, as this time around, my application noted that I had been to two predominantly Muslim countries (albeit ones very friendly to the USA), as well as Thailand.

Sometime between February 27 and March 1, American Express issued a fee credit for the $100 GE renewal fee.

On Monday, March 2, less than 8 working hours after my renewal was submitted, I received notice that my renewal was approved.

My GE membership number stayed the same.

I now have a little over 5 years before my next renewal. Moving forward, I expect this will always be the case, unless I let my GE expire, or DHS does free extensions in the future.

A very impressive and painless experience, without an interview. And it cost me nothing but two hours of online time.

Originally Posted by Marylou View Post
My GE spires in April of this year. The website now says you can renew it one year from the expiration date. It said there would be a blue RENEW button under Manage Membership. Only mine doesn't have one. The drop down menu on the top left after you go to Manage Membership is blue, but none of the options say anything about renewing.

Any ideas?
Has your email address changed? You should have received at least one courtesy email notifying you that your GE is due to expire.

I suggest logging in, verify the the email is correct and verify that you know the answer to your security questions and such. Then log out. Then attempt to log in again and "forget" your password. Reset your password. Check the email from DHS which you will need to log in. Log in, set a new password. Logout, log in again and see if you have a renewal button.

Last edited by mre5765; Mar 2, 15 at 4:32 pm
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