A Passport Card is basically worthless

A colleague of mine was showing off their new passport card in the office the other day and it got me curious...what’s the benefit? Well, except for a few people there is none.

First, let’s talk about what a passport card is for...according to the U.S. Department of State, you can use it to enter Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and several Caribbean nations, but only by LAND or SEA. Basically, it’s good for taking a cruise or driving. However at $55 you can get better value from other products.

NEXUS remains my favorite alternative to a passport. At $50 it includes Global Entry and allows you expeditious entry into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico and allows fast lane access to Canada. A passport card does not grant you any special privileges from the Trusted Traveler network although you can use the “Ready Lanes." In my experience they don’t save that much time than regular passport lines.

Canada and Mexico are the only two countries you can access by land from the U.S. with a passport card. If you’re taking a cruise then you may find the $55 more palatable than the $135 passport fee, but what happens when things go wrong?

Say you’re running late for a cruise and need to catch up with it at the next port. You may have to fly to get there. This happened to a friend of mine a few months ago. She ended up flying through Mexico to catch the boat. If she had a passport card this would not have been an option because it doesn’t work when arriving by air. Or let’s say you need to cut the cruise short because of an emergency back home. You’ll probably need to fly home and again a passport card doesn’t cut it.

Why bother paying twice? There’s a lot of world to explore (in your budget) and you’ll need more than a passport card.
A Passport Card is basically worthless A Passport Card is basically worthless Reviewed by Brandon on November 28, 2017 Rating: 5

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