Personal Finance

Is the Nexus Pass Worth it?

Is the Nexus Pass Worth it?

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After approximately 7 months of waiting, I have finally been approved for my Nexus pass. I am just waiting to get the card with my mugshot on it and am just waiting to have my irises scanned (how fancy!).

What is the Nexus pass? No, it’s not a Google Android phone pass. Actually, most people who live in the United States probably don’t know what this is unless they live near the border.

What is the Nexus Program?

The Nexus Program is a program that unites the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the United States customs and Border Protection (US CBP) to allow simplification of border clearance for low-risk travellers. In addition, expedited clearance via air is also available, so you can just swoop through the airport next time you go to Las Vegas, of course.

The program costs $50 and membership lasts for five years. After five years, you will need to renew again. The program involves creating an online application (some of these questions are detailed!) and then checking your status for an interview date. You are able to select your own date and time. Then, you will be questioned by a U.S CBP officer and a CBSA officer who will then approve you.

What are the Benefits of the Nexus Program?

The benefits of the Nexus program mainly involve less time spent waiting in line ups at both the border crossing by land and also by air. The decrease in time can be remarkable, aiming for a few minutes or even longer. By air, I anticipate that it will take even shorter, therefore you might not have to line up for very long.

The other benefit to be a part of the Nexus program is telling everyone that you have a Nexus card. It’s so elite and part of this fancy “I have the Nexus Program card” club.

What are the Drawbacks of the Nexus Program?

Some of the drawbacks of the Nexus program includes not being able to use the program if you are travelling with people in your car who do not also have a Nexus program approval. This means that despite spending $50 and waiting 7 months to get your card, you will not be able to use it because other people travelling with you are not using it. It also means that you have a responsibility to be accountable and responsible with the use of the Nexus program, and you cannot smuggle drugs across the border or lie about whether or now you brought any alcohol within the last day or two.

So is the Nexus Program worth it?

Well, it is worth it if you go down to the United States often. The luxury of not having to wait in a 1-2 hour lineup cannot be overemphasized. How “often” you go can mean a few times a year or every month. It can be worth it if you tend to go to the United States to pick up packages delivered to the shipping office from places like Amazon or eBay which is what I do. For about $10 per year, you can save yourself the headache of lining up at the border. Instead, you can whiz by, and get to your destination quicker than most and saving more of your precious time.

Also, they recently eliminated the need to fill out the form for declaration for goods when returning to Canada, so that is another major positive aspect of the Nexus program, not needing to fill out any forms.

For me, it is too soon to tell whether this program is any good or not, but judging from the feedback I have received from people who are also Nexus pass holders most people have been happy with the changes.

I will definitely keep you all posted as to whether the Nexus program is working for me.

Readers, do you have the Nexus pass? If so, what are your thoughts on it?


Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals.

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