CLEAR is the independent security program that provides a way to clear the ID check portion of the TSA checkpoint more quickly at US airports. You have to do a one-time registration where they collect your ID information and biometric data (fingerprints and iris scans). After that, when going to a flight, you head to the CLEAR kiosks instead of going to a regular line. You scan your boarding pass and your iris or use your fingerprints. (While CLEAR has always collected your iris print, it’s only been since COVID that they’ve regularly used it for ID.) The CLEAR representative then takes you to the TSA agent for whichever line you qualify for (PreCheck or the regular line).
A combination of CLEAR with TSA PreCheck is the quickest way for you to get through the checkpoints.
When we first got CLEAR, we didn’t see the time savings because of our travel patterns. However, with the massive lines at security checkpoints we’ve seen in the past year, it’s been a lifesaver. In addition, CLEAR has made several updates to its pods, making it easier for everyone to use the service.
CLEAR isn’t cheap, with a CLEAR Plus membership costing $179 per year. You can add up to three additional adults to your membership for $60 each with a family plan. CLEAR’s definition of family is rather broad.
Bundle and save! Add up to 3 family members or friends to your account for just $60 each. Family members under 18 years old can always join you in the CLEAR Lane for free.
If you want to join CLEAR, know that NO ONE should be paying the $179 fee. CLEAR has partnered with Delta to provide discounted memberships to all Delta SkyMiles members. Here’s the breakdown of the discounted prices for an annual membership:
- General Members – $119
- Platinum / Gold / Silver Medallion Members and
Select SkyMiles Credit Card Members – $109
- Diamond Medallion Members – Free
Since anyone can join the SkyMiles program for free, no one should be paying over $119 for a membership.
United Airlines also partnered with CLEAR, with discounted pricing for MileagePlus members.
Here’s the breakdown of the discounted prices for an annual membership:
- MileagePlus Members – $119
- Platinum / Gold / Silver Premier Members and
United U.S. Credit Cardmembers – $109
- Premier 1K Members – Free
New members can visit clearme.com/partner/united. Existing members can log in at my.clearme.com/mileageplus. You’ll be prompted to add your MileagePlus number. Once your MileagePlus number has been added to your account, you will be eligible for the discounted membership pricing at your renewal.
Both airlines are getting discounts for their members because United and Delta own an equity stake in CLEAR.
While getting a discounted price is nice, these credit cards pay for some or all of your membership fee.
- American Express Green Card – $100 in statement credits each calendar year
- American Express Platinum Card – $189 in statement credits each calendar year
- American Express Business Platinum Card – $189 in statement credits each calendar year
I’ll pay the $169 renewal fee ($109 Delta co-brand cardholder discount + $60 for an additional family member) with my Platinum AMEX and receive the money back as a statement credit.
With CLEAR giving Delta and United members discounts, there’s less reason for anyone to pay full price.
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