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What is Clear and is it worth it?

Speed through the document screening process like a VIP.

Updated

Fact checked

Waiting to pass documents and security checks before boarding your plane can take up valuable time you may not always have. So taking advantage of security programs that speed up the process can sometimes be a lifesaver. Using a security program like Clear means you can get through checkpoints in just a few minutes.

What is Clear?

Clear is an expedited security program that helps you move faster through security at select airports and sports stadiums.

How does Clear work?

First, you need to become a Clear member. Once you get your membership, go to a Clear pod at the airport and use your biometric data — fingerprint and eyes — to verify your ID. After that, a Clear representative will escort you to the security screening bypassing everyone in the line.

How is Clear different from Global Entry and TSA PreCheck?

Clear is a similar program with Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, yet there are some differences.

ClearGlobal EntryTSA PreCheck
PurposeSpeed through travel document check on departing flightsSpeed through US border control and customs on arriving flightsSpeed through the physical screening process
ID checkBiometrics — eyes and fingerprintsDocumentDocument
Price$179 annually$100 application fee, plus you get TSA PreCheck$85 application fee
DiscountsUnited and Delta elite tiers enjoy discounts or free Clear membershipSome credit cards offer application fee creditSome credit cards offer application fee credit
Length of membership1 year5 years5 years
Family members
  • Your children under 18 can tag with you without additional cost
  • Add up to three adults with a Family Plan for an additional $50
N/AYour children under 12 can tag with you without additional cost

Combine programs

Clear can only help you pass through ID check in minutes and reach the security line before anyone else. But if you combine your Clear membership with TSA PreCheck, you’ll slide past security check even faster.

Our pick for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
Read less
Read more
See Rates & Fees

How much does Clear cost?

Unlike Global Entry and TSA PreCheck where you’re charged once every five years for your application, Clear has an annual membership fee. However, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines cardholders and members of their frequent flyer programs get discounts.

Clear price
Standard membership$179
United Airlines elite tier statusDepending on tier level:

  • MileagePlus members — $119 ($60 discount)
  • United Airlines credit card members — $109 ($70 discount)
  • Premier® Silver, Gold or Platinum members — $109 ($70 discount)
  • Premier 1K® members — Free ($179 discount)
Delta Air Lines elite tier statusDepending on tier level:

  • SkyMiles members — $119 ($60 discount)
  • Delta SkyMiles credit card members — $109 ($70 discount)
  • Silver, Gold and Platinum Medallion members — $109 ($70 discount)
  • Diamond Medallion members — Free ($179 discount)
Children under 18 traveling with a Clear memberFree
Up to three adult family membersAdditional $50 for a Family Plan

United Airlines discount

If you own a United Airlines cobranded credit card or if you’re a MileagePlus member, you get to enjoy Clear discounts.

MileagePlus members$119 ($60 discount)
United Airlines credit card members$109 ($70 discount)
Premier® Silver, Gold or Platinum members$109 ($70 discount)
Premier 1K® membersFree ($179 discount)

Delta Air Lines discount

Delta SkyMiles members get to enjoy discounts on Clear membership.

SkyMiles members$119 ($60 discount)
Delta SkyMiles credit card members$109 ($70 discount)
Silver, Gold and Platinum Medallion members$109 ($70 discount)
Diamond Medallion membersFree ($179 discount)

Is Clear worth it?

Clear can get you past ID checks at the largest US airports in minutes. After that, you are escorted to the security line first. If you also have TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you can pass the security check in minutes and be on your way faster than travelers without these services.

If you travel often and you’re willing to trade your biometric data for convenience, then Clear could be a valuable perk to have.

How do I get Clear?

To get a Clear membership, start your application online and provide your fingerprints and iris scan in person at a local Clear location. To start online:

  1. Visit the Clear website.
  2. Click Get Clear.
  3. Provide your personal information.
  4. Select a personal or family membership plan.
  5. Click Pay.
  6. Verify your application in person at a local Clear location. Bring a valid ID, and be ready to provide your fingerprints and get an iris scan.

Compare credit cards with Clear discounts

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
United℠ Explorer Card
2x miles at restaurants, hotels and United and 1x miles on all other purchases
16.49% to 23.49% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
United Club℠ Infinite Card
4x miles on United purchases, 2x miles on travel and dining and 1x miles on all other purchases
16.49% to 23.49% variable
$525
Get United Club membership with access for you and two guests at any United Club or Star Alliance lounge -- a value of up to $650 annually.
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See issuer's website
See terms
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
American Express® Green Card
3x Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, 3x points at restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases
See Pay Over Time APR
$150
Earn 3x Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, 3x points at restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases. Rates & fees
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants and at US supermarkets and 1x miles on all other purchases
15.74% to 24.74% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
With a welcome offer worth up to $490, plus rewards on everyday purchases and Delta flights, this card offers value even for occasional flyers. Rates & fees
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

If you want to get through the document screening process at the largest airports in the US, the Clear membership could be worth considering.

With Delta Air Lines and United Airlines credit cards, you can get discounts on Clear membership rates. But if this is not a perk you value as much, consider other travel credit cards that come with TSA PreCheck and Global Entry application fee credit.

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