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What is Clear and is it worth it?
Speed through the document screening process like a VIP.
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.
|Clear||Global Entry||TSA PreCheck|
|Purpose||Speed through travel document check on departing flights||Speed through US border control and customs on arriving flights||Speed through the physical screening process|
|ID check||Biometrics — eyes and fingerprints||Document||Document|
|Price||$179 annually||$100 application fee, plus you get TSA PreCheck||$85 application fee|
|Discounts||United and Delta elite tiers enjoy discounts or free Clear membership||Some credit cards offer application fee credit||Some credit cards offer application fee credit|
|Length of membership||1 year||5 years||5 years|
|Family members||N/A||Your children under 12 can tag with you without additional cost|
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.
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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.
|United Airlines elite tier status||Depending on tier level:||Delta Air Lines elite tier status||Depending on tier level:|
|Children under 18 traveling with a Clear member||Free|
|Up to three adult family members||Additional $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® members||Free ($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 members||Free ($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:
- Visit the Clear website.
- Click Get Clear.
- Provide your personal information.
- Select a personal or family membership plan.
- Click Pay.
- 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
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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