What is CLEAR and is it worth it?

Speed through the document screening process like a VIP.

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Waiting to pass documents and security checks before boarding your plane can take up valuable time you may not always have. That’s why taking advantage of security programs that speed up the process can sometimes be a lifesaver. Using a security program such as CLEAR, for example, 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.

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.

CLEAR price
Standard membership$179
United Airlines elite tier statusDepending on tier level:
  • $119
  • $109
  • Free
Delta Air Lines elite tier statusDepending on tier level:
  • $119
  • $109
  • Free
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?

If you don’t mind handing over your biometric data to speed up through document check at the largest US airports and then get to the security line first, then this could be a valuable perk.

How do I get CLEAR?

Getting CLEAR is a straightforward process. All you have to do is:

  1. Visit the CLEAR website.
  2. Click Get CLEAR.
  3. Provide your personal information.
  4. Select a membership plan, personal or family.
  5. Click Pay.

Compare credit cards with CLEAR discounts

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
17.49% to 26.49% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 60,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a direct Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles for all other purchases
17.49% to 26.49% variable
$195
Earn 75,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months plus $100 when you make a Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
2x miles on United and 1.5x miles on all other purchases
18.49% to 25.49% variable
$450
50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
2x miles on United and 1.5x miles on all other purchases
17.99% to 24.99% variable
$450
Enjoy access to all United Club locations and participating Star Alliance™ affiliated lounges worldwide.

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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