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CLEAR is Getting Even More Expensive for Friends & Family

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CLEAR® Plus promises a quicker trip through airport security by cutting you to the front of the line – and it frequently delivers. But the service's already hefty price tag of $189 a year is getting even bigger if you want to share benefits with friends and loved ones.

As Danny Deal Guru first highlighted, the price of adding adults to a CLEAR® Plus Family Plan just jumped from an extra $70 to $99 a year – without a word of warning from CLEAR itself. That higher price tag is already reflected on the service's main page, its terms and conditions, as well as in existing CLEAR members' accounts.


clear family plan pricing


Read our full review to see if CLEAR is worth the high price!

Current CLEAR® Plus travelers will pay the higher price for their additional members whenever their own annual membership renews next. Gratefully, bringing children under 18 with you into the CLEAR lane remains free.

Adding friends and family to your CLEAR® Plus at a lower cost has been an underrated perk of the service. CLEAR allows you to add up to three adult “family members” to your account – though there's no requirement that they're actually family (or even share an address). Best of all, members on your Family Plan can use CLEAR anytime they're flying: You don't have to be traveling with them to unlock that benefit.

But a 40% increase overnight for adding friends and family to your CLEAR® Plus plan is tough to swallow for the service's already exorbitant cost. And this is the second price increase in less than a year. Each additional adult cost just $60 a year as of early 2023.


clear kiosks


The price of getting CLEAR® Plus for yourself has gone up, too. The company raised its annual fee from $179 to $189 a year. And big discounts available to frequent Delta and United flyers have shrank substantially, too – though top-tier elite status holders with either airline can still get a free membership.

Paying with a *amex platinum* or the *amex green*  can take the sting out of that hefty fee with a credit of up to $189 that covers the entire cost. But as airline discounts have shrunk and the cost of adding additional adults grows, those credits don't get you nearly as far these days.

For example, travelers with an Amex Platinum Card and status with either Delta or United could get CLEAR® Plus for themselves and a companion for nothing out of pocket just a year ago – the annual CLEAR credit covered it all. Now, CLEAR® Plus for two will cost at least $248 a year – or $59 a year even after maxing out the CLEAR credit.

CLEAR® is a privately run security program that uses biometrics (think fingerprints or iris scans) to allow you to cut to the front of the line – and it's much different than TSA PreCheck.

On its own, you can skip to the front of the standard security line by heading through a dedicated CLEAR® Plus lane. In tandem with PreCheck, you can skip to the front of that shorter, faster line – keeping your coat and shoes on and keeping electronics inside your bag, too.


Clear process flow diagram


But CLEAR's growing popularity has outpaced some airports' capacity to handle all the travelers signing up, leading to long lines and negligible time-savings at many busy hubs. And as CLEAR has been forced to double-check more and more members' IDs, one of the core value propositions of the service has been negated – as have the time savings.

Higher prices for adding friends and family to a CLEAR® Plus membership could make the math even tougher to justify for many travelers – especially at a time when the cost of a TSA PreCheck membership is going down … for a five-year membership, to boot. Plus, teens can accompany adult PreCheck members through security for free now, too.


Bottom Line

Is CLEAR® Plus worth its growing cost? It depends on how much you travel … and how many people you want to go through the CLEAR lane with you.

For the second time in less than a year, CLEAR has increased the cost of adding another adult to your Family Plan to $99 a year apiece. While travelers with CLEAR® Plus can still bring children under 18 with them for free, this is just the latest hit to the program.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

7 Responses

  • I’m really questioning my Clear membership. It’s been valuable in San Diego but in Salt Lake City, the Clear line has been slower than the actual TSA Pre-check line. Not sure in other parts of the country.
    I got behind a huge TSA-Pre line in Denver a few years ago and that’s what made me get Clear. Now, that cost is really starting to look unattractive.

  • Question. Is it possible to combine the Clear Credit on both the Amex Platinum and the Amex Aspire cards to avoid paying out of pocket for clear?

    • I believe you would be able to purchase the membership with one card. Once your credit hits, you could swap out your payment card in your CLEAR account and then add a family member to trigger the credit on the other card.

  • Adding friends or family and then turning their membership off results in a pro-rated credit. Since my family doesn’t travel often, I tend to only reactivate them when needed.

    And yes, at MCO the last time I flew the line was about 10 times longer than the TSA precheck line

    • My renewal cost for me and 3 family will be almost $500. I have multiple Amex that did cover in year 1. Does your deactivate and reactivate method require the family members to go through the airport enrollment again? Or would this method allow use of multiple payment methods and otherwise be a seamless continuation/experience from prior to deactivation? If not I’m wondering how easy it would be for a person to switch from family member to having their own individual Clear Plus account.

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