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Warning: CLEAR is Increasing Annual Prices in 2 Weeks

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CLEAR can be a major timesaver at the airport, allowing you to cut to the front of the security line. But it's not cheap – and it's about to get even more expensive soon.

Come May 19, the annual price of CLEAR membership will increase from $179 to $189 a year. The Points Guy was the first to report the looming price hike, which CLEAR is now clearly (get it?) advertising on its website.

It's the first time CLEAR prices have been raised in its 10-plus year history. And while any price increase is a bummer, a $10 increase with advanced warning seems fairly reasonable. This gives you two weeks to lock in the lower rate for at least the first year. Existing CLEAR members shouldn't see the higher price until 2023 renewals.

clear price increase  

Read our full review of CLEAR … and whether it's worth the hefty price tag!

Fortunately, there's also not much reason to worry if you've employed one of the many ways to reduce the cost of CLEAR:

  • Sign up at a discounted price through Delta or United? Both airlines offer cheaper rates to all mileage program members at $119; an even steeper discount at $109 to flyers with status or their co-branded credit cards; and free membership to top Delta Diamond Medallion and United 1K members. Those prices are not changing – though Delta flyers may remember a fairly significant price hike a few years ago.
  • Getting the entire cost of your CLEAR membership covered thanks to the new credit on The Platinum Card® from American Express? Not to worry: That credit of up to $179 per year is expected to increase along with CLEAR's price tag.
  • Cardholders with the  American Express® Green Card will still get a credit of up to $100 a year towards CLEAR, though it appears that isn't changing.

CLEAR also allows members to add any adults over 18 to their account through CLEAR's Family Plan for just $60 a year – that price isn't changing. And as always, CLEAR members can bring children under 18 with them through the CLEAR lane for free.

Got the Amex Platinum Card in your wallet? Read our guide on how to use its credit to cover CLEAR for two!


How CLEAR Works

With its price tag set to rise to $189 a year, the cost of CLEAR will officially run you $100 more than the five-year membership for TSA PreCheck. Though they might seem similar, these two programs are quite different – and can complement each other quite well, in fact.

Think of it this way:

  • CLEAR cuts you to the front of the line. If you’ve got TSA PreCheck, you’ll head to the front of that line. If you don’t you’ll head to the front of the normal TSA lane. It requires biometrics (like a fingerprint or iris scans), replacing the traditional ID check at the front of the TSA line.
  • TSA PreCheck gets you through security faster since you don’t need to remove shoes, belts, jackets, electronics, or liquids.


Clear process flow diagram  

That can make holding both TSA PreCheck and CLEAR a strong one-two punch. The cost for both programs may be too high for an average traveler to justify unless you can employ one of the money-saving strategies to get them both for less.

Torn between TSA PreCheck vs CLEAR? See which one makes most sense for you

The main hitch with CLEAR is that unlike TSA PreCheck, it's not available at every U.S. airport. That's steadily changing, though, as CLEAR has expanded drastically over the last few years – especially in airports with a heavy Delta or United presence.

They're now up to 43 U.S. airports and counting, though not in every single terminal at each airport. Here's the full list as of publication.

Atlanta (ATL)North & South Domestic Terminals
Austin (AUS)Checkpoints 1 & 2
Baltimore (BWI)Checkpoints A,B,C, D & E
Birmingham (BHM)Main Terminal
Boise (BOI)Main Terminal
Boston (BOS)Terminal A
Buffalo (BUF)Main Terminal
Chicago-Midway (MDW)Main Terminal
Chicago-O'Hare (ORD)Terminal 1 & 2
Cincinnati (CVG)Main Terminal
Cleveland (CLE)
Center & South Checkpoints
Columbus (CMH)Main Terminal
Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)Terminal E
Dallas-Love Field (DAL)Terminal 1
Denver (DEN)North & South Entrances
Detroit (DTW)North & McNamara Terminals
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)Terminals 1 & 2
Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP)Main Terminal
Hartford (BDL)Terminal A
Houston-Intercontinental (IAH)Terminals A, B, C and E
Houston-Hobby (HOU)Main Terminal
Kansas City (MCI)Main Terminal
Las Vegas (LAS)Terminals 1 & 3
Long Beach (LGB)Main Terminal
Los Angeles (LAX)Terminals 1 - 7
Miami (MIA)Checkpoints E & H
Milwaukee (MKE)Main Terminal
Minneapolis−Saint Paul (MSP)Terminal 1
Nashville (BNA)Central Checkpoint
New Orleans (MSY)Concourse D
New York City-John F. Kennedy (JFK)Terminals 2 & 4
New York-LaGuardia (LGA)Terminals C & D
Newark (EWR)Terminal C
Oakland (OAK)Terminal 2
Oklahoma City (OKC)Main Terminal
Ontario (ONT)Terminal 2 & 4
Orlando (MCO)East & West Security
Palm Beach (PBI)Terminal A/B & C
Palm Springs (PSP)Main Terminal
Phoenix (PHX)Terminals 3 & 4
Pittsburgh (PIT)Main Terminal
Providence (PVD)Main Terminal
Raleigh-Durham (RDU)Terminals 1 & 2
Sacramento (SMF)Terminal A & B
Salt Lake City (SLC)Terminals 1 & 2
San Antonio (SAT)Terminals A & B
San Diego (SAN)Terminal 2
San Francisco (SFO)Terminals 1-3, International Terminals A & G
San Jose (SJC)Terminal A & B
San Juan (SJU(+)Terminals A, B & C
Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)Checkpoints 1-5
St. Louis (STL)Terminal 2
Tulsa (TUL)Main Terminal
Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD)
Main Terminal & East Security Checkpoint
Washington, D.C.-Reagan (DCA)
Terminals A, B & C
Westchester County (HPN)Main Terminal

You can also use CLEAR to get expedited entry at a growing number of professional sports stadiums, arenas, and even concert venues.


Bottom Line

You've been warned: The cost of CLEAR is going up.

On May 19, the annual cost of CLEAR membership will rise from $179 to $189. Fortunately, this won't mean much for the many ways you can drastically reduce that price tag – if not make it entirely free.


Lead photo courtesy of CLEAR

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.

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