Is Clear Worth the Cost?

Are you thinking about getting a Clear membership? The private biometric screen company lets paying members bypass part of the security line at some stadiums and the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint for identification at airports, which can often be the longest part of the line. If you’re a frequent traveler, using Clear can save a lot of time at the airport.

But is Clear worth the price? Or better yet, is it worth enrolling if you can get it for free? We break it down so you can decide for yourself.

The short version: Is Clear worth the cost?

If you travel a lot and want the convenience of skipping the line to reach the suitcase and body scanner, then Clear could be worth it. Although it costs $189 per year, you can reduce the price or even get it for free if you have certain credit cards.

How much does Clear cost?

The standard price for an annual Clear membership is $189. Unlike government programs such as TSA PreCheck and Global Entry that offer several years of membership with a single fee, Clear’s fee is annual.

On the surface, $189 is a huge price to pay for a little convenience. Thankfully, there are several ways to knock that price down to more reasonable territory (see below).

Note: Clear is available only to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents age 18 and older with valid government ID.

What are the benefits of Clear membership?

Clear uses biometric data (fingerprints and eye scans) instead of traditional ID documents, like driver’s licenses or passports, to verify traveler identification. This lets you skip the TSA PreCheck line, which can sometimes be even longer than the regular line at the airport.

There are two parts of an airport security line:

  1. Getting your ID and

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