Is CLEAR Worth It (And Does It Really Save Time at the Airport)?


Apart from flight delays and cancellations, waiting in security lines can be one of the worst experiences at the airport. Lines are often crowded, it can take a lot of time to get through them, and you typically can’t avoid them completely.


With paid programs such as CLEAR, however, you could reduce your airport screening times and get on to your gate and final destination faster. Learn how this new ID platform works and whether it might be right for you.

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What is CLEAR?


CLEAR is a secure platform that offers touchless ID verification in dozens of airports and sports and entertainment venues nationwide. The company was founded in 2010 by Caryn Seidman-Becker and Ken Cornick and has more than 1,000 employees and over 5 million members.


You might have already seen CLEAR at the airport close to a TSA security checkpoint. The blue and white kiosks are easily recognizable as are the friendly CLEAR employees standing nearby. The kiosks can help you avoid long airport lines by placing you directly at the physical screening section rather than in the line where you have to wait for a TSA agent to check your documents.


CLEAR offers a quick and touchless process for verifying your boarding documents as part of the standard security screening. Rather than interacting with a person, you use the CLEAR kiosk to verify your identity using biometrics. The kiosk may require an eye, face, or fingerprint scan as well as a scan of your boarding pass. From there, you’ll move on to the physical part of the TSA screening.

Who is eligible for CLEAR?


CLEAR is available to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who are 18 and older and have

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How Global Entry for Family Works

The tourism industry is recovering from the pandemic, and so are airport lines. Security and immigration wait times can be as long as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and thankfully, there are ways to shorten them (at least in the United States) by utilizing Global Entry and TSA PreCheck lines.

Global Entry is designed to save time for trusted travelers returning to the United States from a trip abroad. Here’s all you need to know about getting Global Entry for your family and possibly getting it for free.

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler program allowing sped-up customs clearance. Enrolling in Global Entry will enable you to wait in a much shorter immigration line upon returning from abroad. Travelers head to the designated Global Entry kiosk and present their travel documentation. Once cleared, you’re directed to the baggage claim as usual.

Global Entry also includes TSA PreCheck, which lets you go through a dedicated security line and save time at more than 200 U.S. airports. Add your Known Traveler Number to your air ticket and enjoy a shorter security line that lets you keep your shoes on and your laptop in the bag.

Does everyone in my family need their own Global Entry membership?

Using Global Entry with kids differs from using TSA PreCheck, which allows children ages 12 and younger to join their parents in the fast lane at the airport. Global Entry doesn’t offer this added flexibility. Only Global Entry members can enter a Global Entry immigration line.

This means that if you want your spouse or your children to go through a usually shorter immigration queue with you, they must enroll in Global Entry, no matter their age. Otherwise, you must separate and wait for them at the baggage claim.

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Best Credit Cards for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry for March 2023

TSA Precheck and Global Entry are two programs that can help you skip the lines in crowded airports. They’re not free, but some travel credit cards offer reimbursement for membership as a travel perk. A lot of these cards are premium travel cards that have several-hundred-dollar annual fees, but there are also some more affordable options available.

While all credit cards with TSA Precheck and Global Entry perks offer the same monetary credit for these programs, we’ve analyzed these cards’ rewards programs, welcome bonuses, annual fees and other travel perks to distinguish the best picks. Below, we explain the benefits of TSA Precheck and Global Entry, review the best credit card options, how to choose between TSA Precheck and Global Entry, and how to apply to each.

What are TSA Precheck and Global Entry?

Both travel programs allow you to cut through some of the red tape at the airport and can improve your travel experience. Here’s what they offer and how they differ.

TSA Precheck costs $85 for five years and offers a dedicated security line to expedite members through. You also don’t have to remove your shoes, belt, laptop, acceptable liquids or jackets as you go through airport security. 

Global Entry costs $100 for five years and focuses more on US citizens arriving back in the States after a trip abroad. It expedites the path through customs for those who are deemed low-risk for security issues. Global Entry clearance also includes clearance for TSA Precheck, so you get the value of both programs for just $15 more.

With both programs, you need to be preapproved before heading to the airport. 

Read more: Best American Airlines Credit Cards

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