Clear Plus is an expedited security program currently available at 56 U.S. airports, as well as stadiums and other large venues, with more than 17 million members nationwide.

As a secure identity platform, Clear uses member data, including fingerprint and iris scans, to automate most users’ identity verification step in the U.S. Transportation Security Administration screening process. Clear members go through a separate security lane with dedicated kiosks rather than waiting in line for a TSA agent to review their license or passport.

Clear costs $189 annually, but some credit cards cover the cost entirely or at a discounted rate.

To help you decide whether Clear is worth it, here’s what you need to know about the expedited airport security program, including its benefits, potential drawbacks and ways to get a discounted (or free) membership.

How Clear works

Clear requires passengers to first complete identity verification in a separate Clear lane by submitting to biometric authentication (a fingerprint or iris scan) at a kiosk; this replaces the step of using a TSA agent to inspect government IDs and check boarding passes. Note that TSA may randomly select Clear users, like all other registered travelers, to verify their identity by showing an ID at any time.

After verifying a passenger’s identity, a Clear representative will escort Clear users to the actual security screening area, bypassing everyone waiting in the first line.

If you’re also enrolled in TSA PreCheck, you’ll go directly to the TSA PreCheck line.

Additionally, Reserve powered by Clear — which allows travelers to book timed entry through TSA security based on flight departure — is currently available at 20 airports across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

United has added Clear checkpoints throughout the U.S., including at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). ZACH HONIG/THE POINTS GUY

Where Clear works

At this time, Clear is available at 56 U.S. airports:

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  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
  • Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM)
  • Boise Airport (BOI)
  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport (BDL)
  • Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)
  • Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Chicago’s Midway International Airport (MDW)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Dallas Love Field (DAL)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)
  • Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
  • Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
  • John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
  • Long Beach Airport (LGB)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Nashville International Airport (BNA)
  • New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK)
  • Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport (OKC)
  • Ontario International Airport (ONT)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)
  • Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
  • Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
  • Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport (PVD)
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
  • San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
  • San Diego International Airport (SAN)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
  • Tulsa International Airport (TUL)
  • Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Westchester County Airport (HPN)

Additionally, Clear is available at select entrances to the following stadiums during some events:

  • Allegiant Stadium — Las Vegas
  • Ball Arena — Denver
  • Barclays Center — New York City
  • BMO Stadium — LA
  • Capital One Arena — Washington, D.C.
  • Chase Center — San Francisco
  • Coors Field — Denver
  • Kaseya Center — Miami
  • Lumen Field — Seattle
  • Madison Square Garden — New York City
  • Nationals Park — Washington, D.C.
  • Oracle Park — San Francisco
  • PayPal Park — San Jose, California
  • SAP Center at San Jose — San Jose
  • SoFi Stadium — LA
  • State Farm Arena — Atlanta
  • T-Mobile Arena — Las Vegas
  • Yankee Stadium — New York City

How does Clear compare to TSA PreCheck?

Clear further reduces airport security wait time by automating the identity verification process and whisking users to the front of the TSA line. However, having Clear does not automatically confer TSA PreCheck status, and it’s also currently available at fewer airports than TSA PreCheck.

TSA PreCheck members are not guaranteed TSA PreCheck access every time they fly since they can be randomly excluded and sent to the standard line. On the contrary, Clear has no randomized exclusion of passengers. Also, everyone who enters the Clear line is a member of Clear and probably knows how to operate the system.

On the other hand, TSA sometimes adds nonmember travelers who have no idea how it works to the TSA PreCheck line. This can hold up the line. Additionally, TSA PreCheck only works when traveling with a participating airline. In contrast, Clear works when traveling with any carrier.

Clear and TSA PreCheck are restricted to certain hours and may not be available during your flight time.

The lines at the Denver International Airport can get very long. JON BAILEY/THE POINTS GUY

What’s the difference between Clear and Clear Sports?

You can also use Clear at select stadiums via Clear’s Sports & Events access, which is free and available to all Clear members for expedited entry to games at participating stadiums. However, this membership doesn’t provide access to non-stadium Clear locations like airports.

To use Clear Sports & Events, download the Clear app and tap on the black “Sports & Events” tile. Log in to enroll before heading to the Clear lane to show your QR code to a Clear ambassador.

Members can bring one adult guest through the Clear lane daily at stadiums and venues. Children under 18 don’t need a membership and can go through the Clear lane when accompanied by an adult.

Once you are a Clear member, you can add up to three family members for $99 each per year. Children under 18 can use the lane for free when accompanied by a Clear member.


How to enroll in Clear

You can either start the enrollment process online and finish at a Clear location, or you can complete the entire process at a Clear location. The enrollment process takes about five minutes (assuming no line) and requires no appointment.

You must complete the final enrollment steps at a Clear location. This includes answering a few simple questions to verify your identity, showing a valid photo ID, providing a payment method and attaching your biometrics (fingerprints and a picture of your irises) to your newly created account.

To qualify for Clear enrollment, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident at least 18 years old. You must also have one of the following forms of photo identification: a U.S. driver’s license, a U.S. passport, a U.S. passport card, a U.S.-issued permanent resident card, a state-issued ID or a U.S. military ID.


How to save on Clear

Though the normal rate for Clear membership is $189 per year, many ways exist to avoid paying the full price.

Clear members who refer friends to the program receive two months of free membership apiece. You can also access a two-month trial through this link.

Additionally, Clear has partnered with select airlines to offer the following special membership rates for their members:

Delta SkyMiles discounts


United MileagePlus discounts


Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan discounts

  • MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K and MVP Gold 100K members will receive 1,500 bonus miles when they sign up for Clear, plus an additional 1,250 miles each year they renew
  • General Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members: $179 annually

Which credit cards cover Clear fees as a benefit?

Certain credit cards afford users a free Clear membership. The following cards will reimburse you for up to $189 per year in Clear Plus membership costs:

The information for the Centurion, Green and Hilton Aspire cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Occasionally, there are targeted Amex offers covering the cost of Clear Plus membership for those with different American Express cards.


Bottom line

If Clear is available at your home airport or one you visit frequently, the program could be a big timesaver for your future travels, regardless of whether you also have TSA PreCheck. There’s often just a single TSA staffer checking documents for both the TSA PreCheck line and the regular security line, so enrolling in Clear can save you valuable time.

Additionally, you can stack those expedited line benefits and enjoy more predictable access to security. This means those who check in online without checked bags can arrive at the airport closer to their flight departure time than they normally would — and sometimes avoid long security lines.

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