What Are the Benefits of Credit Cards with Clear Membership?

By Jamie Cattanach · April 15, 2024 · 6 minute read

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What Are the Benefits of Credit Cards with Clear Membership?

A Clear Plus membership — the paid kind — can be a valuable credit card perk since it can help you get through airport security more quickly and easily by using biometric identification.

An individual Clear Plus membership currently costs $189 a year, plus $99 for each additional person, so getting a credit card that has a Clear Plus membership as a perk might save you money. However, such cards do usually carry annual membership fees that may be comparable (or even higher).

Here’s the information you need to understand if Clear would benefit you and make the right decision about a credit card offer that includes Clear membership.

What Is Clear?

Clear is a for-profit technology company that allows members to use biometric data (such as fingerprint, eye, and face scans) to verify their identity for entry into stadiums, venues, and — in the case of their paid membership — through airport security.

Clear Plus can help frequent travelers verify their identification at the airport more quickly than with a traditional ID, but those who do not have a TSA PreCheck membership or Global Entry will still need to go through regular security. (Even people who do have these memberships are still subject to a more pared-down security check.)

There’s also a free version of Clear, but it’s only used in sports stadiums and other venues to speed entry, not at the airport.

Benefits of a Clear Membership

Essentially, a Clear Plus membership allows you to skip the security line, but not the security process. Instead of getting in line and getting out your boarding pass and ID, you’ll approach a Clear Plus kiosk and an attendant will help verify your identity using biometric markers.

You’ll then be escorted to the front of the security line to go through either the pared-down TSA PreCheck security screening, if you also have that membership, or the regular security screening.

Keep in mind, too, that not every airport is retrofitted with Clear kiosks. Although the technology is in more than 50 airports across America, that’s not every domestic US airport. And the service is not yet international either.

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Clear Requirements

To get a Clear Plus membership, you’ll need to be a US citizen or permanent resident at least 18 years old, and provide one of the following forms of photo identification:

•   U.S. driver’s license

•   U.S. passport

•   U.S.-issued permanent resident card

•   U.S.- or state-issued military ID

•   Global Entry card

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How Much Does Clear Plus Cost

Clear Plus, which is the type that gets you through airport security lines, costs $189 per year and then an additional $99 per person for up to three adults on a family plan.

Although it’s called a family plan, both friends and family members are allowed to share a membership in this way, whether the group or family travels together or separately. Plus, children under the age of 18 can travel with you in the Clear line for free.

Examples of Travel Credit Cards With Clear Membership

Credit card issuers come up with new credit card reward programs all the time. That can be one of the benefits of using a credit card.

Most of the credit cards that come with a free Clear Plus membership — or a statement credit in the amount of the purchase price of your Clear Plus membership — are travel credit cards designed to help people earn rewards for flying, staying in hotels, renting cars, and other travel-related activities.

For example, airline credit cards often come with Clear membership perks.

Keep in mind that these credit cards often come with substantial annual fees; they may be premium or no-limit credit cards. For instance, the American Express Platinum Card offers a $189 Clear Plus membership credit, along with many other travel-related perks, but it also has an annual fee of $695.

For frequent travelers, the perks may easily pay for themselves, but, for occasional travelers, it might make more sense to simply purchase a Clear Plus membership. Deciding which kinds of credit card rewards are best for you is a very personal decision.

How to Use Clear

Once you enroll in Clear Plus, using it is easy: You simply walk up to a Clear kiosk at the airport instead of getting into the security line, and the technology as well as the attendants will help you verify your identity. You’ll then be escorted to the front of the security line in order to go through your appropriate security lane.

Where to Use Clear

Clear is not available in all American airports, but it is available in more than 50 of them, including popular destinations like:

•   Chicago Midway International Airport

•   Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

•   Denver International Airport

•   Harry Reid International Airport (Las Vegas)

•   Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

•   John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York)

•   LaGuardia Airport (New York)

•   Logan International Airport (Boston)

•   Los Angeles International Airport

•   Miami International Airport

•   Newark International Airport

•   O’Hare International Airport

•   Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Washington D.C.)

•   San Francisco International Airport

The Clear membership can also be used in many sports stadiums and concert venues across the country. You can find the full list at Clear’s website. And worth noting: Clear Plus strictly helps a person move through airport security; it doesn’t have any benefits (at least not at this time) in terms of the cost of airfare or other aspects of transportation.

The Takeaway

You may see offers of credit cards with Clear Plus membership included as a perk and wonder if it’s right for you. If you’re a frequent flier, a Clear Plus membership may help you save time at the airport. Depending on its other benefits and its annual membership fee, a credit card that comes with a Clear Plus membership may be a money-saving way to access this service.

Whether you're looking to build credit, apply for a new credit card, or save money with the cards you have, it's important to understand the options that are best for you. Learn more about credit cards by exploring this credit card guide.


Is it worth it to get a Clear Plus membership?

It depends on whether or not you’re a frequent traveler — and whether or not the airports you frequently travel through are equipped for Clear identity verification. If you travel very frequently, Clear Plus may help you save time at the airport security line, but it doesn’t exempt you from needing to go through security clearance.

What are the benefits of being a Clear member?

When you purchase a Clear Plus membership, you are able to skip the photo identification verification process, which can be time consuming. Instead, you’ll head straight to the Clear kiosk, where your identity is verified using biometric markers such as eye scans and fingerprints. You also get to skip the security line, though you and your baggage still have to go through the security screening process.

What is the difference between Clear and Clear Plus?

Clear is the free version of the service, which allows you to use Clear technology to verify your identity at stadiums and arenas. Clear Plus is the paid service that allows you to verify your identity biometrically and skip the security line at the airport.

Photo credit: iStock/damircudic

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.


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