Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Whether you’re at the airport, a sporting event or a concert, going through security can be a pain. And if you’ve ever stood in a barely-moving line and longed to be one of the people zipping along beside you in the Clear lane, you’re in luck.
If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Green Card in your wallet, you can get the entire cost of your Clear Plus membership covered — and possibly part of a family member’s as well.
Here’s everything you need to know about this valuable benefit.
What is the Amex Clear Plus credit?
Clear is a third-party, expedited security program that uses iris and fingerprint scanners rather than a photo ID to identify you. If you have a membership with Clear, you can effectively skip to the front of the security line at certain airports and entertainment venues nationwide.
In practice, you enter a dedicated security checkpoint lane and input your biometric data into a kiosk. At the airport, you’ll then move along to the gray carry-on bins. Even better: if you have TSA PreCheck, you can still utilize that option.
A one-year Clear Plus membership typically costs $189. Conveniently, the Amex Platinum, Amex Business Platinum and Amex Green each come with up to $189 in Clear Plus statement credits each calendar year. Enrollment is required.
This means you can receive a complimentary membership — and potentially extend this benefit to others in your family.
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How to use the Amex Clear Plus credit
You must enroll your card for this statement credit to activate, but the process is simple.
First, log in to your American Express account, and then select your Amex with the Clear Plus benefit (if it’s not the default card). At the top, click on the “Rewards and Benefits” icon.
On the next screen, click on “Benefits” at the top right. This will bring you to a page of tiles, each explaining a different perk of your card. Find the one labeled “$189 Clear credit” and note your status. If you’re enrolled, you’re ready to use the perk. Otherwise, click on the icon to activate the benefit.
Once your Amex is enrolled, you can apply for Clear online. However, consider enrolling through Delta’s link or United’s link. This is a critical step if you’re a member of one (or both) of these airlines’ loyalty programs and are hoping to extend the benefits of Clear to an adult family member — which normally costs $70 per year.
That’s because Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus members can enroll for a discounted Clear membership — from $10 off to a fully complimentary membership, depending on your status level and which credit cards you have:
- General members of these programs: $179 per year ($10 discount).
- Delta Air Lines and United Airlines credit card holders: $149 per year ($40 discount).
- Delta Silver, Gold and Platinum Medallion members: $149 per year ($40 discount).
- United Premier Silver, Gold and Platinum members: $149 per year ($40 discount).
- Delta Diamond Medallion and 360º members: Complimentary membership.
- United Premier 1K and Global Services members: Complimentary membership.
The discounts United and Delta flyers received were higher in the past, but the discounts were adjusted in February 2023.
Children under 18 years old can accompany registered adults for free, meaning your family could then use the program when combining Amex perks and Clear discounts — for free or close to it.
Regardless of how you apply for Clear, you must use your enrolled Amex card to pay for your membership (and your family members, if applicable).
Amex states that the statement credit should appear within two to four weeks, but TPG staff members have found that it typically triggers within one or two days. Your results may vary, of course.
Related: How to save on your Clear membership
FAQs on the Amex Clear Plus credit
Where does Clear operate?
Clear is far from ubiquitous, but it continues to expand to new spots. Currently, you can find dedicated lanes at around 50 U.S. airports and nearly 20 entertainment venues — including Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden in New York City (see all locations).
Still, if you don’t think you’ll travel through these airports or visit these venues regularly, this benefit doesn’t represent much value for you.
Can I have both TSA PreCheck/Global Entry and Clear?
You can — and you should. These trusted traveler programs fulfill entirely different needs:
- Clear allows you to effectively cut the line at the airport security checkpoint.
- TSA PreCheck allows you to keep your shoes, belt and jacket on when going through the TSA metal detector. You also can keep your laptop and TSA-compliant toiletries in your carry-on bag.
- Global Entry expedites your immigration process when entering the U.S.
Can I use the Clear Plus credit for friends and family?
Yes. You don’t have to use it for your own membership; it can be for anyone. As long as you enroll your eligible Amex card and then use it to pay for Clear, you’ll receive up to $189 in rebates each calendar year.
Here’s a screenshot from a TPG staff member who added three family members to their account. (If you add someone to your account, Clear will prorate the year to match your current membership — hence the odd dollar amounts.)
In addition, when you add family members to your account, they will get a full Clear Plus membership in their own right. They don’t need to be traveling with you to use its benefits.
Can I use the credit to purchase Clear gift cards?
Unfortunately, no. Clear gift cards are processed by a third party called eGifter. In other words, your Amex won’t see this as a Clear purchase, so the credit will not trigger.
Is this the only way to get a discounted Clear Plus membership?
As mentioned previously, it’s possible to save on Clear through two major airline loyalty programs: Both Delta and United offer pathways to discounted (or even complimentary) membership.
Here are the details:
To utilize these offers, be sure to enroll via Delta’s link or United’s link. Clear should automatically pull your eligible discount.
One important clarification: If you have an Amex with the Clear benefit, do not charge the Clear membership fee to your Delta or United card. While being a cardholder will unlock the discounted pricing, you must use your eligible Amex to trigger the Clear credit.
Do I have to use the Clear credit all at once?
You don’t have to redeem this $189 credit in one lump sum. It will activate any time you pay Clear — up to $189 each calendar year. This is handy if you’re eligible for discounts from any of the above methods. That way, you can pay for your membership and then add a family member (or multiple, if you have top-tier status with Delta or United).
How do I complete my enrollment?
Unfortunately, paying your Clear membership fee with your Amex to trigger the statement credits is only the first step in enrollment. Once you submit your information online, you must finish the process at any airport Clear location. Bring your government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.
The representative will take scans of your eyes and fingerprints. From there, you’ll be all set to use the enhanced security on your flights. Then you can use the benefit immediately.
Clear doesn’t get as much attention as trusted traveler programs like TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, but it can be a lifesaver for reducing wait times at airport security. And you can unlock a free membership with a popular travel credit card.
The Amex Platinum, Amex Business Platinum and Amex Green each offer up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits that can be used with Clear Plus. By stacking this benefit with other discount options, you could access these biometric security lanes on your next trip and might be able to add family members at no out-of-pocket cost.
Official application link: The Platinum Card from American Express
Official application link: The Business Platinum Card from American Express
Official application link: American Express Green Card
Check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for a higher offer. These offers are subject to change at any time.
Additional reporting by Emily Thompson and Ryan Smith.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Green Card, click here.