The Best Credit Cards for the CLEAR Program [September 2023]
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The CLEAR Program
CLEAR membership expedites security screening by accessing your pre-stored personal biometric information, allowing you to bypass normal TSA security and even TSA PreCheck lines.
The primary function of the CLEAR program is to expedite you through the ID process at airport security. You do not get to skip TSA security entirely — the service simply expedites the ID portion of security screening and eliminates waiting in those lines.
Additional uses are being added all the time, including using CLEAR to access sports stadiums for events, enter airport lounges, for alcohol purchases, and to fast-track rental car pickups without waiting in line.
The Cost of CLEAR
A full annual CLEAR membership, which includes expedited airport security, is $189 per year. You can add up to 3 family members for an additional $50 each per year.
Fortunately, you’ll rarely have to pay full price for CLEAR membership given the credit card options below.
The Best Three Cards That Offer Complimentary CLEAR Membership
The following cards all offer up to a $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit per year when you use one of these cards to pay for your CLEAR membership:
This card is undoubtedly the #1 card for luxury travel benefits. From the best lounge access (of any card) to statement credits, to complimentary elite status, you can’t go wrong.
When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.
- The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
- 5x points per $1 spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
- 5x points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
- Annual and monthly statement credits upon enrollment (airline credit, Uber Cash credit, Saks Fifth Avenue credit, streaming credit, prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays, Walmart+ credit, CLEAR credit, and Equinox credit)
- TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
- Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
- Access to Amex International Airline Program
- No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)
- $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
- Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
- Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
- $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
- $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
- $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
- $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
- $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
- Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
- Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
- $695 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- Amex Platinum 150k Welcome Bonus Offer
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The Platinum is also the best card for airport lounge access with access to 1,400+ airport lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass Lounge Access when enrolled, Delta Sky Club lounges when flying Delta — and much more.
This card offers the same lounge access as the Platinum mentioned above.
This card is ideal for business travelers who enjoy luxury travel and are looking for a card loaded with benefits!
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium travel rewards card tailored toward business owners who are frequent travelers with a high number of annual expenses.
When you factor in the large number of perks that the card offers like the best airport lounge access at over 1,400 lounges, along with tons of annual credits, it’s easy to see why this card can is a top option for frequent traveling business owners.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a huge welcome bonus offer of up to 170,000 points with the Amex Business Platinum. The current public offer is 120,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
- 5x Membership Rewards points per $1 on flights and prepaid hotels at Amex Travel
- Up to $200 annual airline fee credit on your selected qualifying airline
- Statement credits on select purchases with your card
- 35% airline bonus when using Pay With Points (up to 1,000,000 bonus points per calendar year)
- Access to over 1,400 worldwide airport lounges as part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards points (1.5 points per $1) on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more (cap applies)
- Access to Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program
- High annual fee of $695 (rates and fees)
- Airline fee credit does not cover airfare, only incidentals like checked bags
- Welcome Offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
- Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on each eligible purchase at US construction material, hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
- Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by your one selected, qualifying airline to your Card.
- $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your card and get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Business Platinum Card®.
- The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market as of 03/2023.
- $695 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
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3. The American Express® Green Card
This card can provide a great way to accumulate Membership Rewards points on eligible travel, transit, and at restaurants.
The American Express® Green Card is an excellent all-around travel rewards card thanks to earning 3x Membership Rewards® points on eligible travel and transit purchases and at restaurants, access to American Express transfer partners, and a reasonable annual fee.
- 3x points per $1 spent at restaurants worldwide, on all eligible travel purchases, and transit purchases
- Up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits after you pay for a CLEAR® Plus membership with the Card.
- Up to $100 in statement credits annually when you purchase airport lounge access through LoungeBuddy with the Card.
- Access to American Express transfer partners
- No foreign transaction fees
- $150 annual fee
- No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
- Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your American Express® Green Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US.
- $189 CLEAR Plus Credit: Receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) with the American Express® Green Card.
- $100 LoungeBuddy: No airport lounge membership? No problem! Purchase lounge access through the LoungeBuddy app using the American Express® Green Card and receive up to $100 in statement credits annually.
- Payment Flexibility: When it comes to paying your bill, you have options. You can always pay in full. You also have the flexibility to carry a balance with interest or use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee, up to your Pay Over Time Limit. You may be able to keep spending beyond your limit – you’ll just need to pay for any new purchases in full when your bill is due.
- Trip Delay Insurance: If a round-trip is paid for entirely with your Eligible Card and a covered reason delays your trip more than 12 hours, Trip Delay Insurance can help reimburse certain additional expenses purchased on the same Eligible Card, up to $300 per trip, maximum 2 claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: No matter where you’re traveling, when you use your American Express® Green Card there are no foreign transaction fees.
- $150 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
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(There is technically a fourth card that offers complimentary CLEAR membership – The Amex Centurion Black Card – but it’s invite-only.)
The Best Credit Cards for Discounted CLEAR Membership
There are several ways to avoid paying the full $189 annual CLEAR membership fee. Let’s start by taking a look at which credit cards offer a discount on the cost of CLEAR membership.
American Express® Green Card
If you hold the Amex Green card you can receive up to $189 statement credit each calendar year when you use the card to pay for your CLEAR membership.
United Airlines-Branded Credit Cards
United-branded credit cardholders also receive discounted membership. Instead of the $189 annual membership fee, United cardholders pay just $109.
Some examples of United branded cards that offer this discount:
To enroll in CLEAR as a United cardholder, use this link.
Where Can I Use CLEAR?
CLEAR is available at more than 100 airports, stadiums, and public venues across the U.S.
You’ll find CLEAR currently in the following cities:
- Fort Lauderdale
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- New Orleans
- New York
- Salt Lake City
- San Antonio
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- St. Louis
- Washington, D.C.
To find a CLEAR location near you or 1 that you can utilize during your travels, use this CLEAR locator link.
There are over 50 CLEAR locations across the U.S. Locations that include airport security locations and public event venues.
Having a CLEAR membership can be a real advantage for helping you get through security quickly. However, you should never have to pay full price for CLEAR.
Through credit card discounts, statement credits, frequent flyer programs, referrals, and student discounts, it’s possible to secure CLEAR affordably if it’s a benefit you can utilize to make your travel more efficient.
The information regarding the American Express® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the United Club℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.