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If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, then you probably know about the long list of perks that come with these cards. These include lounge access to the AmEx Global Lounge Collection as well as hotel elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. Enrollment required. Terms apply.
Another of those perks is Clear membership, which can expedite security at the airport. Terms apply.
Clear offers fast identification screening at airports and venues but is not cheap. If you want to maximize the American Express/Clear partnership, here's everything you need to know.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards
What is Clear?
Clear offers a faster route to the front of the security line in select domestic airports (currently 45 cities), a few sports arenas and entertainment venues.
Instead of relying on conventional forms of identification, members scan their boarding passes and then their iris or fingerprints. Once approved, they are escorted to the front of the appropriate line (if members have TSA PreCheck, they go to the front of that line). This can be a tremendous time saver when lines are long.
Is Clear different from TSA PreCheck?
Yes, Clear is different from TSA PreCheck. The former provides expedited access to the front of any security line after verifying biometric data. TSA PreCheck offers expedited screening by allowing approved passengers to leave on light jackets, belts and shoes while keeping electronics and toiletries in their bags.
They are two different products, but they can work together. Clear lets you quickly pass through the first part of the line (where the agent verifies identity) and TSA PreCheck speeds up the security screening process.
What's exciting is that the American Express Platinum cards also provide a statement credit for enrolling in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (used for re-entry to the United States at eligible airports following international travel).
If you sign up for Global Entry and are approved, TSA PreCheck is automatically included (Clear, however, is not).
If you travel internationally frequently, having all three memberships (Clear, TSA PreCheck and Global Entry) could be beneficial. Domestic travelers can stick with combining TSA PreCheck and Clear memberships or opt for one or neither.
» Learn more: TSA PreCheck vs. Clear
How to use an AmEx Platinum to get Clear
If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, you are eligible for AmEx Clear membership credit, which is good for you or an authorized cardholder. Terms apply.
Instead of offering an instant membership, cardholders can use their card to pay for membership and get refunded as a statement credit.
» Learn more: How the AmEx Platinum travel insurance works
How to enroll in the AmEx Clear credit
You can't just show your AmEx card at the Clear checkpoint. Instead, you must enroll online and finish the process in person at a Clear kiosk.
After signing up and paying for membership using your eligible Platinum card, the AmEx Clear credit will post in your account in a later billing cycle (about 6-8 weeks later).
The $189 Clear credit is valid once per calendar year and will be automatically renewed, charging the fee to the same AmEx card on file. Terms apply.
» Learn more: AmEx vs. Chase points
How to get Clear membership for two people with the credit
Your AmEx Clear credit gives you $189 with Clear, so if you're able to find a discount on the Clear membership, you will have extra spending left over.
Example discounts include:
Through status with an airline.
A general promotion.
You can add additional people to your Clear account for $60 per person (up to three people), so you can hypothetically get memberships for more than one person using the same credit — assuming the total cost is no more than $189.
» Learn more: Things to know before getting the AmEx Platinum
The AmEx/Clear partnership recapped
If you want to save time in the airport, Clear membership can be a big help. Taking advantage of airline partnerships or the credit on American Express Platinum cards can help the value multiply.
You can add Clear membership to TSA PreCheck and/or Global Entry; these services complement each other.
Save time and cash so you can make your way to your favorite airline or airport lounge with Clear.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card