Have CLEAR? Children under 18 can use it with you for free

Sep 13, 2019

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These days, TSA PreCheck is an indispensable tool for frequent travelers. Virtually every traveler I know has it (or should have it) and, for many, it’s enough on its own to cut down the lines and hassles when clearing airport security. But, then there are those of us who really hate waiting in lines, travel to or through airports where even PreCheck lines can be exceedingly long (cough, Denver) or simply want a full set of tools at the ready for when security lines are longer than expected. For us, CLEAR is a great complementary membership to PreCheck that lets you bring the whole family to the front of the security screening line.

I’ve had CLEAR for more than a year, and while I also have PreCheck, I adore using CLEAR to painlessly get my crew through security. CLEAR is now in more than 60 airports and stadiums and a scan of your fingerprints and eyes is all it takes to get where you want to be quicker. For example, in Austin, CLEAR is available at both the Austin Bergstrom Airport and the University of Texas stadium, so it might be useful even on non-travel days.

Related: Guide to using CLEAR

CLEAR machines (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
CLEAR machines (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

To use CLEAR, the machines scan your fingerprints and eyes while you keep your ID tucked away. I cannot overstate how much I enjoy not fishing for my ID, especially when I’m also managing getting my kids through security. I’ll seriously use CLEAR even when the regular line is empty — just to keep my wallet packed away since all you need is your printed or mobile boarding pass.

After getting scanned, you head to the front of the security line, escorted by a typically cheery CLEAR staffer. If you also have PreCheck, you won’t have to take off your shoes, pull out your tablets, etc. If you don’t also have PreCheck on your boarding pass, you still head to the front of the security line, but would have to follow the regular screening rules.

The downside for CLEAR is that it is expensive at a normal price of $179 per year, per person, though we’ll tell you how to save in a minute. By comparison, TSA PreCheck is $85 for five years — and many rewards credit cards will reimburse that PreCheck or Global Entry application fee. So far, no card covers the CLEAR application fee.

Thankfully, families can truly come out ahead when using CLEAR because children under 18 can come through CLEAR with an adult for free with no registration required. Not only that, but a CLEAR member can add up to three additional adults to their plan for $50 per year, per person.

Clear security line (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
Clear security line (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

If you want to save money on CLEAR for your family, there are a few additional ways. First there is a TPG code for a free two-month trial:

Get a free two-month trial of CLEAR using code TPG2M

Top-tier elites with Delta and United can get CLEAR for free, and those with elite status in those airlines can enjoy CLEAR at a discount. Delta SkyMiles or United credit cardholders, such as those with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, United Explorer Card or Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express pay just $109 per year. If you don’t have one of those cards, just being a member of one of those frequent flyer programs drops the annual price to $119, so there’s really no reason to pay $179.

I joined CLEAR on a day that the regular security lines were insane. CLEAR can process you on the spot and get you through within minutes even if you are a brand new customer, so you can save this cut-the-line idea for a day the security line is just awful.

Does your family use CLEAR to skip to the front of the security line (and enjoy keeping that ID packed away)?

Featured image courtesy of CLEAR

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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