Guide to using the new Amex Platinum Clear benefit
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The Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium travel card that gives you the power to travel far above your social status. From VIP service at luxury hotels to highly exclusive airport lounge access, no other card makes you more comfortable during your vacation.
On July 1, 2021, the Amex Platinum raised its annual fee to $695 (see rates and fees). But with that negative change came up to $900+ new annual statement credits — one of which offsets the price of Clear, a program that expedites your airport security experience.
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What is the new Amex Platinum Clear credit?
Clear is a sort of trusted traveler program that uses iris and fingerprint scanners to identify you (instead of boarding passes and photo ID). If you have a membership to Clear, you simply enter a dedicated lane at the TSA security checkpoint, input your biometric data into a kiosk, and head toward the gray carry-on bins. This can be a huge time-saver — especially considering just around five million travelers are enrolled in Clear. Lines are often short or even nonexistent.
A membership to clear costs $179 per year. The Amex Platinum Clear credit comes with up to $179 in Clear statement credits each calendar year, meaning you can receive a completely complimentary membership.
How to use the Amex Platinum Clear credit
You must enroll your card for this statement credit to activate. The process is simple. First, head to your Amex Platinum account page. At the top, you’ll see a tab that says “Benefits.” Click that.
You’re then taken to a screen with tiles explaining each of your benefits in detail. Scroll until you find the tile with the headline, “New: $179 CLEAR Credit.” Click the blue “Apply Now” button.
Now you’re staring at the Clear home page. Locate any of the “Get Clear” buttons strewn across your screen and click one.
You’ll need to enter personal information, such as name and birth date, and you will also need to choose whether you’d like family added to your plan. You can add up to three adults for $60 each per year. Children are free.
At checkout, remember to use your enrolled Amex Platinum to make the payment. Amex states that the statement credit should appear within two to four weeks, but TPG staff have found that it triggers within two days. Your results may vary, of course.
FAQs on Amex Platinum Clear credit
Where does Clear operate?
Clear is far from ubiquitous. Currently, 38 U.S. airports offer Clear (click here to see all locations), plus several stadiums and arenas. If you don’t think you’ll travel through these airports or venues, this benefit doesn’t represent much value for you. Keep in mind, 20+ non-airport locations participate in Clear, so it may be worthwhile to check if your local arena/stadium has Clear.
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 gives you the privilege of keeping 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 returning to the U.S.
Can I use the Clear 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 spend with Clear, you’ll receive up to $179 in rebates each calendar year. Here’s a screenshot from a TPG staff member who added three family members to his account. If you add someone to your account, Clear will prorate the year to match your current membership.
Note: When you add family to your account, they will get a full Clear membership — they don’t need to be traveling with you to use its benefits.
Can I use the credit to purchase Clear gift cards?
Unfortunately not. Clear gift cards are processed by a third-party called eGifter. In other words, your Amex Platinum card won’t discern the purchase to be with Clear, so the credit will not trigger. Chris Dong discovered this with an experimental transaction.
Is this the only way to get Clear membership?
Only one other card offers a Clear discount: The American Express® Green Card (enrollment required). It comes with a $100 Clear statement credit each calendar year. Not enough to offset a yearly membership but helps offset more than half the cost.
The information for the Amex Green has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Alternately, if you’ve got a loyalty account with Delta, you can save a lot with Clear:
- Delta Diamond Medallion: Free
- Any other Delta elite status: $109 annually
- Basic cardmembers to any of the best Delta credit cards: $109 annually
- General Delta members: $119 annually
Similarly, if you’ve got a loyalty account with United Airlines, you’ll pay:
- United 1K: Free
- Any other United Elite status: $109 annually
- Basic cardmembers of the best United credit cards: $109 annually
- General United MileagePlus members: $119 annually
You can enter your Delta or United loyalty number after you enroll in Clear to get these discounts. A neat perk since it’s absolutely free to join these airline loyalty programs.
Do I have to use the Clear credit all at once?
You don’t have to redeem this $179 credit in one lump sum. It will activate any time you make a payment with Clear, up to $179 each calendar year. This is handy if you’ve got discounted Clear membership from any of the above methods. You can add friends and family to your plan with some or all of your Amex Platinum credit.
Clear doesn’t get as much attention as trusted traveler programs like TSA PreCheck. But it can be a life-saver if you arrive at the airport unexpectedly late. It lets you sprint past the airport security queue rife with travelers shooting frustrated glances at their watch.
The Amex Platinum now offers up to $179 per calendar year in statement credits that can be used with Clear. That’s enough for an entirely free membership! Just note that there are easy ways to obtain a discounted Clear membership — so unless you’re adding friends and family to your account, you shouldn’t value this perk at the full $179 per year.
Official application link: The Platinum Card from American Express
Check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for a 125,000 or 150,000-point Platinum card offer (after meeting minimum spending requirements). These offers are subject to change at any time.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.
Featured photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.
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