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Guide to using the Amex Platinum Clear benefit

July 12, 2022
9 min read
Clear kiosks
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Editor's Note

This article has been updated with new information.

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.

Related: The Platinum Card from American Express review

A year ago, the Amex Platinum added an array of new perks for cardmembers and raised its annual fee to $695 (see rates and fees) in the process. This included hundreds of dollars worth of annual statement credits — one which can offset the price of Clear, a program that expedites your airport security experience.

Here's everything you need to know about this valuable benefit.

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Clear is available at over 50 airports, stadiums and arenas across the United States. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

What is the Amex Platinum Clear credit?

Clear is a third-party, expedited security option that uses iris and fingerprint scanners to identify you instead of boarding passes and a photo ID. If you have a membership to Clear, you can effectively skip to the front of the security line at certain airports and entertainment venues across the country.

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. You don't need to take your ID out at all, and if you have TSA PreCheck, you can still utilize that option.

A one-year Clear membership typically costs $189. However, the Amex Platinum comes with up to $189 in Clear statement credits each calendar year. This means that you can receive a completely complimentary membership — and potentially extend this benefit to your entire family.

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Related: Clear expedited airport security program — is it worth it?

How to use the Amex Platinum Clear 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 Platinum (if it's not the default card). Across the top, click on the "Rewards and Benefits" icon.

(Screenshot from americanexpress.com)

On the next screen, click on "Benefits" at the top right. This will bring you to a page of tiles, each of which explains a different perk of the Platinum 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 Platinum is enrolled, you can apply for Clear online. However, you may want to consider going through Delta's link or United's link to complete the process. 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 $60 per year.

That's because Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus members can enroll for just $119 per year (additional discounts are available for certain credit card holders and those with elite status). And since the Amex Platinum will give you up to $189 in total statement credits, you can pay for your own discounted membership ($119) and add your spouse or partner ($60) to effectively get two adult memberships without any out-of-pocket expense.

And since children under the age of 18 can accompany registered adults for free, your entire family could then use the program.

However, regardless of how you apply for Clear, you must use your enrolled Amex Platinum to pay for your membership (and your family members, if applicable).

Amex reports that the statement credit should appear within two to four weeks, but TPG staff members have found that it typically triggers within a day or two.

(Screenshot from americanexpress.com)

Your results may vary, of course.

FAQs on Amex Platinum Clear 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 44 U.S. airports along with 14 entertainment venues — including Yankee Stadium, Citi Field and Madison Square Garden in New York City (click here to see all locations).

If you don’t think you’ll travel through these airports or visit these venues on a regular basis, 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 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.

Read our post on the best credit cards for Global Entry to learn how to get TSA PreCheck and Global Entry for free.

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 use the Amex Platinum card with 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 his 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 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 Platinum card won’t discern the purchase to be with Clear, so the credit will not trigger. Our former coworker Chris Dong discovered this with an experimental transaction.

(Screenshot by Chris Dong)

Is this the only way to get Clear membership?

Only one other card offers a Clear discount: The American Express® Green Card (enrollment is required). It comes with a $189 Clear statement credit each calendar year and this is enough to cover the full membership.

The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

However, as we mentioned previously, there is a way to save on Clear through two major airline loyalty programs, as both Delta and United offer pathways to discounted (or even complimentary) membership.

Here are the details:

To utilize these offers, be sure to enroll from Delta's link or United's link. Clear should automatically pull your eligible discount — as it did for me.

(Screenshot from clearme.com)

I recently opened the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. Since both the card and Clear are linked with my Delta account, I receive the discounted membership fee of $109.

One important clarification here: If you have the Amex Platinum, do not charge the Clear membership fee to your Delta or United card. While being a cardholder will unlock the discounted pricing, you have to use the Amex Platinum 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 make a payment with Clear, up to $189 each calendar year. This is handy if you’re eligible for discounts from any of the above methods, as you can pay for your own 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 Platinum to trigger the statement credits is only the first step in enrollment. Once you submit all of your information online, you'll need to finish the process at any airport Clear location. All you need to bring is your government-issued identification like a driver's license or passport.

The representative will take scans of your eyes and fingerprints — and from there, you'll be all set to use the enhanced security on your flights.

Bottom line

Clear doesn’t get as much attention as trusted traveler programs like TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, but with the busy summer travel season, it can be a lifesaver if you arrive at the airport unexpectedly late. And you can unlock a free membership with a popular travel credit card.

The Amex Platinum offers up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits that can be used with Clear, and by stacking this benefit with other discount options, you could access these biometric security lanes on your next trip.

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 image by Clear machines (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

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  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees