Services to Speed TSA Security: What’s Worth It?

CLEAR uses biometrics to speed you through airport screening, but it’s pricey.

If you’re a frequent business traveler, hate standing in line or tend to get to the airport late, a new private service can get you through security faster. But it doesn’t come cheap.

CLEAR, which is currently available at 27 airports across the U.S. and has 2.5 million users, allows you to bypass the first step in getting through security: standing in line to show your driver’s license or passport. The system stores your fingerprints and eye scans, creating an encrypted code that is specific to you. (Once created, this code is matched each time you go through the system.) After you pass the biometric screen and show your boarding pass, a CLEAR representative will escort you to security screening. If you also have PreCheck or Global Entry, you can keep your shoes and belt on.

The cost is $179 a year. You can add as many as three family members age 18 and older for an extra $50 each per year. Children younger than 18 can use the lane free when they are with a CLEAR parent and don’t need to be added to the account.

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There are ways to cut the cost. You can be reimbursed for up to $100 if you have Platinum, Gold or Silver Medallion Delta SkyMiles status or have an eligible Delta SkyMiles credit card. American Express cardholders may also be eligible for a rebate of up to $80.

To enroll, go to clearme.com (opens in new tab) and complete the process at a participating airport, where you’ll need to present a valid photo ID and payment. Alternatively, you can complete the entire process at the airport.

For more information on PreCheck and Global Entry, see How to Beat Longer Lines at the Airport.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)
Rivan V. Stinson
Staff Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Rivan joined Kiplinger on Leap Day 2016 as a reporter for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. She's now a staff writer for the magazine and helps produce content for Kiplinger.com. A Michigan native, she graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 and from there freelanced as a local copy editor and proofreader, and served as a research assistant to a local Detroit journalist. Her work has been featured in the Ann Arbor Observer and Sage Business Researcher.