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How To Use the $179 CLEAR® Credit From Amex Platinum

CLEAR is a revolutionary initiative that completely transforms how identity verifications are conducted at airports, and other locations, such as sports stadiums.

CLEAR utilizes your biometrics to confirm it’s indeed you — as opposed to presenting an ID to the TSA agent. The idea is that this would be a much faster & hassle-free way of going through security checks at airports and other crowded places.

Typically, airports will have a separate line for CLEAR booths/pods where you can go, get your biometrics done, and get a move on.

The CLEAR Application and the Amex Platinum Credit

To enjoy CLEAR, you have to first apply for it with an application. The cost to apply is $179 per year for an individual who isn’t part of a family plan or any other discounted price.

Regardless of how much you pay for your CLEAR application, the Amex Platinum Card has a benefit wherein it will give you a statement credit for up to $179 per calendar year within 2-4 weeks. In reality though, it has been the experience of several folks that the money comes back much sooner than that.

Ensuring You Do Get the Amex Platinum CLEAR Credit

To leave no room for errors, follow the three step-process as American Express themselves describe it:

  1. Step 1: Go to https://www.clearme.com/enroll/
  2. Step 2: Either log in or create an account. Then, make sure you charge your Amex Platinum Card for the application fee (however much it costs).
  3. Step 3: Within the timeframe of 2-4 weeks after the credit card activity, likely earlier, you will receive a credit for up to $179, per year.
Steps to ensure that CLEAR credit is received from American Express
Steps to ensure that CLEAR credit is received from American Express. Screenshot taken from the Amex Website.

How the CLEAR Credit From Amex Platinum Looks Like

Once American Express has successfully identified a CLEAR charge, the refund will show up as a line item as one of your transactions. Specifically, it will be titled “CLEAR NEW YORK,” although, it may differ slightly. See the image screenshot below.

how the CLEAR credit from AMEX looks like
As shown: American Express CLEAR credit.

A Few FAQs

Will I Still Receive the $179 Credit if My Clear Membership(s) Cost Me More?

Yes. Amex says it’s up to $179, so anything above (the difference) will be out of your pocket. But up until $179, Amex should give you the statement credit.

Does the $179 Be in the Same Transaction? What if I Charged $50 One Day, and the Remaining $129 Some Another Day, as a Hypothetical Example?

As far as I know, the charge can happen on multiple different days, with multiple different amounts. The only thing you need to be aware of is that it occurs in the same calendar year. That is, if you fully want to take advantage of the entire $179.

Does It Matter Whose CLEAR Membership I Am Paying For?

No. As long as your Platinum Card is used for the charge, it does not matter for whose CLEAR membership you pay for. Yours, or someone else’s.

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Summary

While the $179 fee for CLEAR per year may seem a little steep, when compared to how much TSA Pre or Global Entry costs, it can be a justifiable spend if you are a frequent traveler, are able to get the Amex Platinum Card statement credit for it, and are excited about new technologies and securities in general.

In theory, having TSA Pre alone is worth it, but you can easily combine that with CLEAR so that you can move even faster through security.