New: Up To 15,000 Miles For New CLEAR Members, And It May Cost You Nothing

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It used to be that if you wanted to get through airport security quickly you needed PreCheck. Much of the time and at many busy airports you now need CLEAR. They’re a private company who take your biometrics. You don’t need your drivers license – you either use fingerprints or a retina scan for identification. Then you cut to the front of either the PreCheck or regular security lines, depending on which you’re eligible for.

There are times now where even CLEAR doesn’t mean smooth sailing. One early morning in late March, when Austin airport was buckling due to a shortage of TSA screeners and unusually high passenger levels, I arrived fairly late to the airport. My flight was nearly boarding when I walked through the door. Regular security lines were wrapped around outside the airport, TSA Pre lines were stretched the length of the airport, and I only made my flight benefiting from the confusion and not going to the back of the CLEAR line.

At this point CLEAR is an essential tool, I think, and you can get up to 15,000 United miles for joining.

May 27 through July 9, 2022, United MileagePlus® members will receive 10,000 miles and MileagePlus Premier® members will receive 15,000 miles when they sign up for CLEAR®.

CLEAR is in about 50 airports. It’s part-owned by Delta and by United. Where American Airlines controls the terminal, they do not allow it so you only see it in terminal E at Dallas – Fort worth, it’s not at New York JFK terminal 8, or in the American Airlines terminal in Miami for instance.

Cost:
It’s $189 per year but almost nobody should pay that.

  • United and Delta elites and co-brand cardholders pay $109 per year (1K and Delta Diamonds get it free)
  • Just having a United or Delta account gets you a $119 price

Children under 18 get to go with you through CLEAR without joining. Adding family members is less expensive than having them join on their own.

And the amount you pay may get rebated to you depending on the card you use. The Platinum Card® from American Express $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has a similar offer, and the Green card has a $100 rebate offer. Moreover there are occasional ‘Amex Offers’ on other cards offering rebates on spend with CLEAR.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. I’m still waiting on my miles to post from the last round. Anyone else have a similar situation?

  2. @Christian, who cares. Miles for partnership activity are hard because it takes coordination between two companies. Clear is good even if you don’t get miles. You know that 15,000 miles don’t mean what they used to, right? Used to be good for any saver award in the goddamn country. Now, you’re lucky if you can find a 6am flight Saturday morning on a turboprop.

  3. There’s a slightly hidden benefit here – each additional family member is only $50 or $60 (up to three people) on top of the discounted rate, so that Amex credit will pay for two. Saw the deal, had the credit, signed up myself and SO, went through the process on our flight this afternoon. Free net cost signup for two, 10,000 miles in the bank.

  4. @ Christian, same for me. I joined in March and the UA miles have still not been received.

    @ Yin Jing, I care and I am guessing there may be others who do too. Before making unhelpful comments, perhaps you might want to think why I/we do. For example, those 15,000 miles might just be the difference needed to get that long sought-after award ticket.

  5. Long sought after award ticket? Oh my, I am nearly in tears.

    First of all, notice on the right side of this website, linked is the BILT card which gives you up to 50,000 UA miles (1:1 transfer rate) per year for free. If you are struggling for even the most trifling sum of miles, there you go. You do not even have to schlep to the airport to attain them. Gary Leff may even earn a commission. That’s one way to support your favorite travel blogger. Gary Leff will probably spend the commission money on sushi, teehee!

    Second, Jesus Christ. Award tickets are bones thrown at you by airlines with distressed inventory. If they happen to represent a good value, then great. But to seek them out? Long to seek them out? Jesus Christ man. Long Bitcoin. Okay, maybe not. Long SPY and QQQ. These funds may have taken a beating but history shows they will recover and you will have all the money you want to buy a REAL plane ticket!

  6. @ Yin Jing, thank you for your informative message as to where get miles and how to invest so I can make enough money to buy a “REAL air ticket”.

    In case I apply for the BILT card that you recommend and the miles never appear in my account (as with what happened with the UA miles offered by CLEAR), what should I do? Please – thrill me with your acumen.

  7. Credit cards are under the purview of more strict regulatory (governmental) bodies that do not apply to Clear. Thus, a credit card company has more incentive to deliver on their marketing claims. Indeed, while there are many reports of UA miles not showing up from Clear, there are no reports of the same with UA miles from BILT or Chase.

    Somebody who uses language such as, “thrill me with your acumen,” is likely to be of a demographic (age) close to retirement, if not already inside it. This is just not a hip, youthful way of speaking. As such, you probably have a substantial savings account of cash, which you can dip into and use to purchase airfare. It’s not as though equities are going to make you any money this year, so you may as well burn the cash treating yourself to a vacation instead of clicking, refreshing, and watching your net account value go down. Why play the miles game at all? Miles are for chumps with little savings or income.

  8. @ Yin Jing, as you ask “Why play the miles game at all?”, why are you so adamantaly following this miles/travel blog?

    p.s. I will try and write in a more hip, youthful manner in spite of my old age (37).

  9. Miles and travel cannot be conflated. Miles are byproducts of marketing. Marketing may offer good deals now and then, but all marketing is exploitation of consumers by profit-maximizing corporations. You know how the middle class consumer laughs at those Extreme Couponers, even if they end up with a negative total at the cash register, and walk out of the grocery store with both a cart full of groceries and more dollars in their pocket than they walked in with? The upper class consumer laughs at miles maximizers like yourself, even if you end up sitting across from them in First Class. You poured your blood and sweat and tears into getting that distressed inventory on miles, splurging your balance of miles onto that single seat. All they did was text their personal assistant that they feel like spending the long weekend on a white sand beach, and they will recover all the expenses by selling covered calls.

    Warren Buffett understands that money makes money. Once you compound enough wealth through safe long term investments, such as SPY or QQQ, to subsist on covered calls, you will not be thinking about what seat to assign yourself on a plane. You will be thinking about what plane to assign yourself from the NetJets menu of jets available to you in less than a days’ notice. You can hop onboard, sip Fiji water, with a triple shot of Patron, and free WiFi to post insightful comments on blogs like Gary Leff’s.

    The age of 37 is certainly old. It is considered Advanced Maternal Age. Paternal fertility also declines (we need more research on this subject). At the age of 37, you probably deal with random body and muscle aches, even if you are perfectly healthy.

    Going back to your first question, View From The Wing is not just a miles blog, and for that matter not just a travel blog. There is a potpourri of content on this blog that I find interesting. I am also able to share back and forths in the comments section with sentient human beans such as yourself.

  10. I recently passed through MIA for the first time in 30 years. What a monstrosity. And NOW I know why I had to walk an extra 1/2 mile find a CLEAR outpost there.

  11. @Yin Jing

    Although I mostly agree with what you’ve said, I’m not sure I understand your target audience? You’re talking about the high upper class, but what’s the percentage of the population it includes? So, if one can’t realistically make several hundred thousands or millions $$$ a year, you offer him/her to give up and not strive to make their flying experience better and more affordable? Saved money = earned money.

    Then people shouldn’t save for months and years to drive better cars either since there are rich people with personal drivers around us too.

  12. @Yin Jing

    You seem charming. I’ll bet you get invited to a lot of young, hip parties, because you’re such a lovely conversationalist. Jesus.

  13. @Yin Jing. You think 37 is old and only you possess wisdom? I suspect you will not be pleased with your future. Karma is a bitch . . .and you’re boring.

  14. Yin Jing it is not “blood and sweat and tears” to sign up for an AmEx Biz Plat, shift my usual card spend to it for three months, jump through a couple easy hoops to use the credits, and then use the pay-with-points rebate to walk away with over $2K of *non-distressed-inventory* flights.
    It is true that some people searching for a couple bucks off at Starbucks or Panera or CVS would be better served putting that effort into career development, and that we would all be better served by investing more. But there exists a middle ground- where people who will never fly NetJets or have a personal assistant can cover some of their travel expenses with light credit card churning.
    Amusing comment though, about a 37-year-old man meeting the obstetric definition of advanced maternal age.

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