Category

TSA

6 Months Free CLEAR Membership

Via Frugal Travel Guy, seems CLEAR is offering a6 months free membership to Visa Signature Cardholders!

Link To CLEAR Offer

If you are not familiar with CLEAR, it is basically like Global Entry / TSA Pre-Check in that you can go thru expedited security. However unlike TSA Pre-Check, it can be used for any Airline!

TSA Pre-Check as of right now is limited to United, American, Delta, and recently Virgin America. More airlines like Southwest and Jet Blue are expected to join the program later in 2013.

That being said, I still HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting Global Entry, because it is only $100 for 5 years and with it you get TSA Pre-Check, which means you can clear security in less than 15 seconds (not even a joke, I timed myself last week at O’Hare). More info here.

However, as someone who flies Southwest a lot, it is really annoying that Southwest doesn’t currently participate in TSA Pre-Check. If I also had CLEAR, then I would be able to do expedited security even while flying on Southwest.

While TSA Pre-Check has been expanded to most major US Airports, the one MAJOR downfall of CLEAR is that it currently is only at 5 US Airports…

So great news if you are based out of

  • Denver – DEN
  • San Francisco – SFO
  • Orlando – MCO
  • Dallas – DFW
  • Westchester – HPN

If are based anywhere else, then CLEAR might not be as useful unless you are visiting any of the above cities in the next 6 months. I might be visiting San Francisco in August, so I might sign up for CLEAR depending on how long enrollment takes.

If you do sign up, just remember to set yourself an alert on your phone or Google Calendar to cancel before the 6 months are up. In the terms, it says they will remind you, but who knows if that is true!

Recap

While Global Entry / TSA Pre-Check are certainly the gold standard when it comes to expedited security (and really an example where the Government got it right for once), it unfortunately hasn’t been rolled out to all airlines yet. So it can kind of suck if you aren’t flying a legacy carrier because you have to wait in the regular security line.

That being said, if you are based out of the above 5 cities or have plans to travel thru them, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to sign up for CLEAR since it is free for 6 months.

If you already have TSA Pre-Check and live in the above cities, CLEAR is basically a safety net in case you scan your boarding pass and are denied TSA Pre-Check, then you could always then hit up CLEAR.

-Parag

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