The Case for Having Both TSA PreCheck and Clear

A new bundle offer from Clear makes it easier and cheaper to enroll in both security expediting programs—and here’s why you should.

A blue and white vertical sign for Clear entry at airport security

There are benefits to having both Clear and TSA PreCheck.

Photo by Shutterstock

Nobody likes waiting in the security line at the airport—at best, it’s lost minutes that could otherwise be spent in a great airport lounge; at worst, it leaves you questioning if you’ll make your flight or not.

However, a new joint deal from TSA PreCheck and Clear, two expedited security programs, could save travelers more time at a lower-than-usual cost.

Here’s how the deal works: If you’re already a Clear member, you can enroll in or renew your TSA PreCheck just by going to a Clear lane with your ID (either a driver’s license or passport) and letting the agent know you’d like to apply for TSA PreCheck. No appointment is necessary, and it should only take a few minutes. Going that route will cost $78—although, if you only need to renew, you can do it online at the TSA website, and the fee is reduced to $69 for Clear members.

If you don’t have either, however, you can apply for both jointly, also on the TSA website. For $199, you’ll score a five-year TSA PreCheck membership (at a rate of $78) and your first year of Clear Plus (for $122). Clear Plus is how Clear refers to its standard airport security expediting service. If you apply for each separately, the unbundled rate would be $267.

It’s worth noting that after the first year of Clear Plus, your subscription will automatically renew at the standard fee of $189.

Why it’s worth having both TSA PreCheck and Clear

Clear lets fliers skip to the front of the general TSA security line, whereas TSA PreCheck gives fliers a dedicated security line that’s typically much shorter than the standard line. In the TSA PreCheck line, travelers can also keep their shoes, belts, and light jackets on and are not required to remove large electronics or liquids from their bags. Travelers who have both TSA PreCheck and Clear get to cut ahead of everyone in the TSA PreCheck line, and they don’t have to remove all those items listed.

In most airports, having both will only shave a few minutes off your wait time. However, during peak travel times or at particularly busy airports, like Denver International Airport, having both Clear and TSA PreCheck could save you considerable time and get you on your way much faster.

Additionally, while TSA PreCheck is available in more than 200 airports throughout the United States, Clear Plus is currently only available at a little more than 50 airports—so another reason to have both is to be able to use TSA PreCheck at airports where Clear is not yet available.

For travelers interested in obtaining both Clear and TSA PreCheck, the fees can be further reduced (or waived altogether) if you use a credit card that offsets the costs of the programs as a membership perk.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at AFAR. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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