Amex Platinum CLEAR Credit: Speed Through Airport Security

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American Express recently increased the annual fee on The Platinum Card® from American Express to a whopping $695 (See Rates), but also introduced several new travel- and lifestyle-focused credits to help offset it.

These new credits pair nicely with the card’s other benefits like airport lounge access and earning 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines, and flights and hotels booked through Amex Travel. Here’s our full Amex Platinum Card review for details.

Read more: The Amex Platinum increased its annual fee to $695 — are the new benefits worth it?

One of the card’s new travel credits is up to $179 per calendar year toward CLEAR, an expedited security program that allows you to skip security screenings at select US airports (and a few sports stadiums). Instead of presenting your ID and other documents, CLEAR uses your biometrics, like face and eyes, to confirm your identity and allow you to go directly to secondary screening. That can save you a lot of time, especially when lines are long. 

Of course, CLEAR is only useful if it’s available where you visit. So far, CLEAR is in over 50 airports and a few stadiums nationwide. Before you can use it, you’ll need to head to a CLEAR location with a valid government-issued ID and complete a brief interview to enroll. As soon as you’re done, you can start using it right away. 

If your home airport also has TSA PreCheck, you can use both services. CLEAR allows you to skip document checking and TSA PreCheck provides a streamlined secondary security screening. Having both could get you to your boarding gate quickly – that is, if the security area has them available. 

How to use the Amex Platinum CLEAR credit

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Featured Reward

100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months of card membership, plus 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott (enrollment required)
    • Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber
    Cons
    • Bonus categories leave something to be desired
    • One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards
    • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
    • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
    • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
    • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
    • New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
    • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
    • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
    • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
    • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
    • $695 Annual Fee.
    • Terms Apply.

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    When you have a Platinum Card, you can visit CLEAR’s membership enrollment page to enter your details and payment method. The standard membership price is $179, and the Platinum Card offers up to $179 as a statement credit once per calendar year. 

    To receive this credit, there’s nothing you have to activate or opt into on their side. Simply use your Platinum Card to pay for the CLEAR membership and you’ll see the amount credited back to your account. Officially, Amex says this can take two to four weeks, but it’s usually much faster. 

    Read more: The Amex Platinum has a long list of benefits, but 6 of them are especially easy to maximize

    CLEAR will keep your Platinum Card on file to renew your membership each year, unless you cancel. 

    Authorized users are eligible to use the credit too, but you’ll only receive up to $179 in credits across all cards on your account. The credit is also “use it or lose it”, meaning it doesn’t roll over. So it wouldn’t be possible to “save” it and get two CLEAR memberships in the second year. 

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    Featured Reward

    3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months

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    Featured Reward

    $200 after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening

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    How to maximize the annual CLEAR membership credit

    While the CLEAR statement credit is great on its own, Amex also offers another credit up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years. 

    CLEAR lets you skip the document check with a biometric scan and go directly to security screening, while TSA PreCheck allows you to keep your shoes, belt, and light jacket on, and leave liquids and often laptops in your bag. The TSA PreCheck line tends to be a lot faster than the usual security line because of this, so if you can combine CLEAR with TSA PreCheck, you’ll go from arriving at the airport to your boarding gate a lot quicker. 

    Read more: 11 travel rewards credit cards that will reimburse your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every 4 years

    To use both services, your airport needs to have them both. And even then, your security area needs to offer both options. If your airport has both and you’re able to combine them, you can get both memberships completely covered with your Platinum Card. 

    For frequent travelers, it’s worth having both services because you can use one or the other (or both!) when they’re available and save time in airports. Just be sure to pay for both application fees with your Platinum Card to automatically receive the statement credits.

    And if your airport also has lounges you can access with your Platinum Card, that’s a huge win toward a better overall experience, because you can use your card to gain entry. 

    Other valuable Amex Platinum credits

    In addition to the CLEAR membership credit, the Platinum Card also comes with other credits you can use during your travels or closer to home, including: 

    • Up to $200 per year in Uber Cash credits** — You’ll get up to $15 per month (except December, when you get $35) to use toward Uber rides or Uber Eats purchases
    • Up to $200 per year in airline incidental fee credits** — Select an airline each calendar year and receive up to $200 in statement credits for things like checked bags, inflight purchases, seat upgrades, and more
    • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit — When you use your card to pay for the application fees, you’ll receive a $100 statement credit for Global Entry and an $85 credit for TSA PreCheck every four years
    • Up to $240 in digital entertainment subscription credits** — You’ll get up to $20 per month to use for Peacock, SiriusXM, Audible, or The New York Times digital subscription when you enroll and use your card to pay 
    • Up to $200 for prepaid hotels through Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection — When you book through Amex and prepay for a hotel that participates in either program, you’ll receive up to $200 back for your stay every calendar year
    • Up to $300 for Equinox in-club or digital membership** — Receive $25 per month toward an Equinox membership at 300+ clubs around the world, or for the Equinox+ app when you enroll through Amex

    For more details, check out our complete Amex Platinum review, and find out ways to use American Express Membership Rewards points toward travel. 

    Bottom line

    If your airport is one of the 50+ US locations with CLEAR expedited document processing, you can do well with reimbursed application and membership fees up to $179 per year when you use your Platinum Card to pay. Before you can use CLEAR, you’ll need to complete a brief interview and present a valid ID, and then you can begin using it right away. 

    Even better, you can combine CLEAR with TSA PreCheck to get through secondary security screening if your airport and security area offers both — and you can use your Platinum Card for an $85 TSA PreCheck credit every four years, too. 

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