Which Programme Is Better Between Clear and TSA PreCheck?

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Visitors to recent airports have probably noticed two different security lines: one for TSA PreCheck and one for Clear. TSA PreCheck, a Trusted Traveller Programme (TTP) that speeds up airport security clearance, is already well-known to many people. You might not be as acquainted with Clear, a technology and membership programme for airport security.

The following are the three key differences between TSA PreCheck and Clear:

While Clear is offered by a commercial company, TSA PreCheck is given by the government.

  1. TSA PreCheck expedites the physical screening, whereas Clear expedites the processing of documents and IDs.
  2. TSA PreCheck membership is $85 for five years, whereas Clear membership costs $189 annually.
  3. But which is better, TSA PreCheck or Clear? Intelligent travellers may be able to take advantage of both systems since they each have advantages and disadvantages. Let’s contrast TSA PreCheck with Clear to make it easier for you to decide which is better.

What does TSA PreCheck entail?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversees the Trusted Traveller Programme known as TSA PreCheck. TSA PreCheck is available at 81 airlines and over 200 domestic airports, and the full list may be seen on the TSA website. Despite the fact that numerous airports and airlines take part in TSA PreCheck, not all locations offer it.

Advantages of TSA PreCheck
You can enter the faster TSA PreCheck security line and get through airport screening as a TSA PreCheck member without taking off your shoes, belt or light jacket. Additionally, you will be permitted to bring computers and TSA-approved drinks and gels. The TSA PreCheck faster security queue for that flight cannot be used if a passenger is randomly chosen for ordinary airport security screening.

The opportunity to keep your shoes on during the screening procedure is a big benefit of TSA PreCheck, but many people believe that the designated TSA PreCheck security queue and speedier security clearance are its two most important benefits.

Cost and TSA PreCheck application process
If you are a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States, you may apply for TSA PreCheck. The application procedure is simple. On the TSA PreCheck website, first fill out a quick online application; this shouldn’t take more than five minutes.

At a TSA PreCheck registration location, make an appointment for a background check and fingerprinting. You will be given a Known Traveller Number (KTN) that can be used for making airline reservations once you have successfully completed the TSA PreCheck application process and cleared a background investigation.

However, online renewals only cost $70, and your TSA PreCheck registration status is good for five years. This two-step application process costs $85. To mitigate the cost of applying for TSA PreCheck, many credit cards and loyalty programmes with a travel-focused focus offer statement credits for TSA PreCheck application fees.

Additionally, frequent travellers may want to think about adding a travel card to their wallet because the finest travel credit cards typically provide additional money-saving benefits like travel insurance and access to airport lounges.

What is evident?
With the help of biometric security kiosks that don’t require direct physical touch, members of Clear’s registered traveller service can promptly confirm their identity. Clear has been approved by the Department of Homeland Security as complying with the Safety Act, and there are Clear kiosks available at more than 50 airports, stadiums, and arenas across the country. In New York, for instance, clear is available at LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Westchester County Airport, Madison Square Garden, and Yankee Stadium. Smaller towns and cities might not have Clear places, in comparison. To find out if the service is offered in your area, use Clear’s location guide.

Clear Advantages
Instead of standing in queue for a TSA worker to check their boarding pass and photo identification, Clear passengers can use the Clear lane to speed through the initial stage of airport security. After you successfully complete the biometric screening, a Clear Ambassador will take you to the physical/luggage scanning portion of the screening process. You will be directed to the TSA PreCheck queue if you already have TSA PreCheck. You’ll use the normal screening line if not.

The Clear app’s Sports and Events pass speeds up entry to sporting venues, and the Health Pass lets you share your COVID-19 vaccination status and any recent negative test results with airport, arena, and venue staff. Clear also offers two free plans in addition to the $15.75 per month Clear membership that enables you to breeze through airport security in a timely manner.

Application Process and Cost Transparency
If you are over 18 and a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States, you may apply for Clear. The Clear application procedure is comparable to the TSA PreCheck application procedure. To get started, fill out a quick online application. Visit one of Clear’s more than fifty locations to finish the process after that. No appointment is necessary before stopping by a Clear location, but you must be prepared to provide your biometric data and have a valid ID with a name that matches the one on your application.

The annual cost of Clear is $189, which is more than TSA PreCheck’s $85 cost. And although premium travel credit cards sometimes offer statement credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry applications, Clear credits are much less common. However, members of United MileagePlus and Delta SkyMiles are entitled to discounted or free Clear subscriptions.

American Express also provides cards with Clear benefits. For instance, to help offset a portion of the annual membership cost, the American Express® Green Card provides an annual Clear statement credit of up to $189. Additionally, the American Express Platinum Card® provides Clear statement credits of up to $189 annually.

Which is preferable, Clear or TSA PreCheck?
Many people could believe that TSA PreCheck is better when contrasting it with Clear. TSA PreCheck is backed by the federal government, less expensive, and available at more airports around the nation. Additionally, a lot of travel credit cards provide a statement credit that pays the TSA PreCheck application charge.

A free Clear Health Pass that allows you to easily share your COVID-19 vaccination and test results with airports, sports arenas, and concert venues is one of the advantages of Clear, but there are other advantages as well. If you’re going to travel or go to certain events in 2022 or later, you might want to add the Clear Health Pass on your phone.

Do you need TSA PreCheck and Clear at the same time?
It may seem paradoxical, but there are advantages to signing up for both TSA PreCheck and Clear. The programmes’ ability to work together to speed up your passage through airport security is their main advantage. With Clear, you may speed up the processing of your travel documents. After that, you can go through security without shoes by going through the TSA PreCheck screening line.

Additional advantages of having both TSA PreCheck and Clear include the following:
TSA PreCheck only speeds up your time going through airport security; in contrast, Clear speeds up your entry into airports, stadiums, and other locations.

Travellers who have TSA PreCheck may occasionally be chosen at random for routine airport screening and won’t be able to use the TSA PreCheck security queue. However, Clear passengers will always have access to the exclusive Clear security queue.

Although not all airlines will let you skip security with your TSA PreCheck membership, Clear still functions no matter the airline.

You can convey your COVID-19 immunisation status and any recent negative test results with Clear’s Health Pass, which may reduce or eliminate the requirement for post-travel quarantine.

The fact that TSA PreCheck is not the only TTP recommended should be noted as well. If you’re interested in learning more about the distinctions between TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, another Trusted Traveller Programme aimed to speed up entry through U.S. customs, read our guidance on how to select between them.

| August 26, 2023.


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