Clear Membership Costs Increasing for Delta and United Members in 2023

Clear Membership Costs Increasing for Delta and United Members in 2023

The fee is steeply increasing for most Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus members, but several American Express cards offer credits to cover the cost
A CLEAR checkpoint

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Beginning on Feb. 1, 2023, the cost of CLEAR membership will increase for frequent flyers from both the Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus programs. However, the cost for CLEAR isn't actually going up on its own. Instead, the discount program members have received in the past is decreasing.

If you haven't had CLEAR membership before, you should know this expedited airport security program works similarly to TSA PreCheck by offering a separate lane for members. However, CLEAR lets members prove their identity using biometrics instead of government-issued identification. In fact, members who use this service to speed through airport security only need to step up to a pod, scan their boarding pass and submit to a fingerprint or retina scan.

Several rewards credit cards also cover CLEAR membership in its entirety, so the increased costs for frequent flyers this year won't impact everyone.

Delta and United members see costs increase for CLEAR

While CLEAR membership normally costs $189, Delta elite status members and credit cardholders received a large discount on the membership fee. However, the fee is drastically increasing for most members:

  • Non-elite members of Delta and United will pay $179 per year (up from $119)
  • Lower-tier elite members with Delta and United will pay $149 per year (up from $109)
  • Individuals with co-branded Delta or United credit cards will pay $149 per year (up from $109)

One exception is for ‍Delta Diamond Medallion Members and United ‍Premier 1K members, who will continue to get CLEAR membership for free.

Keep in mind that, even though this change goes into effect on Feb. 1, 2023, your membership fee won't increase until your renewal date. At that point, you can choose to let your CLEAR membership automatically renew or cancel it.

Some travel cards offer complimentary CLEAR membership

If you're a United MileagePlus or Delta SkyMiles member who doesn't want to pay the extra for CLEAR, you might consider a travel card with a CLEAR membership benefit. Cards, including the American Express® Green Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offer a credit that completely covers the $189 membership fee (enrollment required).

However, there's a downside for regular SkyClub and MileagePlus members who previously used these cards to cover the membership fee for their families. The previous cost to join CLEAR ($119) and to add additional family members ($60) was formerly covered by the cards' CLEAR credit. With the membership fee increasing to $179 for non-elite members, these cardholders will have to pay $50 over the cards' CLEAR credit to add additional family members.

The information related to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and American Express® Green Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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