Breaking Up with My CLEAR Family Plan

by joeheg

Sharon and I were initially hesitant about getting CLEAR. We didn’t think it was worth the cost for the airports we typically flew through. We found that TSA Precheck was enough to help us avoid most of the lines at our home airport, MCO, and other airports we visited didn’t even have CLEAR checkpoints. However, in 2019, I was able to secure a promotional rate for CLEAR and during the pandemic, they offered discounted prices to keep members in the program.

Since then, we’ve experienced airports where CLEAR is a lifesaver and some when getting in the CLEAR line is slower than the TSA Precheck lane (Hello ATL Airport!) But since we’re able to get CLEAR for free, or close to free, with credits from my AMEX Platinum Card, we’ve renewed our membership every year.

Clear Price Increase

Because we have a Delta AMEX co-brand card, CLEAR charges $149 for the primary member. This is easily covered by the $189 statement credit by the AMEX Platinum or AMEX Green card. However, the biggest change is the price CLEAR is charging to add up to three additional members to your account.

Until early 2023, the cost to add a person to a family plan was $60. In early 2023, the cost increased to $70. In late 2023, the cost increased again, this time to $99.

When the cost was $60 the total price for our two memberships was $209. With a $189 credit, I only had to pay $20 for the two of us to have CLEAR memberships.

However, with the cost of an extra member increasing to $99, we’re paying $248. That $59 out of pocket after the $189 statement credit from AMEX.

Splitting Payment

I recently mentioned how I’d have to pay $60 for CLEAR after the price increase, to which an eagle-eyed reader commented about why we didn’t pay for the extra cost with the AMEX Green Card, which also has a $189 CLEAR statement credit.

When we were only paying $20 extra per year, I contacted CLEAR to ask if we could split our payment and use the statement credits from each of our AMEX cards.

According to them, it is not possible to split a payment between two credit cards. The only thing we could do is drop Sharon from my “family plan” and have her sign up for her own account. That way, I can pay with my card, and she can pay with her card.

Individual Accounts

I’m not willing to pay $60 for Sharon to stay on my “family plan” when I can use the $189 credit from her AMEX Green Card to pay for her membership. I know if it was up to her, we probably wouldn’t keep CLEAR, except for the fact that it helped us get into Madison Square Garden faster for the Billy Joel concert.

But since she’s never going to give up her Green Card and it comes with a CLEAR credit, we might as well take advantage of it. Even if it means having her re-apply for CLEAR.

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.

Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


David May 6, 2024 - 2:38 pm

Clear is appearing to be more and more of a scam. I have almost never saved much time with clear and most times have been slower than non-clear companions. Their complete lack of service both at airports (so glad they have 20 terminals but only 2 people working them and you’re required to be escorted through by one of them) and in general (you cannot split credit card payments???) is just ridiculous. Cannot see Clear surviving the TSA precheck upgrades – who in their right mind would pay for this service at this point?

Naoyuki May 6, 2024 - 3:42 pm

We recently converted a family account into two separate accounts for the same reason. It was very easy to do via chat online. I basically dropped my husband from my account and he had to just addd a different credit card to his new single account. He did not have to reapply for Clear.

Dominik May 6, 2024 - 4:15 pm

A word of caution since I just went trough this process. My wife was originally added as a family member on my account because with my United status and the old pricing, $189 would cover the membership fee for both of us.
Once the price increase went into effect, I dropped my wife from my account and created a separate account for her using her Amex card which covered the fee entirely.

When we got to the airport, the CLEAR agent was not able to get her account verified/activated because it kept pointing to the old/inactive family member account. We didn’t have time to try to resolve at that time, so we just used regular pre-check lane. On a next trip, we had a bit more time to get this resolved. The CLEAR agent had to call in to support team and make some changes on the back-end to unlink the old accounts and switch over to the new one. Took about 15-20 just to get it resolved.

So just be prepared to spend some extra time on the first trip after switching to a separate account.

woketh one May 7, 2024 - 2:23 pm

I initially loved Clear. However whenever I use it now, I find the person in Pre-chek who started the same time as me. They 99 times out of 100 get through before me.
If that isn’t enough, I get “random” ID check with Clear or my ID isn’t verified, and the “short time” they need each time to run my eye scan is an extra 5 minutes.
Clear is a mess. I won’t renew.


Leave a Comment