Clear Secure IPO—Is Identification Security Worth the Cost?

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Jun. 23 2021, Published 12:26 p.m. ET

With Clear Secure striving for the public market, investors and travelers are digging a bit deeper into the identification security company. Is the company's service, a TSA PreCheck competitor, worth it?

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What does Clear Secure cost? Are the services worth the extra expense? How does Clear Secure compare to TSA PreCheck? Here's what we know.

Clear Secure IPO brings fast-track security company into the spotlight

Clear Secure is projecting an IPO valuation of $376 million. The company is selling 13.2 million shares between $27 and $30. The IPO price reflects the mid-point of that range. Clear Secure would be worth about $4.1 billion if all goes according to plan.

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Clear Secure plans to list on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "YOU." The company is backed by underwriters JPMorgan, Allen & Company, Wells Fargo Securities, and more. Investors can expect updates in the coming week.

How Clear works with the TSA

Clear Secure is a privately operated service that allows people to cut the early security line and avoid having to remove their shoes, coat, and electronics. It's a way to make traveling or event entry quick and painless.

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How does Clear Secure make money if the TSA PreCheck is already an option? Clear Secure is a subscription-based service that costs $179 per year. Many people opt for Clear Secure because it's a faster alternative to growing delays in the PreCheck aisle.

Clear Secure is legit.

Clear Secure's strong presence is evidence that the service is legitimate, and it goes beyond just airports. The network is in 38 airports, 26 sports and entertainment facilities, and 67 locations enabled with Health Pass. The company's $220 million sales for the year ending March 31 only adds to its legitimacy.

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Clear Secure versus TSA PreCheck: What's the difference?

TSA PreCheck is more widely available than Clear Secure, but Clear Secure's ability to check your identity with a touchless biometric scan is a huge plus for the company. Clear Secure tends to be a faster option where it's available.

At $179 per year, Clear Secure is more expensive than PreCheck (which costs $85).

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Clear Secure versus Global Entry

TSA PreCheck Global Entry costs $100 per year, which is still cheaper than Clear Secure. Both offer a sense of security with international flights, especially amid shifting COVID-19 restrictions between countries. Clear Secure's limited availability might be more beneficial for domestic travelers rather than global ones.

Clear Secure doesn't include TSA PreCheck, but Global Entry does. However, it isn't necessary to use PreCheck if you have Clear Secure.

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The consensus on Clear

With travel ramping back up, airport and event regulars might want to consider Clear Secure. Whether or not the price is monetarily worthwhile depends on how often you travel, where you travel, and how much time you want to save in the airport. There's an emphasis on health that might delay lines as demand for flights increases and flight supply decreases. TSA PreCheck is experiencing increased delays, and Clear Secure is a solid alternative for travelers with some money to spare (or business travels with a sweet corporate card).

Before buying Clear Secure, check which airports it's available at and make sure you frequent them. That way, you know your subscription is worth the extra cost.

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