Skip to content

How the United Club is becoming the office I no longer have

Feb. 19, 2022
3 min read
An airline club lounge pictured.
How the United Club is becoming the office I no longer have
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

I haven’t had a real office since November 2019.

Yes — I’ve been working from home longer than most have. Yes, it has its perks (I wouldn’t have this job I love at TPG if we didn’t allow remote work). But also, yes, I do miss working out of an office.

As a United Premier 1K member who lives near the airline’s hub at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston and travels multiple times a month, I finally moved from a United Explorer Card to a United MileagePlus® Club Card in the past month. With that card comes a United Club membership.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

I’m already putting it to good use. The United Club feels like the office I no longer have.

Since I’ve had the card, I’ve twice arrived at the airport more than four hours early for a flight, and I’ve found that I’ve had some of the most productive work in a while.

Clear a month’s long backlog of expenses? Check. File a 700-word story? Check. Start writing this story? Check.

Being outside of my home simply makes me more productive — even when I'm in a busy lounge. I love the phone rooms that are available first come, first served — where I can take meetings and call sources. I've seldom had much of an issue claiming one, and have found that most people are respectful of the space and don't "camp out," making them available for others.

I generally don't have issues claiming a phone room at the United Club. (Photo by Ethan Klapper/The Points Guy)

While the food options at the United Club aren't what you'll find in a Polaris Lounge, let alone the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, they're tasty and will fill you up. Common options these days include breakfast sandwiches, packaged burritos, salads and deli sandwiches — not gourmet by any stretch of the imagination, but they hit the spot. I'm also a fan of the Illy coffee machines that are installed in United Clubs.

More: The ultimate guide to United Club access

Light meals, snacks and caffeine — the perfect fuel for productive work.

United Club membership costs $650 a year for general members, Premier Silver and Premier Golds. For Premier Platinums, it's $600, and for Premier 1Ks, it's $550. With the Club Card's $525 annual fee, you're getting anywhere from a $25 to a $125 discount on club membership, depending on your status.

To me, it pays for itself.

Featured image by The United Club at C North at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), January 2022. (Photo by Ethan Klapper/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases