If you're thinking about purchasing a United Club membership the time to do it would be now. Possibly you could talk someone into buying it for you for Christmas.
On January 1, 2013 United has announced a $25 increase to it's membership rates with spousal membership increasing by $100.
They've also announced that they're eliminating the 3-year purchase option which offered significant savings over their year-to-year packages.
Here's the current pricing chart:
Of all the changes, I think the exemption of the 3-year option is the biggest hit. The $100 increase to the spousal rate isn't great either. None of the changes seem all that drastic to me at first blush. I will say this though, if you've been in a United lounge lately they are extremely crowded in many cases. I'm unsure if this is a move to reduce the overcrowding, or if United is trying to boost sales of it's United Club credit card. The lounge prices were already high for a watered down drink and a few pieces of Tilamook cheese, I couldn't see buying in before and I'm certainly not going to buy in now. With the United Mileage Plus card you get two free passes per year and you get lounge access on International itineraries with Gold Premier status so I'm not making any purchasing plans. Your mileage may vary if you need to renew, or are just interested in purchasing a membership. Whatever the case I'd do so before the turn of the calendar year.
Reaction in the "pro" travel blogger arena appears to be "meh".
One Mile at a Time
Frequently Flying (Who it appears was the first mover in blogging about this)