Frequently asked questions about Membership

If the answer to your question cannot be found in our FAQs please email the Membership department at and we will respond within three working days.

Joining, renewing and upgrading Membership

Lost and replacement cards


Members’ events

Members’ Room and Members’ cloakroom

Using your Membership

Special Member offers

How do I become a Member?

  • Join online by credit or debit card, or by setting up an annual Direct Debit
  • Visit the Ticket or Information Desk in the Great Court or any of the British Museum shops
  • Telephone the Membership Office on 020 7323 8195. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday, 09.30 to 17.00. We try to answer all calls, but at the start and end of major exhibitions our lines can become extremely busy. 

I have just joined as a Member and want to visit the special exhibition today. Is the Membership valid right away?

Membership is valid from the moment you buy it, and you are able to use it right away.
If you joined on site you will have been given a temporary Membership card which can be used for immediate entry into the special exhibitions. If you joined online by credit or debit card, you will receive a confirmation email, which you can present at the Membership desk in the Great Court to receive a temporary card.
If you purchased an annual recurring Membership online by setting up a Direct Debit, you will receive a confirmation email of the Direct Debit Instruction, which you can print off and use as proof of Membership. Please note that Direct Debit payments are not taken on the day you join, but are scheduled ahead of time to allow us to set up the instruction with your bank. However, you are still very welcome to use your Membership from the day you sign up.

How do I renew my Membership?

If you have an annual recurring Membership you will pay by Direct Debit. We will renew your Membership automatically and send you a new Membership card at least 14 days before the debit is due on your account. You can cancel future Direct Debit payments at any time. An additional administration fee will apply for new Memberships if the cancellation is made prior to payment collection.

You will receive a letter to remind you when it is time to renew. You can renew online or by phone or post. If you currently have an annual Membership and pay by cheque, credit or debit card or cash, you can change to an annually recurring Membership, via a Direct Debit, and save on the full rate of Membership. This will be renewed each year at a discounted rate.

How do I upgrade my Membership?

If you would like to share your Membership with a friend, family member or partner, you can do so by adding an upgrade. You can add a Guest Facility for £30 or upgrade to a joint membership for just £24. Members who include a guest facility will receive one card, which reads ‘Admits 2’. Joint Members receive one card each, which reads ‘Admits 1’ and these can only be used by the named individuals.

If you have a joint Membership and wish to add a Guest Facility this must be added to the primary cardholder’s membership in the first instance. Please note that it is not possible to change the primary cardholder during the Membership period, and changes of this nature can only be made upon renewal. Secondary cardholders are able to add a guest facility once the primary Member has done so.

Please note that upgrades will run alongside the existing Membership year and expire in line with that membership.

What should I do if I lose my Membership card?

Please bring your Membership card to gain free entry to exhibitions, and to speed up entry when attending the Museum for Membership Events. To order a replacement card please telephone the Membership Office on 020 7323 8195 or email us at Please note that replacement cards can take up to 10 working days to be dispatched, but Members are welcome to collect temporary cards from the Membership Desk in the Great Court during this time.

Do I need to book tickets for special exhibitions?

Members are not required to book tickets for special exhibitions, and are able to enter free of charge by presenting their membership card at the exhibition entrance. Please note that at peak times, when large numbers of Members are visiting an exhibition (such as the opening and closing weekends), we may ask members to collect a ticket to gain entry at a later time on the same day.

The timed ticketing system aims to ensure your experience of the exhibition is not compromised by over-crowding. In addition to guaranteeing the safety of all visitors, we also want to make sure you are not asked to wait in a queue for an excessive period of time.

Can I bring a child to special exhibitions?

You are able to bring children under-16 free of charge to all special exhibitions. However, even if you, as the accompanying adult, are a Member, free timed tickets must be booked in advance (or collected on the day as a free walk-up ticket) for any children you wish to take to the exhibition with you. You can do this online.

Please note, advance tickets are not available online less than 24 hours ahead of the booking date, and we may sell out of advance tickets. We offer up to 500 walk-up tickets each day; for busy exhibitions we advise you to come early to ensure you are able to pick one up.

Please contact the box office on 020 7323 8181 for up-to-date information on ticket availability

Please note that Young Friends membership does not give priority access to exhibitions for members.

Are there any special events for Members?

Members have access to an exclusive and extensive programme of events. There are a variety of Members’ events throughout the year where you can discover more about the collection. From special evenings to lectures by Museum curators and leading experts, our Members’ events offer a unique after-hours experience. You can find details of our current events here.

Additional event fees may apply and event tickets are subject to availability.

Information about these events will be sent to you in regular mailings and in the monthly Members’ e-newsletter. Please ensure we have your up-to-date contact details so that you do not miss these updates, and that you have given us permission to send e-mails to you.

How do I book for lectures and events?

You can book for Members’ lectures online or by calling the Membership office. Unfortunately we cannot book general Museum public programme events; these must be booked by calling the information and ticketing desk on 0207 323 8181, or online at

Please be aware that if you leave your booking details in a voicemail or email for the Membership Team, this may not be responded to immediately and does not guarantee that places have been reserved for you.

Do Members get special rates to events?

Members receive the concession price to all paid lectures, films and performances at the Museum, unless specifically stated. This discount does not apply to Members’ exclusive events.

Members’ Room and Members’ cloakroom

Where is the Members’ Cloakroom?

Members have a cloakroom for their use next to the Montague Place entrance. It is free to deposit up to two items, i.e. one coat and a bag. Please note that the Museum does not permit any wheeled items of luggage on site. For the latest updates please check the facilities page on the main website.

Please be aware that any items deposited at the main Museum cloakroom, located at the Great Russell Street entrance, will be subject to the full fee for depositing items there and you will not be able to be claim a refund.

Please note that all Museum cloakrooms are operated by British Museum staff. Any items left without the assistance of British Museum staff will be removed and are likely to be destroyed.

Where is the Members’ Room?

The Members’ Room can be accessed through the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery (Room 4) and up the West Stairs to Level 1. The room is wheelchair-accessible from the lift at the bottom of the West Stairs.

What are the Members’ Room opening hours?

The Members’ Room is open from 10:00 to 17.20, with last food orders taken at 17:00. On Fridays the Members’ Room is open until 20:20, with last food orders at 20:00.

Is food and drink available in the Members’ Room?

Yes, there is a selection of hot and cold light lunches, tea, coffee, and cakes, as well as wine, beer and soft drinks. Bringing in your own food to the Members’ room is not permitted unless you have special dietary needs that the café cannot cater for and/or if it is baby food. Thank you for your cooperation.

Can I bring guests to the Members’ Room?

You can bring a guest if you have purchased a guest facility for your membership. If your Membership includes a guest, it will say ‘Admits 2’ on your card.

As a Member, how do I find out about forthcoming Museum exhibitions and events?

We send out regular mailings to Members with details of upcoming events, exhibitions and special offers. We also have a monthly Members’ e-newsletter. To receive these updates, please ensure we have your email address and permission by contacting the Membership Office on 020 7323 8195 or email

Special Member offers

Do Members get special discounts in the shops and cafés?

Members receive a 10% discount in all the Museum cafés and shops, including the online shop.

How do I find out about special offers?

Sign up for the monthly Members’ enewsletter and receive regular offers exclusively for Members. Contact and request to receive these emails.

How can I pass on my feedback/discuss any concerns I have about my Membership or regarding another aspect of the Museum?

Please do contact us with any feedback you may have or if you have not been able to find an answer to your question.  If anything about your Membership is below your expectation please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can better understand your concerns and respond accordingly.

The Membership Office can be contacted on 020 7323 8195 or by email at

If you have any comments or concerns about another aspect of the Museum’s work, please do not hesitate to contact the Membership Office using the above details and we will be happy to forward your feedback on or alternatively put you in contact with the correct department to resolve any problems you may have.