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.

How do I renew my membership?

If you 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. We will renew your Membership at the full rate of Membership. 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 pay by cheque, credit or debit card or cash, you can renew by Direct Debit and save on the full rate of Membership, and it 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 for £25 or upgrade to a joint membership for just £22. Members who include a guest facility will receive one card, which reads ‘Admits 2’. Joint Members receive one card each, which reads ‘Admits 1’.

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 unfortunately we are unable 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. To order a replacement card please telephone the Membership Office on 020 7323 8195 or email us at note that replacement cards can take up to 10 working days to arrive, 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. However, occasionally at peak times, when large numbers of Members are visiting an exhibition (such as 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.

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

Membership is valid from the moment you buy it, and you are able to use it straight 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 joined 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.

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.

Check for further 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?

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.

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.

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.

Further information 

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 any item (Maximum size: 40x40x50cm, Maximum weight: 8kg). Please be aware that any items deposited at the main Museum cloakroom will be subject to the full fee.

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.

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 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. You must register with an online account to receive your Members’ discount on online purchases. If you have not already registered, please email, quoting your Membership number, and we will set you up as soon as we can.

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.

If you have not found an answer to your question, please feel free to contact the Membership department on 020 7323 8195 or by email at