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Friends Membership FAQs

General FAQ

Below you will find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Friends Memberships.

We’ve grouped questions under the following headings. Click on a link to jump to the relevant section:

Membership benefits

→ Tax-related questions

→ Becoming a Friend

→ Changing your membership level

→ Gift Membership & donating

Direct Debit

→ Contact us


Q. Do I need to book a time-slot to view an exhibition?

A. No, Friends do not need to book for exhibitions in advance, simply show your membership card at the admission desk for free entry. 

Q. I have a membership which allows me to bring a family guest. Can I lend my membership card to my family guest to use on their own?

A. No, the member must accompany their family guest.

Q. I am visiting an exhibition with non-members; can I book a time-slot?

A. Yes, you can book a free Friends visit in advance online. Follow the booking links on the exhibition page and make sure to login as a member to access your free tickets. You can also come along at the same time-slot your party has booked for, and show your membership card at the admissions desk.

Q. What does the term “family guest” mean?

A. HMRC rules refer to family members, not a guest of the family. We can only claim Gift Aid on a membership subscription if the right of admission is restricted to the individual Friend and members of that individual’s family.

Q. We hold Friends Extra Membership. How many guests may we bring to the Gallery?

A. The Friends Extra Membership allows two family guests to be brought into the Gallery. It is not necessary for both Friends Extra members to be present to do this. If both cardholders are present, the total number of family guests is still limited to two.

Q. How do I book tickets for Gallery and Friends’ events?

A. You must book online for our event programme. See what's on and follow links to book. 


If you have any questions related to your Self-Assessment tax return do get in touch with the Friends team. 

Q. I have recently retired and no longer pay income tax or capital gains tax. You have been claiming Gift Aid on my subscriptions; what should I do?

A. Please contact us immediately, so that we stop claiming Gift Aid on your subscriptions.

Q. I have a membership in my sole name and I am not a tax-payer but my partner does pay tax. Can they sign the Gift Aid form?

A. No, the Gift Aid declaration can only be given by yourself.



 Q. Can I join online?

A. Yes! Visit to join now.

Q. If I join the Friends by coming to the Gallery, will I be able to gain entry to the Collection and the current exhibition immediately?

A. Yes. What's more, if you buy a Friend Plus or Friends Extra membership, you will be able to take in a family guest immediately.

Q. If I decide to join the Friends after I’ve paid to see the exhibition, can I get my money back? 

A. If you join within one month of your visit, you can claim a refund of the ticket price. If you paid by card, this will be credited to your card account. Just speak to the admissions desk or the Friends team.



 Q. Can I upgrade to a different level of membership?

A. Yes, you can upgrade at any point during your subscription year on payment of the difference in price – just let us know.

Q. Can I downgrade to a different level of membership?

A. You can downgrade on renewal. If you pay by Direct Debit, please let us know well in advance that you wish to downgrade so that we can adjust the amount. If you pay by any other method, please just mark your renewal slip accordingly and pay the lower price.

Q. I renewed my membership recently but now I’m moving out of the area. Can I transfer my membership to someone else?

A. No, memberships are not transferable.



See Full membership benefits here

Q. Can I buy a membership for someone else?

A. Yes. A gift of membership makes for a perfect present. You can purchase a gift membership voucher online, in person or get in touch via

Q. Why is there no Gift Aid declaration on your gift membership application form?

A. Gift Aid cannot be claimed on gift memberships.

Q. I don’t want a membership; can I use the voucher to buy something else?

A. No, a membership gift voucher can only be used for purchasing a membership. If you would like a membership at a lower rate than the voucher, you can keep the extra amount as credit towards a future membership. 

Q. How long is my membership gift voucher valid for? 

A. Membership gift vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. 

Q. What if your membership subscription rates have increased since my voucher was bought?

A. We will honour the voucher for the membership rate at the time the voucher was purchased for 12 months. After that, you can top up the value to the current rate at the date of redemption with an additional payment.



If you have any queries about Direct Debit, please click here.



Q. Who do I contact if I have a query about my Friends membership?

A. If you can’t find the answer to your question on this page, please get in touch with the Friends Membership Office. Our email is or call 020 8299 8751 - if you can’t get hold of us, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.