Membership FAQs


We’ve listed some of our most frequently asked questions. If you have a specific question that is not listed here, please email [email protected]

How long until I receive my membership cards?

If you purchase your membership onsite you will receive your permanent cards, membership coupons, and receipt at the time of purchase. If you choose the Mail delivery method for online purchases, membership packets generally arrive within 4-6 weeks.

I never received my membership cards.

If you never received your cards, please contact our membership team by emailing us at [email protected] or calling us at 415-753-7097. Even without your cards, you can still take full advantage of your membership benefits.

Can anyone use my membership cards?

Named cards are not transferable for any membership level. Cards designated as “Guest of” cards may be used by anyone, but they only provide entrance for one adult and the number of children covered by your membership. Additional adults either need their own card or much purchase an admission ticket, regardless of the number of adults your membership covers.

Does a cardholder have to accompany someone using a “Guest of” card?

A member does not need to accompany a guest using their “Guest of” card. Please remember that “Guest of” cards only provide entrance for one adult and the number of children covered by your membership. Additional adults either need their own card or must purchase a ticket, regardless of the number of adults your membership covers.

Can I purchase an Individual Plus membership and just have a “Guest of” card?

Individual Plus memberships are non-transferable; the card cannot be designated as a “Guest of” card. The named cardholder must be present for entrance, and a Photo ID is required for verification. However, you may bring any one guest with you with either level.

Why do I have to show a photo ID when I use my membership card to enter the Zoo?

To prevent misuse of membership cards, we require that a named adult cardholder present a photo ID upon entering the Zoo. As a non-profit organization, we rely on membership dues for much of our support. We also want to protect our members should their cards be lost or stolen.

What if I buy a Family Membership but only have one adult in the household?<br />

Family level memberships and above come with two membership cards. You may select the names on the cards, so you’re welcome to name a friend, caregiver, grandparent, etc. to be named on the second card. You may also designate the card as a “Guest of” card, allowing access to any adult you provide it to.

What happens if I lose my membership card or want to change the name on a card?

Should you need to replace a lost or stolen card, or make a name change, a $10 processing fee will be assessed. To request new cards, or make name changes, please visit us at the Zoo’s Membership Services Office, email us at [email protected] or call us at 415-753-7097.

What happens if I come to the Zoo without my membership card?

Please visit our ticket window before entering the Zoo to receive a one-time-use pass that provides you full access to your benefits for the day. You will need to provide a valid ID.

How long is my membership valid for?

Your membership is good for 12 months, through the last day of the month in which it was purchased or activated.

How do I receive my Member discounts on events, tours and passes?

To access tickets to exclusive member events, discounted tickets to guided tours, and other member programs, log onto the Membership Portal by clicking or using the Member Login button on the top right of the Zoo’s website homepage.

What are the membership benefits and levels?

Please click here for a full list of membership benefits, levels and prices.

Which zoos and aquariums can I get a discount with my SF Zoo Membership card?

Click here for a list of reciprocal institutions. Always call an institution before visiting to confirm reciprocity and any requirements, as benefits can change at any time.

What happens if I go to a reciprocal zoo without my current SF Zoo membership card?

To receive discounted admission when visiting reciprocal zoos and aquariums, you will need your current San Francisco Zoo membership card and a photo ID. *Please note that the terms and conditions of reciprocal admission may vary between institutions. We suggest calling ahead of your visit to verify their requirements.

I haven’t received my membership cards yet and I want to visit a reciprocal institution. What can I do?

Simply email [email protected] or call 415-753-7097. We will happily provide you email documentation stating you have a current, active membership with us.

I recently upgraded my membership. Why did my expiration date stay the same?

When upgrading, you pay only the difference between your current and new membership level, and your expiration date remains the same. If your renewal date is approaching, you may choose to renew and upgrade early, which will extend your expiration date for one full year. Once your upgrade is complete, your upgraded membership benefits will be effective immediately.

How do I receive the Zoo's monthly electronic newsletter?

Members who provide us with a valid e-mail address will automatically receive our monthly e-newsletter, Animail, or you can subscribe here.

Do Members receive a discount in the Zoo shops or cafes?

Yes, there is a 10% discount for Members at all of our shops, carts and cafes. All Guardian level memberships receive 20% off at our shops, carts and cafes.

Can my membership be taken away?

The San Francisco Zoological Society reserves the right to terminate or deny membership at any time by advising the Member or prospective Member and returning a prorated share of any dues paid – this policy applies to ‘Guest of’ as well as secondary card holders. Cause for termination can include showing disrespectful behavior towards the animals, staff or guests of the Zoo; inappropriate conduct, including, but not limited to, conduct that is disruptive, abusive or violent; or for failing to comply with membership terms and conditions or abusing its privileges.

In addition, if an individual or individuals have had their membership revoked, they are no longer eligible to use benefits associated with Zoo membership including admission discounts, event or education class discounts, admission coupons or admission passes.

What are the Terms and Conditions of my membership?

Membership cards and benefits are not transferrable, unless otherwise stated in that membership level’s benefits. Membership duration is 12 months, unless otherwise stated, and must be renewed to continue receipt of benefits. There is a $10 processing fee for reprinting membership cards, including changing the names on any membership cards. Guest, ride and parking passes are not replaceable if lost. Memberships and membership gift vouchers are not refundable; all sales are final.

How can I purchase a San Francisco Zoo membership?

You can purchase any level of membership online, over the phone (call us at 415-753-7097), or at our ticket windows located at our main entrance.

Can I convert today’s admission tickets into a membership?

We are happy to apply the value of your applicable tickets towards the cost of membership on the same day you visit. Please visit the ticket windows at our main entrance for assistance.

Is my membership tax deductible?

The San Francisco Zoological Society is a non-profit institution (EIN # 94-1429538) that supports the San Francisco Zoo. A Zoo membership is a donation and is partially tax deductible. When you receive your Thank You letter, retain it, along with your payment receipt or credit card statement for your tax records. The San Francisco Zoo recommends you consult a tax advisor with any specific questions about your charitable contributions.

How can I renew or upgrade my membership?
To renew or upgrade your Membership, email us at [email protected] or call us at 415-753-7097.
I just purchased a membership online; when can I start using my membership and its benefits?


I want to visit today. Can I purchase my membership now and use it immediately?


I want to buy someone a gift membership. How do I do that?

Easy! Simply buy them a Gift Voucher for the membership level you want to gift them. Not sure which level will suit them best? Buy them a general Zoo Gift Voucher, which gives them the freedom to redeem it for the level that’s right for them!

When does the membership period start when purchasing a Gift Voucher?

The membership does not begin until the Voucher is redeemed, making it the perfect way to give the gift of a San Francisco Zoo membership! This allows your gift recipient to start their membership when it’s most convenient for them and prevents them from losing any time.

How long is a Gift membership good for?

A gift membership is good for 365 days, starting on the date on which the membership is activated on the first visit.

To activate the membership, bring the gift membership voucher to the ticket windows located at the Zoo’s main entrance.

Where does the Gift Voucher get sent?

A Gift Voucher will be emailed as a PDF attachment to the person purchasing it. You can then either print it out and provide it to the recipient or simply forward their email onto them.

I lost my voucher, what can I do?

You may email us at [email protected], call us at 415-753-7097 or visit our Membership Services Office to have your voucher resent to you.

How is it redeemed?

A Gift Voucher can be redeemed in person at our ticket windows, by emailing [email protected], or online. On our website, simply add the membership you desire to your cart then type in the voucher number on the payment screen.

When does my membership expire?

You can sign-in to your online account to view your membership’s expiration date. You can also email the Membership Department at [email protected], call us at 415-753-7097, or visit the Membership Services Office during your next visit to get that information.

How do I update my mailing address, or other contact information, connected to my membership?

Click here to log into your online account, where you can update your contact information, view your membership expiration date, update your contact preferences or take advantage of exclusive member discounts. You can also email the Membership Department at [email protected], call us at 415-753-7097 or visit our Membership Services Office during your next visit. Maintaining up-to-date contact information ensures that you will always be informed of the latest member offers and discounts.

Do I need an online account?

Yes! To make any purchases on our website, you will need to use an account. Your online account is linked to your membership, giving you easy access to view your membership expiration date, update your personal contact information, review your membership and ticket history, and take advantage of exclusive Member discounts and promotions.

Please use this link to access your online account:

I’ve forgotten my password and/or username, what do I do?

A “forgot password” button is located underneath the password field on the login screen. You will be instructed to fill in the email address that is associated with your account; you will receive an email with instructions on how to create a new password. For additional password or login assistance, please call us at 415-753-7097.

Still have questions? We’re eager to help!
Call us at 415-753-7097 or email us at [email protected].