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Credit Cards, National Trust, British Heritage sites

Credit Cards, National Trust, British Heritage sites

Sep 15th, 2009, 03:37 AM
  #1  
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Credit Cards, National Trust, British Heritage sites

My husband and I will have British Heritage passes, but his sister who is only with us for a short time will not.

Do most NT and BH sites accept credit cards for admission, or are some cash only? Any experiences with this?
wrenwood is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 03:59 AM
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they all accept credit cards.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 01:03 PM
  #3  
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Thank you very much!

I emailed the National Trust, they are undergoing a change in computers and said it might be a few weeks until they answered my email (we'll be there by then!) I also emailed British Heritage and they said I should check with the places I want to visit. Couldn't find anything on the websites, and I'm not about to call them all from the U.S.!

So, once again, a Fodorite to the rescue!
wrenwood is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 01:20 PM
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Some of the smaller sites will accept cash only - some even only have an honesty box.

BUT using a CC means that the charity (which is what they are) will be paying money to the CC company.

Is there any reason why the sister can't get cash - it's widely available in the UK
alanRow is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 02:14 PM
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It does depend a bit on where you go. I should think the majority of sites do but if you are heading somwhere very small, maybe not. For example the NT owns some beaches with a little man in a hut taking a couple of pounds entry/parking. Unlikely to take a credit card!
nona1 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 02:19 PM
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I can't understand why you have an issue with using cash?...you'll need it anyway for tips, buying teas and coffees and gift shopping etc
PS if you're that keen to know, surely a phonecall from the US doesn't cost that much....
alihutch is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 04:23 PM
  #7  
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I don't have an issue with cash, we're just trying to figure out how much to take, and how much to tell my sister-in-law to take. It's nice to use a credit card where we can so we can save the cash for when we do need it...... for the little man in the hut

And yes a phone call from the U.S. is quite expensive ~ especially if I were to call all of the approximately 2 dozen places we think we will be visiting.
wrenwood is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 04:44 PM
  #8  
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If your sister-in-law "who is only with us for a short time" is actually visiting two dozen places during that short time, she should probably buy a pass as well.
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Sep 16th, 2009, 01:32 AM
  #9  
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She is not visting 2 dozen places, maybe only 3-4 NT/British Heritage sites. We are there almost 3 weeks she is there less than a week.
wrenwood is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 03:13 AM
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Personally I think your sister in law will be better off with cash - she can get it from any ATM as and when she needs it. Using a credit card costs the National Trust money, it is a charity which relies on contributions and entrance fees.
It is also much easier for the person at the ticket office to be honest - much faster to make the right change than swipe the card, check the signature - since you don't have a PIN etc etc. The fact that you don't have a PIN on the credit card also means you rely on the ticket person knowing how to cope with a card which needs a signature. So much easier just to hand over the cash.
hetismij is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 04:22 AM
  #11  
 
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I like to use plastic whenever possible - they seem to realize the importance of this. So I'd be surprised if there were problems - I used a card at Stonehenge.

how long is your sister staying - is it worth getting one of their short time tickets/memberships?

However one thing puzzles me.....why don't you telephone them?....calls aren't dear.
khunwilko is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 09:13 AM
  #12  
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Too late for a BH pass for my sister-in-law, we leave next week. Will be using plastic wherever we can, our credit card doesn't charge for foreign transactions, ATM transactions are charged.
wrenwood is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 09:43 AM
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But the credit card does charge the vendor, in this case a charity which relies on your entrance fees and contributions to maintain the properties you are visiting. Surely the small fee for ATM use is more than outweighed by the fact that the charity will receive the full amount, not have to pay some of it to a mega corporation such as Visa or Mastercard?
Take out your maximum allowance at an ATM so you don't have to constantly use them to cut down on fees.
hetismij is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 10:56 AM
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hetismij ~ no
wrenwood is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 06:09 PM
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Er, I'm not sure that debating with the OP about use of credit cards is called for here and it does not answer the original question. On the National Trust website, you can find admission charges for most NT sites including information on acceptance of credit cards at many sites. An example:

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-wallington

or

http://tinyurl.com/craigsidehse

And although it's too late for this trip, be aware that the National Trust has a U.S. affiliate--the Royal Oak Foundation. Membership in Royal Oak provides admission to NT properties:

http://www.royal-oak.org/
KidsToLondon is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 06:46 PM
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You SIL can buy a Great British Heritage Pass (the 4-day version would probably be most cost effective for her)

She can buy it at the office on Regent St, or at the tourist info office at LHR (not at LGW), or at some of the covered properties . . .
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Sep 16th, 2009, 06:52 PM
  #17  
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KidsToLondon, thanks for posting the Royal Oak Foundation website. I have never heard of it, but looking at its website, I see it offers lectures in the US as well as tours & trips (though most based in NYC). Have you (or anyone) attended their lectures?
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Sep 17th, 2009, 03:30 AM
  #18  
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KidsToLondon ~ thanks, I re-checked the sites we will be visiting with her and they did not say "No credit/debit card facility at admission point" so I am assuming credit cards will be okay.

janis~ I emailed BH site to confirm we can buy a pass when we get at the tourist information site when we get in as it will be late ( maybe 23:00 until we get out of customs) or at our first site. I calculated cost and the 4 day would definitely work, maybe even the 7 day.

yk ~ I haven't been to any of the Royal Oak Foundation lectures but I have a client who has and she said they were really nice.
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Sep 17th, 2009, 01:09 PM
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Janis

my reply from BH

Thank you for your recent email. I am not aware that the Great British Heritage pass can be purchased at Heathrow Airport. However, they can be purchased from the Britain Visitors Centre which is located at 1 Lower Regent Street in London.

So, since we are going nowhere near London, have you or friends purchased BH passes @ Heathrow?

Since I think we will be going to Hampton Court Palace first, I'll check with them

Thanks again everyone for all your help!
wrenwood is offline  
Sep 17th, 2009, 03:04 PM
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Well - I myself have purchased the GBHP at a Tourist Info Centre at LHR. (When arriving at T-3)

And at least 4 of my clients/friends have done the same. But the last time was maybe 3 or 4 years ago so things may have changed. It is available at 40 or 50 of the largest TICs in the UK and the ones at LHR and GLA were among the group . . . . .
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