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American credit cards in Holland

I was in Holland last week. My American style Visa card was NOT accepted ANYWHERE! This started as soon as we landed at Schipol airport when I tried to buy train tickets. I tried at other places and was turned down too. They would not even give it a try unless it was a pin and chip type.
As soon as we got to Germany, the card was accepted nearly everywhere.
It worked in Austria as well.
Happy Travels! Milo.

Posted by
8199 posts

It's like in the U.S. when a card won't work, the store can choose to key in the numbers manually. I knew the train station at Schipol didn't accept cards, however I've never experienced universal card turn downs in the Netherlands.

There's sometimes no replacement for having a couple of ATM cards attached to a couple of checking/savings accounts with enough money to cover all your travel needs.

Posted by
5687 posts

Or just get a chip-and-pin credit card for travel to Europe, like the Andrews Federal Credit Union Visa card (also no currency conversion fee).

Posted by
32237 posts


That's not surprising as the Netherlands seems to be further ahead with the Chip & PIN technology than some other countries in Europe. Last time I was in Amsterdam, I noticed people being turned away the ticket counter at Amsterdam Central if they didn't have C&P credit cards.

The inexorable march towards full C&P use is continuing, so you may want to obtain a C&P card before your next trip. I found when I was in Italy last year that the ticket Kiosks at Firenze SMN were processing my credit card using the C&P system, but travellers from the U.S. were still able to use their magnetic stripe cards (I know that as I helped them buy their tickets). How much longer the machines will accept magnetic stripe is anyone's guess?

Posted by
2004 posts

Since 2012 the bankcard system in The Netherlands has changed from magnetic strip to chipcards. This was accomplished in a very short period of time and since then as far as I know you can only pay here with chipcards. Main reason is that this system is more effective against fraud like skimming, not for annoying tourists :) So if somebody refuses your old fashioned card its not they want to help you, it just doesn’t functions anymore. It seems that other countries needing more time to change their bankcard system.