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credit cards in Amsterdam

Hello. We will be traveling to Amsterdam and I read somewhere (I don't remember where) that it is better to use cash or debit cards while there. Is this accurate? We do have a pin and chip credit card with no international travel fees, and I was planning on traveling with some cash, but I was also planning on using my credit card the majority of the time. Thank you.

Posted by
22881 posts

Do you have a true chip and pin card (a bit rare) or the US version called chip and signature? That part of the world tends to use credit cards for nearly everything so frequent cc is common. Automated tickets machines, etc., often will only take a chip and pin.

Posted by
9070 posts

Plastic is king in Holland. US Credit Cards are accepted by most all merchants, with a few exceptions:
-Dutch Rail will only accept chip & pin cards, not chip & signature at both the ticket machines and window,
-Royal Heijn supermarket chain only accept a local debit card, no credit cards with or without chip.
-The new film center across the river from Centraal station is cashless and only accepts chip&pin for payment.
-The new food market (Foodhallen) is also cashless, and all vendors only accept chip & pin
At all other merchants you will have no problems using plastic. My last trip to Amsterdam was 12 months ago, used my magnetic strip card over 20 times no problem, never refused. With a chip & signature definitely no problem.

Posted by
1976 posts

Always have enough cash (withdrawn from ATMs) to get you through your stay. I have a chip & signature card which was useless at automated machines like train ticket machines in Schiphol and checkout machines at a convenience store in Centraal Station. But aside from that, other problems can occur with credit cards so you want to have a surefire backup like cash.

Posted by
8 posts

I traveled in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in April, carrying Fort Knox in Euros in a money belt at my waist, with the day's anticipated cash needs in a money belt around my neck. Used hotel safes when they were available, but otherwise just walked around with Fort Knox. Had an easy and hassle-free time, and avoided Murphy's Law at the ATMs.

Posted by
18 posts

A bit late replying but hopes this helps. We have UK credit/debit cards which do have the chip & pin system & these are our findings.

We can use our cards pretty well everywhere with 3 notable exceptions.

  1. Supermarkets - although they virtually all have cash machines where our debit cards do allow cash withdrawals
  2. Topping up travel cards - cash was the only thing that worked for us
  3. Some unattended petrol/diesel car filling stations.
Posted by
228 posts

Cash is King in the Netherlands . I understand " Fort Knox " and with the money belt ! Make sure you get enough cash from the ATM 's . Especially just before the weekend they have been known to run out of cash. If your card does not slide in smoothly , appears to be stuck/sticking/too thick , the ATM may have a skimmer which reads your card info and has a tiny camera to read your PIN . Obviously you do not use that ATM . ATM's are called " Geld automaat " just in case you are looking for the sign 'ATM'. Schiphol uses both signs b/c of tourist . I like to go inside banks (if they are open- Bankers hours ) for the above reasons .