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Tripkey....to get or not to get

I am just starting to research the Tripkey and OV Chipcard for our upcoming Amsterdam trip. Not being familiar with the OV chipcard or the Tripkey I'm hoping I can get a few questions answered to help make my decision as to which one. I like the idea of not having to top up the card and having to have 20 on it for train rides so leaning towards the Tripkey. These are the trips we have planned:
Day 3: Delft/The Hague
Day 5: Giethoorn
Day 7: Zannse Schans/Marken/Edam
I was thinking I'd get the Amsterdam Regional Transit Ticket $18.50 for day 7 versus individual tickets. Any recommendations?
If I get the Tripkey do I need to purchase tickets from a ticket counter kiosk for the other destinations or do you just swipe in and out? Will the Tripkey be a savings for any of these trips?

The last question: on the 929.nl site it gives you a regular price and a discounted price...how do you get the discounted price. Thank you in advance for any information or advice. Not sure why this seems so complicated!

Posted by
2487 posts

For those few trips I wouldn't bother with a card, whether OV chipkaart or TripKey. For Zaansche Schans, Edam and Marken that Regional Ticket looks practical.
Discount on train tickets is only possible with a »personal OV chipkaart« (with name and photo), and costs some € 50 per year.
And I'd advise you reconsider your intended trip to Giethoorn. It's a long day, and with some bad luck you'll have some coach parties around. Have instead an nice day in Enkhuizen. A beautiful historical harbour town with the Zuiderzee Museum to revive the days this area was still busy with shipping and fishing. An hour from Amsterdam Centraal on a direct train, leaving every 30 mins. En route you can get off in Hoorn, also a beauty.

Posted by
18 posts

@ tonfromleiden Thank you for the great advice. I will look into Enkhuizen versus Giethoorn. We are still added to our itenary at this time so we will be making more trips just not sure where. If we get the tripkey do we need to purchase train/bus tickets for our journeys or just swipe in and out. Confused about that part. I read somewhere you don't need to stand in line for tickets just trying to verify this. It seems like an easy way to travel but have to weigh pros/cons. Appreciate all your suggestions.

Posted by
2487 posts

Tripkey is swiping in and out on all modes of public transport (even some river ferries!), just like the London Oyster Card. Very practical. But I do read reports about it sometimes not being activated (or de-activated) as it should be.

Posted by
1005 posts

You can use Tripkey for all forms of public transportation--including trams and buses in Amsterdam as well as domestic trains. Tripkey is much more convenient, since you do not have to put a deposit on the card in advance of your trip (with an OV chipkaart you must always have at least 20 euros on the card to use it on the trains). I'd skip the Amsterdam Regional Ticket and just stick with Tripkey; it worked fine for me during my trip last year.

Posted by
45 posts

I would just like to add in my vote for tripkey. We were there in June and used it for trams,buses, and trains. It is very easy to use. At the end of each 7 day period they will bill your credit card for whatever travel you have used and at the end of the trip, when you have turned in the keys, they will send you a detailed invoice about a week later. I would definitely use it again on a return trip.

Posted by
18 posts

Got it! Thank you all for clearing this up for me. Sounds so easy...probably just overthinking it. Thanks again!!

Posted by
28142 posts

Tripkey is still a start-up and has some of the issues on account of that. There have been several reports here of issues such as difficulty picking up, slow customer services, unusual charges because the card hadn't been switched off when it was returned, and fewer collection areas than advertised.

On the other hand several people have had good results.

You can search on the term Tripkey on this website and see the older discussions.

Posted by
19 posts

Just got back last week from Amsterdam and used Tripkey. We didn't have any problems. You are charged 3,50 euros/card as a fee then whatever you use for transport. If you use during off-peak hours (9AM-4PM, 6:30PM-6:30AM) - you get the 20% discount that OV chipcard users get. We didn't have any malfunctioning cards and I got a trip report detailing all my rides in a week. Just make sure that you get that welcome and thank you for using Tripkey (when you turn it in @ end) email for each card you ordered and you should be fine. To give an example, we took the train almost everyday between Muiderpoort to Centraal Station during off-peak hours and it cost 1,80 euros/pp. All together for 10 days, we were billed around $45 for trains & trams around Amsterdam and a day trip to Haarlem (3,80 euros/pp/one-way) and the trip from airport to Muiderpoort was 3,40 euros/pp/one-way. All done during off-peak hours.

Posted by
18 posts

Thank you everyone for the great suggestions. I think will will try the Tripkey on or upcoming visit. @Atesmer...did you pick up at the airport (Hertz counter)? Also, how far in advance do you recommend signing up for it? Thank you!

Posted by
122 posts

My husband and I are departing for 10 days in Amsterdam next week. I plan to register for tripkey prior to our departure from USA. How soon should I register for tripkey? One day prior to arrival? Two days prior to arrival?

Posted by
1747 posts

Val, Sounds like you can register now. The pick up for your Tripkeys is at the Hertz office at the airport.

Posted by
18 posts

Val, we just returned home from Amsterdam. I signed up for the tricky card about a week before our departure. We picked up the card at the Hertz counter using the code they give you. It worked perfectly and was so easy to use on all public transportation for the 5 days we were they. It saved time stopping to purchase tickets. Remember to sign in and out each time you travel. Haven't gotten our charges yet, states it could take up to three weeks. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
18 posts

Val, we just returned home from Amsterdam. I signed up for the tricky card about a week before our departure. We picked up the card at the Hertz counter using the code they give you. It worked perfectly and was so easy to use on all public transportation for the 5 days we were they. It saved time stopping to purchase tickets. Remember to sign in and out each time you travel. Haven't gotten our charges yet, states it could take up to three weeks. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
28142 posts

Please let us know how that went, too. There have been reports of people having extra charges because all the cards were not "switched off" upon return. Did you drop off at Hertz, too? Did the employees seem to know the score?

Posted by
122 posts

Thank you LittleB for your response. A concern is dropping off Tripkey cards at airport prior to international departure. Our flight leaves at 8:30 am and we plan to be at airport by 5:30 am. What was your experience? We could drop off the night before as we are staying at hotel near airport but planned to use one final time for brief train trip from hotel to airport. Nigel, is 3 hours prior to international departure necessary or would 2.5 hours be adequate? I think Hertz at Schipol opens at 6:00 am.

Posted by
18 posts

Nigel, Yes we dropped it off at Hertz prior to our fight. We received an email within an hour of them entering it into the computer that it was returned. Hertz seemed to know how to issue them and return them but didn't know more than that. So answering questions about the card they won't know much. As far as being charged extra I have yet to see. I will post when I receive my bill. I do know there are extra charges if you don't log IN and OUT on your journeys and that is stated in your welcome email when you pickup your card. Our experience so far was wonderful and made it so easy to use!

Posted by
18 posts

Val, I would double check the opening time of Hertz. Dropping off was very quick and easy. Just remember Hertz is on the arrivals floor so go there first and then make your way to your departure. We arrived 3 hours early for our flight but 2.5 would of been plenty on the day we traveled. Lines were short for us. There were many flights canceled and delayed the day we traveled due to a storm (ours was delayed an hour). It was nice arriving 3 hours prior we had time to grab a bite to eat, return our card and get through any unexpended lines without being stressed. It is a large airport but very well signed to get around. Our gate was changed about an hour prior to departure and getting to the next gate took about 10 mins. So in short, I would recommend 3 hours for stress free travel but it's all up to you! Also using the Tricky...but I haven't received my bill to know how that part will go. Safe travels and I hope this helps.

Posted by
65 posts

We arrive via ship. It appears that the only place to pick up the Tripkey is clear across town. Is there another option?

Posted by
47 posts

The Anonymous OV Chipkaart works fine for my purposes. Most of my transactions in the Netherlands are done in cash anyway so reloading is not a problem once I arrive at Schiphol. The downside is if you lose it you basically are out the balance of funds on the card. The upside is that it is valid for more than five years. There is a charge to obtain the anonymous OV-Chipkaart but with all the savings on not having to pay a surcharge for paper train tickets, you will offset what you pay. I have been on two trips to the Netherlands and my anonyous OV-Chikaart is still valid or three more years. So this is also a disadvantage if people don't visit that often. If you are only going once and not going back again, it is not as worth it and this Tripkey would be the better option. I like the anonymous, cash-based nature of the OV-Chipkaart which makes things easier for me since I don't have to take extra time to link up a credit card and then return the pass when I leave.

Really, there is no right or wrong method for paying for public transport. It all depends on your length of stay, whether you are going to return again in a couple years and how often you use public transport on your trips.

Posted by
18 posts

Cowboycork, you need to sign up online and pick up at the Hertz rental car desk at the Schiphol Airport. Really easy to get and use. Safe travels.

Posted by
122 posts

Tripkey worked well for husband and myself while in the Netherlands. I preregistered the night before our arrival and approached the Hertz counter about 8:15. I had paperwork indicating confirmation number but clerk was unable to locate it (I guess she was not familiar with the form or maybe because it was in English). When I determined her hesitation was because she could not locate confirmation on the paper I was able to point it out to her and we were quickly issued two cards which she activated. We were on our way and successfully used the cards all over the country for 9 days. Upon departure we approached Hertz counter at 6:00 as the agent had just opened for business. She said we would receive no paper receipt from her but assured us she was deactivating the cards immediately. I did receive confirmation via email within a few minutes confirming the deactivation. I received a detailed invoice 4 days after arriving home. I have reconciled the invoice against my calendar and can confirm there are daily charges but have no way of knowing if the charges are the lowest fare available although we were careful to travel after 9:00 each day. We traveled every day via train and or bus to many areas of the Netherlands and accrued €211 for two people which included administrative fee and VAT. I hope this helps future travelers. The Tripkey was convenient and easy to use with not one glitch.

Posted by
1747 posts

For those just staying in Amsterdam, the local transit passes are a much better deal. We were there for a week and got the 7 day passes for about 30€. We took many mire trips for less than what the Tripkey passwould have charged. But for those going to other towns, the Tripkey is very convenient.