The Netherlands is famous for many reasons. With a reputation for being affluent, educated and ultra-liberal, its capital, Amsterdam, is a must-see destination for travelers around the world.
Whether you are sticking to the urban metropolis or venturing out to explore the country, find out the best way to take your travel money to the Netherlands — otherwise you’re throwing money away.
What's in this guide?
- What should I budget for my trip to the Netherlands?
- What’s the best way to take money to Amsterdam and the Netherlands?
- How the different travel money products work in the Netherlands
- Compare travel credit cards
- Where to exchange money in the Netherlands
- Using ATMs in Amsterdam
- 5 travel tips for saving money in Amsterdam
- Cash pickup services in Netherlands
- Travel insurance for Netherlands
- Compare travel insurance policies for the Netherlands and make sure your vacation is protected.
What should I budget for my trip to the Netherlands?
Amsterdam and the Netherlands have a reputation for being expensive, but budget between $50 and $150 based on how you travel and what you decide to do.
|Double room at a high-end hotel|
|Dinner at a casual restaurant|
|Dinner at an upscale restaurant|
|Museums and trains|
|First class trains, guided tours|
*Prices are approximate and are subject to changeBack to top
What’s the best way to take money to Amsterdam and the Netherlands?
Card payments are the norm, so expect to find many shops, restaurants and cafes that will not accept cash. ATMs are everywhere and most payments are made with chip and PIN technology or contactless touch-and-go cards.
If you are heading off to the Netherlands, find a card that allows you to shop without paying extra for the foreign transaction and ATM fees.
A quick summary of your travel money options in the Netherlands
|Travel money option||Pros||Considerations|
|Debit cards for travel|
|Prepaid travel money cards|
|Credit cards for travel|
This table is a general summary of the travel money products in the market. Features and benefits can vary between cards.
How the different travel money products work in the Netherlands
Using debit card
A travel-friendly debit card allows you to withdraw cash for all ATMs in the Netherlands, without carrying a lot on you at once. Because you’re spending your own money, you’ll avoid interest charges. Save money by finding a bank that waives the fee for international ATM withdrawals and doesn’t charge a monthly account keeping fee.
- Tip: If you misplace your card, you’ll likely have to wait for a replacement, so it’s smart to have other options when it comes to spending.
Using a travel prepaid card
Travel cards can lock in conversion rates once you load USD. Use it for purchases without worrying about rates each time you spend — debit and credit cards often charge 3% for each transaction.
Where you save in the conversion rates you may pay in fees. You’ll pay fees each time you load the card, ATM withdrawals and sometimes even an inactivity fee. And loading your card can take longer than you expect if you make the transaction on the weekend or holiday.
Use this card to manage you money — like a debit card. You’re issued two cards, so if you lose one, you’ll have a backup. This type of card will allow you to effectively manage your money and comes with a backup incase you lose your primary card.
- Tip: Banks that provide travel cards make money by applying a higher margin to the exchange rate. You can get a better rate using a debit card or credit card.
Using credit cards
Credit cards give you the most purchasing power on expensive items like hotels and flights when traveling in Vietnam. Find yourself a credit card that waives foreign transaction fees. Carrying a credit card gives you the added benefit of travel insurance and discounts, depending on your provider. For added savings, take advantage of the interest-free period by paying your balance in full each month.
Cards that offer travel perks and waive fees often charge an annual fee, so make sure the fee is worth it before you bring it along on your travels. If you’re ever in a jam, credit cards also offer cash advances, though we don’t recommend it. You’ll pay high fees and interest rates apply the moment you get your money.
- Tip: It’s worth researching credit cards that offer travel benefit and rewards for things you’ll buy anyways like flights and hotel stays.
MUST READ: If you lost your card…
Call your bank immediately to have it canceled and make arrangements for a replacement. If your passport or other identity documents go missing, contact the US Embassy in the Hague immediately. Theft of identity papers contributes to the global black market of identity theft and human trafficking.
Paying with cash in Netherlands
You should be able to use your credit or debit cards anywhere in the Netherlands, but having some cash on hand can help just in case.
- Load your card with your choice of 6 available currencies: Euros, British pounds, Australian dollars, Japanese yen, Canadian dollars, and Mexican pesos
- Lock in your exchange rate
- Use your card abroad at millions of locations
Compare travel credit cards
Where to exchange money in the Netherlands
You won’t have trouble finding money exchange offices or Geldwisselkantoors in Amsterdam. The business is highly competitive and most places usually offer fair exchange rates. Be sure to check the daily exchange rates and calculate how much money you’re expected to get, so you’re not short changed.
Using ATMs in Amsterdam
Geldautomaats or “money machines” are everywhere in the Netherlands — at post offices, supermarkets, train stations, hotels and on the street. They have an option for an English language menu and accept any card with chip and PIN technology. Banks and ATMs are widely available and are compatible with nearly all US cards.Back to top
Case study: Paul's experience
Interview with Paul about his trip to the Netherlands
Paul visited the Netherlands with some friends while vacationing in Europe. He spent four days in Amsterdam and then made his way to London. Because he expected to spend a lot in London, he kept a tight budget in Amsterdam. He used a travel money and a credit card with a low APR for all his purchases.
What cards did you take with you?
- Travelex Money card
- Simmons Card
Why did you take these cards?
He brought the Travelex money card because he could easily load euros and pounds. He had no issues finding ATMs and merchants to accept his travel money card. And once he ran out of money, he easily reloaded it at the Travelex store in Amsterdam.
Paul used his Simmons travel credit card for large purchases and hotel bookings. It didn’t charge a foreign transaction or annual fee. Paul says a the low 9.25% was important to him in case he wasn’t able to pay back the balance once he got back home.
What’s your travel money recommendation?
Paul said he saved a lot of money by withdrawing the maximum amount at ATM to save on the bank’s service charge.
Do you have any travel money tips for the Netherlands?
Paul says he spent more than he budgeted for in Amsterdam. It was his first time in the city and he indulged in all the “coffee shops” had to offer. He suggests to factor in a bit extra than you thin you might spend.
Tipping in amsterdam and the netherlands
Round up to the nearest euro. It’s not really expected to leave a substantial tip in most places. Generally, Dutch people just round up to the nearest euro or two.
5 travel tips for saving money in Amsterdam
- Rent or Airbnb an apartment. One of the most popular ways to sleep well and affordably nowadays is by renting an apartment short term. Apartment rentals may be cheaper per person per night than your average hotel or hostel.
- Buy an I Amsterdam Card. The IAmsterdam City Card is a city-issued tourist card that allows free entry into Amsterdam’s major museums, free unlimited use of public transport and discounts to a number of popular attractions. Buy it online, in news agencies or tourist information offices from €57 to €87.
- Forget using a taxi. They’re pricey, and other forms of public transport are plentiful. Make like a local and bike around town.
- Pack a picnic. If you want your spending money to last, head to one of the many high-quality city-markets and take your food to the park or along the canal.
- Buy your train ticket in advance. You’ll find the tickets available for a much cheaper price online or by booking well in advance. The prices rise substantially at the station at the last minute.
Cash pickup services in Netherlands
Travel insurance for Netherlands
Travel insurance protects more than just your health, having travel insurance protects from:
- Lost or stolen luggage
- Stolen travel cash and travel documents
- Trip cancellation
- Delayed luggage
Compare travel insurance policies for the Netherlands and make sure your vacation is protected.
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