Travel money guide for spending while in the Netherlands | finder.com

Travel money guide: Netherlands

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Take your travel money to Amsterdam and spend like a local.

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.

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Compare travel cards for Netherlands

When choosing a travel card, consider whether the card charges foreign transaction fees. Most strong travel cards waive these fees, while providing additional perks to reward you for travel purchases.

Updated December 18th, 2018
Name Product Currency Conversion Fee Annual Fee APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.99% to 24.99% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
None
$450
17.99% to 24.99% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.74% to 26.74% variable
30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
None
$250
See Rates & Fees
50,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees
None
$0
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees

Compare up to 4 providers

Promoted
Travelex Money Card

Why we like: Travelex Money Card

Load GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, JPY or MXN onto this prepaid travel money card and use it at millions of locations worldwide.

  • Not linked to your bank account for safety.
  • Convert currency with a 5.50% Foreign Exchange Fee
  • Contactless payments
  • Reload, withdraw, or replace your card for free.

    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.

    Amsterdam Budget Midrange Expensive
    to-sleep Dorm bed
    $20–$35
    Double room
    $90
    Double room at a high-end hotel
    $160+
    to-eat Lunchtime specials
    $13
    Dinner at a casual restaurant
    $25
    Dinner at an upscale restaurant
    $55
    train Outdoor exploration
    Free
    Museums and trains
    $18
    First class trains, guided tours
    $35

    *Prices are approximate and are subject to change

    Compare money transfers to Netherlands

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    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
    • Protected by PIN & chip
    • Ideal for managing your travel budget
    • Currency conversion and international ATM fees
    • No emergency cash
    • No backup cards
    Prepaid travel money cards
    • Protected by PIN & chip
    • Preload and secure your exchange rate in multiple foreign currencies
    • Accepted worldwide
    • Emergency card replacement and backup cards
    • Ideal for managing your travel budget
    • Local ATM fee
    • Reloading time
    • No fee if spending in a currency loaded onto the card
    Credit cards for travel
    • Protected by PIN & chip
    • Access to funds up to your credit limit
    • Accepted worldwide
    • No currency conversion or transaction fees
    • Perks including rewards points, 0% purchases and frequent flyer program
    • Emergency card replacement
    • High withdrawal and cash advance fees
    • Higher spending limit (depends on your approved credit limit)
    Traveler’s checks
    • Secure and can be easily replaced if lost or stolen
    • Photo ID needed to cash checks
    • Costly with initial purchase charges
    • Not all merchants accept traveler’s checks
    Cash
    • Greater payment flexibility
    • Convenience
    • More difficult to manage expenses
    • Higher risk of theft

    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.

    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.

    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.

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    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.

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    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.
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    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.

    Details Features
    Atlas Premium
    Atlas Premium
    Comprehensive coverage with higher limits and a range of additional benefits.
    • Trip cancellation: Not available
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $2,000,000
    • Baggage coverage: $1,000
    • Trip delay: $200/day up to $400
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Travel Max
    Travelex Travel Max
    The most comprehensive protection plan offered by Travelex. Offers optional Cancel For Any Reason upgrade.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: $100,000
    • Baggage coverage: $2,500
    • Trip delay: $1,000
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    Coverage includes trip cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance and baggage insurance.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: $15,000
    • Baggage coverage: $750
    • Trip delay: $100/day up to $500
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Standard International
    STA Travel Standard International
    Affordable coverage for the essentials needed when traveling outside of your home country.
    • Trip cancellation: Not available
    • Emergency medical expenses: $25,000
    • Medical evacuation & repatriation: $250,000
    • Trip delay: $100/day up to $250
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    Increased limits of coverage, plus trip interruption insurance worth 150% of the trip cost.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: $50,000
    • Baggage coverage: $1,000
    • Trip delay: $200/day up to $1,000
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Not 100% sure you're going to make your trip? Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available with the Travel Select plan.
    • Reimburses up to 75% of the insured trip cost
    • Must cancel within 48 hours before scheduled departure
    • Offered on trips with a maximum value of $10,000
    Go to site More info
    Atlas Travel
    Atlas Travel
    Customizable policy that balances between the basic essentials and premium coverage.
    • Trip cancellation: Not available
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $2,000,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $500
    • Trip delay: $100/day up to 2 days
    Go to site More info
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Comprehensive coverage for the cost of your trip, your medical expenses and your belongings.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $250,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $2,500
    • Trip delay: Up to $1,500
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Choose the coverage amount that meets your needs. Baggage and trip delay protection included.
    • Flight accident AD&D: Up to $1,000,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: $10,000
    • Baggage coverage: $1,000
    • Medical evacuation & repatriation: $100,000
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    Premiere coverage for a range of travel mishaps with additional riders for sports and other leisure activities.
    • Trip cancellation: $3,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $100,000
    • Baggage coverage: $500/item up to $2,500
    • Trip delay: $200/day up to $1,000
    Go to site More info
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Make sure you're covered in case your planned trip unexpectedly goes awry.
    • Trip cancellation: $1,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $25,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $1,000
    • Trip interruption: Up to $1,500
    Go to site More info
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    Customizable coverage that can give you peace of mind when traveling to popular or remote destinations.
    • Trip cancellation: $1,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $50,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $2,000
    • Trip interruption: Up to $1,500
    Go to site More info
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    You might also be interested in:

    Do some research and make a comparison of the most suitable travel money options for you. If you make wise decisions about how to use your spending money, your budget will go further.

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