Travel money Netherlands 2021: How to pay & how much to bring

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Travel money guide: Netherlands

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

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Exchange currency online Compare cash pickup

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.

Our picks for traveling to Netherlands

American Express® Gold Card logo

Our pick for travel credit card

American Express® Gold Card

★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.6/5
Transferwise Multi-currency logo

Our pick for multi-currency debit card

Transferwise Multi-currency

★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.5/5
SoFi Money logo

Our pick for 0% transaction fee debit card

SoFi Money

★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.6/5

Travel card, credit card or debit cards?

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.

These are your options for spending money in Netherlands

Using a credit card

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.
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • High withdrawal and cash advance fees
  • Higher spending limit (depends on your approved credit limit)

Using a 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.
Pros
  • Protected by PIN & chip
  • Ideal for managing your travel budget
Cons
  • Currency conversion and international ATM fees
  • No emergency cash
  • No backup cards

Using a prepaid travel 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.
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Local ATM fee
  • Reloading time
  • No fee if spending in a currency loaded onto the card

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.

Pros
  • Greater payment flexibility
  • Convenience
Cons
  • More difficult to manage expenses
  • Higher risk of theft

Using traveler’s checks

Pros
  • Secure and can be easily replaced if lost or stolen
  • Photo ID needed to cash checks
Cons
  • Costly with initial purchase charges
  • Not all merchants accept traveler’s checks

Compare travel credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months
4x at restaurants including delivery and Uber Eats; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points) and 3x points on directly-booked flights
$250
Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $750 through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries.
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on up to $1,000 on groceries until April 30, 2021, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a signup bonus worth $750 plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries with this popular travel card.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
75,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe
10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 combined in the first 6 months, 5x points on directly-booked flights on up to $500,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on other purchases
$550
One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $4,500, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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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.

Live Rate

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Netherlands currency

Italian 5-eurosItalian 10-eurosItalian 20-euros
Italian 50-eurosItalian 100-euros

The main banks in Netherlands are:

  • ING Bank NV
  • Cooperative Rabobank UA
  • ABN AMRO Bank NV
  • De Volksbank NV
  • NIBC Bank NV
  • Achmea Bank NV
  • F. van Lanschot Bankiers NV
  • Triodos Bank NV
  • Delta Lloyd Bank NV
  • KAS Bank NV

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.

ATMs in Netherlands

Cash pickup services in Netherlands

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
$1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.825 EUR 822 WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups. Go to site Show details
$10 Within an hour USD 1.99 0.813 EUR 811 Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
$1 Within an hour USD 8.00 0.811 EUR 804 MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide. Show details
$1 3 - 5 days USD 20.00 0.809 EUR 792 Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world. Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

How much should I budget to travel in 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. All prices are in US dollars.

AmsterdamBudgetMidrangeExpensive
MealsLunchtime specials
$13
Dinner at a casual restaurant
$25
Dinner at an upscale restaurant
$55
ActivitiesOutdoor exploration
Free
Museums and trains
$18
First class trains, guided tours
$35
AccomodationDorm bed
$20–$35
Double room
$90
Double room at a high-end hotel
$160+

Prices are for example purposes only.

Case study: Paul's experience

Paul profile photo
Paul

Interview with Paul about his trip to the Netherlands

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.

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

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