OV-chipkaart: Dutch Public Transport Card

klok 22 Sep 2017 14:08

The OV-chipkaart (public transport card) is the payment method for all public transport in the Netherlands. A regular OV-chipkaart is purchased for 7.50 euro, after which credit is loaded onto the card that pays for your trips. For every trip you make, the corresponding fare is deducted from your card balance. Having a regular OV-chipkaart comes in handy for people who often travel with Dutch public transport or who use it for a longer period of time. However, if you only spend limited time in the Netherlands (a week or shorter), then the OV-chipkaart is often a more expensive option.

If you visit the Netherlands for a relative short amount of time, an e-ticket may be the cheapest way for you to travel. Find out here which cheap train ticket in the Netherlands is available for you.

OV-Chipkaart. How does travelling work?

1. A personal ov-chipkaart is required for every traveler

You cannot travel with more than one person on a single OV-chipkaart. This means that every traveler needs his or her personal OV-chipkaart. Ticket machines are available at train and metro stations where you can buy an OV-chipkaart for € 7.50. You will then receive an anonymous OV-chipkaart, which is not name-registered.

2. Loading credit on your ov-chipkaart.

In order to be able to travel, you need to add funds (travel credit) to your OV-chipkaart. You can do this with the ticket machines available at metro and train stations. Some shops or super markets also have a machine where you can add credit to your balance. In order to travel by train you need at least € 20.00 credit (on each individual OV-chipkaart). A lower limit applies for regular NS customers with a name-registered OV-chipkaart; they only need a € 10.00 balance to travel with their card.

3. checking in and out

You are always required to check in and out while traveling with an OV-chipkaart. Upon checking in a standard fee of € 4.00 (bus/tram/metro) or € 20.00 (train) is held as a deposit (for name-registered cards this is € 10.00). The definitive trip fare is calculated upon checking out. Any difference between the initial deposit and the actual trip fare is corrected on your OV-chipkaart balance. If you forget to check out, you lose your entire deposit.
For bus and tram trips you need to check in and out in every vehicle. For train trips you check in at the station from which you depart and check out at your final destination. (Unless you switch between train operators during your trip, which is quite rare). The same principle applies while traveling with the metro.

Loading a product onto your ov-chipkaart
You normally use your credit to travel with your OV-chipkaart, but you can also load specific products on it. For instance a day pass that you can use for all public transport in Amsterdam, The Hague or Rotterdam. Or a surcharge for traveling with Intercity Direct (a high-speed connection between Schiphol and Rotterdam).

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