Used non-chip cards in Netherlands

By Lester Neidell
This item appears on page 53 of the March 2013 issue.

A subscriber described the difficulty of using non-chip credit cards at Schiphol Airport and in Lelystad in the Netherlands (Dec. ’12, pg. 4). My wife and I were in the Netherlands, Dec. 18, 2012-Jan. 1, 2013, always within 50 miles of Amsterdam, and we found no difficulty using our standard, non-chip Visa or MasterCards anywhere, with one exception.

That was in the Den Haag central train station when we tried to reload our OV-chipkaart* at the ticket office. The ticket office could not accept our magnetic-strip credit cards, but the machines in the train station concourse would.

Every ticket machine and ATM we came across accepted our cards or had a separate slot in which our cards could be used. Every restaurant, without exception, processed our cards. Even at gas stations, which would accept only chip-and-PIN cards at the pumps, the attendants could process our non-chip cards.

We traveled primarily via public transport. The prepaid OV-chipkaart is the easiest way to do this. It’s accepted on all rail, subway and bus services in the Netherlands. The only “catch” is that to use it on the rail system, the cards need a minimum credit of $20. There’s no minimum required for tram and/or bus use.

Tulsa, OK

*The OV-chipkaart is a “smartcard” used on public transportation in the Netherlands. The card costs €7.50 and can be loaded with any amount. For details, visit