How to Pay for Public Transport by OV Chipkaart in the Netherlands

Traveling by public transport is easy in Holland. Paying for it is not. This article explains where to buy your trip card and how to pay for it. While at the time of this writing it is still possible to pay for the bus or tram, not the train or metro (subway) by purchasing a ticket, this will be phased out in near future.


  1. Image titled Lubitel at schiphol
    If you plan on taking public transport, openbaar vervoer or OV, you should buy an OV Chipkaart as soon as you arrive at Schiphol Airport at the NS Railway Station.
  2. 2
    You can buy an anonymous or a registered card. Anonymous works best for tourists as you need a Dutch bank account to refill the registered card. If you lose your card, however, you cannot block it and will lose the balance.
  3. Image titled OV chipkaartpiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeep!
    The initial amount should cover the cost to your destination plus an extra €20 as the instaptarief, minimum boarding rate, for the train is €20. When you enter the railway station you need to hold your card up to the scanner. The scanner reads your balance and will beep if your instaptarief is too low. Instaptarief for the tram, bus and metro is €4.
  4. Image titled P1220462
    Upon leaving the station at your destination you need to scan your card again and the trip rate will be deducted from your balance. Should you forget to check out you can reclaim excess charges by using a refund or claim form.
  5. 5
    There are refill points everywhere but they only accept Dutch bank account transfers. In order to refill your OV card you will have to go to a big city train station with wickets and operators.


  • Ensure you bring enough cash as many stations do not accept credit cards.

Article Info

Categories: Public Transport