The OV-chipcard is now the most common system of paying for public transport throughout the Netherlands.
What is the OV-Chipcard (OV-chipkaart in Dutch)
The OV-chipcard is becoming the standard payment method for the public transport system in the Netherlands. The smart card is the size of a bank card and contains an invisible chip. The OV-chipcard is a prepaid card which you can use to travel anywhere within the Netherlands by train, metro, bus and tram. You can also use it to purchase a travel product such as a one-way journey or a season ticket.
How to get an OV-chipcard?
It is recommended to buy an Anonymous OV-chipcard for € 7.50. An anonymous OV-chipcard can be purchased at the stations, in newsagents and at serve counters. An anonymous card is valid for four to five years. You can keep the card to use it again. The credit will also remain valid. Or you can get the left-over credit back at a public transport company counter. You will pay € 1 in administration costs. If you wish to terminate the card, please request a form from the counter. Complete the form fully and post this along with the card to the address given on the form.
How to use my OV-chipcard?
Before you start travelling you need to load balance on your OV-chipkaart. You need to check in and check out, when travelling, also when you have to change. Sometimes the card reader is in the bus or the tram, and sometimes on the platform.
Checking in and out
With a positive balance on your OV-chipkaart you can check in and out. Hold your OV-chipkaart against the screen of a gate or single card reader. The gate will open; the card reader will give a confirmation signal. At the end of your journey you check out in the same way. Please note, if you change from transport company you have to check-out and check-in again.
For more information about OV-chipcard, please visit: http://www.ov-chipkaart.nl.
Single-use train tickets (disposable OV-chip cards)
If you travel by train only (i.e. not in combination with bus and/or tram) then you can consider to make use of ‘Single-use train tickets’ instead of the OV-chipcard. You can find the information on http://www.amsterdamtips.com/tips/train-tickets-in-netherlands.php. For your convenience, we scanned for you from this link the following:
The link http://www.amsterdamtips.com/tips/train-tickets-in-netherlands.php also contains:
Should I buy an anonymous OV-chip card or stick to single-use tickets?
If you are here for a short visit and do not plan to use public transport very much then stick with the single-use disposable tickets. If you need to make a number of rail trips and use other forms of public transport it may be worth investing €7.50 for the anonymous card. Make an estimation of the credit you will use and load this onto the card when you purchase it. For the convenience factor alone it will save you time not having to queue up for tickets.