OV Chip Card

On May 18, 2015 by Dutch Umbrella Company

The OV chip card is a common sight on the Dutch national transport system, and covers The Netherlands extensively with access to buses, trams, metros, trains & bicycles.

There are two main categories of card, being the anonymous card, and the personal card.

Anonymous card

  • Costs initial €7.50
  • Available from most train stations and can be purchased and used immediately
  • Entitles the user to cheaper tram and bus fairs than those purchased on-board
  • Are required before you are able to travel by tram
  • Can be easily given to visiting friends or family to use during their stay

Users should however be aware that

  • If you wish to use the train network, this feature must be activated
  • Cards cannot be cancelled in the event of being lost or stolen
  • Does not entitle you to large travel discounts as with the personal card
  • Must be credited with funds via OV chip card machines dotted around stations

Personal card

At the time of writing, there are 6 variants to choose from with differing levels of coverage and discounts. Cards can be ordered and paid for online at this link, although you will require a digital picture clearly showing your face. Once purchased, they usually take up to 7 days to process.

  • Cost initial €7.50, or free if you purchase the NS yearly subscription
  • Entitles user to minimum of 40% discount during off-peak hours and weekends (from €50 per year)
  • Can be automatically credited with funds directly from your bank account
  • Your credit can be returned to you in the event of loss or theft

Don’t forget to check out!

The OV Chip cards charge you for your travel based on the distance between the place you check in and where you check out, minus any given discounts. One of the most frequent errors people make is forgetting to check in or out.


Checking into a bus or tram can be done using the card reader near the driver (bus) or conductor (tram). When you hear a beep and see a green indication, you are correctly checked in. You can check out in the same way at the exit doors, but be aware that these are different to the entrance doors! Card readers at metro stations are usually located at the station entranceways, although there are a number located on the platforms. In this case you will be able to check in using one of the check in poles located around the platforms.


Train stations all allow you to check in at the station or platform entrances. If you forget to check out, you will be automatically charged the maximum train fair in The Netherlands. If this happens, there is a refund procedure which can be accessed by calling 0900-202 1163. You will be asked for your OV chip card number, along with your travel details.


If you forget to check out of a bus or metro run, you can call 0900 0980.

Bon Voyage!

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