Money in the Netherlands: Banks, ATMs, cards & currency exchange (2024)

Whether you’re visiting Holland to take in their infamous tulips or you’re simply there on business, The Netherlands is an important European economic hub.

If you plan on visiting, this financial guide will provide you with all the information you need.

Currency in the Netherlands

A founding member of the Eurozone (EU), the Netherlands official currency is the Euro.

The Euro is currently used across 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

As such, the Euro will be your main currency in the Netherlands. Paying with Euros is the most cost effective and other currencies are unlikely to be accepted.

Characteristics of the Euro (EUR)

| --- | --- |
| Euro Symbols | EUR, € |
| 1 EUR | One Euro is made up of 100 cents. |
| EUR coins | Coins are issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, as well as 1 and 2 Euro pieces. You can expect to use 1 and 2 Euro coins for tips and small purchases daily. |
| EUR banknotes | The Euro is printed in banknotes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros. 5, 10, and 20 Euro bills are often commonly used in everyday living. |

Exchanging Currency

To be prepared upon your arrival, it may be wise to exchange a small amount of money at your local bank before traveling. Money exchange services at the airport are expensive so it wouldn’t hurt to already have enough Euros to buy a few goodies and pay for your taxi from the airport.

Before you start off exchanging your money from one currency to another, familiarise yourself with the mid-market exchange rate (also called interbank rate). The mid-market rate is the one true exchange rate, and it’s the rate that banks use to trade money between themselves. It’s essentially the mid-point at any moment between the rates that banks are buying and selling that particular currency. All exchange rates you’re offered will be based on this one exchange rate, only most exchange services will offer you a poorer exchange rate and pocket the difference. Keep up-to-date on the fluctuating value of your home currency by using an online currency converter.

If you don’t already have cash in your pocket when you arrive, it’s good to know that the best place to exchange currency in the Netherlands is actually at an ATM. As banks in Holland won’t exchange your money unless you have an account there, the second best place is at a money exchange (Geldwisselkantoor in Dutch).

The worst places to exchange your money would be airports, hotels, and businesses such as bars, coffee shops or vendors. These places are notorious for charging you exorbitant fees.

ATMs are the primary way to get money in the Netherlands and are, therefore, easy to find. Most travelers report that they get very good or excellent exchange rates at the ATM.

Traveller’s cheques in the Netherlands

Traveller’s cheques hail from a day when ATMs weren’t so common. They were a safe way to carry money in foreign countries as they could only be cashed with valid ID. Today, especially in the Netherlands, the easiest way to obtain cash is by using your debit card or a prepaid debit card at an ATM.

However, if you do decide to carry traveler’s cheques, bear in mind that it may be quite difficult to find a place to cash them. Post offices won’t cash them. The airport will, but the exchange rate will be quite high and you’ll lose quite a bit in the exchange. Though it’s difficult to do, if you manage to find a bank that agrees to cash your traveler’s cheques, exchange rates are often fair.

Using credit and debit cards in the Netherlands

Cards are accepted in most places

Major credit cards and debit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted in the Netherlands at restaurants, hotels, and tourist destinations. Although some small shops may charge a fee of anywhere from 2-6% if you use them. If you only have a credit card, be advised that Dutch supermarkets do not accept them at all, so you’ll need some cash on hand for sure.

Carry some cash, but be aware of pickpockets

Even if you’re in a tourist area where your card is normally accepted, it’s always a good idea to have a small amount cash on you. Be aware, however, that pickpockets are prevalent in major cities such as Amsterdam so don’t carry more cash on you than you plan to spend in a day.

Check on your home bank’s fees before you leave (and let them know you’re travelling)

You may encounter fees from your bank or vendors in Holland if you use credit or debit cards. Check with your bank before you leave for your trip to learn about fees they may charge for international use of your debit or credit card. This will help you determine whether getting cash will be cheaper and how much cash to get at a time.

It’s also a good idea to take the time to notify your bank that you’re traveling to a foreign country. When a bank sees foreign activity on an account, they freeze your credit or debit card until you verify that it’s you. Save the time, hassle and headache for unfreezing your funds while abroad.

ATMs in the Netherlands

ATMs are prevalent in the Netherlands. They are the primary way citizens and tourists alike get cash. You can use global ATM locators to find the nearest one to you.

Visa ATM locator
MasterCard/Maestro ATM locator
Amex ATM locator

Use Dutch-owned ATMs

In general, it’s best to use ATMs owned by Dutch banks as they don’t charge a fee for use of their ATMs (most also have the added plus of offering an English-language menu). However, regardless of Dutch rules, your home bank may charge anyhow. Avoid “independent” ATMs in the Netherlands by looking for Plus, Cirrus, and other major ATM names. Independently-owned ATMs will charge exorbitant fees.

One of the downsides of Dutch ATMs, however, is that they won’t tell you what the exchange rate is. You won’t know until after the transaction or until you return home. Regardless, the good news is that tourists have reported that they received good or excellent exchange rates at Dutch ATMs.

While traveling abroad, be on the lookout for pickpockets looking to take advantage of tourists. As soon as you enter the airport, you’ll see signs warning you of petty theft. Use ATMs in public place and be careful to protect your PIN. Secure the rest of your money in a safe location on your person.

Always choose to be charged in the local currency (EUR)

One final thing to look out for with ATMs (and actually just using your debit or credit card abroad) are offers to be charged in your home currency. When you are offered this ‘service’ - it’s best to politely decline. It’s something called Dynamic Currency Conversion, and it means that you’re authorizing the Dutch entity to choose an exchange rate for you. That rate is normally quite unfavorable, and you’ll end up losing quite a bit in the process. Always choose to be charged in the local currency.

Banks in the Netherlands

You will find plenty of banks in the Netherlands. However, banks in the Netherlands generally no longer handle banknotes. Instead, they manage loans, sell insurance, and some may sell or cash traveler’s cheques. Some banks will exchange your money, but will charge you fees or commission. Banks prefer you use their ATMs.

Many banks are affiliated with banks internationally. Check with your bank to see if they partner with a bank in the Netherlands. If so, you may receive discounted exchange rates or the interbank exchange rate. The interbank exchange rate is the midpoint between the buy and sell rate in the global currency market. Therefore, you may not have to pay more than exactly what your currency is currently worth.

Major Retail Banks in the Netherlands

International Banks Operating in the Netherlands

Alternatively, for simple access to the money you need while you’re abroad - and an even better deal - send money online with Wise.

If you have a bank account in the Netherlands, or know someone who does, you can send money to the Netherlands using the real mid-market exchange rate. It's a convenient way to get your cash, with no hidden fees.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money in the Netherlands: Banks, ATMs, cards & currency exchange (2024)


Is it better to use cash or card in the Netherlands? ›

In the Netherlands, credit cards are not the most commonly used method for payments. In daily life, the Dutch hardly use them. We tend to pay with our debit card, but credit cards are still a good option for renting cars, booking rooms in hotels, or reserving airline tickets.

Can I use my US debit card in the Netherlands? ›

US debit cards with a Visa or MasterCard logo will work in any European ATM. Go "contactless." Get comfortable using contactless pay options.

Should I exchange money before I travel to the Netherlands? ›

Avoid (or at least minimize) cash exchange.

Exchanging money is expensive: You'll lose about 5 to 10 percent when converting dollars to euros or another foreign currency. In a pinch, you can find exchange desks at major train stations or airports (convenient, but the hit can be as much as 15 percent).

What bank cards can I use in the Netherlands? ›

Using credit cards and debit cards in the Netherlands

Major credit cards and debit cards, such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted in the Netherlands at restaurants, hotels, and tourist destinations.

How much cash should I bring to Netherlands? ›

If you are travelling to the Netherlands or returning to the Netherlands after a trip abroad, there is no limit on the amount of money you can take with you. However, you may need to submit a customs declaration.

Do I get charged for using my debit card in Amsterdam? ›

If you use your debit card to make a payment abroad or withdraw cash, you'll be charged a 2.99% Non-Sterling Transaction Fee. Remember that if you're given the option, it's almost always cheaper to make the payment in the local currency.

What happens if you use a debit card internationally? ›

While you can typically use a debit cards in another country, you may have to pay a foreign transaction fee. Though these fees vary by bank and card issuer, they are usually around 3% of any transaction abroad. In addition, you may be given the option by a merchant to pay in local or U.S. currency.

How many euros do I need for 5 days in Amsterdam? ›

Average daily spend by real travellers in Amsterdam: €106 (£94) This reflects what everyday travellers tend to spend in Amsterdam. Think mid-range – most of the major attractions, a few cab rides, maybe a big night out, and a bit of shopping on the side.

What is the cheapest way to convert USD to EUR? ›

Exchange at your bank before your trip: Exchanging currency at your local bank is likely the most cost-effective way to convert currency.

Are ATMs free in the Netherlands? ›

Bank ATMs in the Netherlands tend not to charge a fee per withdrawal. However, there are many 'independent' ATMs which do, meaning you could end up paying far more than you have to.

Why can't I use my debit card in the Netherlands? ›

If you've ever been to the Netherlands, you may have noticed that many stores have a "PIN-only" sign. This sign indicates that only payments from a PIN debit card, usually from a Dutch bank, are accepted.

Is it better to use cash or card in Amsterdam? ›

Be sure to carry cash

In daily life, the Dutch hardly use them. Instead, payments are often made with debit cards. Please make sure to bring cash and ask personnel in advance whether you can pay by credit card.

Is it worth taking cash to Amsterdam? ›

To answer the question, cash STILL has a place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Europe in general, so it is best to have some on hand, but don't expect to NEED it very often.

Is it better to bring cash or card to Europe? ›

Don't Expect to Get Too Far Without Cash

There's a lot that you can buy with a credit card in Europe, so bring at least one. But don't expect to get very far without a little cash, too—especially if you're a tourist. Transportation services, such as taxis and buses, often require local currency.

How cashless is the Netherlands? ›

The Netherlands is one of the most cashless societies in the world. However, cash remains very available and accessible. Over 99.5% of Dutch residents live within 5 km of a cash dispensing facility.

Should I buy euros before I go to Europe? ›

Bottom line. It's completely up to you whether you exchange money before you travel to Europe, or get your euros when you arrive.


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