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Different kinds of OV-chipkaart variants and NS-Business Card

The OV-chipkaart is a card you can use to travel on any public transport in the Netherlands by topping up the balance on the card. With the NS-Business Card, you travel on account instead of paying as you go.

How does the OV-chipkaart work?

After you top up the balance on your card, you can travel anywhere in the Netherlands by bus, tram and metro. To use your OV-chipkaart with NS, simply activate your chipkaart for Travel on Balance with NS. If you are traveling for business with the NS-Business Card, you do not need to have a balance on your card, because you are traveling on account and will be billed at the end of the month. Simply check in and out as you would with any other card.

Personal, anonymous and single-use OV-chipkaart

You can choose a personal or anonymous OV-chipkaart. An OV-chipkaart costs € 7.50, but when you purchase an NS-jaarabonnement, you receive the personal card for free. Occasional travellers can also choose to purchase a single-use chipkaart, which is a paper ticket that contains an electronic chip.

Differences between the personal and anonymous OV-chipkaart

Characteristics of the personal OV-chipkaart

  • Issued to a specific person
  • Balance is blocked within 24 hours of reporting theft or loss of the card
  • Remaining balance refunded upon theft or loss of the card
  • Automatic top-up available
  • View your NS travel records via Mijn NS
  • Suitable for all NS and other public transport season tickets
  • Receive the card within 7 work days after applying
  • One-time cost of € 7,50 (free with an NS-Jaarabonnement)

Characteristics of the anonymous OV-chipkaart

  • Not issued to a specific person
  • Cannot be blocked after theft or loss
  • View your NS travel records via Mijn NS
  • Available at NS Ticket Machines with OV-chipkaart logo or other sales locations
  • One-time cost of € 7,50

Characteristics of the single-use chipkaart

  • Paper ticket that contains an electronic chip
  • Available at NS Ticket Machines, Tickets & Service shop and OV-servicewinkel
  • Valid on all rail carriers
  • No need to top up your balance; simply check in and out
  • For most products you pay the full rate + a supplement of € 1 per single-use chipkaart.  
  • No supplement required for the Railrunner, Bicycle day ticket, day ticket for one dog, ICE supplement one-way, Euregioticket, Intercity direct supplements and for tickets (with or without discount) to Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Lille (France)
  • Only valid for the date of purchase, unless you are travelling to Germany or Belgium

Checking in and out

If you would like to travel using an OV-chipkaart, you must check in and out for each transport company at the gate or pole at the platform, or at the card reader at the entrance and exit to the bus, tram or metro.