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Topping up the balance on your OV-chipkaart

Before traveling on public transportation with an OV-chipkaart, you must top up the balance on your card at any transport company's OV-chipkaart top-up point.


Traveling with the OV-chipkaart

Before traveling on public transportation with an OV-chipkaart, you must first have enough balance on your card. You can top up the balance on your card at any OV-chipkaart top-up point, regardless of the transport company. At NS stations, you can top up the balance at an NS Ticket Machine displaying the OV-chipkaart logo. Always top up your balance or download a product to your OV-chipkaart before you check in. You can top up your balance to a maximum of € 150.

Traveling for the first time

If you are traveling with NS for the first time using an OV-chipkaart, then you must activate it before you check in. To activate your chipkaart, simply top up the balance at any NS Ticket Machine (standard 2nd class). If you have enough balance on your OV-chipkaart, you must still activate it before using it for the first time. Hold the card against the card reader on an NS Ticket Machine displaying the OV-chipkaart logo at the bottom right, then follow the instructions on the screen. Once your card has been activated, you can check in and out to travel by train.

Topping up your balance by an exact amount

You can top up the balance on your OV-chipkaart by any amount at the NS Ticket Machine to travel by train, bus, tram or metro. To top up your balance, follow the instructions below:

  • Select ‘Saldo laden’ (Top up balance) at the NS Ticket Machine
  • Select ‘Saldo aanvullen’ (Choose amount) when prompted
  • Determine the amount, for example: ‘Aanvullen tot € 10’ (Top up to € 10). This may be necessary in order to travel with the combined travel discount, for example, The machine will display the values available for your card. If you have already checked in, then the NS Ticket Machine will not display this option.

If you switch to using a different OV-chipkaart, then you can request a refund of the balance on your old OV-chipkaart to the new one using the form 'Saldo restitutie OV-chipkaart' (OV-chipkaart balance refund). This form is available at any NS or OV service desk. The NS Service Desk can also transfer your balance from your old card to your new card.

Automatic balance top-up

If you have a personal OV-chipkaart, you can request Automatic top-up to make sure that you always have enough on your balance. As soon as your balance reaches € 0, a fixed amount will be automatically debited from your bank account. Automatic top-up is only available with a personal OV-chipkaart. Your balance is automatically increased when you check in and out at the check-in pole.