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Get to know the OV-chipkaart

Different cards

You can choose either a personalised OV-chipkaart or an anonymous one. You can also buy a single-use chipcard if your're not planning on travelling that much.

Personal OV-chipkaart

  • Suitable for public transport season tickets
  • Can only be used by the cardholder
  • Shows the cardholder's name, date of birth and photo
  • Protects your card against misuse within 24 hours of it being reported lost or stolen
  • If you report a theft, loss or defect you will be given a refund for the remaining balance
  • You can enable automatic top-up
  • You can view your journey transactions and balance using your personal Mijn NS account

You can find information about purchasing the card by going to buying a personalised OV-chipkaart.
You can see how to activate your card so that you can travel with it by going to applying for a pre-paid e-purse and activating it.

Anonymous OV-chipkaart

  • No name or photo on the card
  • Can be used by other people, but not for the same journey: if there is more than one person travelling, each will need their own OV-chipkaart
  • Cannot be blocked in the event of loss or theft
  • If your card is stolen, lost or has a defect, you will not be given a refund for the remaining balance
  • You can view your journey transactions and balance using your personal Mijn NS account

You can find more information by going to buying an anonymous OV-chipkaart.
You can see how to activate your card so that you can travel with it by going to applying for a pre-paid e-purse and activating it.

Single-use chipcard

• A paper ticket that contains a chip inside
• Handy for occasional use
• Can be purchased from an NS ticket machine or the Tickets & Service desk
• Valid for use with all train operators
• You do not need to add a credit balance to this card
• You pay a € 1 supplement on the four most commonly used products (single, return, day travel card and the AnaarBeter ticket)
• You do not pay a supplement on Railrunner, Dagkaart Fiets, Dagkaart Hond, ICE single journey with supplement, Euregioticket, trains with a supplement on the HSL and tickets to Germany and Belgium.

You can find more information by going to buying a single-use chipcard.


I already have a season ticket

If you have Weekend Vrij, Dal Vrij, Dal Voordeel, Altijd Voordeel, Kids Vrij, Altijd Vrij or Traject Vrij, then you will already be using an OV-chipkaart. The situation for the other NS season tickets is as follows:

Voordeelurenabonnement (off-peak season ticket)

  • Your Voordeelurenabonnement is already on a personalised OV-chipkaart.
  • If you have sufficient credit on the card, you can use it to check in and out when travelling with NS and all other transport companies.
  • If you prefer to continue using paper tickets, you can do so in the same way as before, for the time being at any rate.
  • We will inform you as soon as anything changes.

OV-Jaarabonnement (annual general public transport season tickets)

  • If you have an OV-jaarkaart (annual season ticet for public transport) you must check in and out with NS (but you are likely to need to this any way).
  •  If this changes, we will let you know well ahead of time.
  • You must always check in and out with other train operators.
  • You can use your OV-Jaarkaart as a ‘key’ to open newly installed NS gates. No money will be deducted from your credit balance.

Jaartrajectabonnement or Grensabonnement (route-specific season tickets)

  • With a Jaartrajectkaart or Grensabonnement you should not check in and out with NS or other train operators to prevent money being unintentionally deducted from your credit balance.
  • If this changes, we will let you know well ahead of time.
  • When you travel by bus, tram or metro you should check in and out as normal.
  • Paper discount tickets are no longer available to buy. You can add a single or return journey, with or without discount, to your season ticket at an NS ticket machine. This way you can still travel on other routes (not your season ticket route) at the 40% discount during off-peak hours. To add another ticket:  
    o Hold your season ticket up to the OV-chipkaart logo at the bottom right of the NS ticket machine.
    o Choose ‘Add other products’, then ‘Single journey without discount’, ‘Single journey with discount’, ‘Day return without discount’ or ‘Day return with discount’ and then select your journey as you would normally and follow the instructions on the screen.
    o Once you have paid hold your season ticket in front of the OV-chipkaart logo at the bottom right of the NS ticket machine again. The ‘Single journey’ or ‘Day return’ (not on your season ticket route) has now been added to your season ticket.
    o You do not check in and out.
  • You can use your season ticket as a ‘key’ to open newly installed NS gates. No money will be deducted from your credit balance.


The OV-chipkaart

The OV-chipkaart is the new public transport smartcard, the ticket for all public transport in the Netherlands. The same card allows you to travel on the train, train, bus and metro. This card is usually more convenient if you are staying in the Netherlands for a longer period.

You use this card to check in for each mode of transport as you depart and to check out again when you arrive. You can add different season tickets to your OV-chipkaart that let you travel more cheaply. You can also use it as an e-purse (travelling on pre-paid credit).

However, if you are not planning on travelling a great deal, you have the option of buying a single-use chipcard. The single-use chipcard is a paper ticket that contains a chip. You also use the chipcard to check in and out.

Travelling on NS with the OV-chipkaart
If you buy an NS season ticket, you automatically get a free OV-chipkaart in your name. Buying an NS season ticket may be cheaper if you are staying in the Netherlands for some time. At the moment, it is only possible to buy an NS season ticket if you have a Dutch bank account and a Dutch home address.

If you already have an OV-chipkaart in your name, you can have the season-ticket placed on the personalised card.

You can travel on NS using the following types of OV-chipkaart:

A personalised OV-chipkaart with one of the following season tickets on it:

  • Weekend Vrij 
  • Dal Vrij 
  • Dal Voordeel 
  • Altijd Voordeel 
  • Kids Vrij 
  • Altijd Vrij 
  • Voordeelurenabonnement 
  • Studentenreisproduct
  • Traject Vrij

A personalised OV-chipkaart that you have purchased through the website of ov-chipkaart.

A personalised OV-chipkaart that you have purchased from another carrier

An anonymous OV-chipkaart

A NS-Business Card

Important! You must always check in and out with your OV-chipkaart for each operator.


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