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Topping up the balance on your OV-chipkaart

For some season tickets, you need a balance in order to with a OV-chipkaart. There are several ways to top up the balance on your card. If you would rather travel without a balance, then an NS Flex season ticket is ideal for you. Read more about topping up the balance on your OV-chipkaart here.

There are several options for topping up the balance on your OV-chipkaart, as follows:

  1. At an NS ticket machine
  2. Automatically by direct debit
  3. Check in & Pick up (new!)
  4. At the service desk
  5. Travelling without a balance with NS Flex

Topping up your balance at an NS Ticket Machine

If you would like to top up your OV-chipkaart balance manually, you can do so quickly and easily at an NS ticket machine as follows:

  1. Scan your OV-chipkaart at an NS ticket machine.
  2. Select ‘Top up balance’.
  3. Then select ‘Add balance’.
  4. Select the amount you want to add to your OV-chipkaart. The machine shows the amounts that you can add to your card.

Good to know

  • You can top up the balance on both anonymous and personal OV-chipkaarten.
  • You can pay with a debit card or credit card, and in some cases also with coins.

Minimum balance on your OV-chipkaart

In order to travel with NS, you must have at least € 20.00 on your OV-chipkaart. If you have an NS season ticket, then other amounts apply:

  • For an OV-chipkaart with a Dal Vrij, Weekend Vrij, Dal Voordeel, Altijd Voordeel of Voordeeluren season ticket, this is € 10.00.
  • For Weekend Vrij, you only pay if you travel on weekdays outside the free period.
  • For Dal Vrij, you only pay if you travel during peak hours.
  • There is no check-in fee for an Altijd Vrij and Traject Vrij season ticket.
  • If you have an NS-Business Card, you travel on account so there is no check-in fee.
Vrouw laad OV saldo bij kaartautomaat

Automatic balance top-up

If you always want enough balance on your OV-chipkaart, you can request 'Automatic top-up' via After that, you only need to activate 'Automatic top-up' at a ticket machine at an NS station or the charging point at shops such as AH-to-Go and Kiosk.

Good to know

  • You can choose to top up your balance with amounts of € 10.00, € 20.00 or € 50.00.
  • Automatic top-up is only available if you have a personal OV-chipkaart (a card with a passport photo).

When your balance falls below € 0 while checking in or out, the chosen amount will immediately be added to the balance on your OV-chipkaart. This amount will then be debited from your bank account. The only thing you need to do is check in and out.

Check in & Pick up

It's now even easier to top up and pick up your balance with Check in & Pick up. At NS, you no longer have to first check in at an NS ticket machine to pick up your balance, even if you are entitled to a refund of your balance. When checking in at a gate or post, you can automatically load the balance onto your OV-chipkaart. This saves you an extra stop at the ticket machine and prevents you from forgetting to top up or pick up your balance. Great, right?

How to top up your balance

  1. Go to
  2. Fill in your details and choose the desired amount.
  3. Order your balance.
  4. Check in at a gate or post on your next journey with NS. Your balance is loaded onto your OV-chipkaart immediately.

Useful tips

  • Check in & Pick up only works at NS gates and poles and not at those of other train operators. It is therefore important to check in and out at the correct gates.
  • If you've forgotten to check out, simply fill in your details at If you are entitled to a refund on your balance, it will be loaded onto your OV-chipkaart immediately the next time you check in at NS.

Topping up your balance at the desk

Would you prefer to have an NS employee top up your OV-chipkaart balance? If so, the service assistant at any NS service desk at the station will be happy to help you. In that case you will pay an additional € 0.50 service charge.

Good to know

  • This additional charge does not apply to wheelchair users, travellers over 75 years of age, or visually impaired travellers.

Travel without a balance: NS Flex

NS Flex lets you travel without having a balance on your card. You simply pay each month by direct debit. You can also terminate or change the season ticket each month.

More about travelling with an OV-chipkaart

Checking in and out

Poles, gates and beeps: how to check in and out

Chipkaart options

All of the chipkaart characteristics.

Downloading products to your OV-chipkaart

It's easy to change classes or activate combined travel discounts.

Expired OV-chipkaart

If you have an NS season ticket, then NS will automatically send you a new card.

Blocked OV-chipkaart

Your OV-chipkaart is blocked. What now?

Forget to check in or out

We all forget to check in or out every now and again. No need to worry, we explain to you what you can best do in these situations.