It seems that most debit cards issued in the Netherlands are on the Maestro network. Will places that only accept debit cards take my US-issued VISA debit card? From what I could tell, many places aren't familiar with VISA being a debit card.

Edit: For anyone else wondering, it turned out that I could not use my VISA debit card at establishments where only debit cards were accepted. Only cards with a Maestro or V PAY logo were accepted. VISA debit cards do work at ATMs though, so you are able to withdraw cash and pay with that.

  • I am not completely sure but I think my boyfriend from England uses a Visa debit card, he has no problems in the Netherlands. His has a chip, does yours? – Willeke Dec 9 '17 at 20:43
  • I have used my danish issued Visa/dankort in the Netherlands, I believe the Visa part of those are debit. – Henrik Dec 9 '17 at 21:05
  • @Willeke Thanks for the response! It does, which certainly makes things much easier. I'm just not sure if they are able to run Visa cards as debit or if they can only process them as credit cards. – jdouglas Dec 9 '17 at 21:06
  • @Henrik Great, thanks for responding! – jdouglas Dec 9 '17 at 21:06
  • Most machines in the Netherlands either have both the Meastro and the Visa or the Mastercard and the Visa logos. Often they do not show the logos on the machine but will show them on the screen when you are in the process. – Willeke Dec 9 '17 at 21:38

My partner and I own a bank account in both Netherlands and UK. The Dutch one has a Maestro card and the UK one has a Visa debit card.

We've found that the Maestro card is accepted in 99% of shops, even in traveling market stalls. The Visa is accepted in maybe 50% of shops, including most supermarkets (not the Albert Heijn though!), clothing shops and nearly all restaurants.

The following rule of thumb has proven true for us: Visa/MasterCard/AmEx are accepted at places where they regularly deal with bills of €100+.

We've been living in rural Zeeland for about 3 years now and have frequently traveled to bigger cities. The more foreign tourists a shop gets (Amsterdam, The Hague), the more likely it seems to be accepting non-Maestro cards, with it being nearly 100% acceptance in the center of Amsterdam.

The fact that it is a debit card doesn't change a thing in my experience. Get ready for people to assume it's a credit card though.

Keep in mind that to pay in most places in Europe your card should have a chip and a pin code.

  • Two things I'd like to add to this answer: 1. Chip and pin is to my knowledge compulsory in the EU, or at the very least in the Netherlands. 2. A lot of places that accept credit cards will make the customer pay the commission, which can be a lot of money if it's percentile. – shadowmanwkp Dec 14 '17 at 14:37
  • @shadowmanwkp 1. I think so too, but not in the US. Most US card holders are able to put a pin on their card though. 2. That is correct. Will add that in. – Belle-Sophie Dec 14 '17 at 17:02
  • Putting a PIN on your US card generally means you can use it at an ATM. In my experience, the PIN doesn't work at point of sale. Apple / Android pay often works. – Laconic Droid Dec 15 '17 at 1:34
  • There are a few U.S. issued credit cards such as Barclaycard that have a European PIN (as opposed to a U.S. debit PIN). The PIN on these cards only works where a signature can not be obtained such as with ticket machines, at merchants a signature is required. – zaph Jun 23 at 11:34

I have a foreign visa debit card. I've used it plenty of times in Amsterdam when I was there back in 2014. I used it to pay for supermarkets, restaurants, parking, museums without ever being refused.

I had used Visa Gold debit card July 2017 in Amsterdam, no problem at all. I paid at pharmacy, museums, cafes, super markets, bakeries and so on..

We do use (and know) Maestro debit (or V-Pay debit) at almost any store.

Visa Debit or MasterCard debit is not being used, show us your US VISA or MasterCard and they will think it's a creditcard. Only in big stores or places where many tourists pay you mostly can use a creditcard.

My advice: always have some cash (about 50 euros) and a debit card. I know that there are banks who offer V-Pay combined with a Visa Credit on the same card. That is the best option i think. In term of acceptance, Maestro is still the number 1 in The Netherlands to pay with, V-Pay second.

My current experience on Amsterdam airport is that payment with Visa Electron debit card (pin & chip & paypass) didn't work with terminal, when I payed for train ticket, neither in supermarket. Luckily I had enough cash with me.

For the merchant, VISA debit cards are no different than normal VISA cards. So if a place accepts VISA, it will accept any type of VISA. If it only accepts debit cards, it won't (since - at least in most places in Europe - "debit card" does not include VISA, even if it is a VISA debit).

I've just been travelling in Holland outside Amsterdam and found that Visa is often not accepted, only Mastercard or Maestro

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