4

HTM train stations use a different ATM to local shops and supermarkets which are easier to find. But there are no English instructions on how to use them to charge up your OV-Chipkaart. Only instructions are in Dutch and it only takes debit cards, not cash! This is the small yellow machine on a stick.

How do you operate an OV-Chipkaart Automaat?

  • Are you talking about the third one, "Loading point at the stops", at this page? htm.nl/english/loading-and-pick-up-devices – shoover Nov 15 '18 at 23:35
  • 1
    And not the one that's at 3:45 in this video? Because this one has a Taal / Language button that you can use to get English. youtube.com/watch?v=wVx638UD6SY – shoover Nov 15 '18 at 23:40
  • You could use the NS machines (e.g. at Den Haag Centraal or HS), they are generally easier to use. – Relaxed Nov 16 '18 at 0:42
  • Ask a random Dutch person near you, they can see the machine, read the Dutch text and often will accept your cash for them to use their debit card. (I have done so quite a few times over the years.) Almost all Dutch people have enough English to understand what you ask, and can certainly do the task for you even if they do not have enough English to answer you. – Willeke Nov 16 '18 at 14:08
  • I have a terrible time with these machines. They reject US credit cards because they typically require a signature. – Eric Feb 3 at 19:10
5

According to this site of the public transport company in the Hague, there are three kinds of machines to charge your OV chip card.
Two of them work with cash, bank cards (debit cards from banks in the Netherlands although others may work) and credit cards (which should accept most or all cards.) The third kind only works with bank cards, which is likely the one the OP wants to get instructions for.

As only Dutch bank cards work, they may not include instructions in other languages. While the Netherlands is a country where we speak English as a rule, it is not our own language and some services may not be rolled out in multiple languages.
If you can not use the machines near your house or hotel, best not let your credit drop below the critical limit. (€4 for bus rides, €20 for train travel) And use the machines where you know you can get them to work.

If you are stuck, the best way to work such a machine is to ask a local to help you out. Offer them cash money and ask them to do the deal in Dutch, with their own bank card. Not all will but there is a decent chance you find someone to do it for you. For a long term resident, with a Dutch bank account, it might be easiest to learn to read enough Dutch to follow the instructions.

Or you can go for automated charging your card, in which case it will never get below a given amount. You can select that (from standard choices) and re-set it if your experience tell you that you need it higher or lower.

(For those people who complain about there being no English on Dutch machines, I still have to find the first machine in the UK let alone the USA or Australia with an option for Dutch.)

  • 1
    Side note on the "critical limit", the chipkaart can go up to €4 negative, so the effective cut off is €0 for busses and €16 for trains. – jdouglas Sep 23 at 17:15
  • AFAIK the machines would accept most EU bank cards, but don't expect others to work. – jwenting Sep 24 at 4:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.