I am traveling to Amsterdam later this month for 6 days, with my partner.

We plan on taking the NS to/from the airport, which we see on OVpay.nl supports OVpay (It says "All NS trains"). Also Tram 5 is listed as well.

In addition - and this is where I'm more concerned/curious - we may take Arriva 852 to Keukenhof, which I can't find listed anywhere. Most of the Arriva websites about OVpay seem out of date. We also may try to visit Haarlem and Zaanse Schans.

So... should we expect to be able to use OVpay in all the places we want to, or is it still only available in limited areas?

And... can we even use it? We have US-issued Mastercard debit and credit cards available to us.

We have considered the alternative options available, but they all have drawbacks and this appears to be the most hassle-free method.


1 Answer 1


Since somewhere mid 2023 OVPay is available on all public transport in The Netherlands.

And... can we even use it? We have US-issued Mastercard debit and credit cards available to us.

Mastercard debit and credit cards will work, if you have one which supports contactless payment:

een buitenlandse contactloze betaalpas of creditcard van Maestro, V PAY, Mastercard of Visa

The system works so well that a couple of weeks ago, I was unable to check in at Utrecht Central Station with a QR code of an international train ticket on my smartphone, because it tried to switch to OVpay mode ...

If you cannot use OVPay and going to use public transport several times it might be worth it to buy an OV chipkaart. You pay a non-refundable amount of € 7.50 for the card and can top it up with refundable credit.The OV-chipkaart is accepted in all public transportation in the Netherlands.

  • I had originally planned on the OV-chipkaart, however the 20 deposit requirement on the trains is somewhat frustrating. Do you know whether that deposit is returned instantly upon tapping out? For example, if I put exactly €20 and take the NS then a bus, will I exceed balance requirements due to the hold?
    – Ezekiel
    Apr 8, 2023 at 19:26
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    At the moment you check out the balance will be adjusted to what you actually used. But buying an OV chipcard for basically one bus ride makes no sense, a full price on the spot ticket will be less than the cost of that card.
    – Willeke
    Apr 9, 2023 at 5:31
  • Oh yeah, single tickets may work too, but I travel too little with public transport to know for which trips they are available or not. It's always possible to refund your credit, so in the end the only extra charge is the cost of the OV chipkaart (€ 7.50).
    – Glorfindel
    Apr 9, 2023 at 13:27
  • At this time I'm still undecided, but will either buy a single bus ticket as mentioned to Keukenhof, or get an OV-chipkaart to avoid the hassle of dealing with all the different tickets, and get a refund at the end.
    – Ezekiel
    Apr 9, 2023 at 22:48
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    @Glorfindel I can confirm that 852 has OVpay available, and based on the signage I believe all the express Keukenhof busses do as well-the OVpay website still does not list it though
    – Ezekiel
    Apr 19, 2023 at 13:07

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