Home FAQ Where To Buy OV-chipkaart?

Where To Buy OV-chipkaart?

by Rafal Sulowski

Anyone visiting Amsterdam should consider getting an OV-chipkaart. It is definitely a must-have. With OV-chipkaart you can get discounts for public transport and you don’t need to worry about buying a ticket each and every time. You can get a personal OV-chipkaart with your name on it or you can buy anonymous OV. But where to buy an OV-chipkaart?

You can buy anonymous OV-chipkaart at stations, in supermarkets, newsagents and at counters of operators. Personal OV-chipkaart you get on the Internet or at RET, Arriva or Connexxion counter. For both, personal or anonymous OV-chipkaart you pay 7,50 euro.

Photo Courtesy of DennisM2|| Flickr

I this article I will explain to you more about OV-chipkaart and public transport in the Netherlands. If you don’t have an OV yet, you must definitely read this article. There are some things that need to be explained and I’ll share with you some crucial information. The public transport system in the Netherlands can be a bit confusing but when you understand it, it becomes very easy. Keep on reading and if you still have some question please comment in the section below the article.

Where To Buy OV-chipkaart?

The anonymous OV-chipkaart you can get in many places all over the city. You can buy it in supermarkets, (for example Albert Heijn) in newsagents and for sure at train stations. You can buy this public transport card at the information desk at the train station.

When it comes to the personal OV-chipkaart you have to order it on this website – LINK HERE It takes only a few minutes and a personal OV-chipkaart has few advantages over an anonymous chipkaart. You’ll learn more about the differences between those two cards further on in the text.

Tourist OV-chipkaart

There is no OV-chipkaart dedicated specifically to tourists. When visiting Amsterdam you should buy an anonymous OV-chipkaart or disposable chipkaart. What’s the difference between those two and which one is better? It depends on the situation.

Anonymous OV-chipcard: This card can be used for long periods of time. Anonymous OV-chipcard costs 7,50 euro, you can load it with credits and use it for 5 years every time you use public transport in the Netherlands.

Disposable OV-chipcard: You can use this card only once or for a short period of time. This paper card works just like a regular public transport ticket. You can get a disposable OV-chipcard for 1 hour, 1 week or just to get to some specific destinations. Disposable cards are more expensive than anonymous ones, so it’s better to get a plastic card if you are planning to use public transport more often.

You can also get these cards on Schiphol airport

Can I Get a Refund For Anonymous OV-chipkaart?

If there is some leftover credit on it you can get a refund. To get your money back you must visit a public transport company counter and ask for a refund. You can find these spots at train stations. You can also keep your OV. It’s valid for 5 years so you don’t have to worry. Even after the period of 5 years you can transfer your credits to a new card or ask for a refund.

Personal OV-chipkaart

This is a great solution if you stay in the Netherlands for a longer period of time. Personal OV-chipkaart has some cool features. For example, it loads credit automatically. You can choose how much credits you want to add when it reaches 0. For example, you can make it load automatically 20 euros every time it goes empty.

Another cool feature is that you have access to an online directory of past journeys and costs paid. Don’t worry if your card is stolen because you can block it anytime. When you own a personal OV-chipkaart you can get an age discount.

If you live in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium or Luxemburg you can get this card online and it will be sent to your address. Link Here. For those living anywhere else you can get an application form at a counter of RET, Arriva or Connexxion. With this form, you can apply for a personal OV-chipkaart and it will be sent to the address of your choice, for example to the hotel or your friend’s house. The costs of applying for this card is 10,50 euro. If you get it online it cost 7,50 euro.

To apply for a personal OV-chipkaart you need a digital photo, Paypal account or a bank account compatible with iDeal.

Anonymous OV-chipkaart

If you get this card you must load it with credits before you use any mean of transportation. You can load your anonymous OV-chipkaart at every train station or at the entrance to the metro. There are also some spots where you can load it in supermarkets.

Anonymous OV-chipkaart has also some advantages. One of them is that it can be used by more than one person. The personal card has a photo on it so it can be used only by its owner. Anonymous OV-chipkaart can be used by more than one person but not it the same time.

I Lost My OV-kaart!

If you lost your anonymous OV-chipkaart than I am sorry to say but you have to get a new one. If you lose a personal OV-chipkaart don’t worry, you can apply for a new one and your credits will be transferred to this replaced card.

How To Load an OV-chipkaart?

It’s very easy to load you OV-chipkaart. You need your bank card and the OV. Then you have to go to one of the loading devices. You can find them in many places in the city. For example, they are on train stations and in supermarkets. If you have a personal OV-chipkaart you don’t have to worry because it will load automatically.

You can check saldo of your OV on the internet website – Link Here. You have to fill a card number and it will let you know how many credits are left on your card.

24 hour ticket

Photo courtesy of Alper Çuğun|| Flickr

If you visit Amsterdam for one day or for example for a week it’s wise to get a day ticket. Day ticket allows you to use any mean of public transport in the whole Netherlands or in a particular area of the country. You can get this kind of a ticket at GVB, EBS or Connexxion. When going for a one day trip from Amsterdam it’s probably the best way to save some money.

OV-chipkaart Train and Metro

Photo courtesy of Alper Çuğun|| Flickr

When you use an OV-chipkaart in Tram you scan it in the tram, but when you want to get on train or metro you must scan your card before entering a platform. Keep in mind that when you change trains or metros within one station you must scan your card so a stopover is registered.

Sometimes train stations and metro stations are in the same place. But there are different entrances. If you, for example, enter a metro gate and you go on the train you’ll pay a fine of 20 euros when scanning your card when leaving a station. It’s a very quick way to lose 20 euros and it happened once to me. I was in a rush and my train was leaving, but if you have less than 20 euros on your OV-chipkaart you can’t enter a train station. But you can enter a metro station, so I did. When I was leaving a train station and I had to scan my card there was still not enough money on it but on this particular station, there was no metro so I couldn’t leave. I had to charge my card with extra credits, then leave, and I’ve got a fine of 20 euros… not nice ^^ I hope this story isn’t confusing. In short, you can’t enter a metro gate and then take a train.

Can I Get An OV-Chipkaart On a Bus or Tram?

Unfortunately, you can not. You can only buy a disposable ticket on a bus or tram. It means that this card will be valid only for a specific period of time. Keep also in mind that it’s not possible to pay cash on a bus or tram. You must have a credit or debit card.


  • Don’t forget to check out when you leave a tram or bus. If you don’t check out it will empty your card and you’ll be left with no credits.
  • If you forgot to check out you can apply for the refund on OV-chipcard website – Link Here
  • If you have an old OV-chipkaart(older than 5 years) it can’t be used anymore but if you have some credits on it you can apply for a refund – Link Here

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