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Safe travels! ️
The Netherlands use the Euro (€)
Monzo users pay the MasterCard exchange rate with no added fees.
Card acceptance in The Netherlands is generally a bit of a lottery. The concept of a debit card from MasterCard or Visa is not widely understood — often you’ll be told “we don’t take credit cards” and they only accept Mæstro. Payments will sometimes work and sometimes not, but there unfortunately does not seem to be much rhyme or reason. Tourist heavy areas are much more likely to work.
It’s impossible to use Monzo cards in most Albert Heijn supermarkets as they are not accepted - only Maestro debit cards. Self-service tills are a no-no so you’ll need to withdraw cash and use the staffed tills with longer queues. The same will be true anywhere that says they only take debit cards.
However, contactless often works — if they support it. (Most contactless limits are €25). In most stores tap your card on the left hand panel of the machine - sometimes you need to enter your pin as well.
Many other places, especially in larger cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht now only accept card payments, no matter how small the value of the transaction. Monzo seems to work fine here.
Ticket machines at Amsterdam Centraal work with problems but you will have to pay fees.
Ticket machines at Schiphol train station (airport) and across the rest of the country charge €0.50 to use “credit cards” i.e. Visa/Mastercard. Maestro is free to use. You can only pay with coins at some machines, so best to get cash out at the nearby ATMs and go to customer services to buy a ticket. Metro ticket machines don’t have this charge.
Recommend getting tickets that cover your whole stay since single trip ticket prices are expensive, eg 2/4 day tickets- these cover the buses, trams, and metro. If you run into problems at ticket machines don’t expect staff to be around much unless it’s a major station (Centraal station), you often see people barge through the barriers without paying as well.
In Rotterdam, tickets bought on the tram can only be paid for in cash - €3.50 for a ticket valid for unlimited use for 2 hours. It is better to buy a 24 hour Disposable OV-Chpkaart from a ticket machine at a metro station. These cost €8 and you can pay using a Monzo card with no trouble.
ATMs are a similar story to general card acceptance. ABN Amro and Travelex machines work fine. ING and Rabobank don’t work. Managed to get money from a Rabobank ATM on 2018-08-24 without problem.
Payment and withdrawal limits
All Monzo cards have some payment and withdrawal limits. To check yours before you leave, go to your Profile section of the app and tap on Limits.
Crowdsourced merchant data
The Monzo merchant data is often incorrect (eg. the map shows the wrong location or the name of the place is not correct). Please submit improvements to this data so it can get better for future visitors.
If you visit the Van Gogh museum, book tickets online and save to Apple Wallet/ Google Wallet. Price is €17 for adults. You will spend up to 1-2 hours waiting if you buy tickets on the spot.
Just like the ticket machines at many train stations, when booking train tickets online, you need a Dutch bank account for the NS site. There is a handy day train pass for €19 with a free cake and drink (http://m.spoordeelwinkel.nl/product/dagje-uit-laplace) which allows you to travel anywhere in the Netherlands. This is handy as train prices can be very expensive between cities (cheapest option is sometimes already €40 for return tickets). You can only pay with a Dutch account or some sort of coupon and the site for the page is solely in Dutch Booking tickets on the NS app can be paid for with any card/PayPal/ etc., but not for this deal.
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