I heard before there is a lot places like supermarkets and stores accepting only Dutch cards. Is it still the case? How about buses and trains? And ATMs?
I have Revolut Visa and MC?
Here’s the background: the national system PIN was phased out in 2012. Most merchants accept Vpay and Maestro, but acceptance of Visa and Mastercard, both debit and credit, is far from good. It’s a traditional thing, where Vpay and Maestro are the successors to PIN, with lower merchant fees.
Edit: From summer this year, Mastercard will no longer issue Maestro cards. Maestro is replaced with Mastercard Debit. But since Maestro will be supported for at least until the validity of currently issued cards runs out, I don’t expect a sudden dramatic improvement of other card brands. It will happen, but I wouldn’t rely on it when planning a trip this year.
So I should get some cash unfortunately……
I understand Albert Heijn dont accept at all foreign cards……is there other big supermarkets that accept for sure Visa or MC?
It really isn’t about foreign cards. It’s about different debit card brands. Vpay is a European Debit scheme from Visa, and Maestro is a worldwide scheme by Mastercard. It’s just that both Visa and Mastercard focused on pressing their newer debit card schemes into the market for a while now, but the Netherlands were reluctant to this change of strategy.
Cash will solve card acceptance problems, but many places like restaurants will accept your card. It’s just hard to predict and it depends of course on where you’re going and what you’re going to to.
You should be fine regarding public transport. I was in Amsterdam in 2022 and both NS and GVB accepted my Debit Mastercard without any problems. Grocery shopping was a bit more tricky. Most supermarkets, including Albert Heijn (which is on every street corner in Amsterdam) were Maestro or Vpay only at the time, no luck with my Revolut card. I read on another forum that Albert Heijn started to accept Mastercard and Visa about six months ago, but it seems to be a branch by branch implementation. You could be lucky or not, it’s probably best to scout out some alternatives in advance. Albert Heijn accepts cash in most branches, but they do have some card only branches too.
Jumbo and Aldi accept Mastercard and Visa in the Netherlands. Near my hotel was a decent Spar which also accepted pretty much all cards. There may be exceptions, but I didn’t come across any restaurant that didn’t accept Visa and Mastercard, so you’re not going to starve.
You are safe with a debit Visa or Mastercard from Revolut. Currently we are in a change from Maestro and V Pay to MC and Visa debit and roughly 90% of the places you visit should accept your card now.
Almost all supermarkets (including Albert Heijn) support debit cards now. It does occur rarely that the merchant is not supporting it if they have not updated their terminals.
PS: If you still have doubts with €50 you should cover any potential risks of stores that refuse the card.
Hello @Vebaev ,
Thank you for visiting our community. Basically, acceptance of cards depends on the merchant so we can’t do much about it. But I can give some tips which will help you to prepare for your travel.
Kindly check the tips here. Happy journey.
SG | Community Team
I was unable to pay at Albet Heijn with my Mastercard only a few weeks ago.
It is indeed terrible and the problem was that the Dutch didn’t care and didn’t think it’s important to accommodate visitors. Albert Heijn are the worst. They are outdated and probably the only supermarket in the Netherlands that still operates in the 80s, like in a 3rd world country. Other supermarkets will accept cards.
So sorry to hear about your experience @Johnsmithie. Thank you for letting us know about it.
SG | Community Team
It is likely that the AH you visited is one of the few that still don’t support debit MasterCard and Visa. Been to several regular Albert Heijn stores in Amsterdam and near Amsterdam and so far I only had once or twice an issue in the last 3 weeks.
The problem is not that the supermarkets are living in the 80s, but in The Netherlands (one of the last in Europe) the main cards are Maestro and V-Pay. In fact if you show to many Dutch citizens a Debit Visa card they will think that it is a creditcard as until a few years ago all banks here only issued Maestro and Vpay cards as they were cheaper and are the standard in The Netherlands.
Like 5 years ago only the major stores that target tourists did support debit MasterCard and Visa which was in a big city as Amsterdam and Rotterdam no problem but if you went outside it was always a good idea to have cash with you.
The only reason The Netherlands is now starting to switch is because MasterCard has announced it will stop issuing Maestro cards which force the banks here to switch too.
So, for those that are traveling to The Netherlands.
As mentioned above, Mastercard & Visa can be hit-or-miss.
This is because it’s up to the merchant to decide which payment methods to accept.
And for a lot of merchants, Mastercard has a higher transaction fee. So they opt to only support Masteo or its replacement, Mastercard Debit (Not the same as mastercard but I digress)
Places like AH, unless in a tourist area, will opt to not support Mastercard because of these additional fees.
However, if you want to use Revolut while traveling without issue. A workaround is linking your card with Google Pay.
Most if not all of the country switched to tap-to-pay, and Google/Apple pay usually works, even if your card usually isn’t accepted.
Well I live in a “3rd world country” and basically everybody accepts cards here, even street vendors, I only had difficulty to pay with a card on the so called “first world countries”
I got surprised when paying with a card on a “first world country” (guess with one) and they still uses the magnetic strip of the card
I can only imagine their brain crashing out it I try to use a card without it (here on Brazil we already have a few cards that doesn’t come with it anymore).