Dutch NS Railways Discount (Korting) Card Options explained
NS Dutch Railways has introduced a more complicated discount card (korting kaart) structure.
The previous discount card (known as a voordeeluren) cost €55 per year and gave a 40% discount on fares for the holder and up to 3 other passengers. The discount was valid after 0900 on weekdays and at any time during weekends and July and August. The summer months were considered off-peak due to the large number of Dutch residents heading off to sunnier climes.
The discount subscriptions are now based on newly defined peak hours (spitsuren) which are weekdays 0630-0900 and 1600-1830. Up to 3 people can still travel with the card holder (samenreiskorting) at the 40% discount fare during off-peak times (daluren).
The following discount cards are effectively a personal OV-chip card, the Dutch public transport smart card ticket system which is also used for rail travel. You need to check-in and check-out of your journey. Paper tickets can still be bought for travelling companions on the samenreiskorting fare.
The new NS korting card subscriptions are as follows:
Dal Voordeel (Off-peak discount) – This effectively replaces the old card and costs €50 per year. The 40% discount is not available between the peak hours of 0630-0900 and 1600-1830. The card holder still gets the discount anytime during weekends, but the July and August peak-time discounts have been dropped. NS occasionally has special offer prices for this card – the lowest we’ve seen is €29 for the first year.
Altijd Voordeel (Anytime discount) – This gives a 20% discount off travel during peak hours (0630-0900 / 1600-1830) and a 40% discount during other times. This card costs €25 for a 1 month subscription or €240 (€20 per month) for an annual subscription.
Weekend Vrij (Weekend free travel) – This costs €40 per month 2nd class and €65 per month 1st class. This allows a 40% discount during off-peak, no discount during the weekday peak hours and free travel at the weekend, from Friday 1830 to Monday 0400.
Dal Vrij (Off-peak free travel) – This costs €99 per month 2nd class and €172 per month 1st class and allows free off-peak travel. No discount for peak time travel.
Altijd Vrij (Free travel) – This allows totally unrestricted free travel for the holder. A monthly subscription costs €382 (2nd class) or €649 (1st class). An annual subscription costs €309 per month (2nd class) or €519 per month (1st class). Annual holders can get a Dal Vrij or Weekend Vrij card for a family member for the reduced rate of €42 or €20 per month respectively.
The discount cards are valid for all domestic rail travel including the Amsterdam-Berlin IC train (supplement-free), the German ICE trains (supplement payable) and the domestic FYRA trains (supplement payable) which run between Amsterdam-Schiphol-Rotterdam-Breda on a high speed line.
Add-ons: It is possible to purchase a domestic FYRA supplement free (FYRA Altijd Toeslagvrij) add-on from €50 per month (2nd class) or €65 per month (1st class).
All discount card holder are entitled up to 3 free Kids Vrij (Kids free) subscriptions which allow children aged 4-11 to travel free with the card holder at anytime. The Kids Vrij card can also be bought separately for €15 per year for travel with an adult.
Note, those already holding an older type voordeeluren card are having the card renewed at €60 per year. Currently they are not being compelled to choose one of the newer korting options.
Senior discounts: Those aged 65+ can get the Weekend Vrij card for €20 per month (instead of €40) or the Dal Vrij for €40 (instead of €95).
Seniors 60+ who hold Dal Voordeel or Altijd Voordeel subscriptions a can pay a supplement of €14 (2nd class) or € 39 (1st class) to get 7 unrestricted free travel days (known as keuzedagen).
Buying NS disount cards: Purchase online at ns.nl using iDeal (Dutch internet banking payment), call the NS at 0900 202 1163 or visit a main station service desk. If you have a personal OV-chip card, it’s possible to buy the monthly subscriptions of Altijd Voordeel/Altijd Vrij at a station ticket machine.
Student Discounts: Those registered in further education may be eligible for the studentreisproduct (student travel product) on their OV-chip card. This gives unlimited free travel on all public transport providers including the NS. Note, this is a national scheme, not one of the NS subscriptions. The student has a choice of free weekend travel or free weekday travel – but not both. Outside the free travel period a 40% discount applies to rail travel.
Note: Updated for 2013