The use of credit cards in the Netherlands is not as well established as elsewhere with most payments being made by cash, debit cards or via internet banking. The thrifty Dutch have much less of a consumer debt culture than say US, UK or Australia and many shops in Holland still do not accept credit card payments.
However, if you are living and working in the Netherlands then it could be useful to get a credit card – especially if you need to travel frequently. A credit card is pretty much essential for international hotel and car rental bookings. In addition, paying for flights and online purchases with a credit card gives you more consumer protection than other payment methods.
If you apply for a credit card in the Netherlands, the card issuer will likely run a background credit check on the Bureau Kredietregistratie (BKR) credit register.
Dutch credit cards use the chip and pin system for making payments in retail outlets – you have to input a pin number rather than just sign a sales slip. Most cards come with a contactless payment option for transactions under €50.
Mastercard and Visa are the most widely accepted credit cards in the Dutch retail space; American Express tends to be accepted only by major retailers in the Netherlands who have an international client base – although Amex acceptance is growing.
You will not find a wide array of rewards-type cards on the Dutch credit card market, except for American Express Flying Blue and Membership Rewards cards.
In general most people will pay the full balance of their card by direct debit every month. Installment payments can be arranged but you will be charged interest costs.
Let’s take a look at the best credit cards available in the Netherlands that may be worth considering for expats and internationals.
 American Express Cards in the Netherlands
American Express (AMEX) is active in the Dutch card market though as mentioned its cards are not as widely accepted in Europe as Visa or Mastercard. American Express offers charge cards which must be paid off every month. This means there is no ongoing balance and no registration is needed with the BKR.
Forex fees for non-euro payments on its Dutch cards are 2.5%. Apple Pay is available with American Express cards.
American Express card applications can take up to 10 working days to be processed.
AMEX cards are excellent for earning miles and points. Please note, the American Express Netherlands website for personal cards (except the Platinum card) is in Dutch only!
American Express Membership Rewards Cards in the Netherlands
AMEX has a number of card options for Dutch residents which when used can earn points on their in-house reward program called Membership Rewards (MR).
This is a very flexible program with many different partners, particularly in the travel and airline sector. You can transfer your Membership Reward points into the available program of your choice.
Here is a table summary of the top 3 classic American Express cards available in the Netherlands which earn Membership Rewards points:
|Best Travel Benefits
|Best Mid-Range Card
|American Express Platinum Metal Card
|American Express Gold Card
|American Express Green Card
|€780 per year
|€240 per year
|€78 per year
|1 point per €1
|1 point per €1
|1 point per €1
American Express Platinum Metal Card
The American Express Platinum Metal Card is a high-end card with many travel privileges. It costs €65 per month or €780 annually.
It currently offers no welcome bonus. It features comprehensive travel insurance, Privium Plus membership (Schiphol border control), worldwide airport lounge access and a €300 dining credit.
1 MR point is earned for each €1 spend. You require a gross annual income of €30,000.
American Express Gold Card
The American Express Gold Card is €20 per month or €240 annually. It currently offers no welcome bonus.
It includes 4 lounge entry passes which can be used at 1,300 airports lounges worldwide and some basic travel insurance. It also has €100 dining credit and an Amazon Prime subscription.
1 MR points are earned for each €1 spend. You require a gross annual income of €20,000.
American Express Green Card
The American Express Green Card is €6.50 per month or €78 annually, currently free the first year.
It is the classic standard AMEX card – it currently offers no welcome bonus.
1 MR point is earned for each €1 spend. You require a gross annual income of €20,000.
American Express Blue Card
The American Express Blue Card (€35 annually, free first year and continues free if annual card spend is over €3,000) is the base card product and offers 1 MR point per €2 spend.
You require a gross annual income of €20,000. [If points are important to you then we would probably recommend the Green card over the Blue since both are free the first year but the Green offers 2x MR points earning rate over the Blue.]
KLM Flying Blue American Express Cards
These Amex cards could be useful for those who fly regularly with KLM/Air France/Skyteam and are members of the Flying Blue frequent flyer scheme.
The cards are offered with Flying Blue Award Mile welcome bonuses depending on various spend targets for the first 3 months – which are €5,000 (Platinum), €2,500 (Gold), €1.500 (Silver) and €500 (Entry).
The following table compares the top 3 American Express Flying Blue cards available in the Netherlands which earn Flying Blue miles.
|American Express Flying Blue Platinum Card
|American Express Flying Blue Gold Card
|American Express Flying Blue Silver Card
|€660 per year
|€198 per year
|€75 per year
|FREE first year
|10,000 bonus Miles
|5,000 bonus Miles
|2,500 bonus Miles
|1.5 Miles per €1
|1 Mile per €1
|0.8 Mile per €1
American Express Flying Blue Platinum Card
The top-of-the-range Flying Blue Platinum Card (€660 per year) comes with a potential welcome bonus of 10,000 Flying Blue miles, comprehensive travel insurance and 60 XP points for elite status.
The card’s earning rates are 1.5 miles per €1 spend and 2 miles (award and level) per €1 spend at KLM/Air France.
You require a gross annual income of €30,000.
American Express Flying Blue Gold Card
The Flying Blue Gold Card (€198 per year) offers a potential welcome bonus 5,000 Flying Blue miles and 30 XP points for elite status.
The card’s earning rates are 1 mile per €1 spend and 1.5 miles (award and level) per €1 spend at KLM/Air France.
You require a gross annual income of €20,000.
American Express Flying Blue Silver Card
The Flying Blue Silver Card (€75, free the first year) comes with a potential welcome bonus of 2,500 Flying Blue miles and 15 XP points for elite status.
The card’s earning rates are 0.8 miles per €1 spend and 1 mile per €1 spend at KLM/Air France.
You require a gross annual income of €20,000.
American Express Flying Blue Entry Card
The Flying Blue Entry Card (€36 per year, free the first year) is the base Flying Blue card product. It features a potential 1,000 mile welcome bonus and an earning rate of 1 miles per €2 spend (effectively 0.5 miles per €1).
You require a gross annual income of €20,000.
For a more detailed overview of all the above cards then please see American Express Cards in the Netherlands – A Complete Guide
 Visa and Mastercard (Generic Cards)
ICS (International Card Services) offers the choice of generic Visa and Mastercards. You will require a net monthly salary of €1,150 for most cards (€1,250 for the Mastercard Black card). Non-euro forex charges are generally 2%. All cards have a credit limit of up to €5,000.
The cards can be administered via the ICS online portal or app. These cards are stand alone and are not tied to having a bank account.
Visa World Cards
There are 3 Visa World cards available on the Dutch market issued by ICS.
The standard Visa World Card costs €36.50 per year (free first year) and offers 180 day purchase protection. Apply for the Visa World Card here
The Visa World Card Gold (pictured) costs €55 per year though the first year is charged at €36.50. It offers 365 day purchase protection. Apply for the Visa World Card Gold here
The Visa World Card Platinum costs €154 per year though the first year is half-price at €77. It offers 365 day purchase protection and some travel insurance. Apply for the Visa World Card Platinum here
The pre-paid ICS GO card costs €65 for a 3 year period and offers 180 day purchase protection. It has no income or credit check.
Mastercards from ICS
ICS also offers 3 generic Mastercards which again are stand-alone products.
The standard Mastercard Classic Card costs €26 per year and offers 180 day purchase protection and some basic travel insurance.
The Mastercard Gold Card costs €37.50 per year. It offers 365 day purchase protection and some basic travel insurance.
The Mastercard Black Card (pictured) costs €204 per year. The Black card comes with 365 day purchase protection and comprehensive travel insurance. It also offers comprehensive Priority Pass airport lounge access (which normally costs €459 in its own right). Apply for the Mastercard Black Card here
 Dutch Bank Credit Cards (account holders only)
If living in Holland it is important to open a Dutch bank account in order to function financially. Most banks will offer clients the possibility to apply for a credit card. In general you must be a client of the bank to apply for one of the following cards.
ABN Amro Credit Cards
ABN AMRO has a very good banking service for Netherlands-based expats with much information available in English. If you choose to bank with ABN AMRO then its branded Mastercard credit card offerings (issued by ICS, International Card Services) will probably be an easy option.
It is possible to open an ABN AMRO bank account online here (English) in around 10 minutes without the need to visit a branch by using the ABN AMRO app.
The ABN AMRO Credit Card has a credit limit of up to €5,000 and the monthly fee is €1.70 (€20.40 per year). It has 180 day purchase protection.
To qualify for the standard card you must be earning at least €1,150 net per month (about €15,000 gross per year).
The ABN AMRO Gold Card also has a credit limit of up to €5,000 and costs €3.90 (€46.80 per year). It includes some car rental insurance and 365 day purchase protection. It also requires a minimum monthly net income of €1,150.
The ABN AMRO ICS GO Card is a pre-paid card which requires no income and credit check. It offers 180 day purchase protection. It costs €65 for a 3 year period.
Forex fees for non-euro payments using ABN AMRO credit cards are charged at 2%.
Once you have an ABN AMRO account you can apply for one of its credit cards by logging into the ABN AMRO online banking portal. The initial application can be made in English. It then takes around 10 working days for ICS to approve your application – they may ask for income verification documents. More info on ABN AMRO credit cards is here
The card can be managed online at the ABN AMRO/ICS portal. You can also add the card to the ABN AMRO app to view transactions.
ING Credit Cards
Major retail bank ING also offers its own branded Mastercards. There are 3 cards available with ING banking packages – Creditcard, PlatinumCard and Student Creditcard.
The ING Creditcard costs €19.80 per year with a credit limit of between €1,000 and €5,000. It has 180 day purchase protection.
The ING PlatinumCard costs €52.20 per year with a credit limit of between €1,000 and €20,000. It has 365 day purchase protection. It comes with some additional car rental and travel delay insurance.
Either card requires a minimum monthly income of €650 to be paid into your ING account.
The ING Student CreditCard costs €14.40 per year with credit limit of €1,000. It has 180 day purchase protection.
ING charges a forex fee of 2% for non-Euro payments. The cards can be managed at the ‘Mijn ING‘ online portal or its mobile banking app – these do have an English version available.
Knab Credit Cards
Online bank Knab (part of Aegon Group, a large financial services company) offers account package holders the option of having a Knab Credit Card (Mastercard) or an American Express Green Card.
The Knab Mastercard is freely included in the standard Knab Plus banking package which costs from €6 per month. Credit limits range from €1,000 to €5,000. The card offers 180 day purchase protection and the forex fee for non-euro payments is 2%. You require a monthly net income of €1,150.
The AMEX Green Card is free the first year, then costs €66 per year – however the fee is waived if you spend a minimum of €1,500 on the card over the year. It comes with 5,500 Membership Rewards bonus points on opening. Non-euro payment fee is 2.5%. A minimum income of €20,000 per year is required.
Rabobank Credit Cards
Major Dutch retail bank Rabobank has its own branded “RaboCard” Mastercards and Visa cards for customers who have one of their various banking packages. Depending on the package, the cards are either free or attract a surcharge of up to €2 per month.
The standard RaboCard has a basic credit limit of €1,000 and offers 180 day purchase protection. The Rabo GoldCard has a basic €2,500 credit limit – although higher limits are offered to premium package customers. The Gold card has 360 day purchase protection.
Forex fees for non-euro payments on Rabo cards are 2%. A minimum monthly net income of €1,000 is required.
Rabobank does not offer an English portal for customers.
Volksbank Credit Cards (ASN Bank and SNS Bank)
ASN Credit Card – Ethical bank ASN (part of de Volksbank group) offers a branded Visa credit card issued by ICS which costs €26 per year. A credit limit of up between €1,000 and €5,000 is available. Each time you use the card ASN will make a small donation to a ‘sustainable’ project. Forex fees for non-euro payments are 2% and it offers 180 day purchase protection The card is only available to ASN account holders; no English portal is available.
SNS Bank Credit Card – SNS Bank (also part of de Volksbank) offers a branded Visa issued by ICS which costs €24 per year or €14 for student account holders. A credit limit from €1,000 to €5,000 is available. Forex fees for non-euro payments are also 2%. The card is only available to SNS account holders; no English portal is available.
 ANWB Credit Cards
ANWB (Royal Dutch Touring Club) is the main motoring association of the Netherlands (like AA, RAC in the UK or AAA in the US). It offers basic membership and breakdown service for cars and cyclists.
It gives members the possibility to apply for one of 3 ANWB-branded credit cards – these are also issued by ICS.
The standard ANWB Visa Classic Card costs €16 per year and has 180 day purchase protection.
The ANWB Visa Silver Card is €26.50 per year though free the first year. It has 270 day purchase protection.
The ANWB Visa Gold Card is €38.50 per year, half-price the first year at €19.25. It gives 365 day purchase protection.
Credit limits are up to €5,000. The Silver and Gold cards offer extra car rental insurance policies.
A required net monthly salary of €1,150 for the ANWB cards. Non-euro forex charges are 2%.
Note: Credit card names and images above are registered trademarks. You should pay your credit card balance in full every month. As the Dutch say “Let op! Geld lenen kost geld” which basically means “borrowing money costs money”! Terms, conditions and prices can change – please check the card issuers.
We are not offering any financial advice or discussing borrowing interest rates, we are merely describing the main card benefits and features.
This article was first published in 2011, last update 23 November 2023.
Links on AmsterdamTips.com may pay us an affiliate commission.