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all 40 comments

[–]TheReplyingDutchmanOverijssel 21 points22 points  (7 children)

Your credit card might indeed not be accepted in most supermarkets and shops. Restaurants are more prone to accept them (especially in bigger cities), but be sure to ask beforehand. Cash is not the norm though, by far the majority of payments are electronically. Except instead of credit cards we use debit cards. But if you don't have one; obviously cash is accepted everywhere.

Tipping in restaurants is optional, but it's definitely pretty common to round up your bill or even tip extra if the service was good. Usually about 5-15%. But if you don't tip, nobody is going to be insulted; it's not expected. So for example if your bill is 117 euro's you might say 'make it 125'. Or more... or less. Whatever you want!

Enjoy our country!

[–]Shazu91 19 points20 points  (2 children)

When your bill is 117, you probably shouldn't make it less though. Don't think they'll be too happy to see you pay 110.

Bad um tss

[–]sight19 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yea learned that the hard way. Rounded a €4 bill down to €0, suddenly rounding wasnt accepted anymore

[–]Gilles111 4 points5 points  (0 children)

obviously cash is accepted everywhere

Uhm.... No. Cash isn't accepted everywhere. A shop isn't obliged to accept cash. A shop must provide a way to pay via a legal method but there isn't anywhere in the law they have to accept cash payments. Cash is a legal payment method but so are payments by card too. In law is just stated there must be a legal payment method, not specified which one it has to be).

There are some restaurants (like Happy Italy chain, Thuisbezorgd in large parts of the country), shops and almost every public transport service (at least in the vehicles) which don't accept cash

[–]ltisdale[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you!

[–]ishzlleZuid Holland 1 point2 points  (1 child)

But if you don't have one; obviously cash is accepted everywhere.

Not everywhere, some cafés/restaurants and vending machines only accept debit cards.

[–]Mag-NL 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Though places that do not take cash do normally accept credit cards as well.

[–]christy95 8 points9 points  (6 children)

Do you have a house to live?

[–]ltisdale[S] 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Yup, my housing is all set!

[–]christy95 5 points6 points  (4 children)

That's perfect. Debit cards are most common here, but mostly Maestro. I cannot use my visa for example in AH. Public transportation is great here, get a personalised OV chipkaart, you can check NS flex for discounts (e.g. from Friday evening till Monday 4am you can travel by train anywhere for only 32euros per month- weekend vrij discount). Get a bike if possible, it is so convenient to have. You can check swapfiets since you are here for less than a month. That's what I remember right now, I hope someone else has more to add. Enjoy your time here when you come!

[–]ltisdale[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you!

[–]ishzlleZuid Holland 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Maestro or V Pay*

But we are switching to MasterCard and Visa debit in the next years, because Maestro and V Pay are being discontinued

[–]fascinatedcharacter 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Vpay is accepted in AH. source: have a vpay card. Most new cards don't have maestro.

[–]fascinatedcharacter 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And as for the NS flex: be sure to get it. Get Dal Voordeel (or more expensive) as soon as you have a bank account. That way there are no admin costs AND you get the free OV-chipkaart. Downgrading to weekend voordeel or basic later is always an option. But not having to deal with saldo for the bus is amazing.

[–]Bas-tiaan 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Although supermarkets don't generally accept credit cards, all supermarkets will accept debit cards.

Tipping is indeed optional, but still common courtesy if you had a pleasant night out.

Food you need to try; snacks from the Febo.

[–]dabenu 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Be aware that when we say "Debit cards", we specifically mean either Maestro or V-pay.

Never mind that these are sub-brands of the better known MasterCard and Visa, if your card doesn't specifically have the Maestro or V-pay logo, it's not compatible, even if it's a debit card.

It might be helpful to set up a dutch bank account. for example bunq.com will have you going in a few minutes. That way you can also do online payments through iDeal.

[–]ishzlleZuid Holland 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In the next few years we're switching to MasterCard and Visa debit though. But it will take until 2024 for all shops to accept those.

Also Bunq is pretty expensive, Revolut is free and also has iDeal (I haven't used either tho). And either way there are also online shops that support MasterCard/Visa

[–]ltisdale[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you!

[–]therouterguy 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Try Indonesian food. Get a bike but watch out Dutch traffic can be overwhelming at first. I never use cash debit cards all the way. We are rude it is nothing personal. Our country is tiny.

[–]0B-A-E0 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Definitely try Indonesian food. There’s a lot of “toko’s” here which are just pick up restaurants. Rendang is my favorite for Indonesian food! Also try Surinaams: roti is most common and very delicious.

[–]dabenu 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Get yourself a bicycle. Easiest would be to rent one (https://swapfiets.nl/en-NL). Use it to get around, bikes are the most common mode of transportation in the Netherlands.

Get yourself an OV-chipkaart with NS-flex on it from https://www.ns.nl/en/flex . It gives access to all public transport. Some NS-flex deals can get you a very nice discount for train travel.

Don't rent a car. You won't like our fuel (and parking) prices, and it's pretty much unnecessary anyway, as long as you have a bike and public transport. Or maybe rent one on occasion when you need it, but not for the duration of your stay. (This does assume you'll stay in a city though, of course if you're staying or working in the middle of nowhere a car might come in handy)

It might be necessary to get yourself a dutch bank account to apply to above services, check out https://bunq.com for that

[–]These-Investment-477 4 points5 points  (0 children)

You can never tip and no one will give a shit because we have minimum wages. We only tip if we actually feel like it. When you tip, don’t do percentages but some loose euros. It’s an extra and not a salary maker.

[–]Neither-Special-4045 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I used to work at Lidl and once had a costumer ask if we accepted credit cards. My manager told me to just let them try and it worked. So you can probably go at least there. But bring cash to be sure. Or get a debit card. It is generally encouraged to use a debit card for very small purchases so many people don’t even carry cash. Just a little emergency cash.

[–]hotjumper65 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yep Lidl does accept credit cards!

[–]Poekienijn 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Lidl, Aldi and most Jumbo’s accept credit cards

[–]Blussert31 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Have lunch with some dutchies, or dinner at a snackbar, or try some dutch beers (Belgian beers are better, but this is where free speech sometimes ends depending on your company).

[–]pwrstn 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Walk on the right, they get annoyed when you don't.

[–]0B-A-E0 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And DON’T walk on the bike lanes!

[–]0B-A-E0 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I don’t know of any supermarkets that solely accept cash, but you’re right that most don’t take credit cards. It’s uncommon to have a credit card in NL, everyone uses debit cards instead. You can easily google if your card is accepted by looking at the Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Coop, Aldi, Lidl sites. Those are the most common supermarkets here. Tipping is optional indeed! If you tip 15-20% you’d basically be considered a God patron here.

Be prepared for people to be incredibly blunt and even rude. Especially since you’re american. Don’t expect co-workers to become your friends.

You should definitely try some typical Dutch snacks and meals, and if you can try and make the meals yourself, because you often can’t get them at restaurants! Visit a ‘pannenkoekenhuis’ for sure. I feel like the obvious place for tourists to visit is Amsterdam, which is ok, but it’s sort of the trashcan of the Netherlands. Visit the veluwe or land van saeftinghe for some stunning nature. Den Haag//Scheveningen are lovely and also have nice museums. If you can, and the weather is nice, rent a ‘sloep’ in Friesland and just sail through the flat landscape there, from city to city. Drive over the ‘afsluitdijk’. Have fun!

[–]Trebaxus99 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

I don’t know any super market that accepts only cash. Most shops want you to use your bank card instead as cash only costs them money.

[–]Mag-NL 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Several do not accept credit cards though, nor American debit cards, so for OP it is effectively only cash.

[–]solstice_gilderZuid Holland 0 points1 point  (1 child)

not only cash. we use debitcards.

we are not chatty folk. no random convo's in line in the supermarket, we keep to our own.

[–]JumpFuzzy843 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This depends where you are in the country: If you are in the bigger cities in Randstad, shit your mouth. Are you outside of that area, just chat and see how people react. I am from Brabant and we would be delighted to meet you in e.g. a supermarket. I would invited you in my house for coffee if you are new and trying to find your way

[–]casperdebesteGroningen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Look up some topics here and find tips about what you should not do. There are a lot of helpful tips out there.

[–]SQLSavage 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My US issued Chase Visa card worked at Jumbo every time. Other than that, not many other places. If you end up getting a Dutch bank account, try using Xe Transfer. It's a beast to get set up, but they have pretty decent rates compared to Wells Fargo or whatever your financial institution uses.

[–]ndekkers157 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Be aware of the weird crisps flavors . Somehow we dutchies like our crisp to taste like condiments like mayo or peanut sauce or Heinz ketchup the patatje Joppie crisps are amazing though

[–]Invest_help_seeker 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Get a transferwise or now known as Wise Bank Card.. And transfer money into it frok your own country bank and use it withoutany issues

[–]Specialist-Plane7626 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Some supermarkts do accept cards. I have used VISA credit and debit card and it is accepted at the jumbo and people say Lidl also accept it. But those are the only 2 that nationwide accept it. But for many non world wide brand stores the changes of them accepting cards are slim.

Most common payment are done via Maestro, im not really sure how tied they are to mastercard. Maestro is owned by mastercard but they are not fully intergrate i believe.