The public transport OV-chipcard
The OV-chipcard is an electronic form of payment for travel on all public transport vehicles, which is an exclusive ticket form in Amsterdam and since summer of 2014 chip-card is also the only possible form of payment on all train communication in the country run by NS - Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways). You may now travel through the public transport in the whole country with one charge card. A credit card size OV-chpicard carries a memory chip, which registers your credit and deducts the cost of each journey from it.
Chip-in and chip-out
Entering the tram, train or a bus you have to flash your card in front of the special sensor placed inside the vehicle at the door (so called chipping-in), leaving you flash it again (chipping-out) and the cost of your journey is deducted automatically from your card.
If you forget to chip-out the card exiting the vehicle, the system will charge you the maximum charge of €4.
The OV-chipcards system
Amsterdam residents use personal OV-chipcards. For a visitor an anonymous OV-chipcard, which can be purchased in many supermarkets, press shops and GVB offices, is a better choice. It costs € 7,50 and it is valid for 5 years, but it carries no credit. To travel you have to download the credit at special machines located at the stations and at the entry of many supermarkets.
To travel on trains you will have to set on your card which class you intend to travel. This setting may be changed on the train station with a special vending machine. You don't need any additional setting to travel by bus or tram in other cities in the Netherlands.
Tourist best choice
If you are in Amsterdam only for a visit, more simple and more economical are 24-, 48-, 72-, 96-, 120-, 144- and 168- hour OV-chipcards, which allow for unlimited travel on all trams, buses, metros and night buses for the duration of the card.
One very economical option for visitors on a day trip to Amsterdam is the All Amsterdam Transport Pass. This works as a 24-hour pass for all GVB transport such as trams, buses and the metro as well as being a one day ticket for the city's popular canal bus and granting discounts to popular attractions and restaurants.
You may buy All-in One Travel Tickets upon your arrival on Schiphol Airport at Holland International tourist information desk (opposite Arrival Hall 2, open daily from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.).
GVB customer service phone: 0900-8011