All Dutch banks provide a similar range of services to their customers and have introduced online banking services. Unlike in some countries, cheques are not commonly used in the Netherlands. Cash machines (ATMs) are widespread. Credit/debit cards are not accepted everywhere. Dutch supermarkets generally do not accept credit cards.
Most banks offer a variety of account types. The most easily acquired accounts are:
- savings accounts (Spaarrekening)
- current accounts (Betaalrekening)
Current (checking) accounts (Betaalrekening) come with a debit card which enables you to withdraw money from ATMs and to pay in shops and restaurants.
In order to qualify for a credit card, you will require sufficient income. You will pay an annual fee and possibly an additional monthly fee for the card. The Dutch tend to use credit cards for purposes such as renting a car, buying on the internet, or when travelling abroad. Whichever bank you choose, it is recommended to obtain a bank card that can be used abroad. Look for the Maestro and Cirrus logos on bank cards, as these networks allow you to withdraw money in most countries. Withdrawing money in other EU countries is free of charge.
ATMs are called geldautomaten or pinautomaten in Dutch. Every reasonably sized town in the Netherlands has a few ATMs, and larger cities have many. It is possible to use any bank card in most ATMs in the Netherlands, regardless of which bank issued the card. For example, if you have a Rabobank card you may also use it in an ING pinautomaat at no extra charge. This is called guest use (gastgebruik) and you can only do this once a day.
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