Using Starling in the Netherlands 🇳🇱


I’ve just tried to draw cash out from an ABN-AMRO ATM and the ‘transaction could not be completed’


Also just tried GWK Travelex and didn’t work there either.


Double checked with a Nationwide Visa Debit card in the Travelex machine and all OK.

Also just checked with my Monzo pre-paid card and that worked as well…


@JamesPratley - am I right, you’ve got people monitoring for these types of events?


I’m sure I read across on Monzo that Holland has issues with MasterCard debit (not just prepaid talking CA) and uses Maestro. Visa therefore has no issues.


Interesting insight from Holland.


I should have taken photos of the two ATMs (but didn’t :frowning: ) They both had Mastercard logos on them…


The one in M&S I found that I can’t use has a MasterCard logo on it; the machine itself however identifies itself as a LINK machine before claiming a malfunction, it works with my TSB card.


How embarrassing :anguished: Prompted by the Card Declined topic, I’ve just check the card security settings and ATM withdrawals were turned off…

Lesson learned, especially as I paid more to draw the cash via my Nationwide current account.


Travelling to Amsterdam next month and of course my trusty Starling card will be coming with… Never used a card abroad (that’s terrible to some I know!) always did the old fashioned get currency over here and take cash, so this will be an experience for me to say the least :grin:


Hi @scottgale20

Do keep us posted on the Using Starling in the Netherlands 🇳🇱 thread.


Thanks @JamesPratley :grinning:


I’ve just got back from a long weekend in Amsterdam and Utrecht and my Starling card worked wonderfully.

I made a dozen or so transactions, a mix of contactless, chip and PIN, contactless and PIN, and Apple Pay.

On arrival at Schiphol Airport there is an ABN-AMRO cash machine within the baggage reclaim area which I used to take out a small amount of cash in the hope of using my Starling card for most transactions. None of the major Dutch banks (ING, ABN, Rabobank…) charge a fee to use their cash machines. They are all clearly branded and have English language options.

I lived in the Netherlands for five months last year and had a local bank account so I was well aware of the reluctance towards Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards before my weekend break, however I only encountered a problem using my Starling card once; at an Albert Heijn supermarket in Utrecht. The card machines have been set up for local customers paying by Dutch ‘betaalpas’ - Maestro and V-Pay branded cards - hence my Starling card was declined. Take cash if you’re going to the supermarket! On the contrary, the Albert Heijn To Go in Amsterdam Centraal station accepted my Starling card no problem. Perhaps the station shops are more set up for MasterCard-wielding tourists!

Dutch train ticket machines only accept coins or cards (no banknotes) so having my Starling card here was especially useful! Also the abolition of EU debit/credit transaction fees can save you a few pennies as the machines used to charge a €0.50 fee for anyone paying by Visa/Mastercard. I bought my train ticket to Amsterdam Centraal with my Starling card without having to pay a transaction fee or queue at the desk to use cash.

I loved the realtime notifications with currency conversions and how it allowed me to keep a close eye on how much money had left at all times in pounds and pence. I’m looking forward to my next trip abroad with my Starling card!


A brilliant reference guide. :grinning:


Correspondence from Mastercard Europe:

“The Netherlands has been a Maestro debit market, with close to 100% acceptance for many years. As you note in other markets we have ensured the acceptance of Debit Mastercard along side that of Maestro, and this is the plan for The Netherlands (and Belgium) to bring consistency to the global acceptance of our cards. We are working with our partner banks who issue cards, and acquirers who enable retailers to accept payments, to make this change as quickly as possible. We thank you for your patience while we get there.”


I travel to the Netherlands quite frequently now and I found that (at least in Amsterdam & Eindhoven) Startling chip & pin usually works. Apple pay sometimes…and just forget about contactless…


Albert Heijn has always been tricky with British cards… A pain in the derriere… :frowning:


Even with Dutch cards if they not a Maestro or VPay, they did not seem to like Visa Debit or Mastercard Debit!


I astounded the driver on the bus from Schipol airport by using my Starling card contactless when he was insisting I’d need my pin. " Aah , it’s magic!" He said when it worked


Most of their card machines seem to be incapable of distinguish between Mastercard Debit and Mastercard Credit…