How to access your American cash in the Netherlands

Are you an American tourist backpacking in Netherlands, a foreign student or on a business trip? Then you will to do financial transactions using the American currency, especially if you do not have a Dutch bank account. This article details how to go about this. Many banks in the Netherlands have alliances with foreign banks, hence allowing for easy access to foreign currency. There are two main ways to access foreign money in Netherlands: Debit cards (on ATMs) and Credit cards.
ATM (CASH MACHINE)
You can use your debit card at an ATM in Netherlands to withdraw money the equivalent of your currency in euros from your checking account, using a generally acceptable and favorable rate. There are a lot of merits to the use of ATMs, as well as demerits.
Merits
• Banks in Netherlands do not charge any fees, when you use their ATMs.
• The use of ATM saves one the burden of carrying a lot of cash around and being at the risk of thievery.
• Much of the ATMs in the Netherlands have English language menus available.
• ATMs are many in the Netherlands. Just ask for directions.
• The alliance that banks in Netherlands have with foreign banks allows one to transact severally without deducting any extra usage fee.
Demerits
• It is important to verify the currency conversion fee with your banks, as they may charge 1 to 3 percent.
• You would not know what exchange rate was used in paying you, until your transaction has ended.
• It is not all foreign issued cards that work in ATMs in Netherlands. If the card has a Master card or VISA (PLUS) logo on it, it would work on any machines with the same logos.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE WHEN USING ATMs:
• Most European ATMs accept only 4- digit PIN code, any other number of code you have should be changed at your bank before your arrival
• It is important to memorize your code in numbers and not letters, as the keypads on most of the ATMs only show numbers
• Ensure you inquire from your bank about your daily spend limit. ATMs in the Netherlands equally have limits, although most banks allow extensions.
• It is advised to inform your bank when you intend leaving the country, as they may have to block your account once they notice foreign transactions on it, for your safety.
• Always check that the symbols and logos on your card tallies is also on the ATM. This will determine whether it can pay you or not. These logos signifies the cash network your card works on.

CREDIT CARDS
Your credit cards, just like debit cards would work on most ATMs in the Netherlands, particularly VISA or MasterCard, although it has its demerits, it is another safe way to access American cash while in Netherlands.
Demerits
• Many businesses in Netherlands do not accept credit cards
• It is an expensive way to obtain or spend money. Many stores and businesses add a surcharge when using credit cards, since the card issuers would charge them also.
• Most credit cards charge an extra fee for foreign transactions.
Note that as a tourist, you stand the risk of being targeted by criminal minded workers, who may swipe your card extra times when you are not watching.

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