Currency Exchange: Money can be changed in various locations around Amsterdam.
The best place to change your money is in one of the GWK Travelex shops, who have a few establishments in Amsterdam. The most central GWK Travelex shop is in Central Station. There are many others companies all over Amsterdam but their exchange rates are not as good.
A piece of advice: many places state NO COMMISSION, which means that their exchange rates are often lower than places where you pay commission. It’s hard to provide a threshold.
Words to watch out for are Verkoopt means Sell while Koopt means Buy.
A charge used to be levied on foreign transactions by all the exchange places, but competition is fierce, so now a day’s they incorporate this charge into their rate. As the saying goes “it pays to shop around”.
The worst place to change your cash is in a hotel and going to a bank in Amsterdam, as this requires queuing for a long time. All the banks are so slow. Another place worth trying is the American Express on the Damrak not far from Thomas Cook on the Dam.
Traveller’s cheques / Personal Cheques: Travellers cheques are not widely accepted as in some other cities. Maybe in hotels but try using them in most places in Amsterdam and they will look at you as if you have 2 heads. Netherlands is a cheque less society. No cheques.
To pay, one transfers the funds (if you have them) to the account of the person or company you wish to pay. You fill out a docket, drop it into a box in any branch of your bank and that’s it.
If you intend on using travellers cheques to avoid extra commission charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in Euro’s and not in their local currency. But a credit card is much more convenient.
Banks: Opening hours are: 0900-1600, Monday to Friday.
Credit and debit cards: Bank cards using the Cirrus and Maestro systems can be used at any of the ATMs in Amsterdam – If you need cash on your arrival in Amsterdam there are loads of ATMs in Schiphol airport and at Central Station.
Credit cards are not accepted in many places but this is changing over time, many restaurants and places you would naturally think would accept credit do not. So check before you sit down and order a 5-course banquet or arrive at checkout with that lovely coat or shoes you spotted. Also, many shops that do accept credit cards are now insisting on photo ID
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