American Express in the Netherlands: The Ultimate Guide [2021]

Last updated: March 19, 2021 [Click here to jump to Exclusive 20,000 Points/Miles Offer Below]

The Netherlands is not famous for its love of credit cards. For many here, there is a strong association between credit cards and debt — when you add in the fact that these cards often charge an annual fee, for a lot of people that’s a deal breaker.

But you can use these cards to your advantage. And for those who value free travel, airline status and lounge access, American Express cards have become a valuable tool in getting a slice of the high life for a low cost.

So whether you’re Dutch or an expat, here’s everything you need to know about Amex in the Netherlands.

The ultimate guide to American Express in the Netherlands

For full disclosure this article contains referral links. If you click on them, we may receive compensation.

We update this article regularly but some details may not be up to date. Always check the American Express NL website for the latest info.

Are American Express cards in the Netherlands credit cards?

You may be surprised to hear that Amex cards in the Netherlands are not credit cards but charge cards. The difference is pretty simple: while on credit cards you can carry a balance over each month (and usually pay interest on it), you’re expected to pay off a charge card in full every month.

Membership Reward points

This is why most people apply for American Express Cards. As you spend money on your card, you earn Amex Membership Reward points. How many you earn depends on which card you have — with the top tier Platinum Card you get 1.5 MR points for every €1 spent but with the lowest tier Blue Card it’s only 1 MR point for every €2.

You can then transfer Membership Reward points you’ve earned to Amex partners to redeem against flights and hotel stays. Other options are to donate your MR points to charity or use them to reduce your monthly bill (making it effectively cash-equivalent). We’ll speak a little more about these options later on.

The different types of cards

American Express cards can be split into three portfolios: the confusingly named ‘American Express’ cards (we’ll call them ‘regular’ cards), Flying Blue cards and Business cards.

Regular cards

The regular American Express cards in the Netherlands

This portfolio is made up of The Blue Card, The Green Card, The Gold Card and The Platinum Card.

The Platinum Card

The American Express Platinum Metal card

The Platinum Card is the top tier regular card. The latest version is metal (pretty cool) and it includes Privium access at Schiphol airport, as well as unlimited lounge access for two people in almost every airport in the world through Priority Pass.

You also benefit from status in 14,000 hotels worldwide, which gives you things like late check out, early check in, room upgrades and up to €500 in hotel credits per stay.

It costs €58.50 per month, although your first year is discounted by 50%. It earns 1.5 Membership Reward points per euro you spend. At the moment there is no official welcome bonus from Amex NL for this card.

The travel insurance is extremely comprehensive and includes:

  • Up to €3,000,000 in medical costs
  • Up to €3,000 per trip for lost or stolen items
  • Up to €10,000 for the cancellation or postponement of a trip
  • Up to €75,000 travel accident insurance
  • Up to €400 for travel inconvenience per claim after a four-hour luggage delay
  • Up to €200 for travel inconvenience per claim after a four-hour flight delay
  • Up to €75,000 in car rental insurance and €750,000 liability

The purchase insurance is also extremely comprehensive and includes:

  • Purchases insured against damage and theft for up to 240 days (up to €2,500 per event)
  • Refunds for items stores won’t take back. Claims within 90 days (up to €600 per event)

Platinum Card holders can also get one extra Platinum Card and four extra Gold Cards to give to friends and family — helping you to accrue points even faster. There are also benefits at events, concerts and special restaurants, which will be sent to you by email.

Bottom line on The American Express Platinum Card in the Netherlands:

This is a great card to flex with (it is metal after all). But it can also be incredible value: the first year’s fee (with 50% discount) is €351, which can easily be offset with the Priority Pass and Privium memberships. When you add in the points-earning potential, hotel perks and excellent insurance, it really is one to consider.

Apply for the American Express Platinum Card (20,000 bonus points + 50% discount)

The Gold Card

The American Express Gold card

The Gold Card is arguably the most popular in this portfolio. This is probably because it gives you two lounge passes per year through Priority Pass (which can be used in just about every airport in the world) and a €75 travel voucher, which can be spent through the American Express Netherlands travel portal. Unlike The Platinum Card, it’s plastic and not metal.

You also benefit from free upgrades in 5,000 hotels worldwide and up to €85 in hotel credits per stay.

It costs €16.50 per month, although your first year is discounted by 50%. It earns 1.2 Membership Reward points per euro you spend. At the moment there is no official welcome bonus from Amex NL for this card.

The travel insurance is great and includes:

  • Up to €1,500,000 in medical costs
  • Up to €350 per trip for lost or stolen items
  • Up to €4,500 for the cancellation or postponement of a trip
  • Up to €50,000 travel accident insurance
  • Up to €275 for travel inconvenience per claim after a four-hour luggage delay
  • Up to €150 for travel inconvenience per claim after a four-hour flight delay

The purchase insurance is also great and includes:

  • Purchases insured against damage and theft for up to 180 days (up to €1,400 per event)
  • Refunds for items stores won’t take back. Claims within 90 days (up to €400 per event)

Gold Card holders can also get two extra Gold Cards to give to friends and family — helping you with your points and miles targets.

Bottom line on the American Express Gold Card in the Netherlands:

This card is a great all-rounder. The two annual lounge passes and points-earning potential gives you a little taste of luxury while you save up for those big trips in business class. The first year’s fee (with 50% discount) is €99, which can easily be offset with the Priority Pass lounge passes and €75 travel voucher.

Apply for the American Express Gold Card (20,000 bonus points + first year free)

The Green Card

The American Express Green card

The Green Card has that classic American Express retro design and is arguably the most recognisable of the portfolio. Its lower monthly fee means you give up quite a few benefits of the Gold and Platinum.

It costs €5.50 per month, although the first year is free. It earns 1 Membership Reward point per euro you spend. At the moment there is no official welcome bonus from Amex NL for this card.

The travel insurance is okay and includes:

  • Up to €150,000 travel accident insurance (in case of death by public transport)
  • Up to €175 for travel inconvenience per claim after a four-hour luggage delay
  • Up to €100 for travel inconvenience per claim after a four-hour flight delay

The purchase insurance is also okay and includes:

  • Purchases insured against damage and theft for up to 90 days (up to €700 per event)
  • Refunds for items stores won’t take back. Claims within 90 days (up to €300 per event)

Green Card holders can also get two extra Green Cards to give to friends and family — helping you get one step closer to that dream hotel room or flight.

Bottom line on The American Express Green Card in the Netherlands:

If you want to dip your toe in the American Express water, this is a card to consider. The free first year makes it a no brainer and essentially gives you some free travel protection for the first 365 days. If it’s the zero fee in year one that is tempting you, take a look at this exclusive offer for the Gold Card — which also has no charge for the first year.

Apply for the American Express Green Card (5,000 bonus points + first year free)

The Blue Card

The American Express Blue card

The Blue Card has a pretty unique look to it, so you won’t go unnoticed. As it’s the free, entry card, it gives up a lot of what the other three in this portfolio offer. But it is a chance to get started with American Express with limited commitment.

It costs €0 per year, although you have to spend €3000. If you don’t spend €3000, it will cost you €35 per year. It earns 1 Membership Reward point per two euros you spend. At the moment there is no official welcome bonus from Amex NL for this card.

The travel insurance is not at all comprehensive but there is some cover:

  • Up to €100,000 travel accident insurance (in case of death by public transport)
  • There is no travel inconvenience for flight or luggage delays

The purchase insurance is good for a free card:

  • Purchases insured against damage and theft for up to 90 days (up to €500 per event)
  • Refunds for items stores won’t take back. Claims within 90 days (up to €250 per event)

Blue Card holders can also get two extra Blue Cards to give to friends and family — helping you slowly (but surely) build up your points.

Bottom line on The American Express Blue Card in the Netherlands:

If paying an annual fee is a deal-breaker for you, then this card may be worth considering. However, you must be sure you can spend at least €3000 on this card per year — otherwise you will be charged a €35 annual fee.

Apply for the American Express Blue Card (0 bonus points at this time)

Overview

Here’s an overview of all the regular American Express Cards in the Netherlands:

An overview of the regular American Express cards

Apply for Platinum (20,000 POINTS)
Apply for Gold(20,000 POINTS)
Apply for Green (5,000 POINTS)
Apply for Blue (NO BONUS)

Flying Blue cards

American Express likes to partner up with an airline in many countries, and the Netherlands is no different. Cards in this portfolio don’t earn Membership Reward points but Flying Blue Miles, which can be used to purchase KLM and Air France flights — as well as flights with Flying Blue partner airlines.

Flying Blue American Express cards in the Netherlands

Every card from the Silver up comes with XP (Flying Blue Experience Points), which can be used to gain status within the Flying Blue programme. The number of XP you receive each year depends on the card you have.

This portfolio is made up of The Entry Level Card, The Silver Card, The Gold Card and The Platinum Card. All of the cards in this portfolio allow you to ‘Fly now, Pay later’, which means you can pay for KLM and Air France flights in instalments. Spending on any of these cards will also extend your whole Flying Blue points balance by two years, which is actually very handy.

Let’s look at some of the differences:

The Flying Blue Platinum Card

The Flying Blue Platinum Card

The Platinum Card is the top tier Flying Blue card. It will get you 60 XP per year and allows you to share your Flying Blue Platinum status. It also comes with car rental privileges.

It costs €600 per year, although your first year is discounted by 50%. It earns 1.5 Flying Blue Miles per euro you spend, and 2 Miles per euro you spend with KLM, Air France and Hertz. The official welcome bonus for this card is 15,000 Miles.

The travel insurance is extremely comprehensive and includes:

  • Up to €3,000,000 in medical costs
  • Up to €3,000 per trip for lost or stolen items
  • Up to €10,000 for the cancellation or postponement of a trip
  • Up to €75,000 travel accident insurance
  • Up to €400 for travel inconvenience per claim after a four-hour luggage delay
  • Up to €200 for travel inconvenience per claim after a four-hour flight delay
  • Up to €75,000 in car rental insurance and €750,000 liability

The purchase insurance is also extremely comprehensive and includes:

  • Purchases insured against damage and theft for up to 240 days (up to €2,500 per event)
  • Refunds for items stores won’t take back. Claims within 90 days (up to €600 per event)

Flying Blue Platinum Card holders can also get one extra FB Platinum Card and four extra FB Gold Cards to give to friends and family — helping you to build up a healthy pot of Miles. There are also benefits at events, concerts and special restaurants, which will be sent to you by email.

Bottom line on The Flying Blue Platinum Card in the Netherlands:

This card could be just the ticket for someone who values Flying Blue status. This portfolio of American Express cards is the only way to earn XP without flying, and The Platinum will give you a whopping 60 XP to top-up your balance. The annual fee is a hefty €600 but this is brought down to €300 for the first year (with the 50% discount).

Apply for the American Express Flying Blue Platinum Card (20,000 bonus Miles + 50% discount)

The Flying Blue Gold Card

The Flying Blue Gold Card

The Gold Card is a real favourite amongst frequent fliers in the Netherlands. It will get you 30 XP per year and a level of insurance that most would be happy with It also comes with car rental privileges.

It costs €170 per year, although your first year is discounted by 50%. It earns 1 Flying Blue Mile per euro you spend, and 1.5 Miles per euro you spend with KLM, Air France and Hertz. The official welcome bonus for this card is 7,500 Miles.

The travel insurance is great and includes:

  • Up to €1,500,000 in medical costs
  • Up to €350 per trip for lost or stolen items
  • Up to €4,500 for the cancellation or postponement of a trip
  • Up to €50,000 travel accident insurance
  • Up to €275 for travel inconvenience per claim after a four-hour luggage delay
  • Up to €150 for travel inconvenience per claim after a four-hour flight delay

The purchase insurance is also great and includes:

  • Purchases insured against damage and theft for up to 180 days (up to €1,400 per event)
  • Refunds for items stores won’t take back. Claims within 90 days (up to €400 per event)

Flying Blue Gold Card holders can also get two extra FB Gold Cards to give to friends and family — getting you on your way to becoming a (points and miles) millionaire.

Bottom line on The Flying Blue Gold Card in the Netherlands:

This card lacks the two annual lounge passes and €75 travel voucher of its ‘regular’ Gold cousin, so why is this card such a favourite amongst frequent fliers? Three words: Flying Blue status. The 30 XP that this card earns you each year can be the difference between Silver and Gold FB status for many fliers (Gold includes lounge access). Throw in the great travel insurance this card has to offer, and it’s the best option for a lot of people.

Apply for the American Express Flying Blue Gold Card (20,000 bonus Miles + free first year)

The Flying Blue Silver Card

The Flying Blue Silver Card

With its first free year, The Silver Card is the option for those who want XP and Miles and zero cost. It will get you 15 XP per year and reasonable insurance. It also comes with car rental privileges.

It costs €75 per year, although your first year is free. It earns 0.8 Flying Blue Miles per euro you spend, and 1 Mile per euro you spend with KLM, Air France and Hertz. The official welcome bonus for this card is 2,500 Miles.

The travel insurance is okay and includes:

  • Up to €150,000 travel accident insurance (in case of death by public transport)
  • Up to €175 for travel inconvenience per claim after a four-hour luggage delay
  • Up to €100 for travel inconvenience per claim after a four-hour flight delay

The purchase insurance is also okay and includes:

  • Purchases insured against damage and theft for up to 90 days (up to €700 per event)
  • Refunds for items stores won’t take back. Claims within 90 days (up to €300 per event)

Flying Blue Silver Card holders can also get two extra FB Silver Cards to give to friends and family — so others can help you to boost your miles balance.

Bottom line on The Flying Blue Silver Card in the Netherlands:

If you want to begin collecting Flying Blue Miles in a semi-serious way, this card could be the option for you. The free first year makes it an easy choice and essentially gives you a reasonable level of travel cover for nothing. If it’s the €0 fee in the first year that is making you consider this card, take a look at this exclusive offer for the Flying Blue Gold Card — which also has no charge for the first year and includes 20,000 free Miles.

Apply for the American Express Flying Blue Silver Card (5,000 bonus Miles + free first year)

The Flying Blue Entry Card

The Flying Blue Entry Card

The Entry Card is, in theory, the cheapest way to grab yourself a Flying Blue Amex. But given the higher status Silver Card is free for the first year, it’s a difficult sell. It won’t get you any XP and it comes with very little insurance. It doesn’t come with car rental privileges

It costs €35 per year, and this is payable from the first year. It earns 0.8 Flying Blue Miles per euro you spend, including with KLM, Air France and Hertz. The official welcome bonus for this card is 2,500 Miles.

The travel insurance is not at all comprehensive but there is some cover:

  • Up to €100,000 travel accident insurance (in case of death by public transport)
  • There is no travel inconvenience for flight or luggage delays

The purchase insurance is good for a free card:

  • Purchases insured against damage and theft for up to 90 days (up to €500 per event)
  • Refunds for items stores won’t take back. Claims within 90 days (up to €250 per event)

Flying Blue Entry Card holders can also get two extra FB Entry Cards to give to friends and family — consider them your little helpers in your mission to build points and miles.

Bottom line on The Flying Blue Entry Card in the Netherlands:

At €35 per year, this card is the cheapest way to start earning Flying Blue Miles on your purchases. But since the Silver Card is free for the first year, this card is difficult to recommend. Another option? Opt for the FB Silver Card and downgrade after your first year.

Apply for the American Express Flying Blue Entry Card (0 bonus points at this time)

Flying Blue Overview

Here’s an overview of the Flying Blue American Express Cards in the Netherlands:

An overview of the Flying Blue American Express cards

Apply for Flying Blue Platinum (20,000 MILES)
Apply for Flying Blue Gold (20,000 MILES)
Apply for Flying Blue Silver (5,000 MILES)
Apply for Flying Blue Entry (NO BONUS)

Business Cards

If you own your own company, you may want to consider an American Express Business Card. There are six different cards in this portfolio, in order to meet the needs of different businesses. You can compare them here on the Amex website.

American Express Netherlands has a large portfolio of business cards

Centurion Card

You may have heard that American Express has a Centurion Card or ‘Black Card’. This is an exclusive card with an unlimited spending limit and special concierge service.

The Black Card is available in the Netherlands but it is invite only. Your best chance of getting one is getting an Amex Platinum Card and waiting for the invite.

The Amex Centurion card is invite only

Insurance

After earning Membership Reward points or Flying Blue Miles, the extensive coverage on American Express cards in the Netherlands is usually the main motivating factor for applying.

The level of insurance you get depends on the card you have.

As an example, if you pay for a holiday with your American Express Gold Card and lose your luggage, you can claim up to €700 back. This will be less with the Green and more with the Platinum.

As well as excellent travel insurance, American Express cards in the Netherlands often include refunds for items that stores refuse to take back, insurance on items that have been damaged or stolen, as well as money back for undelivered purchases.

Like with all credit cards, you can also request a chargeback on any American Express cards. So when you’re not given a refund you are entitled to, Amex will give you the money back instead.

To see the insurance and travel cover in more detail, just scroll up to the in-depth card reviews.

Refer friends to earn more Membership Reward points (or Flying Blue Miles)

Apart from spending on your card, there is another way you can earn points — by referring friends. Since it saves Amex a bundle on marketing, they’re happy to reward you with MR points or Flying Blue Miles if someone you know applies for a card and is accepted.

American Express Netherlands are particularly generous, sometimes offering up to 20,000 MR points or Flying Blue Miles. For most, this is the best way to accrue a lot of points in a short amount of time.

Once you have your American Express card, you can find your personal referral link in your online account or in the app. If your friend uses this link, you’ll both be rewarded with points and they will often (depending on the card) get their first year free.

One thing to remember is that you can only refer friends to cards in your own portfolio. For example, you can’t refer a friend to a Flying Blue card if you are a regular American Express card holder and vice-versa.

The maximum number of MR points and Flying Blue Miles you can earn through the Amex ‘Refer a friend’ programme in the Netherlands is 175,000 per year. Compared to other countries, this is actually very generous. If you have a regular card and a Flying Blue card, you could earn up to 175,000 Miles and 175,000 MR points per annum — on top of points for spending.

Where can I use my American Express card in the Netherlands?

Traditionally, the Netherlands has been a terrible place to use any credit or charge card, since most places only accept cash or Maestro.

But over the past few years, things have gotten considerably better. You can now use your American Express card at Kruidvat, Dirk, Jumbo, HEMA, IKEA and other larger chains.

You can use your American Express card at many large, Dutch stores

You can also use it to purchase flights with most airlines (including with KLM, EasyJet and Transavia) and to buy tickets or top up your OV chip-kaart with NS.

Most international online stores, such as ASOS and Zalando accept it too. There’s also a little hack for online stores that don’t: you can use your Amex through PayPal for free and, of course, you still get those all-important MR points.

Spending Membership Reward points

The fun part. American Express Netherlands has quite a good selection of transfer partners, but they do tend to favour the people who like to travel.

Membership Reward points can be transferred at a 5:4 ratio with most airlines and alliances, such as British Airways and Iberia Avios, Flying Blue and Finnair. That means if you had 5000 MR points, you could get yourself 4000 Flying Blue points to redeem against Air France and KLM flights.

American Express Netherlands has a number of transfer partners

You can also transfer MR points to hotel programmes — Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy have a 1:1 ratio.

Transfers can take up to 15 days, so deciding what you want to do with your MR points in advance is pretty crucial. Since Amex NL (unlike other markets like Amex Spain and the Amex US) don’t tend to have promotions where you can boost your points ratio (e.g. 25% extra Avios in December) it’s worth transferring to Amex partners as soon as you know what you want to do with your MR points.

As mentioned earlier there is an option to use MR points to pay off some of your monthly bill to Amex, essentially turning your points into cash. However, this earning ratio is very poor — it’s usually not recommended. You can also give your points to charity.

If you have a Flying Blue American Express card, you’ll receive Flying Blue Miles straight into your Flying Blue account monthly. There is no option for collecting MR points with this portfolio of cards.

Here is a full list of American Express Netherlands transfer partners with the earnings ratios.

Airline partners:

Alitalia (5:4)

Asia Miles (5:4)

British Airways Executive Club (5:4)

Delta SkyMiles (3:1)

Finnair Plus (5:4)

Flying Blue (5:4)

Iberia Plus (5:4)

SAS EuroBonus (Scandinavian Airlines) (3:2)

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (5:4)

Hotel partners:

Hilton Honors (1:1)

Marriott Bonvoy (1:1)

Radisson Rewards (1:2)

Forex fee

If you’re using your American Express card in a country that doesn’t use the Euro (such as in the UK or US), you will be charged a 2.3% foreign exchange fee with purchases made with you American Express card.

Applying for an American Express card

Getting an American Express card has become easier over the past couple of years, since they seem to have removed the minimum salary requirements for applicants (although they will still ask you for this information).

However, you will need to be 18 or over and not be holding a negative BKR registration. You’ll also need a residential address in the Netherlands.

The application form is all online and very straightforward. If you’re approved you should receive your new American Express card within 10 working days.

The application process is very simple

Ready to apply? These exclusive offers for The Gold Card and Flying Blue Gold Card each get you the first year free and 20,000 MR points/FB Miles.

Apply for American Express Gold

Apply for American Express Flying Blue Gold

Dutch or English?

With the exception of the ‘Company Card’ section, the whole of the Netherlands Amex website is in Dutch. However, it is easy enough to navigate using Google Translate.

When you call Customer Service you can select the options in Dutch or English — and, like most people in the Netherlands, all of the American Express agents speak excellent English.

Quick fire questions

Are American Express cards in the Netherlands contactless?
Yes, all Amex cards in the NL can be used for contactless payments.

Is there an app?
Yes, the American Express app in the Netherlands is pretty good, with a clear overview of the cards you have and how much you’ve spent. It’s available for both Android and iOS.

Do the cards have Apple Pay?
Yes, all Amex cards in the NL can be used with Apple Pay.

American Express Netherlands can be used with Apple Pay

An important note:

Using American Express cards is a great strategy for earning points and miles. But if you know you won’t be able to pay off your card in full each month, DO NOT apply for a credit card or charge card.

APPLY FOR AMERICAN EXPRESS NL CARDS

Apply for an American Express card through the links below and get 20,000 exclusive bonus points or miles on the Platinum and Gold cards. These are referral links.

Apply for the American Express Platinum Card

American Express Platinum Card (20,000 BONUS POINTS)

Apply for the American Express Gold Card

American Express Gold Card (20,000 BONUS POINTS)

Apply for the American Express Green Card

American Express Green Card (5,000 BONUS POINTS)

Apply for the Flying Blue Platinum Card
Apply for the Flying Blue Gold Card

Flying Blue Platinum Card (20,000 BONUS MILES)

Flying Blue Gold Card (20,000 BONUS MILES)

Apply for the Flying Blue Silver Card

Flying Blue Silver Card (5,000 BONUS MILES)

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