The Student Mobility Card & How To Use It

What is the Student Mobility Card?

Simply put: it’s a contactless transportation OV card that allows you to pay as you go on all public transport throughout the Netherlands. After you grab your card, link it to your preferred payment method in the app and the Netherlands is yours to explore.

What can I do with the Student Mobility app?

Once you buy your Student Mobility Card, you can register it in the app and add your (international) payment method. Once that’s done, you can make use of these benefits:

- see an overview of your travel data, costs and payments
- have your card be automatically topped up, ensuring that you’ll never have to manually load money onto it
- be automatically and conveniently charged for all your travel costs on the payment method you entered
- receive a 15% discount on weekday off-peak hours and weekends.
- make any updates to your registration or payment methods

Where can I download the Student Mobility App?

It’s available in the Apple App Store and Android Google Play store.

How do I register my Student Mobility Card in the app?

Follow these steps to register your Student Mobility Card:

1. Sign-up for an account with your email address
2. Confirm your account with the verification code sent to your email. 
3. Also check spam!
4. Create a password you won’t forget.
5. Agree with the terms of use and privacy policy.
6. Enter your name and phone number.
7. Verify your phone number with the verification code we sent to it.
8. Add your (international) payment method.
9. Enter your Student Mobility Card details.

Once that’s done, we’ll take care of the automatic payment and card top-up. After four hours, you’ll be able to pick up these digital products from an NS ticket machine or an OV-chipkaart service point at the train station closest to you.

We've also created a short video explaining the entire process of setting up your Student Mobility Card 

How do I “pick up” my digital products?

Before you can start using your card, and after you’ve registered it in the app, you’ll have to give us 4 hours to get your digital products ready for pick up. After, you can just head on over to a train station near you, where you’ll be able to “pick up” your digital products at a yellow NS ticket machine or at an OV-chipkaart service point. Follow the steps below for either:

Yellow NS ticket machine:
1. Scan your Student Mobility Card
2. Change the language to English
3. Select “pick up products”
4. Wait until the machine shows you your two digital products
5. Click on agree and wait for the machine to prepare them
6. Place the card against the machine once more
7. You’re all set to travel!

OV-chipkaart service point:
1. Scan your Student Mobility Card
2. Choose “collect purchase order”
3. Be patient while the machine shows you your products
4. Select “automatisch opladen ‘TLS’”
5. Choose “activeer trein zakelijk 2e klas”
6. You’re all set once you see “retrieval of products has been completed”. 

Remember that you’ll never have to load money onto your card because it’ll top up automatically. Please note that, if you do charge it, we won’t be able to give you a refund.

If that's confusing, you can also find the entire process explained in a short video 

How do I rent an OV-fiets? (public transport bike)?

Your Student Mobility Card can be used to rent an OV-bike from nearly 300 locations in the Netherlands – train stations, bus and metro stops, city centers and P+R (park+ride) locations. We recommend using OV fiets to explore other cities, so you do not have to carry your own bike on the train. Prices start at 4,45 EUR per day and after 3 days the price is 9.45 per day. You can use this tool to find the nearest OV-bike location near you. Please note that the OV fiets has to be always returned to the same location where it was picked up (if you return it elsewhere, then you will need to pay extra 10 euros).

What class can I sit in with my Student Mobility Card?

On trains, you can only sit in second class. Trams, metros, busses and ferries only have one class, so there’s nothing to worry about there.

Why is the Student Mobility Card ideal for students?

There are a few reasons why students in the Netherlands should choose the Student Mobility Card over a regular anonymous OV-chipkaart:

- Travel without worrying: your Student Mobility Card is the only thing you’ll need in order to travel through the entire country. Whether public transport, bike or train, the Netherlands is yours to discover.
- Discounted travel: With the Student Mobility Card, you’ll get a 15% discount on Dutch Railways (NS) trains during weekends and weekday off-peak hours. That’s Monday through Friday between 6:30 and 9:00, as well as between 16:00 and 18:30. Please note that loading other discount subscriptions on our card is not possible.
- Automatic balance top-up: Once you’re all registered, we’ll make sure that you never have to put money onto your Student Mobility Card. You’ll never again miss a train due to an insufficient balance!
- International payment options: We’ve created a seamless buying and registration process specifically tailored to international students for the Student Mobility Card. You won’t have to worry about not speaking Dutch, and you can pay for everything using an international bank account.
- Bikes: Not only can you take public transport and trains, but with your Student Mobility Card you can also make use of OV-fiets at many NS train stations. Not only can you rent a bike, but you can also store your own bike in the guarded bicycle storage to keep it from being stolen.

What does “picking up digital products” mean?

Without the digital perks – like the discount and automatic top-up – your Student Mobility Card cannot be used to travel. Instead, you’ll need to load the digital products that are a part of your monthly subscription with us onto your card. You can “pick them up” at an NS ticket machine or an OV-chipkaart service point at a large train station near you.

If you’re using a machine, you’ll simply have to switch the language to English, scan your Student Mobility Card and press on the “pick up products” option. That’s it. Then you’ll be all set to travel.

We also have a short video explaining the entire process uploaded to our Youtube channel. Find it 

On which modes of transportation can I travel with my Student Mobility Card?

Everything is fair game. You can travel on all Dutch trains, trams, metros, busses and ferries. If you’re ever looking for a short-term bike solution, it’s also possible to rent an OV-bike with your card.

How can I use my Student Mobility Card to travel by train and metro?

At every Dutch train station, you’ll find card readers, either on the platform itself or at gates that will open once you scanned your card. Don’t forget to check out again at your destination station!

How can I use my Student Mobility Card in the tram and bus?

Both on tram and bus, you’ll find card scanners at the entrance and exits. It’s important that you check in on arrival and out on departure of every vehicle. So, for example, if you’re catching a bus after a tram, you’ll have to check out of the tram before checking in again in the bus. On both, you’ll hear a single beep when you check in and two beeps when you check out.

How do I hop from different modes of transportation with my Student Mobility Card?

A good rule of thumb to follow is that, if you’re traveling on most public transportation, you’ll have to check in and out of each individual vehicle. So, if you’re switching from a bus to a tram, you’ll check in and out of the bus before checking in and out of the tram. 

This is also the case if you’re transferring between the same mode of transport. Check in and out of one tram before checking in and out of another. The exception are NS trains and metros. Here, you check in once at the beginning of your journey and out again at the end. You’re free to transfer between several inbetween without worrying.

Is Student Mobility card really the right fit for me?

We recommend the Student Mobility card to all users that will not extensively use public transport and plan to make ocassional trips to other cities using the NS trains. 

If you are going to use public transport very often (e.g. on a daily basis), then we recommend obtaining a personalized OV card on which you can load greater discount subscriptions when compared to our card or even buy unlimited travel for a specific route. Each public transport provider has different subscription products. For instance, if you are going to travel a lot with RET trams, then you should check their website to see what subscriptions they offer. Please note that obtaining these subscriptions with a personalized OV card will likely require you to have a Dutch bank account.

Is it possible to load other subscriptions on my Student Mobility OV card?

Sadly, loading different NS subscription than the 15% discount during off peak hours is not possible. 

When it comes to subscriptions for metro, trams and buses, then loading these subscriptions might be possible. Please note we do not guarantee that this will work. In case of any issues you should contact the respective company (e.g. if you are trying to get a tram subscription in Rotterdam and have issues with it, then please contact RET about this). 

Receiving your Student Mobility Card

Where can I buy a Student Mobility Card?

You can order your Student Mobility Card here.

I just arrived in the Netherlands. How can I get my Student Mobility Card?

It’s up to you. You can either pick up your card at the introduction days of your university or choose to have it sent directly to your Dutch address for a fee of 2.5 euros. The choice is yours. If you chose the delivery option, then please contact us if your card does not get delivered within 1 week (in summer it might take longer).

Costs of the Student Mobility Card

How much does the Student Mobility Card cost?

We can break the costs into a one-time purchase price, a monthly subscription fee and your personal travel costs.

- Purchase price: You can order your Student Mobility Card for 15EUR on our website which also includes the digital student ID card ISIC.
- Monthly subscription fee: to benefit from the benefits our card offers we ask in exchange for a fee of 4,50 EUR per month.
- Travel costs: We’ll also charge the (international) payment method you entered on the app with your travel costs. How much this will be depends on how much you travel. You can keep track of this at any time in the app.

Do I get a travel discount when using my Student Mobility Card?

Yes! Nice, right? You’ll get 15% off during off-peak hours and wekeends on NS (National Railway) trains. Off-peak hours are the following:

- During the entire weekend from Friday 6:30PM and Monday 6:30AM
- Monday to Friday between 9AM and 4PM and between 6:30PM and 6:30AM

For people in Gronigen region our card also offers a 40% discount on Arriva means of public transport for one academic year.

Please note: even if the check-out gates at NS stations may show you a non-discounted travel price, your discount has been applied. The monthly invoice always shows the accurate travel costs.

Where can I check my travel costs and bills?

Your travel transactions can be found in the Student Mobility app under “travel history”. An individual transaction will show within 48 hours after you trip. Each transaction also shows you whether it has been billed and within which invoice. All bills are sorted under “bills” in the app.

What payment methods can I use to travel?

You can use an international credit or debit card. However, iDEAL is the most preffered payment method which you can use if you have a Dutch bank account. We recommend switching to IDEAL in our app once you set up a Dutch bank account.

How much does public transport in the Netherlands cost?

This depends on the mode of public transportation, as well as the distance you travel. The app called 9292 reisplanner OV + e-ticket should always show you the price of your trip in advance and also allows you to plan trips. We recommend not to buy e-tickets in the app but instead to use your OV card.

Why is there a monthly subscription fee?

The 4,50 EUR monthly subscription fee enables the student-friendly benefits we offer. That is the NS train discount of 15%, the international payment methods, English-speaking customer service, and the once-a-month invoice you receive.

How often do I get billed for my travel costs?

Before you can start using your Student Mobility Card, you’ll have to link it to a payment method – credit card or via iDEAL on your Dutch bank account. Costs will automatically be charged from your payment method as you travel. These are charged at the first day of each month alongside the monthly 4,50EUR subscription fee or as soon as you have reached 20EUR worth of travel costs. This could mean that, depending on your trips, you may be charged multiple times per week or even daily.

Do I have to charge money on my Student Mobility Card?

No, this is not necessary. In fact, we do not recommend topping up the card manually. After you’ve “picked up” your digital products, you’ll be all set to travel. The card tops up automatically. You just need to connect your OV card and a payment method in our app and then you’ll never again have to worry about missing a train due to an insufficient balance. 

How do I change my payment method?

We recommend you change your payment method to IDEAL once you get a Dutch bank account. You can do this in the Student Mobility app via the following steps:
1. Login on the app
2. Click on “payment method”
3. Press “continue” and be redirected to our payment provider Mollie.
4. Pay a one-time 0,01 EUR fee for verification

That’s it. Your changes have been applied.

Problems & Cancelation

What can I do if my Student Mobility Card is lost or stolen?

A: We’re sorry to hear that. Report your Student Mobility Card as lost in our Student Mobility App. Check the following steps below:
1. Login to the app
2. Choose “block card”
3. Select “I have read the warning and understand the risks” to continue
4. After confirmation, you’ll receive an email with further instructions

Important: make sure to immediately report your card as missing if it’s been lost or stolen. If not, someone else could freely travel on your tab. We offer a 5 euro discount for a purchase of a replacement card. Please just email us aboout this.

Can I be notified if I forgot to check out?

Yes. You can sign up to be emailed every time this happens. You can do this here by clicking on and subscribing to “missed check-out alert”.

How can I get compensation when my train is late?

If your (NS) train is delayed by more than 30 minutes, then you are entitled to compensation by filling in the following form. Please note that if your train is late because of planned maintenance work, then you are not eligible for any delay compensation.

I manually loaded money on my Student Mobility card. How can I get it back?

You can withdraw money from your OV card using this link. We do not guarantee that withdrawing money from your card will work and in case of issues with this contact the responsible company using this link.

Please note that withdrawing money from a blocked card is not possible. 
Furthermore, if you properly activated the card as instructed by us, then there should not be any need to load money on the card. 

I forgot to check out with my Student Mobility Card. What now?

Public transport companies in the Netherlands charge you a fixed boarding fee for every vehicle entered (20EUR for trains and 4EUR for tram, subway or bus). Upon checking out, your actual travel costs are calculated and you’re only charged for how much you traveled. However, if you forget to check out, you’ll be charged the entire pre-determined boarding fee. Don’t worry if this happens, though. You can ask 3 times per year for a refund here.

I want to end my Student Mobility Card. How do I do this?

If you want to cancel your Student Mobility Card or end your discount subscription, you can do this on the app:
1. If you see in the app that there is an outstanding balance on your card, then you can get it back using this link. You need to do this before blocking your card!
2. Login on the Student Mobility app
3. Choose “block card” option
4. Select “I have read the warnings and understand the risks”
5. Wait for further instructions via email

If you have any outstanding travel expenses, we’ll charge these at the next billing moment. Once you’ve cancelled your subscription, you can no longer use your Student Mobility Card.  This process is irreversible - reactivating your card is not possible. We therefore recommend you only block the card in case you lost it to prevent its misuse. 

Why is my NS/Arriva discount not working?

This is most likely because you did not check-in with Student Mobility OV card during off-peak hours. You can travel any time as long as you check-in during off-peak hours. 

NS off peak hours:
00:00 - 06:30, between 09:00 - 16:00 and between 18:30 - 24:00
Sat. and Sun.: all day.
National Holidays: all day.

Arriva off-peak hours (for Groningen region):
Bus: Mon. – Fri. before 7 a.m. and after 9 a.m.
Train: Mon. – Fri. before 6:30 am and after 9:00 am.
Sat. and Sun.: all day.
National Holidays: all day.
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