Netherlands was the first country (of 33) I have visited, that we had lots of problems with ATM:s. Outside Amsterdam most of them didn´t exept foreign cards! In AMsterdam there was also some witch didn´t but in most central streets we found those ones, witch took our card also. This was also the first country we had problems paying with foreign cards. We have Visa electron and Master card, and many places we heard the same "Sorry, no foreign cards.." Next time we go there, I will take more money with me, so it´s easier. Outside Amsterdam none bar,restaurant, museum, shop or what so ever took our card (becose it wasn´t local). And in Amsterdam only most famous museums and little "better" restaurants took it. It was June 2010, so not so long ago.
As mentioned a time or two on my other pages, I had read often during trip planning that it was more common to pay for things in cash rather than using credit cards, and we chose to do this. From what I observed with others, this seemed to hold merit.
We payed for our hotel, the week in advance since it was an apartment and a 7-night stay as agreed, with a bank debit card, and did not use a credit card the entire time there. We withdrew Euros every other day or so from an ATM machine conveniently located at a bank building across the street from the main Dam Square tram stops. For us, and not doing any fancy, upscale events, 150 or so Euros was plenty to start any day with and gave me the sense of having enough on me to cover most anything, including eating quite well. Most days we had plenty of money left over, and of course you could have a great time for a whole lot less. Our Amsterdam Pass cards and tram tickets proved a real bargain for seeing some of the main museums and other attractions and made riding the trams a breeze.
I would suggest that if planning to use a credit or debit card at all that you contact your bank and notify them of your travel dates and areas to be visited. This might prevent a security flag when out-of-country use occurs unless you do so frequently. Also to make sure your card(s) have international use capability, especially for checking account debit cards with ATM machines. If a Visa debit card with the Cirrus logo (and there are others as well), you should be fine.
See our "Warnings or Dangers" page for my personal advice, for what it's worth, on carrying cash.
Before you leave, contact you local bank...you should tell them you will be using your cards (credit or ATM) out of the country. You may want to have your daily ATM limit raised.
ATM's around Dam Square have long lines all weekend and usually run out of money by Sunday so make sure you have enough
Banks are open weekdays from 8 or 9 to 4 or 5; post offices are open weekdays from 8:30 to 5 and often on Saturday from 8:30 to noon.
Shopping hours are Monday from 1 to 6, Tuesday through Friday from 9 to 6, and Saturday from 9 to 5 with usually a late night during the week until 9.00pm. Certain shops now have permission to open from noon to 5 on Sunday.
The most important thing to remember about all public toilets in Amsterdam, apart from being calling "toiletten" or "WC" and not "rest room",is not the usual male and female distinction but to pay the person who sits at the entrance. There will be a little saucer or cup on a table where you can put the entrance money which is usually only a bit of change.
if your looking for an A.T.M you won't find one, because they are called geldautomaat's or chipknip's. they are similar to u.s atm's and they promt you to an english button. not sure what the fee's were, i haven't gotten my statements yet.
Not all restaurants accept credit cards. Cash machines are available throughout the city centre, and most of them accept the major credit cards.
As some other European countries, Netherlands adopted the Euro. You won't find it hard to reach any ATM when you need to withdraw money, since there are plenty available.
The Netherlands always used Guilders as their national currency until it changed to Euros just this year. I condsider my 10 Gulden note a collector's item not just a souviner!