We want to provide you with four options for different SIM cards or contracts regarding phones. Option 2 and 3 are the most commonly used among students. Calling and texting abroad, however, might be expensive. Take into account that when you receive a call from a foreign number, the caller pays until the Dutch border, and you pay from there onwards, so for you, receiving a call from a foreign number is not more expensive than receiving a call from a Dutch number.
When you are going to get a Dutch phone provider, you need to consider the following: In order to be able to sign a contract, you should have to show a valid proof of identity, a bank statement, bank account details or card and non-EU students have pay a deposit. Some providers don’t allow non-EU students to sign a contract; this would depend on the provider, and rules and regulations change.
Prepaid A good option for the people who don’t use their phone a lot. Concept is simply and well-known: you charge your phone with credit and recharge once that’s depleted. Tariffs are a bit more expensive, but you remain in full control of your expenses. Cards for recharging are available at most supermarkets. You can buy cards with for instance €10 are available at, among others, supermarkets. Make sure that you only buy cards from the same provider as the SIM card that is in your phone. You can buy a prepaid card with cash. You do not need a bank account.
SIM-only contract This might be the best option for people who don’t need a new phone every two years but are going to call, text and/or use mobile data a lot. You can buy a SIM-only contract easily online or in a telecom store and put it in the phone you brought with you from your home country, providing that it’s not SIM-locked. For SIM-only contracts, Ben.nl is a popular provider. Similar providers are Simple.nl, Hollands Nieuwe or Simyo (all small providers). Bigger providers, which usually are also a bit more expensive are KPN, Telfort, Tele2, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Hi.
You need a Dutch bank account to have a SIM-only contract. With a contract you need to pay every month. If you fail to pay the required amount the provider can take legal action.
Contract with phone This can be a good option for people who want a new phone every two years and require a decent amount of minutes.
You need a Dutch bank account to have a contract with phone. With a contract you need to pay every month. If you fail to pay the required amount the provider can take legal action.
Contract with a lease phone This is a contract which looks like the previous one, but here you don’t actually own the phone. The phone is owned by the provider. So when you break it, the provider will repair it for you. However, this is very expensive and there are a lot of conditions to this type. KPN and Hi have this type of contract.
You need a Dutch bank account to have a contract with a lease phone. With a contract you need to pay every month. If you fail to pay the required amount the provider can take legal action. (Parts of) this text was been written by the Red Cross Student Desk Zeeland.