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Cash and ATMs in Turkey: Fees, limits, exchange & all you need for your travel

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Turkey, which is on two continents, is a country with a lot of history and culture. There are many old customs and modern ways of life that blend together easily. You can enjoy the cosmopolitan energy of Istanbul with its old churches and bazaars, as well as the otherworldly scenery of Cappadocia and the ruins of Ephesus. The blue seas of Antalya make the Turkish Riviera shine, and the food is as rich and varied as the country’s history. Travellers need to know how to use the local cash Turkish Lira, find ATMs in Turkey, and decide how to pay. This guide will teach you about money so you can safely enjoy Turkey’s beautiful sights and friendly culture.

Does Turkey require cash, or can I use a card?

More and more people are using cards, but cash is preferred. (50–60%). Foreigners use a mix of cash and cards. 

Cash to pay for:
Food at local places, especially in areas that aren’t as busy with tourists
For local trains, the ticket machines might not take cards in some places.
Lots of tour companies, especially small or local ones
Fees to get into some mosques, museums, and historical places.
Buying little things
Street vendors selling food
Tuk-tuks and taxis in most towns
Using buses
Tips
Markets and bazaars in the area
A lot of cheap hotels and hostels

Cards can be used at:
High-class restaurants in big towns
Fees to enter major tourist spots and cultural places in big cities
Hotels, flights, and trips can all be booked online.
Lots of spas in big cities
Service for tailoring in big towns
Professional services or app based taxis that let you book a taxi ahead of time
Malls and name-brand stores in big towns for shopping
High-class hotels
Hiring cars
Beautiful coffee shops in big towns
Tour companies that charge a lot

What kinds of money do they take?

Turkish Lira (TRY or ₺) is the main currency used in Turkey. ₺5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 are the denominations.

Some tourists say they can usually use Euros, but not always possible. There are resorts, hotels, and shops in the area that list costs in US dollars. But the exchange rate will be bad if you pay in US Dollar instead of Lira.

How to get Turkish lira, the local cash…

… from ATMs, currency exchange, or Money Transfer or online transfer and pick it up at a physical location

Tip: Don’t buy Lira in your own country. It’s not a common currency, so it will be hard to find at home. If you do find it, the rate of exchange will be bad.

Turkish ATMs: Where can I find them?

Turkey has more than 26,000 ATMs. More than 25 business and specialised banks, some of which are foreign banks, run these. In Turkey, you can get cash from ATMs in cities and probably a few in smaller places.

ATMs can be found at:
The big airports
Squares and markets
The main tourist streets in every big city
Shopping centres
Alleys for food
ATMs at banks
A few business buildings

The places where it will be hard to find ATMs are these:
Islands
Small airports
Bus stops in the region
In between the villages
Around the edges of small towns, away from the main streets
Many religious places
Many remote resorts and retreats

What are the places in Turkey where I can swap money?

Authorised money exchange centres: These are places that are marked as cash exchanges and are found in all tourist spots. They are easy to find at the Grand Bazaar, on the boat docks, and on the main streets of Istanbul and Antalya. Use licenced ones only.
Banks: It’s also easy to change money from US dollars, Euros, Pounds, Japanese yen, Thai Baht, and Singapore dollars to Lira at bank offices. You will likely pay between 2% and 5% as fee for each transaction.
ATMs: You can also exchange Euros, USD, Pounds for Lira at some ATMs in Turkey. Unfortunately, the rates are very low!
Hotel and airports: Many big and small hotels and airports have places to change money. Unfortunately, the exchange rates aren’t great. There are some big hotels that may have rates like banks.
Online transfer – Use an online transfer to buy Lira and pick it up at a registered spot in any of the big cities.

Super-Advice:
Do not change money at airports – High Fees, Low Rates.
Avoid trading on the black market – Fake notes and high fees are a thing.
Do not forget to bring new notes. Notes that are damaged or dirty will get you lower rates or higher fees.

Are Turkish banks and ATMs open 24 hours a day, seven days a week?

Yes! A lot of them are stand-alone ATMs, so it shouldn’t be hard to use them at any time of the day or week.
There are no 24 hour currency markets. In most places, they’re open from 9 am to 7 pm, but not at airports. If you need money in Turkey and want to exchange it, keep these times in mind.

Can I use a debit or card from outside of Turkey at an ATM or exchange centre?

Yes! Withdrawals from Turkish ATMs are easy to use with cards from other countries.
Cash exchange businesses usually also take credit and debit cards. Unfortunately, this usually costs a lot extra. It’s better to stay away from it and exchange it for cash.

What kind of cards can I use in Turkey?

Use a Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Plus, JCB, UnionPay, Troy, and MIR at the ATMs. They won’t usually take American Express, Diners, Discover, or Rupay cards.
Visa and Mastercard are most common to swipe. Your American Express might be hard to swipe.
When exchanging money, most places, prefer cash. A lot of places take Visa. Next up is Mastercard. If you use your card to swap money, please keep in mind the fees you will have to pay.
Related: Why does your card not work at ATMs and what to do?

Are Turkish ATMs the same as those in other countries?

Evet (yes in Turkish)! There are new ATMs in Turkey that look and work like ones in the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and India. Some ATMs take your card all the way inside while you use it, so don’t forget to take it out again when you’re done.

Most people in Turkey use the following ATMs:

Ziraat Bank
Akbank
Halkbank
YapiKredi
TEB
PTT

There are other banks with ATMs that take debit and cards from more than one country.

The Global ATM Alliance is a group of banks around the world that work together to make it possible for customers to get cash from any partner bank in the world without having to pay an ATM fee. Bank of America, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, and other banks from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and Latin America are all part of the Global ATM Alliance. However, this network does not include any Turkish banks. Don’t count on this.

What do ATMs in Turkey call themselves?

“ATM” or “Bankamatik” are common words to use, or you can just look for the name of the bank.

Turkey’s ATMs and PIN methods

Turkish ATMs mostly accept PINs with 4 numbers. Longer PINs may work on some ATMs, but 4 numbers is the norm.

Plus, a lot of stores still used old machines that need a magnetic stripe on the card, not just a chip-and-pin card. So get those from home.

Turkey’s ATMs, exchanges and languages

In Turkey, ATMs let you choose between Turkish and English. Some offer extra languages, such as German, French, and Russian.

Ok, if you don’t know these languages, translate the ATM screen in real time with Google Translate’s camera feature. Warning: These translations aren’t always right, so please be patient and don’t rush.

You can also talk to staff at exchanges in the 2 languages.

ATM fees and caps on withdrawals in Turkey

Withdrawal limit: Most ATMs limit the amount of money you can take out in a single transaction to ₺1,500 to ₺5,000.

Turkish ATM fees range from ₺ 0 to 10% of the amount being withdrawn. Meaning there are brands of ATMs that don’t charge any fees at all, and you should stay away from brands that charge outrageously high fees (Yes, Turkey is one country with the highest ATM fees for foreign card holders). Also choose “Decline Conversion” or “Without Conversion” to avoid extra fees.

Read: All the fees you have to pay at an ATM abroad

ATM Fee Saver helps you find the free ATMs, cash exchanges, and money transfers in Turkey

Download the mobile app or access the webapp from your phone/laptop browser, and you can find fee-free ATMs in Turkey on a map along with places to swap money and send money to other people. The app tells foreign card users how much they can take and how much they will be charged at Turkish ATMs. There is also a tool that can help you figure out your withdrawal fees correctly. Plus, the app has guidance that helps you find the ATM you want, and it has information for 50 countries, including Turkey.

How to escape paying high fees at Turkish ATMs and currency exchanges

Only withdraw the local currency Lira from the ATMs
Use those free ATMs are available all over the country.
Find those ATMs with cheap or no fees by using the ATM Fee Saver app.
When using an ATM, choose between Decline Conversion and Without Conversion.
Think about getting cards from your home country that don’t have fees either
Never go to a no-fee exchange shop in Turkey to get cash. Anytime they say “no fee,” it means that they include their fee in the exchange rate. Think – is anything in the world ever “free” especially when it comes to money?
Do not use credit or debit cards for exchanging cash.
Carry only a small amount of Lira with you when you go back home. The exchange rate to sell it will be bad. It probably won’t even be bought back by currency markets outside of Turkey.
Within your own country, do not purchase Lira. Not many people use it, so the exchange rate will be bad.

Read our in-depth piece, Withdrawing cash abroad?

When I go to Turkey, are the banks and ATMs safe to use?

A few things affect how safe it is to use ATMs in Turkey:
You can be safer with these tricks:
Where the ATM is
When to use the ATM
People in and near the ATM
Some people have been robbed of cash outside of ATMs, mostly at night and on empty streets. As long as you take precautions, you should be fine. The following two articles have tips on how to take precautions:
Go to a bank office and use an ATM when you can
Put two cards in your wallet: In case one card has a problem, you have a second one.
Keep an eye on your card transactions: To report any illegal activities right away
When doing important money transactions, don’t use public Wi-Fi. Maybe use a VPN even.
Ensure you always have your card readily available: So that you don’t give your card to someone who takes it where you can’t see them

Also read:
Top things not to do
Top things to avoid

In Turkey, it is safe to carry cash?

It is safe to take a reasonable amount of cash with you in Turkey. And had to be, if you want to travel and spend. Use these tips when you do so:
Spread your cash in different pockets
Put some in a safety belt or fanny pack
Stop showing off cash in public
Remove only as much as you need not your entire bunch of notes
Put wallets in front pockets when possible!
Watch out for your bags, wallets, and purses when you’re in busy places like party streets, trains, and buses.
Another article: Lost your card abroad? Get it back and keep it from being misused with these eight tips.

FAQs

When I go to Turkey, can I get cash for free?

There are six bank ATMs that don’t charge foreign card users any fees. All the other ATMs charge pretty high fees.

Do cards from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and other places work in Turkey?

Oh yes, definitely! At most Turkish ATMs, you can use cards from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and other places.

How many Bitcoin ATMs are there in Turkey?

Turkish does have a few Bitcoin ATMs.

Where can I find a Bank of America ATM in Turkey?

Bank of America ATMs are not available in Turkey.

Turkey’s Citibank ATMs?

There are some Citibank ATMs in Turkey.

Any Turkish ATMs from Barclays Bank?

Barclays Bank ATMs are not available in Turkey.

Any HSBC outlets in Turkey?

Some HSBC ATMs are in Turkey.

Turkey: Are there any Standard Chartered ATMs?

Turkey does not have Standard Chartered ATMs.

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