Withdraw money in Turkey: how to avoid fees!
A few thoughts about withdrawing money will pay off before you go on a trip.
Can I withdraw money with a normal EC card in Turkey? What are the fees? Are there tourist traps?
Here I have answers to the most common questions.
5 things you should know when you want to withdraw money in Turkey!
1. Do normal debit cards work in Turkey?
You can use normal EC cards in Turkey. You usually have to activate them for use outside the EU.
A call to your bank is usually sufficient for this.
When withdrawing money, fees are similar to those in UK . Means that you pay between € 5 and € 10 per transaction at the machine.
Then there is the exchange rate of your bank. The basic rule is, the more regional and smaller your bank is, the higher the rate.
Some machine operators in Turkey still charge additional fees. The ATMs at the airport terminals are a real tourist trap. Some machines require 10% of the transaction amount as a fee.
Therefore, always withdraw the money outside the terminals! Such fees are not normal in Turkey. If one ATM requires an additional fee, move on to the next.
There are ATMs everywhere in Turkey. Especially turist spots.
Card blocked? German banks often block their banks for use outside the EU. A call to your bank should be enough to activate it. Check this out before you leave for Turkey.
2. Tourist trap Dynamic Currency Conversion
The tourist trap can cost you 10% of your money.
I will quickly explain how to avoid them forever!
Some ATMs or card readers ask you during the transaction whether you want to settle in euros or in Turkish lira. Another question is: “Settle with a guaranteed fixed exchange rate?”
A middleman may set the exchange rate if you settle with euros instead of Turkish lira in Turkey.
The alleged service is of course to your disadvantage. Why should the machine’s rate be better than that of your bank, Visa or Mastercard?
The tourist trap exists internationally, this is also within the EU.
The solution is simple:
Pay in Turkish Lira! This applies to all EC cards and credit cards. Means, always settle in Turkey in Turkish Lira. Otherwise high additional fees may apply.
3. ATM security in Turkey
In Turkey, ATMs are often located next to the street without a bank branch. My recommendation is to use the machines in the branches of banks whenever possible. If there is a problem, they can help you right away.
99% of the machines in the tourist resorts have a German translation or at least an English translation. I have found very few machines that are only set in Turkish. I’ve only seen this once in Bursa and in Ankara. Otherwise the machines were okay.
Avoid the ATMs at the airports! I’ve written that before and I’ll probably repeat myself again. They are the biggest and most common tourist traps in Turkey in my opinion.
4. Withdraw money in Turkey with normal credit cards
When withdrawing and paying with a credit card, there is often a “currency manipulation fee”.
Most banks in UK charge 1-2% of the sum for this.
In addition to the manipulation fee, there is the exchange rate set by Visa or Mastercard. This is okay
Your bank may still charge additional fees for withdrawing the money. They are very different.
Some banks do not charge any fees at all, others the normal € 5 to € 10 per ATM transaction plus manipulation fees.
Banks do not charge any fees with common travel credit cards.
Compare! The foreign currency, ATM, and overseas transaction fees come from your bank, not Visa and Mastercard. Compare the conditions of your cards.
5. Free (toll-free) travel credit cards for withdrawing money in Turkey
I travel all the time, not just in Turkey.
Withdrawing money in foreign currency is therefore an ongoing issue for me.
I like to withdraw my money independently in small amounts or pay with the card straight away.
In particular, the fees for running small amounts fall into the money. I don’t like running around with all of my travel budget in my pocket (just to save on fees).
My solution, however, is the Genial Visa Card from the Hanseatic Bank. With it you can withdraw and pay money in Turkey, at home in UK and in all other countries of the world without any fees.
This is what the card can do:
The Genial Visa Card is completely free of charge. The Hanseatic Bank does not charge a registration fee or an annual fee.
No fees for withdrawing money: free of charge abroad and at home in UK (no machine fee, no manipulation fee).
No fees when paying with the card abroad and in UK .
You use your existing checking account to settle the card. A new account is not necessary.
Order goods online in a foreign currency without a manipulation fee.
A free additional card is included (for partners) or for you as a replacement card.
5% discount on travel bookings with Hanseatic partners.
You can apply for the Genial Card online from home.
The Hanseatic explains all the steps simply on its website. The Genial Card will be sent to your home by post after an immediate online decision.
You should also know that the maximum credit limit at the beginning is € 2,500. It will probably be smaller right after the application.
The only downside to the credit card is the interest rate if you don’t balance your bill. Therefore, always make sure that your account has sufficient funds. The Hanseatic settles the invoice automatically. You can also set a partial payment in the app.
Otherwise you will save a lot of money with the card abroad.
With travel credit cards, I’ve probably already saved a few hundred euros, if not more, in recent years.
I am therefore happy to recommend the Genial Card.
More: Here is the link to the application for the Genial Visa Card from the Hanseatic Bank.
My conclusion …
Make sure that your EC card works in Turkey and is activated for other EU countries.
Avoid the ATMs at the airport terminals in Turkey. They are really bad tourist traps. In addition, always settle your transactions in Turkey in Turkish Lira.
Here are my tips for changing euros to Turkish Lira. I’ve also written my own guide for cheap transfers to Turkey.
If you have any other questions, experiences or your own tips, please write in the comments below.
I wish you a nice trip to Turkey!