Turkey Money Exchange Strategy
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Feb 6, 2013 4:40 AM Last Post By: mikk
Dec 8, 2012 6:54 PM
Turkey Money Exchange StrategyHi,
Just curious about how I can best ensure I have sufficient funds without worrying about exchange during my 14-day stay in Turkey:
Say my budget (after hotel, transportation, food, miscellaneous etc.) is X amount.
1. Should I bring X amount of Euro in cash before landing in Istanbul?
2. And exchange part of the X amount at the airport while keeping the rest for hotel and other purposes?
3. Or should I bring a small amount of Euro and take advantage of the ATM at the airport and throughout Turkey?
4. Finally, how can I ensure that I get the small denomination (10, 20, 50's) ?
Dec 8, 2012 7:13 PM
1Bring an ATM card and rely on that to withdraw cash as you go. Bring a reserve stash (100 euros is my typical emergency stash).
One reason not to bring all of your cash is the risk of theft/loss. Also, ATMs usually end up giving you better exchange rates that cash exchanges (even with fees). Call your bank to tell them you are traveling, and to understand their fees.
(Note: risk of theft/loss is not unique to Turkey. In fact, it's probably safer than most locations I've traveled to. However, even though the risk is slight, it's always wise to mitigate any risks.)
Edited by: daveelmstrom
Dec 8, 2012 7:30 PM
Dec 8, 2012 7:37 PM
3I think you have to get to a pretty remote town to not have an ATM. And if you do travel to a remote town, just withdraw cash before you get there. Bank cards getting eaten by ATM machines is a rare happenstance, but one reason you have a reserve stash to get you by for a day or two if something goes wrong.
I usually also have a credit card backup, too, in case of emergency.
Dec 8, 2012 10:57 PM
4Only change the bare minimum to get you into town at the airport as the rates are dreadful.
When using an ATM try to use one that is attached to a bank rather than just a free standing kiosk and during banking hours too.There is more likelihood it will be regularly topped up with cash but importantly in the(remote)event of you having a problem you can go into the bank and seek help immediately.
All banks employ a uniformed security official who also helps clients with initial requests and directions.You can approach them to ask for help and they will direct you where/who to go to inside the bank.Naturally as in any country do NOT ask anyone else for assistance and decline help from any other person who appears to wish to help you.
ATM's are as safe to use here as any other country BTW.
When you change some money at the airport ask them for smaller notes for the tram etc.and again in the city at the change offices they too will give you smaller notes if you ask.
Edit;I forgot to say that almost every ATM you'll use anywhere in the country now have an English menu on them nowadays.
Edited by: sarikanarya
Dec 9, 2012 4:04 AM
5The Hobbit uses an ATM for his retirement cash from a USA bank. It gives me a choice between Turkish and English language. Ask your home country/town bank what charges you will see for overseas ATM transfers. Our Turkish bank manager said any fees against overseas transfers are from your HOME COUNTRY bank not the Turkish bank. My bank charges me $2.50 USD per transfer so I transfer as much as they allow at a time but then I live here year round.
You would indeed have to go to a very small village not to find an ATM. Kaş is 8000 permanent residents and it has ATM machines everywhere.
Try to get a duplicate ATM card as a backup and carry it in a very safe place. Make a color photo copy of it and of your passport just in case and keep them separate. Get phone numbers of your home country bank in case of an emergency or in the event you are blocked from withdrawing money for some reason. Find out your daily limits for withdrawals and make sure you let your home country bank know that you will be travelling and may withdraw unusually frequent or large amounts. Most ATM's will dispense Turkish Lira, so you should know an approximate conversion rate in advance so you can assess how much you will withdraw in your home currency. Some ATM's, especially in tourist areas of big cities, will let you withdraw foreign currency but the Lira is strong and it is the currency of the country and why risk trying to change Euros, GBP or dollars at a hotel or shop somewhere and get stuck on the exchange rate?
Credit cards and ATM cards can be used for purchases in almost all stores, shops, restaurants and bars in even small towns. ALWAYS ask for the receipt after you pay. If they do not speak English say "fiş lütfen" (fish please) or "makbuz lütfen" (mockbooze).
Dec 9, 2012 11:33 AM
6MTL said - in 20 years of travel with an ATM card i've had my card eaten once. I must have made 1000s of withdrawals that were accident-free.
Ditto for over 30 years. But never had my card eaten.
Dodgiest places - Bolivia and Zambia (still no problem). Most out-of-the-way place in Turkey - a stand alone machine outside a factory on the outskirts of Çankırı in '04 (no problem).
Dec 9, 2012 6:31 PM
7Are you coming from a country where Euro is the normal currency?
If not, wouldn't you lose out twice on exchange rates going from home currency > Euro > TL?
Yes, I know that many places in Turkey, especially Istanbul, accept Euro for purchases but suspect that you would get better deals if you dealt in TL.
Dec 12, 2012 3:35 AM
8Just checking sarikarnarya are you saying that taking your first amount of Turkish Lira from an Ataturk Airport ATM will have higher bank fees attached to it than normal ATMs say for example around Sultanahmet? Keen to know as I would have thought each machine and the bank it is affiliated to would have set fees on their machines without differing. I've always got my cash from Ataturk Airport ,on arrival, in one initial large withdrawal but if I'm getting majorly stung I won't be doing that anymore. I'm not that good with all this exchange stuff mathematically.
Dec 12, 2012 4:35 AM
Dec 15, 2012 7:33 PM
10I am coming from North America thus non-Euro country. My guess is that it's best to use debit card to withdraw money from ATMs than getting the euro back home. This avoids exchanging currency twice and saves a bit of money as a result.
Dec 15, 2012 9:29 PM
11#11 yes. Why would you even contemplate bringing EUR to Turkey? There is no advantage in doing so.
Dec 17, 2012 3:01 AM
12ambassador, methinks you are not reading the postings carefully.
You do not need euros for cash in Turkey, they have a currency called Turkish Lira (TL). Get TL from any ATM, your home bank charges the rates and any fees. MOST ATM will give you TL, SOME will give you foreign currency. If you get large bills at an ATM, you can change them for smaller bills at any bank. Ask for "bozuk (bozook) para." Find a Turkish dictionary and acquaint yourself with Turkish numbers. 1=bir, 5=beş(baysh), 10=on(own), 20=yirmi(year-me),and so on...
If an accommodation personnel speaks English, you might even get a discount using TL. You cannot get what you do NOT ask for...
Dec 18, 2012 6:11 PM
Feb 6, 2013 4:40 AM
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