One of the most important things when traveling is managing your money. Money problems can be very difficult to handle, and your vacation can be ruined if you are left without any cash.
That’s why we have collected all the important information about how to withdraw money in Turkey, safely and without any problems. This way, you can access your bank account during your trip in Turkey and spend your money wisely.
Here we go with our important tips!
Which Bank to use to withdraw Money as a Foreigner in Turkey?
Since there are plenty of different banks in Turkey, it can be very difficult to choose one as a foreigner. We would advise you to use VakıfBank to withdraw money from your bank account. VakıfBank is a trustworthy state-owned bank that offers a range of financial services to both residents and foreign visitors in Turkey. It is very popular with locals, but also with international travelers.
As a state-owned bank, VakıfBank has a strong presence in the local market and a good reputation for providing reliable banking services. On top of that, this bank offers competitive exchange rates for foreign currencies, which could make it an attractive option for exchanging money or withdrawing cash from your account. This makes VakıfBank a great, but more importantly, a very safe choice.
So if you need to withdraw money while in Turkey, you can use their ATMs or visit a VakıfBank branch to access your funds. VakıfBank’s ATMs are very secure and modern, and the bank has a very large network of branches and ATMs throughout Turkey, so it should be very easy for you to find a location convenient for you. Where exactly, you might wonder? Find out in the next section...
Where do I find ATMs in Turkey?
ATMs are widely available in Turkey, and you should be able to find them easily in Istanbul and other cities.
Here are a few places where you might be able to find ATMs in Turkey and Istanbul:
- Banks: Nearly all banks in Turkey have ATMs in front of their branch.
- Shopping centers: Many shopping centers and malls in Turkey have ATMs located near their entrances or in common areas.
- Airports and metro stations: You can usually find ATMs at airports and train stations in Turkey, which can be convenient if you need to withdraw cash when you arrive in the country or when you're traveling between cities.
- On plazas: You may also be able to find standalone ATMs on the street or at lively plazas and squares.
- Tourist areas: You may be able to find ATMs in tourist areas of Istanbul/ Turkey that are specifically designed for foreign visitors. These ATMs may offer more favorable exchange rates and may be more likely to accept foreign cards.
As VakıfBank is a very popular bank used by both locals and foreigners, there are numerous ATMs of this bank all over the country. There are more than 840 VakıfBank ATMs in Istanbul alone, so you should have no trouble finding one.
In fact, you can easily check if there is a VakifBank ATM near your hotel or location on the official VakifBank website. Just select the city, district and neighborhood and click on "show only ATM“ to see all locations in Istanbul. The website is available in English, so it is very easy to navigate.
By the way: Over 20 of VakıfBank’s ATMS in Istanbul also offer the possibility of withdrawing money in foreign currency. These are located at strategical points for travelers in Istanbul, including Sabiha Gökcen and Istanbul Airports, as well as the famous Istiklal Street and in the heart of Taksim (opposite of the Taksim Metro Station and Marmara Taksim Hotel).
Will my Credit or Debit Card work in Turkey?
In general, credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Turkey, and you should be able to use them at most ATMs, businesses, restaurants, and hotels. However, it's always a good idea to check with your card issuer to confirm that your card will be accepted in Turkey and to find out if there are any special fees or restrictions that apply.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when using your credit or debit card in Turkey:
- Card type: Some ATMs in Turkey may not accept certain types of cards, such as American Express. It's a good idea to carry a Visa or Mastercard as a backup, as these are generally more widely accepted. You can find the logos of all the card types that the ATM accept on the ATM in Turkey.
- Chip-and-PIN cards: ATMs in Turkey only accept chip-and-PIN cards and cards, which only have a magnetic stripe on the back.
- Four-Digit PIN: Turkish ATMs only process four-digit PINs. If your PIN is longer, you should change it prior to your trip. Note that it must be numbers, not letters.
- Fees: You may be charged a currency exchange fee by your card issuer or the ATM operator for using an ATM in Turkey to withdraw cash. This fee can vary depending on the card issuer and the exchange rate at the time of the transaction.
Is there a Withdrawal Fee at Turkish ATMs?
Although Turkish ATM operators usually not charge a fee for cash withdrawals, it's possible that your home bank or card issuer may charge a fee for using an ATM in Turkey. This fee may be a flat fee or a percentage of the amount withdrawn, and may vary depending on the bank or card issuer.
In addition to a withdrawal fee, your home bank may also charge a foreign exchange fee for converting the currency of the transaction to your home currency. This fee can vary depending on the exchange rate at the time of the transaction and is usually displayed on the screen before you complete the transaction.
7 Tips to Withdraw Money safely in Turkey
There are a few things you can keep in mind when withdrawing money in Turkey:
- Make sure you have a compatible ATM card: As mentioned before, most ATMs in Turkey accept cards from international networks such as Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro.
- Withdraw money during the bank opening hours of the bank: The Abest tip for withdrawing money in Turkey is to withdraw money during the bank's opening hours. This way, you can speak to a teller if there are any problems with the machine. The majority of Turkish banks are open between 9:00 and 17:00 on weekdays and between 9:00 and 12:00 on Saturdays.
- Withdraw in Turkish Lira: Be sure to always withdraw your money in Turkish Lira. If you try to withdraw in another currency like Euros or Dollar, the ATM will charge an inflated exchange rate using dynamic currency conversion, which means you will have to pay extra fees unnecessarily.
- Consider using a debit card instead of a credit card: Withdrawing money with a debit card may be a cheaper option than using a credit card, as credit card withdrawals often come with higher fees.
- Keep an eye on the exchange rate: Be aware of the exchange rate before you withdraw money. This way, you'll know how much money you're actually getting when you make a withdrawal.
- Watch out for scams: As with any country, there are always risks of ATM scams in Turkey. To protect yourself, be sure to cover the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN, and be on the lookout for any suspicious activity or devices attached to the ATM.
- Have a backup plan: It's always a good idea to have a backup plan in case you have trouble accessing your money. Make sure you have some cash on hand in case your card is not accepted or there are issues with the ATM.
We hope this article has been helpful in making your financial experience in Turkey as smooth and stress-free as possible.
If you're planning on visiting Istanbul, be sure to check out our other articles on the city, including tips on how to Plan your trip to Istanbul, recommendations for hotels, and a comprehensive guide to the New Istanbul Airport. Don't forget to read our article on the Best Turkish SIM Card for tourists to stay connected during your travels.