The quick answer to the question of which is the best ATM to use in Turkey is Halkbank. Halkbank ATMs are reliable and free of local fees. Plus, you can find them everywhere. That said, all sorts of issues can pop up when making withdrawals.

If you want to avoid the hidden fees and high exchange rates associated with some ATMs, and inform yourself of the other pitfalls of withdrawing cash in Turkey, keep reading to get a comprehensive guide to ATMs and spending in this country.

Best ATM to use in Turkey
Best ATM to use in Turkey

Should You Take Cash Or a Card To Turkey?

When visiting Turkey, it’s wise to have a combination of cash and cards to ensure you have flexibility and convenience in your financial transactions. Cash is essential for smaller purchases, local markets, and areas with limited card acceptance. Not to mention, a store might accept cards, but be unable to process your card for whatever reason.

Credit cards, particularly Visa and Mastercard, are widely accepted in major establishments, but American Express, for instance, is less likely to be accepted. 

Why You Need Cash In Turkey

When travelling to Turkey, it’s essential to have cash on hand. While credit cards are becoming more widely accepted, many vendors and service providers still prefer cash payments. Additionally, Turkish card machines can be temperamental and may reject your card without any apparent reason. Having cash ensures that you can easily make payments and avoid any inconveniences.

Carrying cash in Turkey also provides flexibility, especially when visiting smaller towns or local markets where card acceptance may be limited. It’s a convenient way to pay for taxis, street food, and smaller purchases. Moreover, some businesses offer discounts for cash payments, allowing you to save a little extra during your travels.

It is difficult to obtain Turkish Lira outside of Turkey, particularly at a favourable rate. Therefore, I recommend bringing Euros or US Dollars to Turkey and exchanging them for Lira in a central area. You won’t find a good exchange rate at the airport either, but you might want to pick up a small amount of cash initially just in case.

Credit Cards in Turkey

Credit cards are generally accepted in major establishments such as hotels, upscale restaurants, and larger stores. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted card networks in Turkey. However, it’s important to note that certain types of cards, such as American Express, may not be accepted in all locations. Carrying a backup Visa or Mastercard ensures that you have a reliable payment option in case your primary card encounters any issues.

When using credit cards in Turkey, it’s crucial to inform your card issuer about your travel plans to prevent any potential blocks on your card due to suspicious activity. It’s also advisable to keep an eye on your credit card statements to ensure accurate billing and detect any fraudulent transactions promptly. 

Many scams in Turkey involve overcharging your card. For instance, taxi drivers might list a particular price erroneously while your card is charged extra. If you ever feel suspicious in these scenarios, use cash. Or, for instance, load a limited amount of money on a pre-paid debit card like Wise.

Contactless Payments in Turkey

Contactless payments, commonly known as “tap and go,” are gaining popularity in Turkey. Many businesses, including restaurants, shops, and even public transportation, have adopted contactless payment systems.

If you have a contactless-enabled credit or debit card, it can be a convenient option for making small transactions without the need to carry cash. However, it’s essential to check with your card issuer to ensure that your card is contactless-enabled and compatible with the payment terminals in Turkey.

While contactless payments are becoming more prevalent, it’s important to note that not all businesses may offer this option. Therefore, it’s still advisable to carry some cash for situations where contactless payment is not available or preferred.

What To Know Before Going To An ATM in Turkey

So, if you’ve decided to bring a debit card along, here’s what you should remember before you head to an ATM in Turkey.

Time It Right

When using ATMs in Turkey, it’s advisable to make your withdrawals during bank opening hours to minimize the risk of timeout issues. Turkish banks typically operate on weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. It’s best to plan your withdrawals accordingly, ensuring that you have access to customer service support in case of any unexpected problems with the ATM.

Avoid Sundays and Bank Holidays

It’s important to note that both Turkish banks and your home bank may be closed on Sundays and bank holidays. Therefore, it’s recommended to avoid making ATM withdrawals on these days to avoid any potential issues or delays in resolving transaction problems.

Inform Your Home Bank

Before travelling to Turkey, it’s a good practice to inform your home bank about your travel plans. By doing so, you can prevent any flags on your account due to international transactions, reducing the risk of your card being blocked unexpectedly. Providing your bank with your travel dates and destinations ensures that your ATM withdrawals in Turkey are not mistaken for fraudulent activity.

ATM Fees in Turkey

In Turkey, ATM operators generally do not charge withdrawal fees for cash withdrawals. However, it’s important to be aware that your home bank or card issuer may impose fees for using ATMs abroad. These fees can vary depending on your bank and the type of account you have. To have a clear understanding of the fees associated with ATM usage, it’s recommended you review the terms and conditions of your bank or card issuer.

Apart from withdrawal fees, your home bank may also charge foreign exchange fees for converting the currency of your transaction into your home currency. These fees are typically a percentage of the transaction amount and can vary depending on the bank or card issuer. Make yourself aware of these fees beforehand, as they can impact the overall cost of your ATM withdrawals in Turkey.

Here is the full ATM fee schedule for Turkish banks. In general, Halkbank is the most highly recommended.

BankNon-DCC Fee
HalkbankNone
Ptt BankNone
FibabankaNone
SekerbankNone
ING BankNone
ZiraatBanksiNone
VakifBankYes
AKBANKYes
QNB Finansbank5%
GarantiYes
BankamatikYes
TEB5%
YapiKrediYes
Denizbank4%

Strategies For Avoiding ATM Fees

Look For Partnerships Between Banks

If your home bank is a member of the Global ATM Alliance, you may be able to use partner ATMs in Turkey without incurring withdrawal fees. Check with your bank to see if this partnership exists and which Turkish banks’ ATMs are fee-free for you.

Some banks may have partnerships with Turkish banks that offer reduced or waived fees for ATM withdrawals. Contact your home bank to inquire about any such partnerships and take advantage of the benefits they provide.

Withdraw in Turkish Lira

When using ATMs in Turkey, it’s recommended to withdraw cash in Turkish Lira (TRY) rather than selecting another currency. By opting for Turkish Lira, you avoid the inflated exchange rates associated with Dynamic Currency Conversion. This ensures that you receive a fair exchange rate and eliminates unnecessary fees.

Make Larger, Less Frequent Withdrawals

To minimize per-transaction fees, consider making larger withdrawals rather than multiple smaller ones. ATM fees are typically charged per transaction, so reducing the number of withdrawals can help lower the overall fees you incur. However, ensure that you take the necessary precautions to secure your cash when making larger withdrawals.

Use Options Like Monese and Wise for Cost-Effective Transfers

If you have a bank account in Turkey or have connections with someone who does, using Monese or Wise can be a cost-effective option for transferring money ahead of time. 

Wise utilizes real mid-market exchange rates, which are often more favourable than traditional banks. By leveraging local banking systems in both your home country and Turkey, Wise helps eliminate international transfer fees, providing a more cost-effective solution for accessing funds. Monese does something similar, but it’s only available in Europe. On the other hand, it allows you to deposit cash directly to the card.

Where Can I Find ATMs in Turkey?

ATMs in Turkey are conveniently located throughout the country, ensuring easy access to cash. Here are the common locations where you can find ATMs in Turkey:

  1. Bank Branches: Nearly all banks in Turkey have ATMs located outside their branch offices. Using ATMs next to bank branches provides an added layer of security and is recommended.
  2. Tourist Areas: Free-standing booths near major tourist areas and attractions often have ATMs available. While these can be convenient, it’s important to exercise caution and be mindful of any potential risks, such as tampering or skimming devices.
  3. Shopping Centers and Malls: Many shopping centers and malls in Turkey have ATMs located near their entrances or in common areas. These provide a convenient option for accessing cash while shopping or exploring these areas.
  4. Metro Stations: ATMs can frequently be found outside metro stations in Turkey, offering easy access to cash for travellers using public transportation.
  5. Strategic Points in Cities: Standalone ATMs can be found on the streets, in lively plazas, and in squares in cities, providing additional options for cash withdrawal.

Turkey’s main banks, such as HalkBank, Ptt Bank, Fibabanka, Sekerbank, ING Bank, ZiraatBanksi, VakifBank, AKBANK, QNB Finansbank, Garanti, Bankamatik, TEB, YapiKredi, and Denizbank, have extensive ATM networks across the country. You can find the nearest ATMs by using their respective ATM locators available on their websites.

Are ATMs Safe in Turkey?

While ATMs in Turkey are generally safe to use, it’s essential to take certain security precautions to protect yourself and your financial information. Here are some important measures to consider:

  1. Use ATMs Next to Bank Branches: ATMs located next to bank branches offer increased security, as they are monitored and are less likely to be tampered with compared to standalone ATMs.
  2. Avoid Assistance from Strangers: Never accept help from strangers when using an ATM. Be cautious of individuals who approach you and offer assistance or seem overly interested in your transaction.
  3. Be Vigilant of Skimming Devices: Always examine the ATM for any suspicious devices or signs of tampering. If something seems unusual or out of place, refrain from using that particular ATM and report it to the nearest bank branch.
  4. Cover the Keypad: Shield the keypad with your hand or body while entering your PIN to prevent anyone from observing your code.
  5. Keep Your PIN Confidential: Memorize your PIN and avoid writing it down or sharing it with anyone. Do not disclose your PIN to anyone, including bank employees.

By following these precautions, you can minimize the risks associated with ATM usage and ensure a safe banking experience while in Turkey.

Recap: Which Is the Best ATM to Use in Turkey?

Among the banks mentioned, HalkBank stands out as a widespread, reliable, and cost-effective option for ATM usage in Turkey. With its extensive presence and ATM network, Halkbank offers convenience and accessibility to travellers throughout the country. Moreover, Halkbank has the advantage of offering the cheapest fees, making it a favourable choice for cash withdrawals.

While other banks may also provide reliable services, considering factors such as fee structures and convenience can help you make an informed decision on the best ATM to use in Turkey based on your specific needs and location.

If you’re still planning your trip to Turkey, ATMs aren’t the only aspect you need to consider. I do a full rundown of what you need to consider as a digital nomad in Turkey if you want to find out more about things like finding housing and best destinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which ATM is best for withdrawal in Turkey?

Halkbank is often considered the best ATM for withdrawals in Turkey due to its widespread presence, reliability, and comparatively lower fees. You can usually find them near subway stations and on crowded streets. While your bank might charge a fee at home, Halkbank itself will not charge you a fee.

Which Turkish ATM has the lowest fees? 

Halkbank is known to offer some of the lowest fees among Turkish ATMs, making it a cost-effective option for cash withdrawals.

How do I withdraw money from a Turkish ATM? 

To withdraw money from a Turkish ATM, follow these steps:

  1. Insert your debit or credit card into the ATM.
  2. Enter your four-digit PIN using the keypad.
  3. Select the desired language (usually available in both Turkish and English).
  4. Choose the withdrawal option and enter the amount you wish to withdraw.
  5. Confirm the transaction and wait for the ATM to dispense the cash.
  6. Remember to take your card and the transaction receipt before leaving the ATM.

How much cash can I withdraw from an ATM in Turkey?

The maximum cash withdrawal limit from ATMs in Turkey may vary depending on your bank and account type. It’s best to check with your home bank or card issuer to determine your specific withdrawal limit. However, it’s common for ATMs in Turkey to have daily withdrawal limits ranging from 1,000 Turkish Lira (TRY) to 2,000 TRY or more.

What is the maximum ATM withdrawal in Turkey? 

The maximum ATM withdrawal amount in Turkey will depend on various factors, including your bank, account type, and any daily limits set by the ATM itself. It’s advisable to check with your home bank or card issuer to confirm the maximum withdrawal limit for your specific account.

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