Guide to using money in Turkey
People who come to Turkey usually want to know about money first. At the end of the day, it makes the world go round, and whether or not you have a budget, knowing about currency, exchange rates, fees and charges will keep you spending wisely. So let's start by discussing the relevant facts about the use of money in Turkey.
What is the currency of Turkey?
The currency is the Turkish Lira, and this is recognized by the symbol, although you can still see some places using the old TL abbreviation, and banks, credit card companies can also use TRY. Known as the new Turkish Lira, it replaced the old currency that automatically made everyone millionaires. Keep in mind that some old Turkish people still refer to millions of Turkish liras purely out of habit.
Turkish Lira banknotes are issued in six denominations: 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5. Each of them has its own color, but be careful, because 5 lire and 50 lire are surprisingly similar. Coins known as Kurus have denominations of 5, 10, 24, and 50. It then progresses to 1 Lira, which is a coin.
Best place to exchange money in Turkey
The exchange rate fluctuates every day, but currently foreigners get a good deal. I use Yahoo Currency Converter, which shows current exchange rates as they occur. Avoid exchanging money at the airport of your home country, because the Commission rates are high and you will get less than if you exchanged money in Turkey.
So, when you get here, there are three options. Banks, currency exchange offices, and sometimes jewelry stores or travel agencies also do this. For the first two, you need to show an ID, which is usually your passport, but these places usually offer the best fare. It depends on how much money you exchange, whether it's worth spending your time using it instead of a local jewelry store or travel agent that is fast, open every day, and convenient.
Can I use euros, dollars, or British pounds?
Tourist shops, restaurants, and travel agencies accept most currencies. The Antalya region, which is popular with Europeans, even shows prices in euros, while in the Aegean, prices are sometimes shown in pounds sterling because it is popular with the British. Tourist spots in Istanbul seem to accept any currency as long as it has value. Just keep in mind that these institutions will often use their own exchange rate if the account is in Lira.
Using money in Turkey : ATMs / ATMs
Known in Turkey as bankamatik, it is much safer and easier to rely on ATMs / ATMs to withdraw euros, US dollars, Turkish Lira and British pounds. However, before you leave your home country, please inform your Bank that you are going to Turkey, otherwise they may block your account due to suspicious activity.
In addition, also ask about fees for using your Bank card abroad. Some banks do not charge for foreign transactions, while others do. The daily limit that you can withdraw is still the same condition as in your home country.Some ATMs have an English language option on the keyboard, while others do not, and similarly some ATMs do not issue foreign currency.
Most importantly, however, there is a high case of fraudsters hanging around cars in some areas. Don't accept help from anyone and don't let them see your pin. Also, check the keyboard to make sure it is not removable. Smart scammers can copy the keyboard that is placed on the original, and it records all your data, including your card number and pin code.
Using traveler's checks and credit cards in Turkey
Avoid using traveler's checks in Turkey. They are old-fashioned, they are no longer accepted in many places, and with the advent of ATMs, they are simply not necessary. Most places in Turkey accept credit cards (Visa, Master, and American Express), but just notify your credit card provider that you are traveling to this country. Institutions like hotels, shops and restaurants have ATMs with swipe cards and pin codes, just like travel agents, but while the former don't charge a Commission, some travel agents do, so check before booking.
Money transfer to and from Turkey
One of the growing ways to transfer money to and from Turkey is a specialized foreign exchange transfer company (FOREX). These companies can transfer your funds between Bank accounts, but it is much cheaper than just using your Bank, which is a relatively expensive option.
The main advantage is that instead of charging 5% and sometimes more to move your money, the costs are usually 2% or lower. This 3% or more is a lot of extra Turkish liras coming into your Bank account.
To choose the best company to transfer money to Turkey, it helps if they have an office in the country you are sending money from. Most companies operate in the UK because of the relatively friendly regulatory environment (and this is London – the financial capital of Europe), but opportunities quickly diminish if you move money from other parts of the world, such as the US, Australia, and other parts of Europe.
If in doubt, choose a reputable company that has a physical operation in a country like the UK, US or Australia, because they will be regulated in those countries. For more information, visit this page, which shows where the offices of some of the major transfer companies are located.
Cash withdrawal from Turkey
Initially, the limit on taking money out of Turkey was always us $ 5,000, but this report by Al-Monitor States that this law was amended in December 2015. Quote…
“In accordance with the amendment of December 30, travelers leaving Turkey with cash worth more than 25,000 liras (8,263 us dollars) or more than 10,000 euros or the equivalent amount of foreign currency are now required to declare this money to customs at airports and border points. The new added provision States that in cases where money is not declared or incorrect or misleading declarations are made, the relevant money will be seized by customs and deemed suspicious. Then customs officers will notify masak and transfer the case to the Prosecutor's office on charges of human trafficking.”
Taxes, refunds, receipts and invoices
All products sold in Turkey are already taxed at 18%. If you need a receipt for your purchases, ask for fis (fish) or fatura if you need an invoice. If you are a non-resident of Turkey and have spent less than 6 months in the country, you are entitled to a tax refund for purchases over 108 TL, if they are made in a registered tax-free store.
Claim a refund at the airport when you leave Turkey and Global Blue, the company operating under this scheme, has offices in most international airports. (Learn more here.) Once you have registered for one of your cards, you can also use it in other countries around the world.
Save money while in Turkey
If you stick to a budget, there are certain ways to get a real deal or save money by being here, and I've listed them in a separate article. In addition, this article talks about funds to Finance your lifestyle if you want to travel a lot or live here.