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How to send money to Turkey
Shop around for the most affordable option when you need to send an international money transfer to Turkey.
If you need to send money to Turkey, it can be difficult to find the right way to turn your dollars into Turkish lira. Fortunately, there are a number of money transfer services that can help you convert your money and put it in the pocket of a friend or family member who needs it. Our guide will explain how to shop around for the best deal.
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Compare money transfer services to Turkey
How do international money transfers work?
An international money transfer allows you to send money to a recipient overseas, exchanging your US dollars for Turkish lira. Generally, a transfer involves giving money to a bank or an independent transfer provider that then sends the money to your recipient. Depending on which company you use, your transfer can be done in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online. You can use cash, a credit card or directly transfer funds from your bank account. When the transaction is complete, your recipient can pick up the cash in person or have the money deposited into their bank account, whichever is more convenient.
Banks versus money transfer companies
Although it may seem convenient to use your bank to transfer money to Turkey, in most cases, this will be a much more expensive option that will net you a worse exchange rate than using a money transfer company. The fees tend to be quite high when you use a bank to transfer money, so unless there are no other options, you should consider using a money transfer company instead.
Online money transfer companies like OFX and TransferWise specialize in moving money around the world. They offer much better exchange rates and lower fees on international transfers, giving you a better deal when you send money to Turkey.
Case Study: Mesut Sends Money to Turkey
When Mesut wants to send money to his brother in Istanbul, he approaches his US bank to find out how much it will cost. Surprised by the substantial transaction fee he will have to pay, Mesut decides to see if a transfer provider can offer him a more affordable option. He compares their services by creating a pro-con list like the table below.
|Bank||Money transfer company|
|$1 USD = $2.013 TRY||$1 USD = $2.067 TRY|
|Transfer method||Wire transfer||Online transfer|
|Processing time||1-3 days||1-3 days|
|Amount received (in lira)||₺2,013 TRY||₺2,067 TRY|
Mesut can save $25 in fees by using the money transfer company and can also send an extra ₺54.
How do I compare transfer companies when sending money to Turkey?
- Exchange rates. How do the company’s exchange rates compare to those offered by its competitors?
- Fees. How much will you be charged for transferring money overseas? Can you avoid the fee by transferring more than a specified amount?
- Transfer methods. Can transfers only be placed online or by visiting a branch? Are there other options available, for example phone transfers?
- Choice of options. Can you lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later, known as a forward contract? Does the institution offer limit orders, which allows you to take advantage of changing market conditions by executing the money transfer when a certain exchange rate is met? Can you schedule recurring payments?
- Turnaround time. How long will it take from the time you pay for your transfer to the moment your money arrives in your recipient’s bank account or wallet?
- Transfer limits. Does the company impose restrictive limits on the amount you can transfer, not only per transaction but per day, week or month?
- Pickup options. How will your recipient access the funds you send? Will they be deposited into a bank account or can they collect the cash from a transfer company branch?
- Customer service. Does the company offer phone, email and live chat support? Is there an online help center with a range of frequently asked questions?
Foreign exchange rates explained
Exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth against that of another country’s currency. These rates will fluctuate daily based on the global political and economic climate, so before you transfer, be sure to compare daily rates to see if there are any trends to watch out for.
How can I send money from the US to Turkey?
- Money transfer providers. Our table lists some of the transfer companies you can use to send money to Turkey.
- Cash pickup transfer companies. MoneyGram and Western Union operate extensive global transfer networks that you can use to send cash to someone in Turkey.
- Bank transfers. Your bank can help you send money to Turkey, but it may not be the most affordable option.
- PayPal transfers. You can use PayPal, but first check the fees and exchange rates offered by PayPal’s international money transfer service.
- International check. You can get an international guaranteed check from your bank and mail it to Turkey if you don’t need a quick transfer.
What are the steps to send money to Turkey?
Although transfer methods vary from one provider to the next, you will usually have to complete the following steps:
- Find a money transfer company in the table above.
- Click the Go to Site button and register with the provider.
- Fill out the form, including information about how much money you’re sending and who you’re sending the money to.
- Pay for the transfer.
- Track the progress of your transfer with the tracking number given to you by the company.
Tips for picking up cash in Turkey
When you need to pick up cash, follow these tips to keep you and your money safe.
- Only visit money transfer branches in safe areas.
- Ask a friend to join you when you go to the branch to pick up your cash.
- Keep your money concealed and don’t take it out in public.
- Put your money somewhere safe or into a bank account as soon as possible.
Same day cash transfers in Turkey
If you find yourself in an emergency or simply need to transfer funds quickly between the US and Turkey, there are providers that can expedite the process. However, the quicker the process, the more the transfer company will charge. A same day transfer can be costly, and it will usually result in worse exchange rates. Take the time to review all the costs and potential benefits before you decide to process a same day transfer to Turkey.Back to top
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