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Using a credit card in Turkey

Know the potential fees and what’s accepted before you take off.

Turkey, a popular tourist destination, is a credit-card-friendly country. Visa and Mastercard credit cards are widely accepted. American Express and Diners Club International? Not so much.

Cash also remains a popular way to pay across the country, so a cash withdrawal could be an option. Just be wary of cash advance fees and cash advance APR that are common with credit cards.

If you’re taking along a variety of cards, debit cards and cash, read our full guide on spending money while traveling in Turkey.

Which credit card issuers are accepted in Turkey?

Visa and Mastercard are most commonly accepted card networks in Turkey, and American Express credit cards are accepted more widely than Discover cards — especially at expensive hotels and restaurants.

If you’re a Discover cardmember looking to make cash withdrawals, look for Citibank and Garanti ATMs. American Express owners can choose ATMs from Akbank, Vakifbank, Garanti and Turkiye Bankasi among others.

Merchant acceptanceATM acceptance
Visacheck mark iconHighcheck mark iconHigh
Mastercardcheck mark iconHighcheck mark iconHigh
American Expressexclamation point iconMediumcheck mark iconHigh
Discoverexclamation point iconMediumcross mark iconLow

Potential credit card fees in Turkey

Whether you’ll pay any fees on your purchases abroad depends on your card. For example, you could pay:

  • Foreign transaction fees. This could be up to 3%, which means for every $5,000 spent in Turkey, you’ll pay $150 in fees.
  • Currency conversion fees. ATMs and vendors could offer you the option to pay in US dollars. This is called Dynamic Currency Conversion and it comes with a poor conversion rate.

Can I incur both fees?

Yes. Avoid this by paying in local currency and getting a credit card without foreign transaction fees.

Compare cards for use in Turkey

Consider a credit card without foreign transaction fees or an airline cobranded card that saves you money on flights, checked bags or lounge access.

Name Product Foreign transaction fee Annual fee Purchase APR Filter values
American Express® Gold Card
None
$250
See Pay Over Time APR

Rose Gold is Back

Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 based on our valuation with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
The Platinum Card® from American Express
None
$695
See Pay Over Time APR

New Platinum Exclusive Offer

One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $7,000 based on Finder's valuation, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™
None
$195
14.99% variable
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Chip and PIN credit cards

These are the most common types of credit cards used in Turkey. You could use a chip and signature card, but it may not be accepted everywhere. To avoid unnecessary frustration, ask your bank to provide a four-digit PIN for your card before traveling.

Is it safe to use my credit card in Turkey?

Using a credit card in Turkey is safe, but exercising caution is advised.

  • Select ATMs with care. Choose an ATM attached to a bank. These ATMs are less likely to be tampered with and you can quickly retrieve your card if it gets eaten by the machine.
  • Take two cards. Having a backup card could save you time, money and stress.
  • Keep your card in sight. Always keep an eye on your card to avoid misuse.

How to prepare before traveling to Turkey

  • Get a credit card without foreign transaction fees. This can save you up to 3% on every transaction.
  • Visa and Mastercard are universally accepted. American Express is also accepted, but not as widely.
  • Notify your bank before you travel. Otherwise, your bank may consider your activity outside the US fraudulent and block your card.
  • Get your bank’s phone number. Quickly resolve any card-related issues by calling.
  • Get a backup card. This way, you’ll be covered if something happens to your primary card.
  • Get some cash. Having cash is a must if you’re planning to haggle, use a taxi or purchase items from street vendors. Making a cash withdrawal could be an option, but use a debit card to avoid paying fees.

Should I use my credit card to get cash in Turkey?

You’ll need cash if you’re planning to shop from street vendors, market stands, or if you’re going to use public transportation or taxis.

ATMs are widespread across Istanbul and other cities, but expect to pay high cash advance fees and APR if you’re using a credit card. Use a debit card to avoid cash advance fees and an APR.

Do taxis in Turkey accept credit cards?

Most taxis in Turkey accept only cash. There are some, however, that may accept credit cards.

Also, don’t expect to find Uber rides in Turkey, as Uber has been declared illegal since 2018.

Bottom line

You can use your credit card in most places in Turkey, including hotels, restaurants and most museums. Mastercard and Visa are most popular, but some merchants may accept American Express and Discover cards. However, you may still need cash to fully enjoy Turkey.

If you’re looking to make cash withdrawals, consider carrying a debit card to avoid cash advance fees and an APR. For all other card purchases, get a travel credit card without foreign transaction fees.

See more guides on using a credit card in other countries.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    CorinneJune 12, 2019

    Do Turkish hospitals accept international credit cards?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      CharisseJune 13, 2019Staff

      Hi Corinne,

      Thanks for reaching out to Finder.

      Yes, Turkish hospitals accept international credit cards. In fact, paying patients may be required to pay a deposit towards the cost of treatment, usually by credit card and to leave a credit card imprint.

      All doctors in Turkey as well are required to accept payment by credit card for consultations or appointments.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Charisse

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