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Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey

Using a credit card in Turkey

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Save money with a credit card without paying foreign transaction fees.

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.

Our pick for use in Turkey

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn 1.25x miles on all purchases; 10x miles on purchases made through hotels.com/venture until January 2020
  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 within your first 3 months when you open your account
  • Get 0% intro APR on purchases for your first 12 months, a variable APR of 14.24% – 24.24% applies thereafter
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
Read less
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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
None
$0
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
None
$0
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.24%, 20.24% or 24.24% variable)
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
None
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Earn 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a direct Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
None
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.99%, 22.74% or 25.24% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
None
$0
17.99% to 24.99% variable
50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening.

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

Which credit card issuers are accepted in Turkey?

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 acceptance
ATM acceptance
Visa
check mark iconHigh
check mark iconHigh
Mastercard
check mark iconHigh
check mark iconHigh
American Express
exclamation point iconMedium
check mark iconHigh
Discover
exclamation point iconMedium
cross mark iconLow

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.

Travel money guide: Turkey

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.

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

  1. Get a credit card without foreign transaction fees. This can save you up to 3% on every transaction.
  2. Visa and Mastercard are universally accepted. American Express is also accepted, but not as widely.
  3. Notify your bank before you travel. Otherwise, your bank may consider your activity outside the US fraudulent and block your card.
  4. Get your bank’s phone number. Quickly resolve any card-related issues by calling.
  5. Get a backup card. This way, you’ll be covered if something happens to your primary card.
  6. 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.

Bottom line

You can use your credit card in most places in Turkey, including hotels, restaurants and most museums. But 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 credit card without foreign transaction fees.

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

Frequently asked questions

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Disclaimer

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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2 Responses

  1. 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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