Using a credit card in Turkey |
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 overseas

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
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  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Read less
Read more

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 APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
18.24% to 25.24% variable
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
19.24% to 26.24% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable
An 18 months 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
12.99% to 17.99% variable
Earn 25,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days from 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
check mark iconHigh
check mark iconHigh
check mark iconHigh
check mark iconHigh
American Express
exclamation point iconMedium
check mark iconHigh
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.

Learn more: 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.

How to use a credit card in …

Frequently asked questions

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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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