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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 rands 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.

Compare money transfer services to Turkey

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1 Within an hour ZAR 500.00 0.627 TRY
5,952
Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer with no fee. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
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USD 2,000 1 day ZAR 0.00 0.627 TRY
6,272
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

What’s the best way to send money to Turkey?

Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Turkey. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others seamlessly transfer to bank accounts. Banks, PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and longer turnaround times.

Digital money transfer services

Companies like CurrencyTransfer and Wise specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s Turkish bank account, often in as little as a day or two.

Cash transfers

Services like MoneyGram allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Turkey— often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit or Remitly when possible.

Banks

Turkish lira are not a popular currency, so your local bank probably won’t be able to exchange them. If your bank does support Turkish lira, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending R5,000 to Turkey

Let’s say you need to send R5,000 ZAR to TRY, to family in Turkey. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of October 5, 2020.

Digital money transfer serviceCash transferBank transfer
FeeR0R50R250 + additional correspondent bank fees
Exchange rate1 ZAR = 0.45 TRY1 ZAR = 0.43 TRY1 ZAR = 0.42 TRY
Transfer speed1-2 dayMinutes2-5 days
Amount receivedTRY 2,250TRY 2,128.50TRY 1,995
Verdict
  • Best value
  • Fastest
  • Slowest and most expensive

The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with TRY 225 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Turkey in as little as 15 minutes.

How to send money to Turkey online

Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:

  1. Sign up for an account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
  2. Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you’ll need their Turkish bank account details.
  3. Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
  4. Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Turkey. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.

How to get the most out of your money transfer to Turkey

Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Turkey to meet your needs:

  • Exchange rates. The ZAR to TRY relationship fluctuates often, so using a service that allows you to lock-in exchange prices may help you save money down the line.
  • Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
  • Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the number of Turkish lira you’re sending.
  • Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to Turkey.
  • Minimum limits. Average incomes vary between South Africa and Turkey, which means companies with high minimums transfers may not be your best choice.
  • Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to an Turkish bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.

Emergency cash transfer to Turkey

When it’s more important to get your money to Turkey quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.

How to send money to Turkey without a bank account

Cash transfer services can help you if you’re unbanked or marginally banked. If you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.

Turkey’s exchange rates explained

The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Turkey’s exchange rate is flexible compared to the SA rand, which means it sometimes shifts a few lira over the course of a few months, if not more. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.

Track how the Turkish lira trades against the SA rand in our historical rate chart.

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Updated: 18 Oct 2021 13:36:18 UTC

Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Turkey

To send money to Turkey from South Africa, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Turkey may be different by company.

Documents to send money from South Africa

To send money from SA to Turkey, you’ll need documentation and details that include:

  • Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID.
  • Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash or bank accounts.
  • Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, Turkish bank account and routing number.

Documents to receive money in Turkey

To pick up money in person, documentation can include:

  • Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
  • Government-issued ID. A Turkey Passport, Turkey Driving License or a similar government-issued ID is typically required to pick up cash.
  • Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
  • Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.

What to watch out for

Most money transfers between South Africa and Turkey shouldn’t have any specific tax obligations attached to them, so long as they are for personal use and kept under R1 million ZAR. Anything more than that will need to be cleared with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

Bottom line

Sending your hard-earned money to Turkey shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare transfer companies that specialize in foreign for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.

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