If you are planning a trip to Turkey, you should consider the correct method of payment before you leave. Credit cards and EC cards are accepted everywhere. However, the use can be expensive.
The use of credit cards in Turkey
If you have booked a vacation in the tourist centers of Turkey, such as Antalya, Alanya or Side, you will generally have no problems accepting credit cards. VISA credit cards are accepted in almost all hotels, restaurants and shops.
Not quite as high, but still positive is the acceptance of the Mastercard in Turkey. If you have international credit cards such as Diners or American Express, you will have to expect significantly less acceptance. If you want to use your credit card intensively, you should carry a VISA card.
Withdrawing money from an ATM is possible with all the credit cards mentioned. You can also use your EC card to withdraw money. Payment with the EC card, however, is only possible in exceptional cases. The reason for this is that Turkey is neither an EU member nor has the USD as a means of payment.
Outside the tourist centers, the acceptance of credit cards depends on the region and the size of the city. If you travel to Ankara or Istanbul, you can use your credit card almost without restrictions in the centers of the major cities. In rural areas and smaller towns, on the other hand, you should take cash with you. Credit cards are often not known or not wanted there because restaurant operators or sellers shy away from the high fees.
When planning your trip, you should pay attention to the security of your money. It is not recommended that you exchange your travel fund as cash at home and carry it with you during your trip or leave it at the hotel. As a tourist, you are very welcome in Turkey and not at risk. Nevertheless, as everywhere, there are criminals who specialize in the robbery of handbags, wallets and cell phones. Carrying large sums of cash is therefore not an option on a vacation in Turkey.
Credit card costs
Before using your credit card in Turkey, you should find out about the costs. Regardless of whether you pay with a credit card or fetch money, each use costs fees. The exemption from fees that was assured when you took out your card usually only applies within the EU. You should therefore read the terms and conditions for your card carefully before you travel.
In general, withdrawing cash from an ATM is more expensive than paying with a credit card. Payment of the bill in a restaurant or hotel or shopping in a shop with a credit card is subject to a surcharge of 0.75% on the purchase price. There is also a one-time fee per purchase of the equivalent of a little more than one USD per payment process. If you pay the equivalent of 100 USD with your credit card, the total amount is 101.84 USD.
On the other hand, if you withdraw the equivalent of 100 USD at an ATM in Turkey, you pay a one-time amount of around 2.57 USD in addition to the 0.75%. The withdrawal will cost you a total of 103.32 USD and is therefore a bit more expensive. The same applies to paying or withdrawing cash with a Maestro card.
Alternatives to using credit cards in Turkey
A good alternative to using the credit card on a holiday in Turkey is to take travelers checks with you. These are also subject to fees, but they are very secure for that. In the event of theft, they will be replaced and can usually not be used by the unlawful owner. Taking cash for the first few days is recommended. Then you should take care of yourself at the ATM and pay all costs in cash. In this way, you save the one-off fees that are incurred for each individual payment.