Travelers Checks in Turkey

Travelers checks (cheques) are more hassle and more expensive to use when you travel to Turkey than an ATMdebit card or credit card because the checks must be exchanged in banks, not currency exchange offices.

Few banks welcome travelers checks. They may require that you go to a particular branch to cash them. Some banks charge a fee of US$20 per check, or up to 20% of the amount of the check, to cash them!

Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in Turkey
Use your home bank debit card to get Turkish lira cash…

Currency exchange offices(döviz bürosu) may sometimes cash them, but may also charge a service fee. Also, currency exchange offices are only found in the largest cities near where foreign currency transactions occur.

Some merchants may take travelers checks, but would prefer cash, and may discount their value.

All in all, I’d suggest that travelers checks are not very useful in Turkey, and that you should use them only if you have some special circumstance that requires them. Use your home bank ATM debit card or a credit card or cashinstead.

—by Tom Brosnahan


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