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Exchange $Can or use ATM at Ataturk airport

Grand Falls...
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Exchange $Can or use ATM at Ataturk airport

We'll be arriving Istanbul late afternoon and wondering about the best way to exchange money. I checked with my bank today and there's a whopping $3.50 charge for each ATM transaction ... not sure what the additional charge in Istanbul will be. At that rate I'd like to limit the number of times we use the ATM. I also don't feel comfortable using my debit card for the first time when the banks are closed and thought I'd exchange $Can at the airport immediately upon arrival. Most airport exchange bureaus seem to charge a %age commission ... does anyone know how much at Ataturk airport? We'll need lira for taxi fare/tip, etc.

I also have concerns about an ATM transaction timing out before one actually receives the money. I've read an article on Turkey Travel Planner about a Canadian who had used her card, didn't receive any money from the ATM and yet found when she arrived home each transaction had been debited from her bank account. She did eventually get her money back but I can well imagine the inconvenience. (I've alerted my bank to our travel plans.)

I read this forum regularly and plan to use many of the suggestions given. Does anyone have any advice? Many thanks in advance for your help!

We are truly looking forward to our holiday in Turkey ... not long now!

Destination Expert
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1. Re: Exchange $Can or use ATM at Ataturk airport

Hi Homedic,

I think you unduly worry about millions of ATM transactions again millions of tourists successfully accomplish. For your immediate expenses just exchange 200-300 Can$ at any bank open 24/7 at the airport. The rest of the time you can use the ATM machines or the Currency Exchange Offices (offering slightly better rates than banks) all throughout the city.

good luck,


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2. Re: Exchange $Can or use ATM at Ataturk airport

Wherever you travel in the world, ATMs usually give you the best rate even when there is a charge for each transaction.

Grand Falls...
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3. Re: Exchange $Can or use ATM at Ataturk airport

Enigma. Thanks for this. I think I'll exchange enough to get me through a few days in Istanbul and then use the ATM before leaving for Cappodocia. I have had a couple of things happen with ATMs in South America and SE Asia ... but not in Europe or North America. I'm not suggesting anything will happen in Turkey but I do believe in being prepared. Thanks again!

Babylon, New York
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4. Re: Exchange $Can or use ATM at Ataturk airport


You might wnat to consider opening a new bank account before you go and getting an ATM card for it. I found out my own bank was charging whpping fees as well, so I found one that has NO fees for ATM transactions, and they use a Cirrus ATM card which I learned on this formun works all over Turkey....

Also - a Capital One Mastercard does not charge any foreign exchange fees, if you wnat to save on purchases you might charge.


gone to Turkey in 6 days - can't wait!

5. Re: Exchange $Can or use ATM at Ataturk airport

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