Top 6 Best Travel Money Cards for Turkey 2023
If you’re heading off to Turkey for a break, a dedicated travel money card can make spending and withdrawing Turkish lira cheaper and more convenient. Different types of travel money cards exist to support different customer needs, including travel debit cards, prepaid travel cards and travel credit cards. The right one for you will depend on your personal preference and how you like to manage your money.
Keep reading to discover more about the various travel money card types, some smart options to consider, and the fees you need to keep in mind while you choose the best one for you.
Wise card - travel debit card for Turkey
Before we get into details about different travel money card options, let’s start with the Wise card as a good all round option for a travel money debit card you can use to hold and spend TRY and a good selection of other currencies too.
Wise accounts are a versatile option for travellers, supporting over 50 currencies and offering a linked Wise card for a low one-time fee.
Top up your account in pounds and switch to USD before you travel, so you know your travel money budget in advance - or if you’d prefer, you can simply allow the card to automatically switch currencies as and when you need it. All currency conversion uses the mid-market exchange rate, with low fees from 0.41%. Plus you can get USD bank account details - as well as local account details for up to 9 other currencies - to get paid fee free to your Wise account. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Wise travel money debit card, to help you decide if it’s right for you.
With the option to top up your account in pounds and switch to your desired currency before you travel, you can plan your travel budget easily in advance. Or, you can just let the card automatically switch currencies as you spend. Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate for all currency conversions, with low fees starting from just 0.41%. You can also receive fee-free payments to your Wise account with TRY bank account details and local account details for up to 9 other currencies.
Hold and exchange 50+ currencies alongside TRY
No fee to spend any currency you hold, low conversion fees from 0.41%
Mid market exchange rate on all currency conversion
Some fee free ATM withdrawals every month
No ongoing fees and no interest to pay
7 GBP delivery fee
No option to earn points or rewards
Learn more about the Wise card.
What is a travel money card?
A travel money card can be used for payments online and in stores, and for cash withdrawals, just like your regular bank card can be. However, travel money cards are specifically designed with international use in mind, which means you can expect features and fees that are more optimised for overseas spending. This may include better exchange rates compared to using your regular card abroad, as well as fewer fees. Some travel cards even offer rewards and cashback when you use them internationally.
6 travel money cards for Turkey compared
Before diving into the specifics of each card option, let's first take a quick look at how six of the top travel money cards for Turkey compare to each other.
|Provider||Type||Delivery fee||Turkey ATM fee||Interest rate||POS fees||Exchange rate|
|Wise||Debit||7 GBP card order fee, optional express delivery from 12 GBP||Some free withdrawals every month, low fees after that||Not applicable||Free to spend any currency you hold, currency conversion from 0.41%||Mid-market rate|
|Revolut||Debit||Variable fee based on location and account tier||Some free withdrawals every month based on account tier, low fees after that||Not applicable||Free to spend any currency you hold, currency conversion free to plan limit, 0.5% fee after that||Mid-market rate to plan limit, 0.5% fee after that|
|Post Office||Debit||Variable fee based on location||7 TRY||Not applicable||Free to spend any currency you hold, 3% fee if you spend an unsupported currency||Mastercard rate|
|Monese||Debit||Variable fee based account tier||Some free withdrawals every month based on account tier, low fees after that||Not applicable||2% for Simple account holders, fee may be waived for higher account tiers||Mastercard rate + 2% (fee may be waived for higher account tiers)|
|Barclays||Credit||No fee||Cash withdrawal interest rate will be charged||25.9% variable||No fee||Visa rate|
|Halifax||Credit||No fee||Cash withdrawal interest rate will be charged||Variable rates, confirmed after eligibility check||No fee||Mastercard rate|
As you can see, the features of different travel money cards can vary pretty widely. In general travel debit cards can be convenient and often fairly cheap to use, while travel credit cards can offer some nice perks like cashback or rewards - but do mean you might run into interest and late payment charges, depending on how you choose to pay.
Travel debit cards often let you top up a linked account online or through an app, so you can set your budget and can’t spend more than you intend. Travel credit cards on the other hand let you spend to your card limit, and then repay the amount over a few months if you’d prefer to. Which is best for you will come down to how you like to manage your money - we’ll dive into a few more details about each card type, next.
What are different types of travel cards?
In the UK, customers have the option to choose a travel money card from either a regular bank or a specialist provider. These cards may fall into three categories: travel debit cards, travel prepaid cards, or travel credit cards. We’ll walk through what each travel money card type is, and pick out a couple of good card options, so you can compare and choose.
Travel Debit Cards
Travel debit cards are typically provided by specialist companies and come with linked digital accounts that allow you to hold and convert balances in various currencies. Cards all have their own unique features, and topping up your travel debit card can generally be done conveniently online or through a mobile app. With the option to view your balance and receive transaction notifications on your phone, managing your travel money is made easier no matter where you are in the world.
Travel debit card option 1: Wise card
Wise is a good value travel money debit card for Turkey. There’s no fee to open a Wise account, and just a small delivery fee for your Wise card, with no minimum balance and no monthly charge. You just pay low Wise fees from 0.41% when you convert currencies, and transparent transaction fees when you exhaust the monthly free transactions available with your account.
No fee to open a Wise account, no minimum balance requirement
7 GBP one time fee to get your Wise card
2 withdrawals, to 200 GBP value per month for free, then 0.5 GBP + 1.75%
Hold TRY and 50+ other currencies, convert between them with the mid-market rate
Get local account details to receive TRY and 9 other currencies for free
Get a Wise card
Travel debit card option 2: Revolut card
All Revolut accounts have linked cards, although exactly what type of card you get depends on your account tier. You can hold around 25 currencies including TRY, and convert currencies with the mid-market rate.
No fee to open a Standard Revolut account, or upgrade for up to 12.99 GBP/month
Card delivery fees may apply depending on your account tier
All accounts have some fee free currency conversion with 0.5% fair usage fees after that
Standard plan holders can withdraw 200 GBP (up to 5 withdrawals in total) per month for free
Hold TRY and around 25 other currencies
Get a Revolut card
Pros and cons of using debit travel cards in Turkey
No risk of accruing interest charges or late payment fees
Ability to hold and exchange currencies in advance or at the time of spending
Digital management of accounts, including topping up and viewing balances
Enhanced security, as travel debit card accounts are not linked to your main UK bank account
Cards are issued on popular global payment networks for wider acceptance.
Transaction and currency conversion fees may apply
Cash back and rewards may not be available
How to choose the best travel debit card for Turkey?
The best travel debit card for Turkey really depends on your personal preferences and how you like to manage your money. If you’ll be travelling widely it makes sense to look for an account with mid-market currency exchange and a large selection of supported currencies as well as TRY, like Wise. Other providers like Revolut can also be a good pick, particularly if you’ll use your account very frequently and would prefer to pay a monthly fee to unlock lots of fee free transactions and extra perks.
Is there a spending limit with a travel debit card in Turkey?
Each provider sets its own limits for card usage, which can vary depending on the type of transaction and may apply on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. You might find you have a limit to the amount of ATM withdrawals you can make per day, for example, or the value of contactless payments - these limits are set for security and can sometimes be managed and changed in the provider’s app.
Prepaid Travel Cards
With a prepaid travel card you’ll need to order a card and add funds in the supported currency of your choice. Once you have a balance you may then be able to switch to the currency you need, to pay merchants and make cash withdrawals. Prepaid travel cards are usually issued on large global networks - and can therefore be used pretty widely. However, it's important to note that not all prepaid travel cards support all currencies, so you may incur foreign transaction fees if you choose a card that doesn't support all the currencies you use.
Prepaid travel card option 1: Post Office card
You can pick up a Post Office prepaid travel money card in a Post Office branch or order one online. You’ll then be able to top up in pounds or one of the 22 supported currencies, which includes TRY. If you hold TRY in your account there’s no fee to spend when you’re in Turkey, but if you don’t have a TRY balance - or if your TRY balance isn’t high enough for the transaction, you’ll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Hold and exchange 22 currencies including TRY
No fee to spend a balance in a supported currency
3% foreign transaction fee when spending a currency you don’t hold on the card
Variable ATM withdrawal fees - 3 TRY for use in Turkey
No interest to pay
Prepaid travel card option 2: Monese
Monese accounts can be opened by UK residents to hold GBP, EUR and RON. There are several different types of accounts, from the Simple account which has no monthly fees, to fee paying account tiers which have more features. It’s free to spend a balance you hold - but as TRY isn’t a supported currency, you may find you pay a foreign transaction fee of 2% when you’re spending in Turkey. Foreign transaction fees may be waived for higher tier account holders.
Hold a balance in GBP, EUR or RON
Choose a free Simple account, or upgrade to an account with monthly fees
Foreign transaction fees of 2% may apply depending on your account tier
ATM withdrawal fees may apply, depending on the value of withdrawals and the account tier you hold
Track and spend Avios reward points within your account
Get a Monese card
Pros and cons of using prepaid travel cards in Turkey
Manage your account online or with an app, to add more money or convert funds
Accounts with no monthly fees are available
Selection of supported currencies, with no fee to spend a currency you hold
ATM withdrawals supported globally
Some accounts have extras like options to earn reward points
Typically not a huge range of currencies supported
Transaction fees apply to most accounts
How to choose the best travel prepaid card for Turkey?
There’s no single best travel prepaid card for Turkey - it’ll come down to your personal preference. If you hold a Monese Classic or Premium account already it’s good to know that the 2% foreign transaction fee is waived, which means you get the card network rate when you spend in Turkey. This may be cheaper than using your regular bank card. The Post Office card can also be a strong pick as you can hold a TRY balance, which you can spend for free, plus you can get a card instantly by walking into a Post Office branch.
Is there a spending limit with a prepaid card in Turkey?
Spending and withdrawal limits for prepaid travel cards can vary across different providers and currencies. It's important to carefully review the terms and conditions of each card to ensure that it meets your specific needs.
Travel Credit Cards
Travel credit cards usually come with added international features like reduced or no foreign transaction fees and opportunities to earn rewards while overseas. Although travel credit cards are considered safe and practical, they can also be more costly than using a debit card. Before you select the right card for you it’s important to check the fees, rates, eligibility rules and interest rates which apply, so you can make sure it’s a good fit for you.
Travel credit card option 1: Barclaycard Rewards Visa
The Barclaycard Rewards Visa card has no foreign transaction fees and no international ATM fees. Instead, your overseas spending is simply converted to pounds using the Visa exchange rate, before being added to your monthly bill. You’ll need to repay your bill in full every month to avoid fees and interest, but can earn cashback on your day to day spending.
No foreign transaction or foreign ATM fee
Earn cashback at 0.25% on spending
Protection on purchases over 100 GBP
International spending uses the Visa exchange rate
Variable interest rates which apply if you don’t pay off your bill in full
Travel credit card option 2: Halifax Clarity Mastercard
The Halifax Clarity Mastercard has a variable interest rate which you can see when you check your eligibility for the card. There’s no foreign transaction or foreign ATM fee to pay, and all currency conversion uses the Mastercard exchange rate.
Variable interest rates
Check your eligibility and order a card online easily
No foreign transaction fee
No ATM fee - but interest will accrue instantly when you make a withdrawal
Mastercard exchange rates apply
Pros and cons of using credit cards in Turkey
Spending from 100 GBP has extra consumer protection
Spread the cost of your travel over several months
Check eligibility for a card online with no impact on your credit score
You may pay no foreign transaction fee and no ATM fee
Network exchange rates usually apply, which are usually pretty fair
Interest charged if you don’t repay in full every month
Eligibility rules apply
How to choose the best travel credit card for Turkey?
The best travel credit card for Turkey will depend on your personal preferences. If you’re interested in earning rewards and cash back on your overseas spending, the Barclaycard Rewards Visa might be a good pick, as it has no foreign transaction fee and offers cashback on all spending. Whichever card you’re considering you’ll want to weigh up the potential fees you’ll need to pay against the rewards you can earn to make sure it’s worthwhile.
If you’re off to Turkey you might want to pick up a simple, low cost travel money card for TRY. Travel money cards have different features, and come from regular banks, online specialists and even the Post Office.
Depending on your personal needs, you could go for a low cost travel debit card which comes with a linked account to hold a selection of currencies - like the Wise account. Or you might prefer a prepaid travel money card like the Monese card which can be linked to either a fee free account or an account which has monthly fees in exchange for lower transaction charges. Finally, another option is to get a travel credit card either to earn cashback and rewards, or to avoid foreign transaction fees.
The good news is that the UK market is well served for all types of travel money cards - use this guide to start your research and pick the right option for your specific needs.
FAQ - Best travel cards for the US
You can usually make cash withdrawals with a credit card in Turkey at any ATM that supports your card network. You’ll often find that a fee applies, and you may start to accumulate interest on the withdrawn amount immediately. Travel money debit cards from providers like Wise and Revolut can be a lower cost option for cash withdrawals in TRY.
You can use your debit card anywhere you see the card network’s logo displayed. Visa and Mastercard networks are very well supported globally, including in Turkey, making these good options to look out for when you pick your travel debit card for Turkey.
Prepaid cards from reputable providers are safe to use at home and abroad. They aren’t linked to your main bank account which can offer extra peace of mind, and may also make it easier to manage your travel budget. However, you’ll need to check the card features and fees carefully to make sure you're getting the best match for your needs.