Concerns with using U.S. $ in Istanbul?

Sep 9th, 2011, 12:19 PM
  #1  
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Concerns with using U.S. $ in Istanbul?

I have a family member who is convinced by the travel organizer that it is fine to use U.S. dollars in Istanbul. The visit will only be a few days. Though some may be willing to take U.S. dollars, would it be to my family member's advantage to pay in Lira or at least Euro? She's concern about getting cash from ATM. She'll be arriving in Istanbul via bus. I've had problems with my ATM card in Europe before, so I understand her concerns. What are the best options? I say get some Liras and use Euros as a fall back.
lehcar is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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Hmmm.

Ask her if she would take Turkish Lira in change at her local CVS or Walgreen's?
Ackislander is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 12:46 PM
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I used only Lira in Turkey. And only get cash from ATM machines. I don't understand why people want to use other than currency of the country they're visiting. I don't see a difference between using Euros and US Dollars - you'll take a hit on the exchange rate on both.

Where are you getting the Euros? Do you already have them?

Of course it will be to the person's advantage to use local currency. In this case Turkish Lira. What does the travel organizer care if someone pays a premium to use USD. It's not their loss.
adrienne is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 12:52 PM
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What is the concern with using ATMs. I use them all over Europe with no problems. Including using ATMs in many places in Western Turkey from Istanbul to Antalya.
adrienne is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 12:54 PM
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I have to say I think it's offensive for people to use currencies other than the one of the country they're visiting, even in countries where the residents actively seek out dollars. And unless your family is a math genius or wants to use a calculator for every transaction, he/she probably isn't going to have any idea how many dollars to pay for anything and will likely get taken to the cleaners.
StCirq is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 01:20 PM
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This question gets asked almost every week. When will people start to learn that it's a ridiculous question? Sigh!
nancicita is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 01:21 PM
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personally do great there with my no fee capitalone.com

Visa taken widely there no foreign fees double FF miles

on EVERYTHING best deal going.

I will ATM/Exchange local scrip from big banks only

just to cover incidentals Exchange rate best there.

Money changers are the worse clip u up to 35% on small changes

AVOID! www.coimill.com for correct USD/Lira change

Europe is cratering now Greek 1 year bonds are paying 94%

today rumors of eminent default are tanking the euro now

as well as market worldwide... NO to the Euro for me

so I would stay in Dollars as much as possible

Good luck!
qwovadis is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 01:24 PM
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Well sure they can bring dollars. Then they can find a foreign exchange place. Then get totally ripped off on both the exchange rate and the outrageous fees.

They are going to Turkey. Use Turkish currency!!!

The U.S. is right next to Canada, but we don't take Canadian dollars in most places (even though they might be worth more).
daveesl is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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coinmill.com/TRY_USD.html

$100 USD will get u 179 TRY today

But wait as long as you can to get even more...

www.otel.com best for Turkey hotel deals for me

Istanbul based use them a lot.
qwovadis is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 01:29 PM
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Why on earth would anyone use currency not issued by the country they are visiting? This seems like an insane holdover from long ago.

What kind of ATM troubles? We carry a couple of ATM cards, just in case, and a few credit cards.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 01:30 PM
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Greek 1 year Bond Yield at nearly 94% now. ... analysis of Greek bond yields and predict that once the 1 year bond ... value of the bond is 500 for a 1,000 Euro 2012 ...
http://www.politics.ie/forum/europe/...ek-1-year-bond

Unless the G7 countries do something this weekend

the Euro is in major trouble...
qwovadis is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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It's been almost 20 years since I was in Istanbul (I have to fix that!). The ATM machines worked very well at that time. The price board at our hotel gave only dollar prices, starting at $25 for a single. It was a clean and comfortable place near Topkapi Gate. We got into town on the tram or in a domus. Dollars were preferred because the Turkish lira was even more unstable than the Italian lira. Merchants preferred dollars and German Marks at that time. I traveled with 1,000 of each, and brought almost all of it home. Turkey was very economical.
spaarne is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 01:45 PM
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Maybe the "concern" about using ATM's in Europe is that there was an ATM that didn't work one time.

It has happened to me before once out of 20 plus trips to Europe.
It has happened to me here a few times here in the US where I live.

In both cases I just found another ATM.

It hasn't stopped me from using ATM's in Europe and it hasn't stopped me from using ATM's in the USA.
bardo1 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 02:07 PM
  #14  
ira
 
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Hi leh,

>I have a family member who is convinced by the travel organizer that it is fine to use U.S. dollars in Istanbul. <

Has the "organizer" been to Turkey before?

>The visit will only be a few days.<
How many thousands of Lira in cash is she planning to spend?

May I suggest that she trade in $100 for TRY at the departure airport, so that she will have some cash on arrival? It will only cost a couple of dollars more than getting the money in Turkey.

Then she can use one of her two ATM cards to get whatever extra cash she might need.

CapitalOne doesn't charge "conversion" fees.

ira is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 02:15 PM
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I was in Istanbul this March. From acceptance point of view, everyplace I have been would have taken US dollar. The rate was at least 6-10% in their favor. Turkish lira was not easy to convert into another currency so if you have lira left over, recommend converting back into Euro or US dollar before leaving Turkey. The merchants were disappointed when I used Turkish lira as it deprived them from making additional profit.
nickn is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 02:18 PM
  #16  
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I agree... use Lira. I'm trying to find good argument points against the tour organizer's experience/belief that US dollars work well. I'm not the one going on the trip - just trying to provide good advice to my family member who is somewhat naive about getting currency when traveling.

Re: ATMs - I was only able access ATM 2x during a trip in UK, Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. It was my credit union's fault, who couldn't fix the problem while I was abroad. On another trip, I got a backup account in case the same thing happened. I needed to access cash for the apartment upon arrival. Both my cards didn't work at the German airport ATM. At such a late hour, it was hard for me to find an ATM nearby the apartment. Thankfully, the owner was really nice and let me pay the next morning.
lehcar is offline  
Sep 9th, 2011, 03:50 PM
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In countries where the bastard politicians have debased their currencies more than in the USA you will find that dollars are respected and preferred. Know the official exchange rate and offer the equivalent in dollars. The merchant will get more lira for those dollars than the official rate because foreign exchange is controlled. Citizens may not be able to exchange more than a certain amount of lira for real money annually. It is marked in their passports.

The Greek millstone is getting heavy for the banks of northern European countries. The thin ice is about to crack.
spaarne is offline  
Sep 10th, 2011, 06:26 PM
  #18  
 
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Have most those who are responding been to Istanbul recently or at all? I was there last year and USD is widely accepted. All the ATM's let you get cash in Lira, Euros or USD. Hotels airport transfers, tours are all priced in Euros.

It is widely accepted in Istanbul to pay in USD, for most purchases a tourist would make. It wouldn't work on a bus or in a locals only establishment. But at a tourist restaurant, Grand Baazar, hotel, they wouldn't bat an eye if you wanted to pay in USD.

Oh, and btw, I'm not an arrogant, ignorant American. I would never consider paying in USD in France or Italy, etc.. Istanbul really is different!
aimeekm is offline  
Sep 10th, 2011, 06:35 PM
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Oh, my apologies. It just sounded so nutty; my father, actually out of ignorance used to tell us all the time that our US money would be good anywhere. We quit arguing with him.

I have not been to Istanbul, and again, I apologize. It's just that I've never been to any country where they didn't prefer to do business in their own currency. Turkey is obviously out of my ken.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Sep 10th, 2011, 06:52 PM
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Sure, US dollars are probably widely accepted in Istanbul, and why not? The merchants are making fabulous profits by accepting them. That doesn't mean a savvy traveler should pay in dollars.
StCirq is offline  

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