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Denise Aug 17th, 1998 12:53 AM

Money in Italy and Turkey
We will be in Turkey and Italy during September and October and are now at the stage where we need to think about money and what form to take it in. We will "load" up our Visa's and plan to take some travellers cheques. Can someone help me with the charges in these countries regarding obtaining cash from Visa and also cashing travellers cheques (perhaps Amex) but definitely in US$. What have other travellers found to be the cheapest and easiest ways to do this. Thank you Denise from Brisbane <BR>

Joe Lomax Aug 17th, 1998 04:33 AM

It depends on your definition of 'load' up. If you are using <BR>a Visa debit card and you have put a lot of money in checking <BR>account to get at ATM's, this is a good thing. ATM's fees are <BR>relatively small and you get the bank rate. If you define <BR>'load' up as raising your credit limit and taking cash advances, <BR>you will be spending considerably more money. When you take <BR>a cash advance, you incur a sizable fee and you start paying <BR>interest on it immediately. I am not familiar with Turkey, <BR>but in Italy ATM's are very common and are the way to go. <BR>Travellers checks are a good back up, but you typically <BR>do not get as good a rate and you have to find an exchange <BR>and wait in line to get you money.

Jen Aug 17th, 1998 08:19 AM

I just returned from Turkey and used my ATM card exclusively with no problems. Take smaller amounts more often due to this country's high rate of inflation. I brought travellers cheques in US$ and only used them when buying a carpet so I didn't have to go back to bank machine for cash. Travellers cheques not accepted everywhere and they have a pretty poor rate attached but are a good back-up in case of emergency. Make sure you have US$ cash if you need to buy a Visa at the airport in Istanbul or any other airport in Turkey. If you have to buy a VISA they only accept $US CASH regardless of where you are from. I THINK it was $45.00 but as I am Canadian and exempt I am not sure of the charge. <BR>Have a great trip. <BR> <BR>Jen

Angela Aug 17th, 1998 10:13 AM

I've just returned from Turkey (my fifth trip in four yrs). Do try to use your VISA card if possible, but always have money on you - the technology (phone lines/banks) aren't great and it does not alwyas go through. In addition stores that have VISA & MasterCard signs posted don't always accept them - you can barter with them to use it. Regarding ATM machines, my mother tried using her card in Bodrum, it would not accept her PIN #. The bank teller helped her - by taking a cash advance on her VISA - which starts collecting interest the minute you take it! I just took cash. If you do take any cash make sure that NONE of your bills have any rips, no tape, they must be almost perfect. I have had a few bills refused because of rips. Lastly, try to pay cash in the duty free shop in Turkey's airport (and they did not know what American Express was). I have a problem every year with my VISA there. I go to the banks in Turkey - they tend to the best exchange rates - although you need to be in a large enough town, not all banks will exchange money for you. If the bank won't exchange your $, check out the local tourism place, some of them do, but know the exchange rate before you go in. P.S. If you want to go grocery shopping check out MIGROS, they take VISA. <BR>

Denise Aug 18th, 1998 12:02 AM

Thank you for your help. Yes, I am loading my Visa Credit card up with cash, i.e. it will be a Debit card for a while, or rather, hopefully all our trip. <BR>Thanks for all the clues. Denise <BR>

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