Jump to content

Ziraat Bank or YapiKredi: Which one would you recommend for foreigners?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Howdy: between Ziraat Bank or YapiKredi: Which one would you recommend for foreigners, specifically US citizens with bank accounts in the US and needing to transfer money to Turkey?

Many thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know about Ziraat Bank because I've never used them, but I'm happy with Yapıkredi.

One important note here. On the first page of the Yapıkredi website, and I'm sure on every Turkish bank website) they have the rate they pay to buy US dollars. Note that before you make any transfers.

If you transfer US dollars, to a US dollar account, Yapıkredi charges a fee (my bank in the USA also charges a fee, for me it's $30 USD regardless of the amount).

If you transfer US dollars and have it changed to Turkish lira using the international exchange rate, there is no fee from Yapıkredi.

However, The last two times I transferred money, the loss of value I would have had because of the exchange rate my US bank was going to use to have the money converted to Turkish Lira was far beyond the fee Yapıkredi was charging to receive US dollars.

So everyone should be sure to check the difference in the exchange rate their home country bank will use and the exchange rate their Turkish bank will use, and compare the difference to the fee their Turkish bank will charge for receiving the money in foreign currency.

For example, on 1 July 2021 I transferred $3,000 from my US bank to my Yapıkredi US dollar account. Yapıkredi charged me a fee of $31.80. to receive the US dollars. But if I had send the $3,000 and had it automatically converted to Turkish Lira and deposited it into my Turkish Lira account, I Yapıkredi would have charged no fee, but I would have lost hundreds of dollars because of my US bank using the international exchange rate. I don't recall the rate at the time but it was substantially different.

So before you transfer anything, check the exchange rate your home country bank will use against the rate your Turkish bank displays on it's home page.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many Thanks @Ken Grubb for bringing this to my attention.  if I understood correctly, when you say "they charge a fee" , and "my bank" above, you are referring to your US bank, is that correct? 

I also understood that one can have 2 accounts at the same bank: one in USD and one in Turkish Lira. The USD account is the recipient of international money transfers (this case from the US), and the TL account is used for intra-bank conversion at the then-day rate. Is my understanding correct?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I re-read my post and saw that it is confusing. I have re-written it to make it clear which bank is which. Instead of explaining the changes, would you please have a look at it again?

In the Turkish banks, you can have multiple accounts in various currencies. In this case, in Turkish Lira and in US dollars.

Any of these accounts can receive international money transfers.

So as in this case, let's say you open a Turkish Lira account and a US dollar account. And you want to transfer US dollars from the USA. You can transfer the US dollars to either account.

If you transfer the US dollars to your Turkish Lira account in Turkey, the money must be converted to Turkish Lira during the transaction. So the US bank would withdraw the US dollars, then convert it to Turkish Lira, during the transfer, then Turkish Lira would be deposited into your Turkish Lira bank account in Turkey. Yapıkredi charges no fee for this.

You can also transfer the US dollars to your US dollar account in Turkey. In this case there is no conversion. It is sent in US dollars and it arrives in US dollars. For this, Yapıkredi charges a fee. Then, using the bank's website, you can sell your US dollars here in Turkey, and have the Turkish Lira deposited into your Turkish lira account.

What I found is that if I did it the second way, USD account to USD account, then sell the USD and get the Turkish Lira here, the exchange rate was so much better it was more than worth paying the bank fee for receiving the US dollars.

On the Yapıkredi website, once you sign in, there's a section for buying and selling foreign currency. So after I check to make sure the US dollars have arrived, I "sell" them in the foreign currency exchange section. Then the proceeds of the exchange, in Turkish Lira, is automatically deposited into my Turkish Lira account.

I hope that makes sense... let me know if anything is unclear.

I might have mentioned this before, but check out a site called Transferwise.com. They specialize in international money transfers and charge lower fees than typical banks. The only reason I don't use them is because I am a member of a not-for-profit credit union which charges the same low fee for all transfer amounts, and for the amounts I transfer it's about the same as Transferwise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you @Ken Grubb for the clarifications. Much appreciated. 

I checked the fee structure of Wise.com (formerly transferwise.com) and will benchmark it against what my US bank (Chase) + the 2 candidate Turkish banks will charge in total, including the currency exchange mark-up ... got some work to do in order not to leave unnecessary fees on the table: these can add up quickly and significantly! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have used (transfer) Wise several times over the last year. I am pleased with the clarity, they tell you what you will get, and what you will pay in commission. The  money arrives as they say it will, and you can track it every step of the way. (I am transferring from a UK bank, not US). It is a bit of a fiddle to set up, but bear with it, after the initial proof of who you are, it is so simple, and relatively secure. My UK bank would want at least £25 per transaction, I pay a fraction of that with Wise, and get a good rate. The only issue though, as it has to arrive in TL, is to transfer only what you will spend in the upcoming month.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just opened an account at Garanti bank because it was eaisier than doing it at Yapi Kredi. I opened up a US $ and TL account, with zero funds in them. It costs me nothing to keep them open and nothing to deposit funds into them. Just transferred some funds from Wise and I will see if they charge me to withdraw the money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did, but only to look at what I had in my account and what I have left. Didn’t see an English version. Just entered my password and I didn’t have to do much more. If you have more complex operations to perform and you don’t speak English, not so easy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 26/07/2021 at 20:14, Yami said:

Ibrahim, would you please compare your experience of those three banks’ mobile application? Ziraat Bank mobile is really basic and badly designed. I wouldn’t rate it more than 3 out of 5.

Sorry I cannot compare, I use internet banking, but not mobile, as I hate these HUGE smartphones. My wife has one, but generally, we prefer internet banking. We are more than happy with Garanti, their internet banking is more than we need, we have used it for paying bills, paying traffic fines, money transfers to pay bills, or send money to our other accounts, to receive money from, and send money to our banks in the UK. The English provision is also good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...