Using Starling in Turkey 🇹🇷


@Michael_Gill reports this today:

I have been using my Starling account in Turkey for the last 8 days, lots of use in Shops, restaurants and an ATM withdrawal. Pleased to say no problems at all. I love my Starling account

In turkey.. query about currency conversion rate

Thank you @Graham for moving post to correct place. I will I hope get the hang of it


No problem. Feel free to add any detail should it occur. The geekier, the better.


Unfortunately, I’ve just come back from a week in Turkey and had numerous issues with transactions failing to go through. They would show up in app notifications as going through, then a few seconds later I would get another notification that the merchant reversed the transaction and, suffice to say, the in-store the transaction failed. This happened on about 40% of my total attempts to use the card on holiday (had to fall back to my Nationwide Debit Card with no issues).

The failed/reversed transaction issue always occurred with one particular bank/card processor - Garanti. No problems with purchase made using card machines from Akbank and other Turkish banks.

If anyone can shed light on this it would be good.



Should also add (purely mentioning to help with big fixing) that my girlfriend’s Monzo card had no issues in the Garanti card machines or anywhere else.


Chris, I had no problems with any bank processing chip and pin transactions.
GARANTI Bank was no problem for me either at the ATM or using card in store

Hope it did not ruin your holiday!


Nah - didn’t ruin the holiday at all. I have been using the Starling card and account for all my non-direct-debit spending this month as a test, but have kept my main Nationwide Flexaccount funded as a back-up. When the card failed in the Garanti card machines it was no hassle to try again with the Nationwide card. Just odd that it failed every time last week just with that one bank, but no issues with Monzo?

Other than the glitches in Turkey, Starling has performed well.


Hi All

I am currently in turkey

I have used Starling to pay for things however I had a query

I paid 44 turkish lira and on Starling this came up as £8.64 (£1=Try 5.09)

However when I went onto currency xchange website such as and entered 44 turkish lira to £, it comes to £8.59637

It looks like Starling has taken more from me, I thought using Starling I should get the exact rate without commission?

Am I wrong?

Can someone please clarify?

Thank you all


Starling use the Master Card exchange rate I believe. The price you see on XE you will never get as an individual


I have never had a problem with Starlings conversion rates in Turkey.
The MasterCard rate at the time is applied to your transaction.
What you see in currency apps is never a real option to measure what rate you will get.
All in all it looks like you got a great deal, enjoy your time in Turkey.


Due to Starling’s foreign exchange benefits I decided to use the Starling card for all my purchases whilst in Turkey

Initially I was very impressed, however that didnt last long, the first day my payments by chip and pin were going through fine, after that day any payments I made by Chip and Pin was getting reversed by merchant almost immediately after making the payment, this was very embarassing when trying to show off Starling’s features to my friends and family,

I encountered the same problem day after day whilst there, I contacted Customer Support yet I was very disappointed with their level of support, all they said to me was oh it could be a merchant fault, yet this problem occurred 4 times, all different merchants and different days, yet my UBER payments went through fine at the same time,

my question is as a tech company, I believe Starling should be able to know what the problem is, rather than just trying to wash their hands clean off the issue

I felt very disappointed after this and I am now thinking twice about using Starling abroad in the future:frowning_face:


Unfortunately, your experience was the same as mine in Turkey when using my Starling card back in September. What I found was that all the instances of a transaction being immediately reversed were with the same credit card processor - Garanti.

Fortunately I had a backup card from a proper bank so our holiday was not impacted by the Starling issues. Like you, I also found that Starling customer service couldn’t care less about the problem. It was disappointing, and I no longer use my Starling card abroad.


Odd that the experience has varied amongst card users.

Time has passed, I know, but it would be interesting to know quite what your interaction with CS was, as a “couldn’t care less” attitude seems strange.



I kept getting a brush off “we are not aware of any issues” response. Which is pretty typical of Starling customer service in my experience as an account holder. No interest at all in investigating the problem despite me providing a wealth of information to work from.




Thanks for your feedback and sorry this thread has only just been drawn to my attention. I’m adding @patrick who leads our CS team to make sure our responses are more helpful for you. The difficulty is that our team might not always know why your card is being declined abroad. If there are no other known issues, the most common case is that the merchant might have experienced an issue. If you haven’t already done so, please log your transactions which were reversed while you were away with our CS team, our engineering team might then be able to look at the transaction in more detail to see if there was a reason provided for the reversal.
Many thanks


I have spoken to 3 different advisors who have said they will log it with the engineering team and will get back to me, a month and a half later I still have not heard anything back


Hi @nasimrahman

I’ve been told that each of these issues is escalated by our Payment Operations team to MasterCard, who then chase the retailer themselves. Unfortunately, MasterCard do not always report back to us on the outcome so we aren’t always able to come back to you with any information.

Sorry about that!



In that case, you should be chasing MasterCard for a response, not simply writing it off when they don’t come back to you!


I just had a chat with our Payments Operations team and they have confirmed that they always chase Mastercard for a response.

The reason for the delay could be due to when Mastercard then raises this with the merchant’s bank, which can take some time to hear back from. However, we always do chase for a response.

The same process occurs for all merchants, in and out of the UK, who have problems with Starling Cards.

More details are available here: