Foreign Exchange Guide to Israel
In this guide we review :
- Israeli New Sheqel info - general info about the Israeli New Sheqel
- Buying Israeli New Sheqel cash online - travel money for Israel
- Sending money to Israel - save on Israeli New Sheqel bank transfers to Israel
- Israeli New Sheqel exchange rates - latest info & charts.
Israeli New Sheqel (ILS) general currency information
The addition of ‘new’ in the official name of Israel’s currency creates a distinction between the current shekel and the original (or ‘old’) shekel used between 1980 and 1985. The original shekel had been ravaged by hyperinflation and was replaced in 1986 by the ‘new’ shekel at a rate of 1000-to-1.
A single shekel is subdivided into 100 agora.
Historically, the shekel’s valuation has been at the mercy of Middle East politics. The shekel has been labelled by some a “conflict currency.”
Fortunately, hedging shekel FX risk has been made easier over the past decade by the introduction of exchange traded shekel derivatives. USD/ILS futures trade on both the ICE and CME exchanges. Exchange traded options are available with the CME. The shekel is currently one of only twenty or so currencies for which exchange traded derivatives are available.
Since 2000, the shekel’s lowest valuation against the US dollar occurred in June 2002 when the USD/ILS exchange rate reached 5.005. The currency’s post-2000 high came in July 2008, shortly before the worst stage of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when USD/ILS fell to just 3.206.
In 2016, the shekel was the twenty-ninth most traded currency in the world and since 2008 it has been fully convertible.
Israel Trip Checklist
Travel money for Israel
Save money and time by Ordering your Israeli New Sheqel online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the ILS cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Israeli New Sheqel otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Sending money to Israel
When sending money to Israel it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Israeli New Sheqel amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted ILS amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Israel.
By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Israeli New Sheqel deposited into the recipient bank account in Israel and less margins and fees kept by the banks!