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    Currency in Israel ILS - Things to know

    Foreign exchange guide to Israel and the Israeli new sheqel


    What currency is used in Israel?

    The official currency of Israel (country code: IL) is the Israeli new sheqel, with symbol and currency code ILS.

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    Things to know about the Israeli new sheqel

    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.

    An example Israeli new sheqel banknote


    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.


    Travel Ideas and Money Tips for Israel

    Israel is a country in the Middle East with a population of about 9 million people. The capital city is Jerusalem, and other major cities include Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Nazareth. The official languages are Hebrew and Arabic, and the currency is the Israeli shekel.

    Israel is a popular tourist destination for its religious and historical significance. Visitors can explore ancient sites like the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, or hike through the scenic Judean Desert. The country is also home to a thriving modern culture, with lively nightlife and world-class restaurants.

    Expats moving to Israel will find a warm and welcoming community. The country is known for its tolerant attitude towards different cultures and religions, and expats from all backgrounds can feel at home here. The cost of living in Israel is relatively high, but salaries are also high, making it an attractive option for many professionals.

    Best things to do and see in Israel

    1. Tour the Old City of Jerusalem

    2. Visit the Western Wall and the Temple Mount

    3. See the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

    4. Explore the archaeological site of Masada

    5. Take a dip in the Dead Sea

    6. Visit the ancient city of Petra in Jordan

    7.Float in the Dead Sea

    8. Hike in the Sinai Desert

    9. Climb Mount Sinai

    10. Visit the Bahai Gardens in Haifa

    Top Travel tips for Israel

    1. You need a passport to enter Israel, which you can get at your local post office. Citizens of the United States, Canada, and most European countries do not need a visa.

    2. Israel is a very safe country to travel to. However, it is always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when traveling in unfamiliar areas.

    3. Israel is a relatively small country, so it is easy to get around using public transportation. The best way to get around is by using the bus system, which is efficient and inexpensive.

    4. English is widely spoken in Israel, so you will not have any trouble communicating with locals.

    5. Israel is a religious country, so it is important to be respectful of religious sites and customs.

    6. Israel is home to some of the best food in the world. Make sure to try some of the local specialties, such as falafel, hummus, and shakshuka.

    7. Israel is a great place to shop for souvenirs. You can find everything from hand-crafted items to Israeli-made products.

    8. Israel is known for its nightlife. There are many bars and clubs to choose from, so you can find the perfect place to spend your evening.

    9. Israel has a Mediterranean climate, so the best time to visit is during the spring or fall. The summer months can be quite hot and humid.

    10. Israel is an amazing country with a lot to offer. Whether you are interested in its history, culture, food, or nightlife, you will not be disappointed.

    What currency should I take to Israel?

    You can use ATMs to get cash. You also need to tell your bank that you will be in Israel and the dates so they don't freeze your card due to unusual activity. You can always take some cash from the ATMs at the airport so you have shekels in your pocket when you leave the airport. Since it is a set rate regardless of the withdrawal, if you take a larger amount the percentage of the fee is less. There are ATMs everywhere in Israel. Whatever currency your account is in, the cash you withdraw will be in shekels. You should use shekels for purchases in Israel where possible as it is preferred by the locals. If you want to bring some US dollars or EU dollars, you can exchange these at 'exchange shops'. These 'hole in the wall' kind of places are absolutely legit and you get a good rate as they tend to be competitive. You do not want to change money at a bank. This is a long and rather painful process and completely unnecessary. You can also use your credit card in most places assigned from street stall vendors.


    USD/ILS Market Data

    The below interactive chart displays the USD/ILS change and UP📈 DOWN📉 trends over the past 1 Year.

    1 USD =
    3.7596We compare provider deals to this wholesale mid-market rate. Read more
      1 ILS = 0.2660 USD   (Inverse rate)
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What currency should I use in Israel?

    The domestic currency in Israel is the Israeli new sheqel.

    What is the Israeli new sheqel currency code and symbol?

    The three letter currency code for the Israeli new sheqel is ILS — symbol is .

    Which countries use the Israeli new sheqel?

    It is the domestic currency in    Israel.

    Is the Israeli new sheqel a closed currency?

    No, the Israeli new sheqel is freely available and convertible. See guide: What is a closed currency?

    What are equivalent amounts of USD and ILS?

    Here are some popular conversion amounts for USD to ILS (US dollar to Israeli new sheqel)*.

    $ 1 3.7596
    $ 5 18.80
    $ 10 37.60
    $ 20 75.19
    $ 50 187.98
    $ 100 375.96
    $ 250 939.90
    $ 500 1,880
    $ 1,000 3,760
    $ 2,000 7,519
    $ 5,000 18,798
    $ 10,000 37,596
    $ 20,000 75,192
    $ 50,000 187,980
    $ 100,000 375,960
    $ 0.2660 ₪ 1
    $ 1.3300 ₪ 5
    $ 2.6600 ₪ 10
    $ 5.3200 ₪ 20
    $ 13.30 ₪ 50
    $ 26.60 ₪ 100
    $ 66.50 ₪ 250
    $ 133.00 ₪ 500
    $ 266.00 ₪ 1,000
    $ 532.00 ₪ 2,000
    $ 1,330 ₪ 5,000
    $ 2,660 ₪ 10,000
    $ 5,320 ₪ 20,000
    $ 13,300 ₪ 50,000
    $ 26,600 ₪ 100,000

    More amounts

    *Converted at the current USDILS interbank exchange rate. Calculate actual payout amounts for Send Money and Travel Money exchange rates.

    Send Money to Israel - Best Rates

    To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to Israel you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).

    The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.

    You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.

    Get a better deal for foreign transfers 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 4 simple steps :

    1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
    2. You specify the local or Israeli new sheqel amount you want to transfer
    3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
    4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted ILS amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Israel.

    Use the above calculator to compare the exchange 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 and less margins and fees kept by the banks!


    Expat Money & Business Guide to Israel

    Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.

    By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in Israel.

    How is the cost of living in Israel?

    The cost of living in Israel is relatively high. The average monthly salary is around 4,000 NIS (approximately $1,145). The price of basic necessities such as food, transportation, and housing are all relatively expensive.

    How is the expat life in Israel?

    There is no one answer to this question as the expat life in Israel can be quite different depending on a person's situation. Some expats may find the transition to life in Israel to be quite easy, while others may find it to be more challenging. There are a number of different factors that can influence a person's experience, such as their reason for moving to Israel, their personal and professional networks, and their ability to speak Hebrew.

    Any laws in Israel that foreigners should be aware of?

    There are a few things that foreigners should be aware of when travelling to Israel. Firstly, it is important to note that Israel is a kosher country, which means that all food served must comply with Jewish dietary laws. This means that pork and shellfish are not available, and beef and chicken must be prepared according to kosher guidelines. Secondly, alcohol is only served in licensed establishments, and it is illegal to drink in public. Finally, drugs are illegal in Israel, and possession of even small amounts can result in a prison sentence.

    What is doing business like in Israel?

    Doing business in Israel is mostly positive. The overall atmosphere is very supportive of businesses, and the government offers many incentives for businesses to start up and grow. The biggest challenge is the language barrier, as Hebrew is the predominant language spoken in Israel.

    How is the economy in Israel?

    The economy in Israel is growing at a healthy rate, with a strong focus on hi-tech and innovative industries.

    Managing your finances in Israel

    Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in Israel:

    1. Understand Israeli new sheqel currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the ILS exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.

    2. Use a local Israeli new sheqel bank account: A local ILS bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in Israel. It may also be more convenient to use a local ILS bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.

    3. Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in Israel. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.

    4. Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in Israel. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.

    5. Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in Israel, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.


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