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what is the currency used ?

nu021
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what is the currency used ?

What Currency Is Used And Do You Bring It with You ? Is It Easy Enough To Change Currencies? Where Is The Best Place For Doing This At Your Hotel ???

Thanks For Info

Nu021

Haifa, Israel
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
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67 reviews
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1. Re: what is the currency used ?

Israeli shekels (about 4.5 to the US dollar). There have been many threads on this forum about changing money. Personally I have never used money changers - I just use my VISA card and withdraw money from an ATM in shekels. This is a very convenient option, with ATMs easily available in all major towns. There are also ATM machines at the airport, so you can take out money in time to use it for your onward transportation.

Avigail

california
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732 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: what is the currency used ?

The currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS), commonly referred to as shekels.

Right now, a US dollar = about 4 NIS.

This link is a free online currency exchange website you can check periodically for rates, though the rates vary considerably depending upon where you exchange them.

It has been recommended here in the past that you often get the best exchange rates simply by using your ATM card in machines in Israel (and other countries as well).

If you wish to enter the country with some local currency, as I always do, you can purchase it through American Express. The rate is probably not as good as you might get elsewhere, but it is shipped to your door and debited from your checking account, which you can do by phone if you have an American Express card account.

Others in this forum can advise you better about hotel exchange rates & policies, as well as local banks.

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Israel
Israel
Middle East
california
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3. Re: what is the currency used ?

Sorry, here is the link to the free online currency exchange rate website:

http://www.xe.com/ucc/

Australia
Destination Expert
for Cairo, Egypt, Nile River Valley, Luxor
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4. Re: what is the currency used ?

The currency is NIS (new Israeli shekels) you can bring a small amount with you but there are atm's and currency exchange at the airport. There are also plenty of atms, banks and money exchange places all over Jerusalem. We found that the rate at the hotel was not as good as the money exchange.

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Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Jerusalem District, Israel
Cincinnati, Ohio
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for Israel
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5. Re: what is the currency used ?

I agree with all of the above. I don't know what country you are from, but as long as your bank ATM card is a member of the Cirrus or Plus networks, I would not worry about bringing shekels with you. Just withdraw some from the airport ATM, and you can be on your way.

Hotels will give you a significantly worse rate. Use bank ATMs.

Enjoy your visit!

Douglas Duckett

NYC/Israel
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for Israel
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39,268 posts
38 reviews
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6. Re: what is the currency used ?

Personally, I bring green cash and change it at the money changing stores that are located all over the place. I like to know exactly what it is costing. If you are going to use the bank ATMs ( first choice for some, second for me) then verifty with your home bank what they charge for international withdrawels. My prime bank charges nothing since I maintain a balance above a certain threshold. Other banks can charge as much as $5 per transaction. Also, the keypad on Israel ATMs do not have letters, so if your PIN includes letters make sure you have it converted to all numbers. ( in your mind) Final word of advice. When you get to the ATM it may appear to be all in Hebrew. As soon as your insert your overseas card it will start showing an English screen.

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Israel
Israel
Middle East
Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
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7. Re: what is the currency used ?

A depressing note (at least for US visitors to Israel) -- the US dollar has now fallen to below four shekels. As of tonight, $1.00 USD = NIS 3.97.

Reading rdglady's (accurate) description of how the ATMs work made me smile. When I have put my card in and the machine automatically switches to English, and I have completed my transaction and left, I have sometimes observed the Israeli in line behind me look at me a little funny, as if I have "broken" the machine. Why is it in English??? Of course, it switches back to Hebrew immediately when that person puts in his or her Israeli ATM card. Still, it gives me a chuckle.

Douglas Duckett

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Israel
Israel
Middle East
Israel
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8. Re: what is the currency used ?

Well, from my perspective, the forex is getting better & better! Although USD can buy slightly less NIS, the Rand is strengthening beyond belief against the USD. Six weeks ago it was in the region of R7.20 to $1 - now its R6.50. My trip is getting cheaper by the day, even though I have to buy my forex in USD (we are not able to get NIS in South Africa).

~ Jen ~

Texas
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9. Re: what is the currency used ?

I just read this from several months ago. My ATM card is a MasterCard. Will I be able to use it in Israel? If not, I guess the best option is to take US Dollars and convert them to shekels at a kiosk in Israel?

Leaving in five days! :)

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Israel
Israel
Middle East
Cincinnati, Ohio
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for Israel
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10. Re: what is the currency used ?

My ATM card is also a MasterCard debit card. It works fine at any bank that is part of the Cirrus or Plus networks (which your bank card must be as well, and almost surely is).

But the exchange rate is now $1.00 USD = NIS 3.47. To think I was depressed at 1=3.97!! Some parts of my trip went up 30% in 18 months just from the change in exchange rates....

I'm grateful that hotels and rental cars are quoted in dollars -- and I locked the rates in months ago.

Douglas Duckett