How to Pay in Israel

Old Jul 25th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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How to Pay in Israel

What is the best credit card to use in Israel (fee wise).

Should we take travelers' checks or pay it all with a credit card.

Previously we used credit card because of the exchange rate, but being that the dollar is so weak (thanks W.) I don't know if that would be beneficial over cash.
zlaor is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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The best is a no charge ATM card.
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Old Jul 25th, 2007, 01:47 PM
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Unless you have a credit card (from credit union or Cap One) that don't assess Foreign Currency Exchange fees, than most credit cards are similar... a competitive exchange as with an ATM, plus a % to Visa and about 3% to your bank.

But don't use the credit card for small purchases, save that for your ATM card to withdraw local Shekels for daily expenses.

Check one of the currency sites to verify rates of USD vs Shekels, it might not be as bad as USD/Euro.

Do contact your credit card and ATM banks and advise when you will be traveling so no hold is placed on your cards by their Fraud Depts. Ascertain if your bank charges fees for foreign ATM withdrawals, % or a $ amount. Regardless what fees may or may not be, withdraw sufficient funds to hold you for more than a day at a time... like for a week. Unless you hit the ATM at home daily, your use of ATM overseas shouldn't be any different than if you never left the States.
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Old Jul 25th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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The ATM card is the best way to get cash, traveler's checks should only be taken as a back-up in the unlikely event you have trouble with your ATM card.

I was just there in February and I was surprised at how many places accepted the US$ at a very fair rate of exchange. I typically don't advise people to use the US$ overseas, but I would take some US cash as your primary back-up to the ATM card, then traveler's checks as a secondary back-up if you feel the need.
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Old Jul 28th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Few notes:

A. Not every ATM-brand machine would accept your ATM, since there are several different franchises of ATM cards, like PLUS, STAR and others.

B. That's why its always good to cary credit cards also.

C. Bring a couple of them, and if possible BOTH a VISA and MasterCard, since it happens that suddenly, for no reason one of them would not be accepted (happened to me at a car rental. My MC was rejected, but the Visa was OK...).

D. If you bring cash -- bring NEW Dollar bills. I got stuck with the old $100 bills that some banks there simply refused to accept....

Hope this helps.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 06:17 PM
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You'll want to make sure you pay your hotel bill in US or credit card. Otherwise, they will have to charge you the hotel tax...which is quite high.
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Old Aug 17th, 2007, 02:00 PM
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The TAX issue is a bit different. If you're a tourist arriving with your foreign passport stamped at the airposrt, you don't pay VAT (value added tax), which is the only tax added and is about %15. It doesn't matter how you pay, as much as I know.
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