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Home > Virtual Office > Useful Information > About Israel > Currency



 A ten Shekel coin

The currency of the State of Israel is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS), or shekel, which is its widespread term of reference.. Each shekel is made up of 100 agorot. Coins are minted in denominations of NIS: 1, 2, 5, 10, and agorot are minted in 10 and 50 increments. Paper bills are printed in denominations of NIS 20, 50,100, 200 and 500.  In 2008, Israel began distributing NIS bank notes printed on a plasticized material instead of the usual paper bills. 

Foreign and local currency can be brought into
Israel in the form of traveler's checks, credit cards, cash or State of Israel Bonds. All forms of foreign currency can be exchanged at the airport, post offices, most hotels, banks or licensed exchange agencies. A passport is required when exchanging traveler's checks. Rates of exchange vary from place to place and most banks charge a commission on exchanges. The post office is a very convenient and safe place to change your money and it does not charge service fees or commissions. It is recommended to carry a small number of US dollars since many tourist sites accept payment in this currency.


International credit cards are honored at banks and withdrawals of foreign and local currency can be made with them. There are ATM machines outside almost every bank and they can also be found in shopping malls and commercial districts. 


All goods and services may be purchased with the following currencies: Euro, Australian dollar, US dollar, Hong Kong dollar, New Zealand dollar, Singapore dollar, Canadian dollar, Japanese Yen, Danish Krone, Swedish Krone, British Pound Sterling, Swiss Franc and the South African Rand. Nevertheless, vendors are not obligated to accept payment in foreign currency and they are permitted to give change in NIS even if the payment was made in a foreign currency. 


There is a VAT charge for purchases in Israel and the VAT can be refunded to tourists. Prior to departure from the Israel, receipts, bills and lists of purchase should be placed in a sealed plastic container and presented at the "Change Place" at Ben Gurion Airport. There the purchases will be checked and itemized upon the presentation of a passport and flight ticket. If everything is in order, the attendant will sign the appropriate paper work and refund the VAT, minus a commission fee. Sorry, but there is no VAT refund for food and beverages, tobacco, electrical appliances, cameras or other photography equipment.     

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