There are a number of ways to exchange foreign currency into Israeli Shekels, each with it's own fees and commissions. You can save significantly depending on the avenue you choose.
Currency can be exchanged via an Israeli investment account, a bank, money changing facilities and post offices. One of the additional benefits of [post=1168 text="opening an investment account"] is it's a very inexpensive way to exchange currencies.
In addition to allowing you to invest internationally, an Israeli investment account enables you to:
- Transfer funds to Israel for virtually nothing
- Wire funds to and from your bank account
- Skip high commissions and fees
- Get a significantly better conversion rate
I’ve personally been using this method to exchange U.S. currency to Israeli Shekels, saving me hundreds of dollars.
Even if opening an Israeli investment account isn't for you, there is still money to be saved. When you travel to Israel, keep in mind that exchanging money at the bank or hotel incurs high commissions and the exchange rates that are not competitive. Instead, I've found that exchanging currency through the Israeli Post Office is preferable to all others ways. There are no commissions, the exchange rates are decent, and when exchanging larger amounts ($800 or more), you receive a discount of close to 1% on the exchange rate. All this gets you more for your money. Also, post office hours are typically better than banks, and the lines are shorter. We have found that post offices have better exchange rates than even the various money-changing establishments. An added benefit is that you're dealing with a government office, meaning you know the bills are authentic.
Wise Money Israel was created to support investors interested in investing in Israel by providing reliable, practical and free information so that we can help you achieve your financial goals. If you’d like help in opening an investment account or investing in Israel in other ways, contact us.