Using Money and Credit Cards in Israel
As you plan for your upcoming Christian tour with Inspiration, you may be wondering about using money and credit cards during your travels. We’ve made the following recommendations to help you save money, avoid unnecessary fees and focus on an exceptional travel experience.
- Consider leaving all unnecessary debit and/or credit cards at home.
- Once you determine which cards you’ll bring, remember to notify each credit card company of your intended travel dates and locations to ensure fraud alerts and holds are not placed on your accounts.
- For each card, you’ll want to store the bank’s contact information in a separate, secure location in the unlikely event your wallet or purse is lost or stolen.
- We strongly recommend visiting your bank a few weeks before your trip to request foreign currencies (most banks need a few weeks to process this request). Doing this will save you time waiting in currency exchange lines or searching for an ATM after you arrive, and likely save you money by using a better exchange rate.
Almost all businesses in Israel accept U.S. credit or debit cards (debit cards will only work with ATMs, however, as most foreign businesses don’t have PIN machines). In most locations the availability of ATM machines makes withdrawing local currency an easy option for everyday purchases like meals, beverages and small souvenirs. Remember that ATM exchange rates vary daily. If you’re planning to use your credit cards, you’ll want to check with each credit card company to determine the international exchange fee for each card. Because the difference of a few percentage points could wind up costing you hundreds of dollars (depending on your purchases), we recommend using cards with lower international exchange fees. Using your credit card for large purchases gives you more protection for the items you buy on your trip (you can look at your credit card statement to verify all of your purchases). More country-specific details can be found in the list below:
Israel’s official currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS), although most stores and businesses will accept U.S. dollars. We visit very few places with ATMs on tour, so we strongly recommended you arrive with U.S. dollars in small denominations or shekels. Hotels will exchange small amounts of currency as well.
Possible Tour Extensions:
The Egyptian Pound (EGP) has devalued greatly over the last several years. Most larger hotels, restaurants and businesses will accept U.S. currency and major credit cards. Hotels will exchange small amounts of currency as well.
In Italy the official currency is the Euro (€). Most larger hotels, restaurants and businesses will accept major credit cards. Hotels will exchange small amounts of currency as well.
The Jordanian Dinar (JOD) is the official currency in Jordan. Most larger restaurants, shopping malls and hotels accept U.S. currency and major credit cards. You may want to carry dinar notes or coins to spend in smaller shops and restaurants. Hotels will exchange small amounts of currency as well.
The official currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TL). The country’s tourism-oriented places and larger businesses typically accept U.S. currency. Visa and MasterCard are also widely accepted. Hotels will exchange small amounts of currency as well.
For more information please call one of our Reservation Coordinators at 800 247 1899, Monday through Friday between 8:30am-5:00pm, Pacific Time.