When shopping in Israel is it okay to use US currency?


  • Even if you find a store that will accept dollars, chances are they will give you a terrible exchange rate. Best to get some shekels from an ATM once you arrive or use a credit card. Check to see if your credit card company changes for foreign exchange (many charge 3%). If you don't have a credit card with no foreign exchange fees you might shop around for one, if you expect to do a fair amount of foreign travel.
  • AliceS wrote:
    When shopping in Israel is it okay to use US currency?

    Alice - we were on this trip in October 2018. Yes, you can use USA $ but not in all the stores so we thought it better to get some shekels. The first hotel on the trip is the Intercontinental in Tel Aviv. There is an ATM on the lower level and we used it multiple times. Most stores take credit cards. Just a short walk from the hotel is the fantastic Carmel Market. It's great to go there if you arrive a day early. You can buy all kinds of food, souvenirs, and other gifts. We chose to use shekels there for the most part. Didn't want to use credit or USA $ to buy fruit or cakes but we did to buy more expensive items and for those things you can use shekels, dollars, or credit. We also exchanged some USA $ for shekels near the market as we thought the exchange rate was reasonable. It was a wonderful trip !
  • Wherever you travel outside the US, beware of the dynamic conversion scam (goggle for details). IN summary, a merchant will offer you the "convenience" of charging your card in USD. The scam is the conversion is done at a very poor exchange rate, which the merchant gets a piece of. If they ask, say NO. Their merchant agreement requires them to ask.
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