Currency

Money

The primary unit of currency in Israel and Occupied Palestine is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). Notes come in denominations of NIS200, NIS100, NIS50, NIS20; coins come in NIS10, NIS5, NIS1, NIS0.5 and 10 agorot. There are 100 agorot in a shekel.

The exchange rate as of is:

US $1 = NIS 3.5      UK £1 = NIS 5        EU = NIS 4.3

(These figures are intended as estimates only, you can check the current exchange rate here www.xe.com

Palestine does not have its own currency. The NIS is the commonly accepted currency in Palestine, although the US dollar and Jordanian Dinar (JD) are also accepted in some places. Generally, it is better to stick with the NIS.

Using an ATM card or a credit card will often get you the best possible rates. An Israeli or Palestinian bank will charge you a larger commission. Since you will lose money with each transaction, convert in large sums.

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)

ATM machines are widespread in Israel and Palestine. You should have no problems finding a machine in the cities (e.g. Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron), and less likely in rural areas and small towns.

ATMs get the same wholesale exchange rate as credit cards, but there is often a limit on the amount of money you can withdraw per day (usually about $500) and your bank might charge a hefty service fee per withdrawal (roughly $9 per transaction).

Memorize your PIN code in numeric form since machines elsewhere often dont have letters on their keys. Also, if your PIN is longer than 4-digits, ask your bank whether the first four digits will work, or whether you need a new number. We advise you to change your PIN to a 4-digit code before departure.

The Bethlehem district, where you will be living, has many ATMs in service. It is advisable to have two debit and/or credit cards with the Visa and Mastercard logos. Some ATMs will take only one or the other.

Be sure to notify your bank about your travel plans to Israel and Palestine in order to avoid having your ATM or credit cards blocked on the premise of “unusual bank activity.”