Monday, December 09, 2019

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Currency Exchange in Israel

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

A friend wrote that they didn’t understand the currency conversion chart provided by an Israeli bank.  Since it is rather confusing, I thought I’d share it with everyone:

On this particular chart (different places write it different ways), if you are changing NIS (Israeli currency – New Israeli Shekels) to US $, you are "buying" dollars, so (again, the way they listed it on this chart), divide your NIS by the Buy rate to get how many dollars the bank will give you.

And the opposite, if you are changing US$ to NIS, you are "selling" dollars... so multiply the US$ amount by the Sell rate to get the number of shekels you will receive.

Note, and particularly annoying, they charge one rate if it is an account to account transfer or a changing of currency within your account, and another rate if actual physical money is involved.

Their rates are pretty bad.  It may be convenient to use a bank, and no doubt it's the safest method, but you may want to find an exchange service to use instead.  The savings can be significant and for monthly type expenses the risk is reasonable versus the savings - but that's just my personal opinion (never take financial advice from a religion blogger).

There are many authorized and licensed currency exchange companies in Israel – but they have occasionally gone bankrupt and people with transfers in progress are out of luck if that happens.  (I’ve known it to happen twice in 10 years – so it’s not a frequent problem but if moving serious money, such as a down payment for a house purchase – balance the risk versus the savings.


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