Most banks in Israel are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4:30pm, and a few are open Sunday; ask at your guide for the location of the one nearest you. USD dollars can be used throughout your trip, make sure to bring lots of $1, $5, $10 bills. Currency exchanges are also at most airports and along most of the major boulevards. They charge a small commission. Make sure to bring along a credit card for convenience and security.
Credit cards offer a reasonable exchange rate and can be cancelled should it be lost. Visa or MasterCard are the best option and accepted in many stores. It is also practical and cost effective to withdraw local currency using your ATM/Debit card during your trip. ATMs are very similar to those in USA. Most offer English as a language option. It is recommended that you contact your local bank and credit card companies before departing on your trip to advise them of your itinerary. We recommend that you refrain from exchanging money at hotel as the fees are high.
The basic unit of currency is the Israeli Shekel (ILS). Fluctuating exchange rate stands now approximately at one 1 US Dollar = 3.73450 Israeli Shekel. For up to date currency exchange rates please visit www.xe.com. It is hardly necessary to change currency during your Holy Land journey as most shops will take US dollar.
Value Added Tax (VAT):
All prices in Israel include 16.5% VAT. On each purchase exceeding $200 (including V.A.T.), the V.A.T. will be refunded upon presentation of the special invoice at the port of departure. In order to acquire the refund, the following procedure must be obtained:
1. Look for the “tax refund” sticker on the business door or publications
2. Ask for a VAT refund invoice – the invoice must be an official ChangePalce document, which Is the official VAT refund broker in Israel.
3. At the airport VAT desk, show the original invoice, the green VAT tax form, and the goods you have purchased.
4. At the end of the procedure, you will receive a cheque drawn in your favor which may be cached at the same day.
For additional information on the VAT refund http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VAT
Weights and Measures:
The metric system is used. A kilometer is a bit over 1/2 mile (.62 miles). A kilogram equals 2.2 pounds.
The Holy Land operate on a 24 hour clock. This means that 6:00 pm is 18:00, etc.