The New Israeli Shekel / Sheqel – abbreviated as NIS or ?, is Israel’s currency. There are coins of 5, 10, 50 agorot (like cents), and 1, 5, 10 shekels (see images), as well as 20,50,100 & 200 shekels notes (see images). Note that 200 Shekels notes are not easily traded, and one should try to avoid receiving them when exchanging money. Money can be exchanged at any of the street exchange bureaux, ATMs or any of Israel’s major banks (i.e.- Hapoalim, Leumi, Discount bank, FIBI and Hamizrahi).
Banks - When exchanging money at a bank, you will be charged a fixed exchange fee, and if you choose to use an exchange place on the street, you will not be charged for the transaction, but will receive a lower rate than the banks supply.
If you do choose to use the bank, try not to exchange money on Sundays. The reason is that while the Israeli banks are open on Sundays, there is no world currency trade on Sunday, and the banks charge a commission that is 10 times higher than on any other day of the week.
ATM – There are many ATMs around Israel that are all connected to European and American banking systems. When using an ATM, you will be charged by your credit card provider, as well as an ATM fee (usually 3.5$ plus 4% of the total amount). Your credit card provider (i.e. VISA, Mastercard, Diners club, American express etc.) will also determine what the exchange rate is, and it will usually be the highest rate possible for that date.
Exchange bureaux - Generally speaking, exchange places are always cheaper than the banks and ATMs, but if you choose to exchange money at a change spot, make sure to look at the rates of a few places before making your choice.
Travelers’ cheques – some Israeli businesses will accept Travelers’ cheques, although most of them won’t. If you insist on using travelers’ cheques, This leaves you with the alternative of caching them at any of the Israeli post offices, which are the only commission – free way to chache travelers cheques in Israel. Cash can also be sent to post office branches using Western Union services.