How to send money to Israel

Your guide to quick, easy and affordable remittances to Eretz Yisrael.

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The Israeli shekel is frequently traded on international markets, which means you have quite a few options for sending money to those living in Israel. By taking the time to compare transfer fees, exchange rates and turnaround, you can find a good deal that won’t break the bank.

OFX International Money Transfers

Send money internationally with OFX

OFX offers flexible transfer options, 24/7 customer support and no maximum limit. Send a minimum of $1,000 per year.

  • $0 transfer fees. Send fee-free transfers to more than 195 countries worldwide.
  • Transfers in 55 currencies. OFX supports major, minor and exotic currencies.
  • Flexible options. Choose from forward contracts and scheduled transfers for convenience.

    Compare transfer options for sending money

    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
    USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 3.438 ILS 17,188 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
    USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 70.00 3.455 ILS
    17,033
    Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
    USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 3.44 ILS 17,188 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details
    GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 3.42 ILS 17,102 Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
    For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.
    Go to site Show details
    USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 3.42 ILS 17,102 No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

    How do international money transfers work?

    International money transfers allow you to send money to a recipient in Israel by providing money to a bank or independent money transfer company, which then converts your US dollars to Israeli shekels. This can be done in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online, and you can use cash, a credit card or transfer funds from your bank account. Depending on the provider, your recipient can either pick up the cash in person or have it deposited into their bank account.

    Banks versus money transfer specialists

    Most major US banks can conduct transfers between the US and Israel, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. You’ll generally be charged higher fees and be offered a lower exchange rate when you opt for a bank transfer.

    Often, you can get a better deal if you use the services of a specialist money transfer company. Instead of offering a wide range of financial products and services as banks do, money transfer companies focus entirely on moving money internationally. They offer lower fees and better exchange rates than banks, and many allow the transactions to be quickly and conveniently made online.

    Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $5,000 to Israel

    To get an idea of costs, let’s compare numerous transfer options and associated fees. This table uses real fees and exchange rates and is current as of November 26, 2019.

    Bank transferCash transferMoney transfer service
    Fee$45 + additional correspondent bank fees$30$3.99
    Exchange rate1 USD = 3.2319 ILS1 USD= 3.446 ILS1 USD = 3.467 ILS
    Transfer speed2-4 daysMinutes1-2 days
    Amount receivedILS 16,014ILS 17,126ILS 17,321
    Overall
    • Slowest and most expensive
    • Fastest
    • Best value

    The bank option is slow and results the least amount of money to your recipient. If speed is crucial, the cash transfer combines value with nearly instant turnaround. If you decide to go with a money transfer service, your recipient ends up with 195 more shekels and it gets there faster than a bank transfer.

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    Foreign exchange rates explained

    An exchange rate is used to determine how much a currency is worth when converted into a different currency. Most currencies are flexible, so they won’t be worth the same amount day to day or month to month. If you want a good deal, you’ll have to keep an eye out for a strong rate. But because the Israeli shekel is weak against the US dollar, you can send at least two to three shekels for every dollar you spend.

    Live USD–ILS exchange rate

    What are my transfer method options?

    • Bank transfers. You can send funds from your bank account to the account of your recipient in Israel.
    • Online money transfer providers. Companies like CurrencyFair allow fast and affordable online transfers from the US to Israel.
    • Money transfer companies with cash pick-up options. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to send funds overseas that can be picked up as cash from thousands of agent locations across Israel.
    • Checks. Another option is to get an international guaranteed check from your bank and mail it overseas.

    How to send money to Israel

    As you can see, there is no shortage of choices when it comes to finding the best way to send money to Israel. While the exact transfer method will differ depending on the provider you choose, these are the basic steps you’ll need to follow:

    1. Check out your options in our money transfer table.
    2. When you’ve found a suitable option, click Go to site.
    3. Register with that provider.
    4. Supply your information and your recipient’s information.
    5. Pay for your transfer.
    6. Save your tracking number to follow up on your transfer.

    What to watch out for with Israeli money transfers

    Check if these situations apply to you before sending money to Israel:

    • If you maintain bank accounts in both Israel and the US, you may have to file the Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts form in the US.
    • A transfer of 50,000 or more Israeli new shekels — or the foreign currency equivalent — is reported to the Israeli Tax Authorities and the US through the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

    While some transfers may be considered foreign gifts and won’t be subject to taxes, you still need to file the necessary forms with your taxes or face penalties.

    Emergency transfers

    Emergency transfers to Israel are possible, and because the Israeli shekel is so widely traded, you may even be able to send money to your recipient within a few hours without having to pay high fees. However, you’ll still want to be careful. Not every company offers quick speed, low fees and strong exchange rates. Compare your options before committing to be sure you’re choosing the right provider for your needs.

    Tips for picking up cash

    Exercise a high degree of caution when picking up cash, no matter where in Israel you are. Be sure to:

    • Keep your money hidden.
    • Avoid any questionable parts of town.
    • Deposit the cash you pick up into your bank account as soon as possible.
    • Bring a friend along to provide an extra set of eyes, especially if you’re picking up a large sum of shekels.

    Using a credit card in Israel

    Bottom line

    Israel has one of the most widely traded currencies out there. You’ll have access to plenty of options with low fees and competitive exchange rates, which means you’ll have to take extra care to be sure you’re going with a provider that really caters to your needs. Read our guide to money transfers to get an idea of the general process before you send your next remittance.

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    Read more on this topic

    • XE vs. OFX money transfers Check out this side-by-side comparison of XE and OFX to find out which provider offers the best value on international money transfers.
    • Alternatives to CurrencyFair Thinking of using CurrencyFair? Double check to make sure it’s the best option for you before sending money overseas.
    • Alternatives to InstaReM Find the best alternative websites to InstaReM for online money transfers.
    • XE vs. TorFX We look at TorFX and XE to see which will get you a better deal the next time you send money overseas.
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