The Israeli shekel is frequently traded through international markets, which means you have quite a few options when you want to send money to someone living or travelling in Israel. By comparing transfer fees, exchange rates and processing time, you can find a good deal that won’t break the bank. Just be sure to take your time and keep your options open.
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Compare transfer options for sending money to Israel
The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.
Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.
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 New Zealand 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 companies/services
Most major banks in New Zealand can conduct transfers between New Zealand 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.
Tom sends money to Israel
Tom is working and living in New Zealand and wants to send $5,000 home to Israel to support his parents. Eager to ensure that as much of his money makes it to his parents as possible, Tom compares the fees and exchange rates of his bank and an online money transfer company. The results of his comparison are shown in the table below:
Money transfer company
1 NZD = 2.41 ILS
1 NZD = 2.45 ILS
Bank account deposit
Bank account deposit
2 to 4 business days
2 business days
Amount received (in Israeli New Shekels)
As you can see, not only can Tom save $10 in fees when he sends his funds with a money transfer company, he can also send an extra 210 shekels to his parents.
What are my transfer methods?
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 New Zealand 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 from thousands of agent locations across Israel.
Cheques. Another option is to get an international cheque from your bank and send it overseas.
Foreign exchange rates explained
Exchange rate is used to determine how much a currency is worth when converted to 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 good rate.
Click Go to site when you’ve found a suitable option.
Register with the provider.
Supply your information and your recipient’s information.
Pay for your transfer.
Save your tracking number to follow up on your transfer.
Emergency transfers to Israel
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 good exchange rates. Compare your options before committing to be sure you’re choosing the right provider for your needs.
Tips for picking up cash in Israel
Exercise a high degree of caution when picking up cash. Keep your money hidden, avoid any questionable parts of town and deposit the cash you pick up into your bank account as soon as possible. You may also want to bring a friend along to provide an extra set of eyes, especially if you’re picking up a sizable amount of shekels.
Israel has one of the most widely-traded currencies out there. You’ll have access to plenty of options with low fees and good 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. And check out our guide to money transfers to get an idea on the general process before you start making transfers.
Adrienne Fuller is the head of publishing at Finder. With a decade of experience creating guides in finance and education, she aims to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. For the past 3 years she has been the publisher of money transfers, helping readers save when they send money all over the globe. She has a BA from Colorado College and loves to hike with her two Catahoula dogs around her home in San Diego.
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