The Best Credit Card to Use In Israel

Best credit card to use in Israel header art

If you’re looking for the best credit card to use in Israel, there are a few factors to consider: acceptance, foreign exchange fees, exchange rates, rental car protections, and rewards.

🤌 Want the TLDR? The Chase Sapphire Preferred, Capital One Quicksilver, Capital One Venture X, or a Citi Premier are all good options. I personally recommend the Venture X as a good all-around card, but the Citi Premier and is another solid option.

If you are planning to live in Israel, you will require a US mailing address, phone number, and bank account in order establish and maintain your card account. You cannot pay US credit card bills via an Israeli bank account.


Typically, Visa and Mastercard credit cards are accepted nearly everywhere. Here and there, some merchants won’t accept American Express cards, which is a nontrivial consideration.

Online government services in Israel cannot always be paid with a US credit card (although there are kiosks in various Super Pharm branches throughout the country; these machines will often take Mastercards).

Foreign Exchange Fees

Most premium level (read: annual fee) US cards don’t charge foreign exchange fees. Cards like the Capital One Venture and Venture X, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve, Citi Premier, and American Express Gold Card do not charge fees for international usage.

Exchange Rates

Visa and Mastercard offer rates that are pretty close to the spot rate. Although it’s not perfect, you’ll typically get a good rate, and much, much better than whatever you would get if you were to exchange dollars for shekel.

Rental Car Protections

If you intend to rent a car in Israel and want a CDW waiver, the only card that offers coverage in Israel is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can always use another card to rent a car, but your CDW waiver won’t work in Israel.


Israeli establishments code more or less the way you would expect. Restaurants like Café Café and Aroma will all code as dining, in exactly the same way that Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts do, in the US. Services like Gett will code as travel, and Rami Levy and Osher Ad will code as supermarkets.

So, which card should I use? 🤌

If you already have a credit card that you’re happy with, it’s likely not worth getting a new card just for traveling to Israel. If, however, you are in the market for a new credit card anyway, there are a few good options:

  1. Capital One Venture X
  2. Chase Sapphire Preferred/Reserve
  3. Citi Premier

As always, do you own due diligence into what your needs are, your appetite for annual fees, and the exact perks you most value.

More Reading

If you’d like to read more, this post covers additional cards.

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