Kollel Couple Moving to Israel. What BANK to use?

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    A young couple going to spend a few years in Eretz Yisroel. What bank is the most efficient option? Both to have in US and to have in EY?
    I don’t really know finances and what it means to have money in two countries so any eitzah you can offer is much appreciated.

    ☕️coffee addict

    Bank hapoalim has a branch in Manhattan

    Hope this helps and IyH we’ll join you soon with the coming of moshiach


    Capital One has Credit Cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees. I heard TD Bank has good rates when using an Israeli ATM.


    Doesn’t Bank Leumi have branches in both Manhattan and Brooklyn?


    The key is to have a US credit card that gives good rewards and has no international fees, along with am Israeli bank that is easy to work with (not easy to find, and its a lot of paperwork. I’ve heard mercantile is good. Israeli banks are notorious for poor customer service, help lines only in Hebrew with long wait times and crazy fees. That’s why so many people like to use cash, but they are making that illegal top now. Don’t forget to file an annual IRS disclosure form if any israel accounts have over $10k because there are substantial penalties.foreign bank and financial accounts (FBAR)

    ☕️coffee addict


    He’s moving to Israel! How’s he going to deposit money in Israel if his bank is capital one or td bank


    Most U.S. banks maintain correspondent relationships with Israel’s top 3 banks, Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, and IDB. Likewise, several Israeli banks have their own subsidiaries in major U.S. cities (e.g. Bank Hapoalim has branches in NYC and Miami; Bank Leumi has a U.S. domiciled subsidiary, Leumi USA, with offices in New York, Chicago, California, and Florida. You can have a separate credit card (e.g. Chase) that doesn’t charge foreign fees and allows you to earn miles for air travel (e.g. UAL) to and from EY.
    Most importantly, kol hakovod and much hatzlacha for making Aliyah at this difficult time.


    Obviously, West Bank.


    The First bank of Mommy and Daddy – after all, they’re the ones that will be financing you 🙂

    Seriously, though – find a US bank that allows you to make ATM withdrawals abroad without fees – First Republic, A”H, used to do this, but I think TD or Capital One may also have this; you should check them out. This will enable you to have cash transferred to you in Israel by having someone in the US (rich Shver?) deposit USD and you can then withdraw as NIS.

    In Israel, the services are relatively similar – so it will really be more a matter of convenience. Note that as a non-Israeli, you may have restrictions on having your account go negative – so you should check that out.

    As to credit cards – I completely agree with the suggestions above on having a US credit card that does not charge foreign fees. This can be the best way of converting funds, and certain features of US cards that are not standard on Israeli ones can be very helpful – though you need to check if there’s a country exclusion for Israel. You should also try to get an Israeli card in Israel (it’s generally the same card as the one you use at an ATM), since certain vendors either don’t take or have issues with non-Israeli cards.

    an Israeli Yid

    ah yid

    Double check on this Discover card and capital one don’t charge an international transaction fee for using cc


    I wish them well.
    Many or most Israeli banks won’t deal with U.S. citizens at all because of the paperwork the banks have to file with the IRS. The banks charge an arm and a leg for every transaction. If the couple does manage to open an account, tell them always to deposit cash via a machine, as the banks charge for depositing with the tellers.

    they’re not making aliyah – the OP clearly states the couple is going for a few years, R”L.


    can they open an account with one of the Israeli branches in US before going? Or use an American bank with a branch in Israel and credit cards as described above?


    Definitely the one your mommy and daddy use to make the deposits in furtherance of the cult mores


    Mom and daddys cult financing corp is a good one or use crypto like eric adams


    Capital One will not allow an account with a foreign address or foreign phone number (which is needed for online access).



    Bank branches of the same bank do not work the same way that they do in America. If I open an account in a Tel Aviv branch of Mizrahi, I can’t go to a branch in Beersheva and do anything more than deposit and withdraw money. Say I want a printout of my account activity for last year; I would have to request it from my specific branch, and I would either have to go there to pick it up, or request that they send it to the bank branch in Beersheva and pick it up there. Changing branches within the same bank is a nightmare, which is why many people keep the same account in the same branch even if they move. Bank branches are in competition with each other, even in the same bank, so they deliberately make it extremely difficult to switch branches.
    I don’t think (and I could be wrong) that opening an account with an Israeli bank in NY would be of any help to them. And as far as I am aware, there are no American banks in Israel.


    Takamamash: It is a huge commitment and mesiras nefesh for anyone relocating to EY now, whether for 1 year, 5 years or making aliyah permanently. My belief that such a couple are worthy of my initial wishes of kol hakovod and much hatzlacha stands, to them and all those who work on behalf of protecting the medinah, whether through their service in the IDF or limud torah.


    Lowest fees are Bank HaDoar, but some companies (e.g. Pelephone) don’t allow horaat keva with them. Good sources of info/advice/help (about a lot of issues): Nefesh b’Nefesh and Chaim v’Chessed. About 35-40 years ago a lot of people closed their accounts in Bank Leumi when their subsidiary dug up kivrei Tenaim and Amoraim in Teverya to build a resort, I’m not sure if they ever did teshuva over that, even after their CEO ran into severe legal problems about other issues. Banks might depend on who has branches close to where you’ll be living. Hatzlocho.

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