Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Credit Cards in Israel (including what you need to know about Tashlumim)


This post was originally published in 2017. It's 4 years later, so I'm putting out an updated version.
Here's a QUICK primer about Israeli credit cards:

Israeli credit cards are not like American ones (sorry, I don't know how British/European cards work, yet). They are inherently attached to your bank account, so you'll see the charge for your card's balance deducted from your checking account AUTOMATICALLY on the due date. And not just a minimum fee - the entire balance will be deducted in most cases. You can set up certain cards - but not all - to deduct less than the full balance, however, your interest rates will be sky high and I do not recommend doing this if you can avoid it. 

Also, please note that in order to qualify for a credit card in this country, you'll need to meet your bank's requirements. And your first credit card will be from your bank. Only after you have established a credit card that is issued by the bank where you hold your checking account will you be able to apply for another type of card (such as the ones offered in supermarkets or other chain stores). Bank-issued cards tend to have low credit limits. The other cards can have much higher credit limits.

Note: your Israeli credit card is inherently tied to your Teudat Zehut (government-issued ID), and often you'll be asked to verify your Mispar Zehut (ID number) when you pay for something using your credit card. This is a fraud-prevention measure and is considered pretty standard.

When you whip out your credit card, you can often choose to charge your purchase "regular" or "tashlumim". 

What you need to know before you pay for something in "tashlumim" (installments) on your credit card:

So here's a quick rundown of what you need to know about these payment options:

Tashlumim [Installments] divide your total for a particular purchase into equal monthly installments. When you're at the checkout (in person or online) you may be asked "how many tashlumim?" You'll then choose how many installments you want if you're going this route. So, for example, if your bill is 2000nis, and you choose 10 tashlumim, you'll be paying 200nis for each of the next 10 months. 

Tashlumim are only available when you use a credit card that was issued in Israel, even if they ask you when you use a foreign card. They just aren't inspecting your card to see where it's from! Don't try it with your US card, the charge will not go through.

Tashlumim are interest free. But not every method of paying installments is "tashlumim"! Some stores offer "Credit" payments that come with a fee and interest (and it will be credit card interest, which is usually quite a high percentage)! Beware of paying utility bills in tashlumim - they are often "Credit" payments and not fee-free. Some stores also offer credit payments instead of tashlumim. Check carefully.

Be aware that tashlumim do not allow you to make a purchase larger than your credit line! Your credit line is set by the bank that issued your card - and you are not allowed to charge more than that amount on your credit card in any given month. Splitting a purchase into tashlumim does not mean that you can use next month's credit line too: Your credit line is SET,

Let's say your credit line is set at 10,000nis. You will be allowed to charge up to 10,000nis and NOT MORE on your credit card in a billing cycle. Then, when the money goes out of your checking account on a preset date (usually the 10th or 15th of the month), your credit line is cleared for more purchases. HOWEVER - if you split a purchase into Tashlumim, your credit line will be tied up. 

Here's how it works - you make a purchase for 5000nis, and choose to pay it in 5 tashlumim. Each installment is 1000nis. But 5000nis of your credit line gets locked away until the purchase is paid off in 5 months! It seems that the "locked amount" decreases with each payment you make, so one month later, you'll have paid off 1000 NIS but 4000 NIS will still be locked. So you won't be able to make another large purchase, if it means you'll exceed the 5000nis in credit line that you have left.

Sometimes paying in tashlumim make sense. Other times, it really doesn't. I recommend never paying in tashlumim for everyday purchases - rather, budget appropriately and make sure you're not spending more than you can afford on the everyday things. Once in a while, a large purchase comes up, and paying for it using a no-hassle, interest-free payment plan (what tashlumim are, in reality) can make life easier. It certainly beats taking out a 5000nis loan to cover an expense. Don't do it all the time, though. You'll find you've overspent really quickly. 

Tashlumim are not unique to Israel, by the way. They just get presented differently in other places (think of how many times you heard something would cost $X per month if you make 12 equal monthly payments - I'm guessing you've heard that - THAT, my friends, is "tashlumim" in a nutshell)! They are a way of making items FEEL more affordable, so be CAREFUL! I don't like it when you look at prices for items, say furniture, and the price is the monthly payment they assume you would make if you are paying in 12 tashlumim! I feel like people don't bother to do the math and check how much they are ACTUALLY paying because the monthly payment feels comfortable enough.

Don't fall for it - do the math! Make sure you know how much you're paying before you purchase. And ONLY use tashlumim if you are sure you can pay it off in a reasonable time frame and if this purchase warrants it.

Tip: Try to never have more than one purchase at a time on Tashlumim, and budget for it and make sure that there is enough money to cover the large expense over the next X number of months, in addition to your ongoing, regular expenses. And then WAIT before making another large purchase, until you've paid off the first one in full, and even longer, so you can build up some savings.

Feel free to comment below if you have questions about tashlumim, and I'll do my best to answer!

Amazon just made things A LOT BETTER!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at NO additional cost to you! Thank you for your support!



Sometime between when I went to sleep last night and when I woke up this morning, Amazon lowered their FREE SHIPPING to Israel threshold to $49 orders (for qualifying items)! I mean, seriously - I checked Amazon last night and it still said $65 minimum for free shipping, and this morning it had changed! This is REALLY awesome news for all of us Amazon addicts in Israel (and our family and friends abroad who want to send us fun gifts ;-) )!!

So I get the feeling some people will go back to buying things like disposable household items (and I admit I sometimes buy deodorant from Amazon), but also now we have easier access to all sorts of items that are just not available or are SO much more expensive in Israel (think, cast iron! Corelle! Crayola!).

Some people ask me what I've bought on Amazon now that FREE shipping is back. So I debated, do I tell the world what I've bought? Or do I keep it to myself? At first, I thought it's a bit weird to share exactly what I purchased, and I wasn't so inclined to share. But I changed my mind.

And I'll share.

Here are some sample carts, that (when I ordered) came to slightly less than $75 and shipped for FREE*:

(Prices are subject to change. The price you see is the current price, and may not be the price I paid. I may have paid more, or I may have paid less. Item participation in the FREE shipping deal is also subject to change. Being listed here does not guarantee that an item currently ships for free.)

Sample Cart #1

Almay Sensitive Skin Deodorant (several)

Set of 3 stainless steel baking pans (bought 2 sets)

Books (several!!)

Unbleached Coffee Filters


Sample Cart #2

Tom's of Maine Toothpaste (multipack)

Pyrex 3-pack measuring cups

Blister Prevention Tape (several rolls - this stuff is amazing - sometimes it participates in free shipping, sometimes it doesn't)

Multi-colored Cotton Dinner Napkins


Sample Cart #3:

Shoes

Scar Gel


*FREE Shipping is available on qualifying items and orders must total $49 or more. To steer clear of taxes, don't go over $74.99! To find qualifying items, choose the "Eligible for FREE Amazon Shipping" filter when you sort your search results.

What are your favorite finds? I'd love to hear! 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Discount tickets!

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!


This time of year is a great time to check for discount tickets! Peak season is behind us, and the next one is far off still.

In some cases, you can even buy the discount ticket now and use it later in the season. Check each deal for expiration dates and blackout dates.





Here's a deal for the Herzl museum (choose the lower priced ticket for kids, seniors, students, and chayalim):




Enjoy the Cinemax 360 experience at Park Hayarkon:




There are more deals! Be sure to check the full selection of discount tickets HERE

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Did you know you can buy a Kindle device even with an Israel-based shipping address?

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at NO additional cost to you! Thank you for your support!


Amazon listened to us, and we can now order Kindle devices with international shipping (eligible for FREE shipping)! They used to not ship here. Granted, they ARE a little more expensive than the US address price, but rest assured your taxes and fees will not be higher than what Amazon charges.


We read SO MANY books on Kindle!

Check out the Kindle Paperwhite International version HERE
OR
Save some money buying a Certified Refurbished Kindle!

(Prices on Amazon are subject to change. The price you see is the current price, and may not be the price I paid if I purchased an item. I may have paid more, or I may have paid less.)

*FREE Shipping is available on qualifying items and orders must total $65 or more. To steer clear of taxes, don't go over $74.99! To find qualifying items, choose the "Eligible for FREE Amazon Shipping" filter when you sort your search results.

What are your favorite finds? I'd love to hear! 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Allergy Moms & Dads In Israel - this is for YOU

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at NO additional cost to you! Thank you for your support!


If you're an allergy parent in Israel, you've probably lamented the lack of Benadryl in Israel. So, I thought it would be good to let you know that you can buy an equivalent product from Amazon now, and it's eligible for FREE shipping if you place a $65 order of eligible items!

(Prices on Amazon are subject to change. The price you see is the current price, and may not be the price I paid. I may have paid more, or I may have paid less.)

Liquid Antihistamine (same active ingredient as Benadryl) is now on the list of items that ships to Israel! You know this is awesome news, right?



Go ahead and check it out yourself (see above screenshot!)! Click HERE to find this product.


Other allergy products that ship to Israel that may interest you:

Alahist PE (antihistamine + decongestant)

Diphenhydramine Capsules (same active ingredient as Benadryl)

Allerease pillow encasement set 

Eczema Wraps 

Free & Clear Soap Refills 

Free & Clear Laundry Detergent (liquid) 

Free & Clear Laundry Detergent (Pods)


*FREE Shipping is available on qualifying items and orders must total $65 or more. To steer clear of taxes, don't go over $74.99! To find qualifying items, choose the "Eligible for FREE Amazon Shipping" filter when you sort your search results.

What are your favorite finds? I'd love to hear! 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Great Deals from Groo!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at NO additional cost to you! Thank you for your support!

Here's a deal that will save you 50 NIS when you shop online with Quik (NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY):

Here's how it works: Pay 10 NIS today, and you'll get a voucher worth 60 NIS towards your QUIK purchase - min. purchase of 300 NIS required to redeem the voucher, and please note it's for NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. Click HERE to go to this deal!

Coffee Capsules: Get 100 capsules for 74 NIS (plus shipping) - better savings if you buy 200, or even 300...




Looking for Corelle?



Get an 18-pc set for 500 NIS with FREE delivery to your door. Yes, it's a little more than in USA - but it's here in Israel already. Click HERE to check it out!

Getaway Deals at Isrotel Pundak Ramon Hotel



Note: Min. 2 night stay required for this deal, and dates are limited. Click HERE to check it out! 

Ninja Blender Hot & Cold: This gadget does so many jobs! It's a blender that cooks. And more. Seriously.








Happy savings! If you want me to look for a deal for you, just drop a comment below!




Monday, October 4, 2021

Amazon Free Shipping - Sample Shopping Carts

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at NO additional cost to you! Thank you for your support!


Some people ask me what I've bought on Amazon now that FREE shipping is back. So I debated, do I tell the world what I've bought? Or do I keep it to myself? At first, I thought it's a bit weird to share exactly what I purchased, and I wasn't so inclined to share. But I changed my mind.

And I'll share.

Here are some sample carts, that (when I ordered) came to slightly less than $75 and shipped for FREE*:

(Prices are subject to change. The price you see is the current price, and may not be the price I paid. I may have paid more, or I may have paid less.)

Sample Cart #1

Almay Sensitive Skin Deodorant (several)

Set of 3 stainless steel baking pans (bought 2 sets)

Books (several!!)

Unbleached Coffee Filters


Sample Cart #2

Tom's of Maine Toothpaste (multipack)

Pyrex 3-pack measuring cups

Blister Prevention Tape (several rolls - this stuff is amazing)

Multi-colored Cotton Dinner Napkins


Sample Cart #3:

Shoes

Scar Gel


*FREE Shipping is available on qualifying items and orders must total $65 or more. To steer clear of taxes, don't go over $74.99! To find qualifying items, choose the "Eligible for FREE Amazon Shipping" filter when you sort your search results.

What are your favorite finds? I'd love to hear! 

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Save on Kindle Books!

 This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may get paid a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!


--- Retrieved from https://www.kosherfrugal.com/ ---


Buying books?

Who am I kidding? Of course you're buying books!

I think we've actually already spoken about books today, but here's another deal for book lovers:

Check out deals for Kindle books! Did you know that you can read Kindle books even if you don't have a Kindle device? It's really easy to download a Kindle reader.

Every day, different book discounts become available - you should definitely check out today's discounts and get up to 80% off: CLICK HERE to see! 

Or, if you want access to almost anything, you might want to consider subscribing to Kindle Unlimited, and you'll have access to almost everything available for Kindle!


Happy reading!