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I travel to Israel two or three times a year. I know that other members of the Forum are frequent travellers there. I almost always hire a car, so in the last 20 years I have used a car there more than 50 times.
I returned from there last week. During my visit, I went to my usual Paz petrol station but the attendant tried to use my credit cards (Revolute and Amex) prior to filling, without success. He advised me that Paz no longer accept foreign credit cards for payment. I didn’t have enough cash on me to pay that way, so couldn’t fill up.
I tried another petrol station (Sokol) without success. I got the same refusal.
The following day, I had enough cash and went to a Delek station. I thought that once again I would try with my Revolute card, but the attendant tried it then told me exactly the same. I paid in cash. When checking my Revolute card transactions that night I found that NIS 200 (£48.56) had been put on my card. This amount was the usual “reserve” placed on a card prior to using the petrol pump, as it was the maximum one could use for petrol in one transaction previously.
It has taken 10 days for this to be removed from my card. A search of the internet indicated that “some” petrol stations decline overseas credit cards – but my experience was that the three major groups all decline them.
South African toll roads won’t accept foreign cards either, so prepare yourself wish cash, or look forward to a scrabble at the toll booth with a queue of impatient coal truck revving behind you!