Nice explainer piece by Kosherfrugal.com
Have you noticed how when you shop, you are often asked, "tashlumim?" as you hand over your credit card? Many new olim wonder what on earth this is. So here's a quick rundown of what you need to know:
Tashlumim - Installments - break whatever your total for this particular purchase is into equal monthly installments. You will be asked "how many tashlumim?" and you'll have to choose how many, if you are going this route. So if your bill is 2000nis, and you choose 10 tashlumim, you'll be paying 200nis for each of the next 10 months (as an example). 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!
Tashlumim are usually interest free. But not always. They can be "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 water or electric or other bills in tashlumim - they are often "Credit", as is the default at Ikea. Also, at self-checkout in Shufersal, you may be given a "Credit" option! This is not regular tashlumim - it incurs fees and interest! Regular tashlumim do not incur a fee, since the BOI stepped in a few years ago and made them free. (That doesn't mean there are no consequences, though, so please read on...)
Tashlumim do not allow you to make a purchase larger than your credit line. Your credit line is set by your bank - and you are not allowed to charge more than that amount on your credit card. Splitting a purchase into tashlumim does not mean that you can use next month's credit line too: Your credit line is finite.