Refaeli appeared in the French ELLE magazine, as well as becoming the first Israeli model to be featured in Sports Illustrated. The same picture was later published on the cover of Maxim. She appeared on the cover of the March 2006 issue of GQ Italy among many others. She appeared in the 2007 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue for which she posed with Aerosmith.
She has been the spokesperson for fashion brand Luisa Cerano. She has modeled for Subaru, Accessorize, Brazilian clothing line, Besni, and Italian jewelry line Marco Bicego. She is signed to Storm Model Management in London, and 1/One Management in New York City. Refaeli will be the co-host of a Bravo special program Tommy Hilfiger Presents Ironic Iconic America which will premiere in early October. The program is based on book Ironic Iconic America written by George Lois.
In 2009, Rafaeli will star in an English language film Session directed by Israeli Haim Bouzaglo. The film is a psychological thriller that tells the story of a manipulative psychiatrist, Josh Tellman, who becomes obsessed with a new young patient, Eden.
Bar Rafaeli and film director Shahar Segal have agreed to do a gratis campaign under the slogan "One Bag Less" to reduce the use of plastic bags.
In 2007, Refaeli became a source of controversy when it became known that she had evaded military service, mandatory for Israeli citizens over 18, by marrying a family acquaintance and divorcing him soon after. Refaeli stated in an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, "I really wanted to serve in the IDF, but I don't regret not enlisting, because it paid off big-time," further adding, "Why is it good to die for our country? What, isn't it better to live in New York?" Refaeli has since said the interview didn't accurately reflect her statements and threatened to file a lawsuit for libel. Consequently, the Israeli Forum for the Promotion of Equal Share in the Burden threatened to boycott the fashion chain Fox if they hired Refaeli, but the two sides reached a compromise in which the model would visit injured IDF soldiers on visits to Israel and encourage enlistment in the army.