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A tip is a gift or a sum of money given for a service performed or anticipated. Also known as a gratuity, tips are often given to many types of workers above and beyond the amount of the total bill. While tips are commonplace here in America, in some parts of the world, such as Japan, tips can potentially be seen as insulting and perhaps interpreted as a bribe. We recommend searching for tipping customs in a particular country that you may be visiting to familiarize yourself with local expectations.
In America, the standard (unwritten) rule for calculating a tip is generally 15-20%, but those figures can vary depending on the type of service performed. For example, 15-20% pre-tax is standard for how much to tip at a restaurant, but for bellhops and door attendants, $1-$2 per bag is reasonable.
If you have access to a calculator (on your phone, for example), here is how to calculate tips. First, determine the percentage of your tip. Then, choose one of two ways to do the math. If you want to know exactly how much the tip is going to be, multiply the decimal version of your tip (if you chose 20%, use 0.20) by your total bill. For example, if your total bill is $50, you’d enter 50 x 0.20 on your calculator, giving you 10 – a $10 tip. Or if you want to know the total that you’ll need to spend, add a 1 before the decimal version of your tip. In this instance, if your total bill is $50, you’d enter 50 x 1.20 on your calculator, giving you 60 -- $60 for the total bill, including your tip.
While cash is usually appreciated by most service workers, if you’re paying with a card or personal checks, you can usually add the tip into your total cost. Not paying with a check or card? See if your worker accepts digital currency from an app like Zelle, Venmo or CashApp. Use the handy table at the top of this page to help get you started.
Frequently Asked Questions about Tipping
How much should you tip your hairdresser?
For hair stylists and barbers, a tip of 15% to 20% is common, but consider giving more if you’re particularly happy with how your hair turns out or if you had a great conversation with them during the styling.
How much should you tip movers?
Tipping your moving company isn’t generally expected, but tipping your individual movers is greatly appreciated by them. Depending on the amount of your move, $10 to $20 for each individual mover is a great way to show that you’re thankful for their hard work.
How much should you tip your nail tech?
Like hair stylists, you should expect to tip techs at a nail salon 15% to $20% of the cost of the service before tax. Consider a little more if it’s a lower cost service or you’re incredibly satisfied with their work.
How much should you tip delivery drivers?
A tip of at least 15% for your delivery drivers is usually standard. Consider the distance and total price in your calculation.
How much should you tip at a restaurant?
In sit-down restaurants, expect to tip at least 15% to 20% pretax for good service, and tip more if you feel your server went above and beyond. If you’re simply picking up an order to go, 10% to 15% is more standard and is usually given to the workers that prepared and packed your order.
How much should you tip at a valet?
Tipping your valet $2 to $5 is standard and is usually given to valet that retrieves your car and brings it back to you. Giving the valet that parks your car for you another $2 to $5 is also appreciated and might get you a spot in the shade.
How much should you tip drivers?
Standard tip for your rideshare driver should be around 15% to 20% of the total cost. Consider giving a little more if your driver was particularly helpful with advice or recommendations for the area you’re in, or if they’ve gone out of their way to offer bottled water or phone chargers to their passengers.
What countries don’t tip?
We recommend doing further research on local tipping customs before planning a trip to a different country, but these countries typically do not expect a tip (and in some cases don’t accept them): Australia, China, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. There are many European countries that don’t expect tips but do appreciate them, so some research on your destination before you travel can help you prepare.
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