Tipping guidelines: Who, when and how much

If you often find yourself unsure of tipping protocol, you’re not alone. Everyone seems to have a different opinion when it comes to gratuity. Ultimately, tipping is about recognizing a service provided or a job well done. We help you with the specifics based on etiquette advice from The Emily Post Institute.

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  • Bartender
    $1–$2 per drink
    or 15–20% of the tab.
  • Barista
    Tip occasionally
    if your server or barista provides a little something extra or if you’re a regular customer.
  • Restaurant check 
    15–20% of the bill,
    excluding tax.
  • Takeout
    No obligation; $2–$3 for extra service,
    like curb delivery.
  • Food delivery
    10–15% of the bill; $2–$5 for pizza delivery,
    depending on the size of the order and difficulty of delivery.


  • Taxi driver
    15–20% of the fare. For help with luggage, tip $2 for the first bag and $1 per additional bag.
    If you use a car service, check the terms, as tips may be factored into the price.
  • Concierge
    $5–$10 for tickets or restaurant reservations;
    $15 or 10–20% of the ticket price if they’re particularly hard to get.
  • Home cleaner
    Tipping is optional. If you choose to, consider 10–15%.
    If you’re particularly impressed, throw in an extra $10.
  • Babysitter
    An extra $10–$20
    for efforts that go above and beyond such as cleaning kid-caused mess.
  • Contractor
    For electricians, plumbers, the cable guy or similar, a tip isn’t normally necessary.
  • Hairdresser, manicurist, massage therapist 
    ask it to be split among those who served you.


  • Day care provider
    A gift from your child or $25–$70
    for each staff member who works with him.
  • Building superintendent
    or a gift.
  • Mail carrier
    USPS workers cannot accept cash, checks or gift cards, but small gifts under $20 in value are acceptable.
  • Trash collector
    If the service warrants, tips are typically $10–$30.

Tip rules are different in other countries, so if you’re traveling abroad, do some research
to understand local customs.

Or get started by learning tipping rules (Link: https://bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com/en/saving-budgeting/tipping-abroad-guide) in five destinations popular for U.S. travelers. For other tipping situations, tip apps and online calculators can be helpful.

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The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment options.

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