Tipping in the United States
Visiting the United States for business or leisure? Read our guide about who to tip in the United States, when to tip - and how much to hand over. Then avoid any tipping missteps with our handy tip calculator. We’ll also cover how to save on currency exchange with Wise, so you can tip generously and still have more to spend on yourself!
Save with Wise when tipping in the United States.
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- Tip amount:
Do you tip in the United States?
It’s normal to tip for good service in restaurants, bars and cafes in the United States - especially in touristy or business areas. Tips are also appreciated in hotels and serviced apartments - and other places where staff may not be so well rewarded, like spas or salons.
The amount you tip in the United States will depend on where you are and what type of services you’re buying. As a general rule, expect to tip around 10% of the bill. If you get exceptionally good service, say thank you with a tip closer to 15-20%.
Whether you're tipping with cash or card, always use the local currency to save money. Use the Wise travel money card.
Tip in local currency with Wise US dollar travel card.
No matter where you are, it makes sense to tip in local currency. Want to save money on currency exchange so you can tip generously and still have more to spend on yourself?
With the Wise US dollar travel money card it’s easy to top up in your local currency, and switch to US dollar whenever you need to pay for your day to day expenses in the United States.
With Wise you’ll always get the real exchange rate with no hidden costs. There’s just a low, transparent conversion fee - and then it’s free to spend any currency you hold. Simply top up your card and convert to the currency you need in real time using the Wise app.
No matter where your adventures take you, Wise has you covered. Hold and spend 40+ currencies with the same card, make ATM withdrawals and manage your account on the go using the Wise app.
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Tipping in the United States in restaurants & bars
Plan to tip around 10-15% in American restaurants. However, the exact tip amount when eating out in the United States depends on the place, occasion, and order size. It’s customary to give your waiter or waitress a slightly higher tip than you would a bartender, as they are likely sharing their tip with the kitchen staff.
In bars and cafes in the United States you can round the bill to the next significant amount, or leave a small tip each time you order a drink. If you are in a fancy cocktail bar, where cocktail making is a craft - or have a particularly skilled barista make your cappuccino - you might wish to splash out and leave a bigger tip.
100 US dollars meal = suggested tip of 10 or 15 US dollars
10 US dollars for a drink = suggested tip of 1-2 US dollars
Eating out in the the United States? You can save on currency conversion fees when paying or tipping with our travel money card for USA
Tipping in hotels in the United States
If you’re staying in a hotel in the United States it’s standard practise to tip between 10-20%. In top end hotels with high service levels you’ll likely want to tip a range of staff, such as maids, bellboys, valets and front desk employees.
Who you tip, and how much, is ultimately at your discretion, and should be based on the levels of service you receive. To help you figure out how to budget and approach hotel tipping, check out our handy cheat sheet for tipping in American hotels.
Staying in a hotel in the United States? You can save on currency conversion fees when checking out or tipping hotel staff with our Wise travel money card for US
|Hotel staff||Suggested Tip||Reasons to tip|
Housekeepers and maids are among the hardest working hotel staff. It’s common to say thanks for great service with a small daily tip.
Luggage attendants / Porters
1 USD / per bag
When you arrive at your hotel in the United States you’ll probably need help getting your bags to your room. It’s customary to give a small tip to porters so don’t forget to have some small change when checking in!
If the hotel concierge during your stay in the United States offers exceptional service, you may want to tip. Tips aren’t needed if reception staff simply helped ordering a cab or booking dinner reservations.
5-10 USD / each time
If you’re driving, pay a small tip every time a valet retrieves your car from the hotel parking lot.
Tipping taxi drivers in the United States
It’s common to tip 10% in the United States for a longer journey, and if you were helped with your luggage. For short journeys the easiest option is to round up the bill to the nearest significant amount in US dollars. Don’t forget, if you’re using local taxis rather than a ride-hailing service such as Uber, you’ll need to agree on the fare before your journey.
50 US dollars taxi bill = 5 US dollars tip for a longer journey
7.50 US dollars taxi bill = 0.50 US dollars tip for a short journey
Hopping on a cab from the airport in the United States? You can save on currency conversion fees when traveling with Wise travel money card
Tipping tour guides in United States
Your tour guide can make or break your experience when travelling - so when you find a great guide in the United States do tip them the standard 10%. Tips are equally welcome whether you’re taking a private, multi-day, or walking tour.
If you join a free tour in the United States it’s worth tipping too. Tours like these often operate on a ‘pay what you like’ basis. Your tips may be the only income your guide makes.
Sometimes you may be asked to leave a TripAdvisor review if you enjoyed your experience instead of tipping. This might help guides earn commission - and help other travellers have their own great experience in future.
Going for a tour in the United States? You can save on currency conversion fees when traveling with Wise travel money card
Tipping at a spa in the United States
If you need a massage to unwind after your adventures in the United States it is appropriate to leave a small tip to the therapist. Budget around 10-15% of the treatment price.
That means that for a massage costing you 100 US dollar , you might consider leaving a tip of 10 US dollars if the service was average, or as you’d expect - or say thanks with a 15% tip if the therapist provided an outstanding treatment.
100 US dollars massage bill = 10 US dollars tip to masseuse for a standard treatment
100 US dollars massage bill = 15 US dollars tip to masseuse for an outstanding treatment
Tips for tipping in the United States
- Whenever you tip during your trip to the United States it is important to use the local currency, that is - US dollars. Otherwise you’ll leave your service providers with cash they can’t use without paying high fees on currency exchange. Prepare some small change in the local currency before leaving the airport if you can, to tip drivers and hotel porters. Get free ATM withdrawals with a travel money card
Tip in the local currency
- Service charges may be added to the bill automatically when you’re in a restaurant, hotel or bar in the United States. Double check your bill before deciding whether or not to tip. In some countries adding a service charge is a common practice, in others less so. Save where you can pay with Wise travel card
The tip may already be included in your bill
- Don’t get caught out in an embarrassing situation at a business dinner. As tipping etiquette varies by country, it’s important you familiarise yourself with international tipping standards, to avoid doubt and awkward moments! Manage business multi-currency banking from your phone
Tipping on a business trip
- Tipping is a great way to acknowledge and reward great service. If the service charge is not already added to your bill, then tipping is at your discretion - but will always be appreciated. The staff working in restaurants and hotels in the United States often have tough jobs for lower end wages - think twice before canceling any gratuity tip request on their payment terminals.
Use your own judgement
Tipping in other countries:
Tipping in the United States FAQ
Save on trip to United States with your Wise Travel Card
Tip and spend in local currency with Wise US dollar travel card.