7 Rules Everyone Should Know About Tipping

Follow these expert-approved etiquette guidelines when showing your appreciation.


No Need to Wait Until Christmas Week.

Photo by praisaeng/Getty Images

The entire stretch between Black Friday and New Year’s Day is fair game.


Work In Batches.

Start by taking care of the people you see regularly—your sitter, your doorman. See? Your list is shorter already!


Do Your Best to Give Cash or Gift Cards.

Checks create work for the recipient—a trip to the ATM. With gift cards, be sure to choose from stores that you know the person uses.


Place the Tip In an Envelope.

For people who may be receiving a lot of year-end tips (like a hairstylist), be sure to use an envelope and a card or a note to ensure that they’re aware of your gift. (You don’t want it to get lost in the shuffle.)


In a Pinch? Cash is Okay By Itself.

On the flip side, if you run into someone you meant to tip but forgot about (like the kid who does a great job mowing your lawn in summer), cash with no card works just fine.


Give What You Can Afford.

Don’t feel the need to make excuses if you can’t manage a tip. Instead, verbalize your appreciation or send a card.


Opt for Crisp Bills.

If you have the time, pick up fresh currency from the bank. Your gift will benefit from that extra bump of great presentation.