10 Unwritten Rules For Tipping In New York

New York City can seem like one of the most intimidating places in the world to someone who’s not used to it. But there’s nothing scary about the concrete jungle: as long as you know what you’re doing, you’ll feel right at home!

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One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they first arrive in New York is messing up the tipping system. New York has a strong tipping culture and service providers rely on the tips of their customers to make a living. Giving tips that aren’t generous is one of the biggest blunders you can make in New York. So check out our 10 unwritten rules for tipping in the Big Apple.

10 Tip Even For Short Taxi Rides

In some cities, tipping the taxi driver is not required. But in New York, this is pretty much an unwritten rule. It doesn’t matter how long or short the ride is. If you’re taking a taxi in New York, you have to tip them, according to Lonely Planet.

It’s acceptable to just leave a dollar tip on shorter taxi drives where the overall fare may be $6 or $7. Otherwise, for longer drives, the tip should be about 15 or 20%. Leave the higher tip when the driver helps you with some extra service, such as carrying your bags out for you.

9 Most Places Prefer Tips In Cash

Leaving a tip with your credit card is better than leaving no tip at all, of course. But when you can, it’s a good idea to leave your tip in cash. Most businesses in New York tend to prefer receiving tips in cash rather than on a card. That’s why you should always have a few bills on you.

Trip Savvy points out that plenty of places in the city still don’t accept cards. You have to pay with cash, whether you like it or not, so it is just easier to be prepared and always have cash on you.

8 Don’t Forget To Tip For Beauty Services

While in New York, you might decide to treat yourself to some beauty services. Those who work in the beauty industry also get a tip in New York. If you’re getting your nails done or a similar treatment, it’s standard to leave a tip of 15 to 20% of the overall price.

When you’re getting your hair cut, the same applies—15 to 20%. Hair salons tend to be the type of establishments that expects tips to always be in cash, even if you’re paying for the overall bill with a credit card.

7 Pay Your Concierge More For Difficult Requests

If it’s your first time in New York City, a good concierge is priceless. They can tell you which areas to see and which to miss, how to save money by avoiding tourist traps, and any other helpful information that will make your stay easier. Just don’t forget to tip them appropriately!

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In general, this means that the concierge should get between $5 and $10 for every service that they go out of their way to do for you. That includes making dinner reservations or organizing transportation. The more obscure and difficult your request, the more you should tip them.

6 Housekeeping And Room Service Also Expect Tips

The concierge isn’t the only person you should tip at your hotel. Don’t forget about the housekeeping staff! As a rule of thumb, leave between $2 and $5 a day for them to do their job. Tip more if you request more services from them.

It is also standard practice in New York City to tip for room service. Keep in mind that a service fee is usually already included, but if it’s not, you’ll need to leave extra money. The guide is around 18 to 22% of the overall bill.

5 Tour Guide Tips Depend On The Size Of The Group

If you’re visiting New York from overseas or interstate, you’ll likely be joining a tour group at some stage. There’s so much to see in the Big Apple that it’s tempting not to participate in some kind of tour! And like many others in New York, tour guides rely on tips. When tipping tour guides, remember that the size of the group and the length of the tour make a difference to how much you tip.

If you’re in a large group with more than 30 participants, a tip should be around $5 per person. Between 15-30 participants and you should tip $10 per person. Any less and you’re looking at around $15 to $25 per person.

4 Tip The Bar Staff But Not The Bouncer

There’s no doubt that you’ll want to check out some of New York’s famed nightlife when you’re in town. In cities like London, tipping the bar staff is not the standard practice. But in New York, it’s pretty much expected. As a minimum, you should leave $1 per drink. When you’re running a tab, leave 15 to 20% of the total bill.

While you should be tipping bar staff, tipping bouncers is another story. Very rarely does this get you to the front of the line like it does in the movies.

3 In A Restaurant, Under 15% Means You Weren’t Happy With The Service

Restaurant staff members rely on your tips, so it’s considered bad form to leave anything that’s not generous. The general rule is that you leave around 20% of the total bill as a courtesy. If you leave less than 15%, it sends the message that you weren’t happy with the service or the meal. Leave a 10% tip and you’re basically implying that you had the worst meal of your life.

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Even in situations where you don’t receive good service, it’s still customary to leave a tip. Many elements that would make service bad are not a server’s fault so they should not be reflected in their tip.

2 The Type Of Hotel Affects What You Give The Bellhop

When staying at a New York City hotel, you should also tip the bellhop in addition to tipping the concierge, housekeeping, and room service. According to the New York Times, the type of hotel that you stay in affects how much you leave. The higher-end the hotel, the more you leave for the bellhop.

In standard hotels, you should give a bellhop $1 per bag that they carry. When you’re staying somewhere fancier, like a luxury hotel, it is expected to give them $2 per bag instead.

1 Remember To Adjust When Using Discount Coupons

A lot of people make their trips to New York City cheaper by using discount coupons. These lower the price of meals, transport, and other things that can add up at the end of your stay in the Big Apple. When using discount coupons, always be sure that your tip reflects the full value of the original price, not the discounted price.

This means that if your meal would originally $50 but you only paid $25, you should still leave a tip of a percentage of $50 rather than $25.

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