Why Tipping in Cash is Best

Posted by: Felicia Dodge Feb 21, 2020


The world has come to rely on credit cards. Even credit cards are beginning to be less necessary through the advent of Venmo, Google Pay, and similar technologies. Cash is far less common in people’s wallets than it was thirty years ago or even ten. It lacks the safety features credit cards do, so why is it still the best way to tip?

Companies tipping policies can vary as drastically as fall weather. When you leave a tip on a credit card, it can affect how the person you’re tipping receives it. Tips left on credit cards are taxed. Some companies withhold those tips or take a percentage of them. The tip may be added to their paycheck, so they will not receive it for several weeks. Some companies make the tipped person pay the service fee, which can be 2% or 3%. Tips may be shared among all the employees. There are a plethora more ways a person can be affected by a tip left on a credit card. 

Cash is king. You will never hear someone complain about a cash tip. The IRS might complain because they have no ability to track that income, or if you tip in quarters, you will elicit a complaint. Other than that, cash is the best way to tip when you are able. Cash goes directly into the person’s hand, and they have it immediately. There are no fees, no waiting, no sharing. You are tipping them, and they get to keep it. Plus with Uber and Lyft drivers, the see immediately that you tipped them and will most likely give you a good rating on the app!

Tipping percentages change depending on the service you’re tipping for. For cabs and ridesharing services, 10% is a good place to start, but 15% is even better. A tip of 10% for food delivery is definitely acceptable. Wait staff at restaurants, bars, or the like should receive a 20% tip. If you slide a dollar into the tip jar at cafés or other serve-yourself establishments, they will greatly appreciate it. 

If you don’t have cash, tipping on a credit card is fine. You will not be hated for your lack of cash. If you have cash, that is the best kind of tip no matter the industry. 


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