lending insights

Tips on Tipping

Tips on Tipping
Tipping at restaurants is a given, but what about that tip jar on the deli counter, the exterminator, or your cable guy? See below for a few "tips" on tipping: 

Food service: For full-service the rule is 20 percent for great service, and 15 percent for decent or satisfactory service, of the pre-tax amount. For delis and cafe counters or buffets, leave 10 percent. If you're splitting the bill, check out the Converter Plus app for iPhone or Tip N Split for Android. You'll never have to guess who owes how much for their total dinner and tip again.

Exterminator: In general, exterminators don't expect tips, but if yours goes above and beyond the call of duty, such as moving furniture for you and showing extra care around the house, $5 to $10 is appropriate. Over the holidays a tip of $20 or a gift card is a nice touch.

Valet/bag handler: When your car is returned $2 to $5 is appropriate. For luggage and bags consider up to $2 per bag.

Hairstylist/barber/manicurist/masseuse: A minimum of 15 to 20 percent of the service, split between anyone who assisted.

Maid service: If you use a cleaning service for your home, tipping is not necessary, unless for outstanding service or a holiday gift. At a hotel it is customary to leave a little something for the number of days you stayed.

Other service providers: Outstanding work deserves a tip no matter the service—a good rule of thumb is up to $20 for the following providers: electricians, plumbers, home health care workers, road service workers, cable installers and movers.


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6 Booking Secrets for Travelers

You can start saving money before you go anywhere with these six quick travel booking tips:

Don't immediately book airfare online—call the airlines directly and compare from there. Phone agents often get access to deals not posted on the web—and even if there is a service fee, it may still save you in the long run.