Who Are The Best And The Worst Tippers? New Survey Has Answers

Call it a tipping paradox: A new survey finds that men and millennials are the worst tippers, but, when they decide to tip, they leave more money than the best tippers, women and Baby Boomers.

"Men and millennials are boom or bust tippers," says Ted Rossman, an industry analyst for CreditCards.com, which hired YouGuv to conduct the online survey. "They’re the most likely to stiff you entirely, but they’re also the most likely to give you a really good tip."

The survey, which sampled 2,569 adults Aug. 21-23, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2%, and the results are representative of the U.S. adult population, CreditCards.com says

Other survey findings:

*About 1 of every 3 millennials don't always tip at a restaurant, and 60% of millennials don't always tip a taxi driver. 

*A millennial's average tip is 22%, compared with 17% for Baby Boomers.

*80% of women always tip at a sit-down restaurant, compared with 74% of men.

*Nearly 9 of every 10 Baby Boomers always tip restaurant servers, and more than 6 of every 10 always tip taxi drivers.

*Less than 50% of people always tip their taxi driver.

*Less than 3 of every 10 people always tip their hotel housekeeper.

Via Bloomberg

The large percentages of millennials who don't always tip at a restaurant or tip a taxi driver might lead one to conclude that millennials are cheap or don’t have much money to spare between early-career salaries, student loans and other expenses. But a past CreditCards.com survey may provide other reasons, Rossman says.

"We found that millennials were the most likely to say they’d like to do away with the tipping culture, even if it means paying higher food prices," he says. "That suggests to me that there’s a cultural aspect to this as well."

Many millennials seem to view tipping as inherently unfair, and "there is some truth to that," Rossman says.

"Tipping has historically been used to keep business owners’ costs down and contributed to economic inequality," he says. "It has particularly hurt women and people of color. However, tipping is a social norm, and tipping poorly hurts hardworking people who need the money. Even if you don’t see tipping as a fair practice, it’s a big part of society."

One reason why women tip best is because about 70% of tipped workers are female, Rossman says.

"I think some of this is women looking out for other women," he says. "Women are also more empathetic in general, and they’re more likely to have personal experience with frequently tipped occupations such as waiting tables, cleaning hotel rooms, cutting hair and taking care of children."

Baby Boomers probably are also the most frequent tippers, because they typically have more disposable income than Gen Xers and millennials, Rossman says. "They were also raised in a traditional culture that makes them more likely to follow social norms such as tipping."

According to the survey, 14% of adults never tip taxi drivers, and 27% never tip hotel housekeepers or coffee shop baristas.

People who never tip taxi drivers may be "cheap or ignorant," Rossman guesses.

"It’s hard to get 100% of the population to do anything," he says. "Ride-share services could be a factor, too. Uber didn’t allow in-app tipping from 2009-2017. So, old habits might die hard for some riders who are continuing the no-tip era today."

Rossman believes some people fail to realize how much of a cut Uber, Lyft and local taxi companies take from drivers. "Passengers might think the entire ride payment is going to the driver, so that might make them less likely to tip."

Such a large percentage of people who don't always tip hotel housekeepers may mostly be attributed to "out of sight, out of mind," Rossman says.

"We typically don’t interact with or even see the hardworking people who clean our hotel rooms. Less personal interaction leads to less tipping."

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Call it a tipping paradox: A new survey finds that men and millennials are the worst tippers, but, when they decide to tip, they leave more money than the best tippers, women and Baby Boomers.

"Men and millennials are boom or bust tippers," says Ted Rossman, an industry analyst for CreditCards.com, which hired YouGuv to conduct the online survey. "They’re the most likely to stiff you entirely, but they’re also the most likely to give you a really good tip."

The survey, which sampled 2,569 adults Aug. 21-23, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2%, and the results are representative of the U.S. adult population, CreditCards.com says

Other survey findings:

*About 1 of every 3 millennials don't always tip at a restaurant, and 60% of millennials don't always tip a taxi driver. 

*A millennial's average tip is 22%, compared with 17% for Baby Boomers.

*80% of women always tip at a sit-down restaurant, compared with 74% of men.

*Nearly 9 of every 10 Baby Boomers always tip restaurant servers, and more than 6 of every 10 always tip taxi drivers.

*Less than 50% of people always tip their taxi driver.

*Less than 3 of every 10 people always tip their hotel housekeeper.

Via Bloomberg

The large percentages of millennials who don't always tip at a restaurant or tip a taxi driver might lead one to conclude that millennials are cheap or don’t have much money to spare between early-career salaries, student loans and other expenses. But a past CreditCards.com survey may provide other reasons, Rossman says.

"We found that millennials were the most likely to say they’d like to do away with the tipping culture, even if it means paying higher food prices," he says. "That suggests to me that there’s a cultural aspect to this as well."

Many millennials seem to view tipping as inherently unfair, and "there is some truth to that," Rossman says.

"Tipping has historically been used to keep business owners’ costs down and contributed to economic inequality," he says. "It has particularly hurt women and people of color. However, tipping is a social norm, and tipping poorly hurts hardworking people who need the money. Even if you don’t see tipping as a fair practice, it’s a big part of society."

One reason why women tip best is because about 70% of tipped workers are female, Rossman says.

"I think some of this is women looking out for other women," he says. "Women are also more empathetic in general, and they’re more likely to have personal experience with frequently tipped occupations such as waiting tables, cleaning hotel rooms, cutting hair and taking care of children."

Baby Boomers probably are also the most frequent tippers, because they typically have more disposable income than Gen Xers and millennials, Rossman says. "They were also raised in a traditional culture that makes them more likely to follow social norms such as tipping."

According to the survey, 14% of adults never tip taxi drivers, and 27% never tip hotel housekeepers or coffee shop baristas.

People who never tip taxi drivers may be "cheap or ignorant," Rossman guesses.

"It’s hard to get 100% of the population to do anything," he says. "Ride-share services could be a factor, too. Uber didn’t allow in-app tipping from 2009-2017. So, old habits might die hard for some riders who are continuing the no-tip era today."

Rossman believes some people fail to realize how much of a cut Uber, Lyft and local taxi companies take from drivers. "Passengers might think the entire ride payment is going to the driver, so that might make them less likely to tip."

Such a large percentage of people who don't always tip hotel housekeepers may mostly be attributed to "out of sight, out of mind," Rossman says.

"We typically don’t interact with or even see the hardworking people who clean our hotel rooms. Less personal interaction leads to less tipping."

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I am a multi-award-winning journalist who was USA TODAY's investigative travel editor for 17 years and a founding journalist of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. I publish/

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