Americans Plan to Tip More This Holiday Season. Will You?

Millennials and Gen Z — are most likely to tip and also most likely to increase the amount they tip this year, study shows.

A woman's hand holds a credit card, with holiday lights in the background.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For many, the Holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, filled with Christmas lights, hot cocoa and school recitals. For others, this season can bring about anxiety and stress. But something invariably happens to many people over the Holidays — an uptick in generosity in the form of tipping.

Average Tips This Holiday Season

According to Bankrate’s November 2023 Holiday Tipping Survey, 15% of Americans plan to tip more for services this holiday season, compared to 13% who will tip less. That means 44% plan to tip about the same amount this year as last year — even in light of inflation and higher costs for necessities. The survey also found that 23% of people who didn’t tip last holiday season don’t plan to this year either, and 5% haven’t decided one way or the other. 

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The median tip amounts overall are expected to mimic 2022 levels for service providers and essential workers such as teachers, housekeepers, landscapers, trash/recycling collectors, childcare providers and mail carriers.

What age tips the most and least?

Younger generations — millennials and Gen Z — are most likely to tip and also most likely to increase the amount they tip this year. Just over 20% of millennials (ages 27-42) and Gen Z (ages 18-26) plan to increase their tip amounts, compared to 12% of Gen X (ages 43-58) and 9% of baby boomers (ages 59-77).

Younger generations are also much more likely to seek holiday-tipping advice from friends, family, neighbors, or through social media or the Internet. More than half of Gen Z (51%) and 47% of millennials plan to do so, compared with 24% of Gen X and 18% of baby boomers.

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Percentage of People Who Plan to Tip For Services
YearHousekeeperChildcare ProviderTeacherLandscaper/Gardener/Snow RemoverMail CarrierTrash or Recycling Collector

Who do people tip?

Consumers this year are prioritizing housekeepers, childcare providers, the person who delivers the mail each day, the server at a favorite restaurant, or the barber or hairdresser who always makes sure you look your best. In 2022, housekeepers and teachers topped the list. The 2023 USA TODAY Blueprint study on tipping showed that California residents tip the most, averaging about 23%, while Illinois residents tip the least, averaging just over 14%.

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Median Tip Planned For Each Service 2023 Holidays
YearHousekeeperChildcare ProviderTeacherLandscaper/Gardener/Snow RemoverMail CarrierTrash or Recycling Collector

Why people tip

People generally like to reward hard work, and most people will tip to ensure workers are paid a fair wage or to show appreciation for good service. They may also tip because they’re familiar with the industry and know how demanding the work can be. 

By the same token, tipping fatigue is real. In another Bankrate survey, roughly two in three, or 66% of U.S. adults have a negative view about tipping. No matter your views on tipping, if "tipping" takes the joy out of the Holidays, call it a bonus instead. 

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Kathryn Pomroy

For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.