Can You Tip With A Gift Card?

Can You Tip With A Gift Card? (Updated)

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

One common method to give a thoughtful present to a loved one is through the use of gift cards. These cards can be utilized for a variety of purchases, ranging from clothing to food and household items.

But can you tip with a gift card? Is that alright? Let’s find out. 

Is It Alright To Tip With A Gift Card?

Is It Alright To Tip With A Gift Card?

It depends. Here’s the thing: it’s not technically against the law to tip with a gift card. However, many restaurants have policies that prohibit servers from accepting tips in this form. This is because gift cards can be easily lost or stolen, and restaurant owners don’t want their employees to be out of pocket if this happens.

So, while you technically can tip with a gift card, it’s probably best to avoid doing so. If you want to show appreciation for good service, it’s better to hand over cash or put the tip on your credit card. This way, you can be sure that your server will actually receive the tip.

Read: 4 Reasons Why Amazon Refunds You With A Gift Card

Things To Remember:

Things To Remember:

Ask The Restaurant

If you’re thinking about giving your server a gift card as a tip, there are a few things you should know first. Many restaurants have a policy against accepting tips in the form of gift cards, so it’s always best to ask before you try to hand one over. 

Even if the restaurant accepts gift cards as tips, there’s no guarantee that your server will be able to keep the card’s full value. In some cases, restaurants will deduct a processing fee from the total amount of the tip, which means your server will end up with less money than you intended to give. 

So, while it’s always nice to be generous, make sure you know the restaurant’s policy on gift card tips before you try to leave one. Otherwise, you may end up leaving your server with less than you intended.

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Verify With Your Server

Verify With Your Server

When you’re out to eat, there’s nothing worse than realizing you don’t have enough cash to cover the tip. However, before you reach for your credit card, it’s important to verify that your server will accept a gift card as a tip. 

For example, many upscale restaurants forbid servers from accepting tips on credit cards [1], so it’s always best to check with your server before you leave a tip. In addition, some states have laws against adding tips to credit card bills, so it’s important to be aware of the legislation in your area. 

By taking a moment to verify that your server can accept a gift card as a tip, you can avoid an embarrassing situation and ensure that your gratuity is properly received.

Read: Steps in Sending Gift Messages on Instagram

Bring Extra Cash

If you’re planning on giving a gift card this holiday season, make sure you bring some extra cash with you. While gift cards are a great way to show appreciation, many businesses don’t allow customers to tip with them. That means if you’re hoping to leave a little something extra for your server or delivery person, you’ll need to have some cash on hand. 

It’s always better to be prepared than caught off guard, so tuck a few dollars into your wallet before heading out for holiday shopping. And if you really want to make someone’s day, consider giving a larger tip than you normally would. A little extra generosity can go a long way, especially during the holidays.


Tip Properly

Tip Properly

If you’ve ever been in the position of wanting to tip someone with a gift card, you know it can be a bit tricky. After all, you don’t want to seem cheap, but you also don’t want to overspend. So how much should you spend?

Here’s a quick guide to tipping with a gift card:

  • For restaurant servers, a good rule of thumb is to spend 10% of the total bill. So if your bill comes to $100, your tip should be $10.
  • For hotel maids, a good rule of thumb is to spend $3-$5 per day. So if you’re staying for 5 days, your tip should be $15-$25.
  • For taxi or rideshare drivers, a good rule of thumb is to spend 10% of the fare. So if your fare is $20, your tip should be $2.

Also Read: How To Leave A Present For Your Garbage Man?


Are gift cards tip-friendly?

Yes and no. While giving a gift card instead of cash may feel more personal, paying with a gift card doesn’t necessarily mean the server will get a tip. 

Understandably, some people feel more comfortable carrying around cards than cash, and others may view gifting a card as more generous than giving cash. However, from the perspective of the person receiving the tip, it doesn’t make much difference.

Gift cards can be used anywhere, so the server can use them how they please- whether that means buying groceries or taking care of other bills. But is it really rude to give money as a gift?

Is gift card tipping easy to enable?

Yes, gift card tipping is easy to enable. You can either call the customer service number on the back of the card and ask them to add a tip function, or you can go online and add a tip function to your account.

Some gift cards even have a built-in tipping function that allows you to easily enter the tip amount.

But how can you add a gift card to the Chipotle app?  

In Summary

Have you ever tried to tip your server with a gift card? It’s not as easy as it seems. Most servers won’t accept them, and if they do, they’ll likely trade them in for cash at the end of their shift. 

Gift cards are a great way to show appreciation for a job well done, but make sure you’re using the right type of card if you want to give one to your server.



Kimberlee Johnson
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