Comprehensive Guide to Tipping Plus Bonus Starwood, Hyatt, and American Points

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. That tipping list looks pretty good — it squares with what I’ve encountered in many countries. I try to remember to look at a country’s tipping culture before I arrive, but I sometimes forget. It’s a bad feeling to get the bill in a restaurant and have no idea whether you are supposed to leave a tip. Last year I was in a touristy area in Malaysia and I actually asked the nearby tables whether I should tip (answer: no). I also find the mainstream guidebooks (like Fodors) to overstate the local tipping culture.

  2. I rarely tip taxi drivers. If they load and unload a bag, sure. But otherwise, taxi fares are inflated anyway, and most cities have a taxi monopoly. There’s no reason to tip them for providing the basic service which you hired them for. And now that NYC cabs accept credit cards, there’s no awkward “where’s the tip?” moment. Swipe the card, set the tip at $0, and hop out.

    There’s also an easy way to avoid tipping at restaurants. Get the food to go. Or have it delivered and tip the delivery guy nominally, not as a percentage of the bill.

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