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Feb 11, 2014 08:34 AM

Paying with credit card: Should I tip in cash?

I'm never sure about this, so I'm asking the advice of wait staff and/or restaurant owners...

Say my tab is $100, and I'm going to tip $20 on it. I'm paying with a credit card, but I have cash for the tip.

Is it better if I...

(A) Pay the entire $120 with the credit card.

(B) Put $110 on the credit card, and leave a $10 bill separately.

(C) Pay the $100 on the credit card, and leave a $20 bill separately.

Or does it make no difference to you at all?


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  1. AFAIK, cash tip would be preferred. At least that's what I do at one of our regular places, and the bartender def prefers that over putting the whole thing on the card.

    I'm having a bit of trouble understanding option B, tho. Why would you split the tip between cash and CC?

    1. Some restaurants charge servers the credit card fee on tips left on CC, so I try to leave cash tip whenever I can.

      1 Reply
      1. re: joonjoon

        i think that depends on which state you're in. in most states its against the law for an employer to touch any part of an employees tip even in the case of a credit card fee.

        1. I put everything on the credit card. I carry virtually no cash.

          1. Always leave tips in cash. Don't have to wait for the end of the week or month to get it. Also much harder for the house to deduct "handling fees" and "taxes".

            Cynical little sod, aren't I.

            1 Reply
            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

              But easier for them to be forgotten come tax time