Some workers depend on tips from their customers for most of their income. In 2013 the minimum wage for servers, for example, was just $2.13 per hour, a mere 29 percent of the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Although you may add a tip to the credit card transaction receipt, tipped workers usually prefer cash because they get the money right away and don’t have to worry about bookkeeping mistakes on their employer’s part. However, the method of paying a tip is entirely up to you.
Calculate the tip amount. Multiply the amount of the check by the percentage tip you decide to leave. For example, if a restaurant check is $65 and you want to leave 15 percent, it works out to $9.75 or $10 if you round off to the nearest dollar. For restaurant servers, bartenders, taxi drivers, hairstylists and manicurists, 15 to 20 percent is appropriate, depending on how good the service is.
Cross out the word “Tip” on the tip line on the credit card slip. The tip line is usually located just below the subtotal line. The subtotal line is where you see the purchase amount. Write an “X” or the word “Zero” in the blank space where a tip amount would go. Enter the subtotal amount on the “Total” line just below the tip line. This procedure prevents anyone from entering a tip amount on the credit card slip.
Hand the money directly to the person you are tipping if possible. If you need to leave a tip on the table in a restaurant, place it inside the credit card slip folder, or -- if none is provided -- at the back of the table in a booth or the center of a table. Set a glass or cup on top of the money. This makes it harder for a dishonest passer-by to scoop up the tip without being noticed.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.