This holiday season, housekeepers, childcare providers, landscapers, mail carriers and other professionals will work around the clock to keep festivities running smoothly. For those workers who will receive a yearly tip for their work, they may expect a little more money than last year.

Fifteen percent of U.S. adults will increase how much they tip this holiday season compared to last year, according to a new Bankrate survey. Another 44 percent plan to tip the same amount, while only 13 percent say they’re decreasing how much they tip.

However, as Americans tip this holiday season, they’re as confused about tipping etiquette as ever. Thirty-two percent of Americans will seek advice about how to tip around the holidays, including from friends or family, the internet or social media.

Here’s how people plan to tip this holiday season.

While many Americans are experiencing tip fatigue, this data indicates the mood is brightening, at least around the holidays. — Ted Rossman | Bankrate Senior Industry Analyst

Bankrate’s key tipping insights

  • Housekeepers and childcare providers are among the highest-tipped workers. Among those who use the service, U.S. adults plan to tip their housekeepers and childcare providers a median of $50 each, more than they plan to tip any other service provider. They plan to tip their landscapers/gardeners/snow removers a median of $37, teachers $25, mail carriers $20 and trash or recycling collectors $25.
  • More Americans tend to tip housekeepers. Of Americans who use the service, 54% plan to tip housekeepers this holiday season, compared to 51% who will tip childcare providers, 50% who will tip teachers, 42% who will tip landscapers/gardeners/snow removers, 31% who will tip mail carriers and 24% who will tip trash or recycling collectors.
  • Younger Americans will tip more than they did last year. 23% of millennials (ages 27-42) will tip more this year compared to last year. That’s compared to 21% of Gen Zers (ages 18-26), 12% of Gen Xers (ages 43-58) and 9% of baby boomers (ages 59-77).
  • Younger people are more often confused about tipping etiquette. 20% of Gen Zers and 18% of millennials are confused about how much to tip during the holidays, compared to 16% of Gen Xers and 9% of baby boomers.

Americans will pay a larger tip to housekeepers and childcare providers this holiday season

This holiday season, you may know to tip waitstaff when eating out or to tip a bartender when traveling, but the holidays are also a chance to show your thanks for services you use all year.

Unlike waitstaff or bartenders, workers in housekeeping, childcare, landscaping and other similar services may only receive tips during the holiday season. Some workers, however, can expect tips more often than others.

More than half of U.S. adults (54 percent) who hire housekeepers will tip them during the 2023 holiday season — the highest percentage of any service:

Source: Bankrate survey, November 3-7, 2023
Note: Of U.S. adults who have/use the service

On the other hand, 24 percent of people who use trash or recycling services say they’d tip those workers — the lowest percentage of any service.

The percentage of people tipping for services during the holiday season has steadily increased since 2021, when Bankrate first asked about holiday tipping. Most significantly, 51 percent of people who use childcare services will tip this year, up from 41 percent in 2021.

Percentage of people who will tip for each service they use during the holiday season, by year

Year Housekeeper Childcare provider Teacher Landscaper/gardener/snow remover Mail carrier Trash or recycling collectors
Source: Bankrate survey, November 3-7, 2023
Note: Of U.S. adults who have/use the service
2023 54% 51% 50% 42% 31% 24%
2022 56% 49% 51% 41% 31% 22%
2021 47% 41% 41% 36% 27% 19%

The only exception is housekeeping and teaching: A slightly smaller percentage will tip for those services in 2023 compared to last year. For both services, however, people plan to tip more than they did in 2021.

Bankrate Senior Industry Analyst Ted Rossman thinks lower inflation during the 2023 holiday season, compared to 2022, is a significant contributor to the generous tipping climate.

“I also think it’s notable that the professions we asked about generally involve a good amount of personal interaction,” Rossman says. “I think it’s easier to complain about tip creep when you’re being prompted by an app or a checkout kiosk during a quick counter service transaction. Most people seem more likely to tip generously when they have a relationship with a service provider who they encounter regularly.”

People plan to give service providers a gratuity of between $20 and $50 this holiday season

After reducing their tip amounts in 2022, people who use housekeeping, childcare, landscaping and other services this holiday season plan to tip them a median of between $20 and $50, similar to how they tipped in 2021.

Housekeepers and childcare providers will receive the largest tips this year, a median of $50. Housekeepers have consistently received the largest tips of any service since 2021:

Median tip for each service during the 2023 holiday season, by year

Year Housekeeper Childcare provider Teacher Landscaper/gardener/snow remover Mail carrier Trash or recycling collectors
Source: Bankrate survey, November 3-7, 2023
Note: Of U.S. adults who have/use the service
2023 $50 $50 $25 $37 $20 $25
2022 $40 $25 $20 $25 $20 $20
2021 $50 $50 $25 $30 $20 $20

However, unlike other services, people aren’t tipping mail carriers any more in 2023 than they did last year; the average tip for mail carriers was $20 in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

More than half of Americans will tip the same amount for their services in both 2022 and 2023

Regardless of how much they tip, 15 percent of Americans say they will tip more this holiday season than they did last year:

Source: Bankrate survey, November 3-7, 2023

Another 44 percent say they will tip the same as last year, 13 percent will tip less and 5 percent are unsure. Men are more likely to tip more than they did last year than women are:

  • Men: 18 percent
  • Women: 13 percent

Likewise, younger Americans are more likely to give a larger gratuity than they did last year. Compared to baby boomers, more than twice as many Gen Zers and millennials will tip more year-over-year:

  • Gen Z: 21 percent
  • Millennials: 23 percent
  • Gen X: 12 percent
  • Baby boomers: 9 percent

Americans who live in cities are also most likely to tip more this year than they did last year:

  • City residents: 22 percent
  • Suburban residents: 12 percent
  • Rural residents: 9 percent

Nearly 1 in 5 people will ask friends or family for advice on holiday tipping

Tipping waitstaff 15 percent to 25 percent is standard practice, but the rules are less clear for other services, especially if you’re trying to be generous for the holidays. Many Americans (14 percent) say they are confused about who and how much to tip during the holidays:

Source: Bankrate survey, November 3-7, 2023
Note: Percentages may differ when totaled, due to rounding.

Thirty-two percent of Americans plan to seek advice, such as by asking friends or family, searching the internet or using social media, about how much to tip around the holidays. Most commonly, 19 percent will ask friends or family for advice.

Among different generations, Gen Zers tend to be more confused about holiday tipping:

  • Gen Zers: 20 percent
  • Millennials: 18 percent
  • Gen Xers: 16 percent
  • Baby boomers: 9 percent

Perhaps as a result, Gen Z is also the most likely to ask friends or family, search online or use social media for advice on how to tip during the holiday season:

  • Gen Zers: 51 percent
  • Millennials: 47 percent
  • Gen Xers: 24 percent
  • Baby boomers: 18 percent

Similar to the other generations, they’re more likely to turn to friends or family for advice on holiday tipping, rather than the internet or social media:

Percentage of people who will seek advice on tipping during the holiday season from each source, by generation

Generation Friends or family Internet Social media
Source: Bankrate survey, November 3-7, 2023
Gen Z 33% 21% 19%
Millennials 28% 24% 16%
Gen X 14% 11% 5%
Baby boomers 11% 6% 2%

3 steps to decide how much to tip this holiday season

Tipping is often confusing; it’s not always clear how to tip or how much. Just like how many workers receive an end-of-year bonus from their employer, you can tip during the holidays to show your appreciation for workers who will go the extra mile this holiday season, or whose services you’ve used all year.

Keep these three steps in mind when you plan your holiday tipping budget:

1. What are the circumstances under which you’re tipping?

How much you’ll tip someone during the holiday season depends on a number of factors, such as how long you’ve used their service, how important the service is to you and how often you use it. Generally, you’ll tip someone more if you use their service frequently and you appreciate your relationship with them. Keep your location in mind, too. If you live in a snowy area or the service worker will be trekking up a lot of stairs, their work may warrant a bigger tip.

Tips can typically be between $10 to $80 depending on the service. For hired services like a regular babysitter, home health employee or housekeeper, consider a week of pay as a bonus, and/or a small gift.

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Keep in mind: The U.S. Postal Service only allows mail carriers to accept gifts (not cash) worth $20 or less, so check the tipping policy of any company you use this holiday season. Though you may appreciate their work, customers aren’t allowed to tip Amazon delivery drivers.

2. What’s your budget?

Tipping should always be worked into your budget, whether you go out for dinner or plan your yearly holiday shopping. Delivery fees, tips and other small costs add up, so consider them when you order presents or hire a housekeeper before the big holiday party. Planning early can save you money during the holiday season.

3. What alternatives can you give instead of money?

Do you have a tight budget this year? Consider small handmade gifts, thoughtful letters or other treats to show your appreciation. Making a gift for your child’s teachers is a great way to get your child involved, too. Just keep the value of the gift in mind in case a company has a value limit. (For example, you wouldn’t want to give homemade food made out of expensive ingredients if the company caps tips at $10.)


  • It’s common to tip hairstylists or barbers 20 percent for the entire service.
  • A lot of factors go into tipping movers, such as if you have a lot of heavy furniture or if they’ll be expected to bring items upstairs. Tip movers at least $10 per person, or more if the move will take more than four hours.
  • Check your cleaning company’s policies, but it’s typical to tip housekeepers between 15 percent and 20 percent for one session, or less if they clean your house regularly.


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,413 US adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd – 7th November 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+). The survey was carried out online and meets rigorous quality standards. It employed a non-probability-based sample using both quotas upfront during collection and then a weighting scheme on the back end designed and proven to provide nationally representative results.