Find Your Tipping Point Abroad

With gratuity varying by country, it's important not to offend
By Doug Sweeney,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2008 2:26 PM CST
A 15% tip is standard in the US; add 5-10% in Europe even when a service charge is included. And while tips are also expected in Hong Kong and China, adding a gratuity will insult in Japan.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Knowing the appropriate level of gratuity can be tricky, and it gets even more difficult abroad, where tipping practices widely vary. Forbes offers some help, noting, for instance, that for a cab ride in South America, rounding up the fare to the next dollar is an acceptable tip, while in Europe or an African city 10% is expected.

Add 5-10% in Europe even when a service charge is added, the magazine urges. In Japan, tipping is seen as rude in any situation, where in China it’s customary to add 3% to the bill at restaurants; in Hong Kong, 15% is expected. And world-round, $2-$5 is an acceptable amount to tip a concierge for a simple request.