Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How to Tip With Gift Cards for the Holidays!

Here's an interesting statistic from Consumer Reports: Nearly 50 percent of people surveyed by the national research center tip their cleaning person for the holidays with cash, checks or gift cards. The same genorosity is shown to hairdressers (36 percent), manicurists (35 percent) and barbers (32 percent).

It sounds like people know exactly what to give their beauty-care specialists and, since gift cards are the most-requested present for the fifth year running, you have to bet a large portion of those holiday tips came in the form of gift cards.

Tipping with gift cards adds a personal touch you can't get with cash. It shows you know something personal about the recipient, other than that they provide a good service. If this sounds appealing, read on for five suggestions on tipping with gift cards.

1. Consider The Individual
Those who stand on their feet all day would likely love a spa treatment. Delivery people who use their own vehicles, like newspaper carriers, would probably appreciate a gas gift card.

2. Give an All-purpose Card
If you're totally clueless, a grocery gift card from Whole Foods, Safeway, etc., could hardly go amiss. Other gift cards to fall back on include iTunes or big-box stores, like Wal-Mart or Target.

3. Buy Discount Cards
You can prove your largess without spending large. Check out websites like, where you can buy discount gift cards at up to 50 percent off the face value. The recipient will never know and you'll save enough to tip your newspaper-delivery specialist.

4. Give Them Something to Chew On
Check with local eateries for discounts on gift cards. At this time of year, some restaurants -- big and small -- offer bonus cards when you buy a minimum amount, like California Pizza Kitchen.

5. Point Them Towards Gift Card Exchange Day
Should the recipient give you a blank look when you hand over their gift card, you might casually mention Gift Card Exchange Day, when they can exchange their card for cash on Dec. 26 through a variety of resellers.


Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. As a nationally recognized media source, Andrea has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. She is available for in-studio, satellite or skype interviews and to write guest posts or articles. For all media inquiries, please contact Andrea Woroch at 970-672-6085 or email