98.3 TRY Social Dilemma: Is it okay to tip a wait person with a gift card?

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Today’s 98.3 TRY Social Dilemma came from Carol and it’s about tipping at restaurants. Here’s her email.

Hi Jaime. Here’s a dilemma I’m hoping you can help with. Like a lot of people I’m sure, I received quite a few gift cards as gifts over the holidays. Some of them I’ll use, and I know some of them I will not. So I have a question. Do you think it’s okay to tip a waiter or waitress with a gift card? Now all of the gift cards I’m talking about are either to nice stores that I just don’t happen to shop at, or to Amazon. I’m one of the few people that doesn’t have an Amazon account, so I very rarely use it. So if I were to go out to eat, would it be okay to leave a gift card as the tip, as long as it’s over the normal 20%? I certainly don’t want to insult any one who is working hard, but I figure that sometimes it’s nice to know you have a gift card to a nice store. So what do you think? Is that acceptable? Trust me, I’m talking nice stores here, and Amazon. I can’t wait to hear what others think. Thanks so much Jaime.


This is interesting. I’m kind of of on the fence about it. I think gift cards are great, I truly do, but I also know that we can’t pay our electric bill with a gift card from, let’s say Macy’s. Now, I’ve received gift cards as payment for some events that I’ve worked outside of the radio station in the past, and it never bothered me. So as long as everyone wasn’t doing it, I think it would be okay. But you know better than me.

So what do you think? Okay to tip with a gift card, or absolutely not. Let’s help Carol out and let me know on the TRY Facebook page.