Getting a massage is supposed to be a relaxing time, so you’re probably not going to think too hard about how much you should tip for your massage.
It can be an awkward situation not knowing how much you should tip your massage therapist. You don’t want to short-change them, nor do you want to spend too much on a tip. Heck, some people don’t know whether they should tip at all.
Let’s clarify how much you should tip for a massage.
To put it simply, yes, you should tip your massage therapist. There are some exceptions to the case, but it’s proper massage etiquette to tip a massage therapist in most scenarios.
You might be asking yourself, “Why should I tip my massage therapist?” The answer boils down to how we approach personal service in the United States. When it comes to hospitality settings and personal service, it’s customary to provide a tip as a show of gratitude. It’s a bit of an unwritten rule, but that’s just how things are.
It’s also considered rude not to tip. Another unwritten rule, but not tipping is a sign by society’s standard that you’re a rude person.
There are some exceptions to not tipping. If you felt the massage wasn’t good, satisfactory, or had an overall bad experience, there’s some grey area for not tipping.
Again, tipping is not a requirement, but it’s much appreciated. You should also tip if you’re a regular customer. It helps build rapport.
Standard tip rate
The general guideline on tipping for a massage is around 25 percent of the total cost. It’s a standard that’s pretty similar to tipping at a restaurant.
At a minimum, you should tip around 20 percent. Things can get complicated if you have a coupon, gift card, or other type of discount. Some people will say you should tip based on the original price, while others say it’s okay to tip off the discounted price. At that point, it’s up to you.
You also don’t have to tip more based on the time length of the massage. You’re primarily tipping based on the actual cost of the massage.
Tipping on the higher end tends to reflect a job well done and personal satisfaction. If you had a great experience, feel free to express your gratitude toward your massage therapist with a higher tip.
Cash or card?
When you are ready to tip, you might have trouble deciding to tip using cash or a debit or credit card.
It’s generally better to tip in cash because the massage therapist is more likely to get the tip right away. However, fewer people tend to carry physical cash nowadays. It doesn’t hurt to pull out some cash ahead of time if you have a pre-arranged appointment, though.
You can usually add a tip using a debit or credit card when you’re ready to pay. The tip won’t necessarily get into the massage therapist’s hands right away, but they will still get it.
Your massage therapist appreciates tips. It’s a sign that they are doing a good job and inspires them to keep working hard.
At Happy Head, our massage therapists are ready to provide outstanding service and help you relax. Our massage therapists will ensure you’re well taken care of and leave happy.