NYC Taxicabs, Tips and Credit Cards

Taxi Tips

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Dec 8, 2012    •    1071 Views

Assume you are in a NYC taxi cab. The fare is $12.00. How much of a tip do you leave?

a. $1
b. $2
c. $3
d. $4


Actually, it all depends on whether you use cash or credit.

People who pay in cash tend to leave a 10% tip. Those who use a credit card average 18%. Since NYC mandated a credit card option in Yellow Cabs in 2008, about half the fleet installed tip calculators suggesting $2, $3 or $4 for a fare $15 or less. You can see how even the $2 took the tip above 10%. Now, instead of an amount, cabs recommend a 20%, 25% or 30% gratuity.

And that takes us to our response to a default. More often than not, whether for a mortgage or a health care plan or a tip, we select the default.

And a question: If Starbucks’ mobile phone app has no tip default, are baristas getting less rather than more from a payment swipe? Yes, according to this “Starbucks Gossip” post.

Sources and Resources: For some NYC taxi cab credit card history, this article looks at the early protests while this recent story tells about the results. There are some great pictures of older NYC taxis here and their history since the first taxis in 1907.

A 1929 NYC Taxi. Image Courtesy of NYS Museum

NY's First Taxis Date Back to 1907

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