Where Americans tip the most

Are You Tipping Too Little?
Are You Tipping Too Little?

Americans have always wondered – and differed – about how much is enough for a tip, so mobile payments company Square on Tuesday revealed data on what states and cities leave the most cash for their servers in different businesses.

Square analyzed data that it collected in January 2016 from the more than 2 million sellers using its Register mobile payment system in the U.S., which enable individuals or small businesses to accept credit card transactions for a small fee. Customers in New Hampshire tipped 17.1 percent of their transaction cost on average, making them the most generous Square users. South Dakota had the stingiest tippers, with an average tip left of 15.3 percent.

Merchants using the tip screen can customize it to show dollar amounts or percentages of a payment. Transactions for less than $10 offer $1, $2, or $3 as the three default options, while transactions that cost $10 or more suggest percentage amounts of 15, 20, or 25 percent as original options. Customers can also offer another amount or leave no tip.

People in Denver were the most generous customers among the major cities, tipping 16.5 percent of their bill on average, while customers in Miami were the least generous, leaving 14.4 percent of their bill on average.

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Square also analyzed data by type of job or establishment. Bartending is widely considered a viable second job because of the tips, especially in Delaware, according to Square. The reports shows Delaware patrons tipped 23.6 percent of their bar tab on average, while Virginia residents who tipped 16 percent on average made their state the least generous at their watering holes.

Barbershops and salons relying on Square to help them collect tips received the most from customers in Florida, who left an average of 20 percent for their haircut, compared with North Dakota, where people tipped the least generous rate of 15.3 percent on average.

People living in Massachusetts tipped the least on Square at coffee shops, leaving 14.2 percent of their bill on average, while customers in North Dakota paid an extra 18.6 percent on average as a gratuity for their caffeine jolt.

Square released data in September that shows most Americans tip 19 or 20 percent when buying a caffeine beverage, that the average cost for a standard cup of coffee without milk is $2.70. The mobile payments firm also determined that lines for coffee sales peak at 8:30 a.m. during weekdays, and 9:45 a.m. on weekends.

North Dakota was the most generous state for tipping in taxis, where customers paid an average of 19.3 percent for their ride, while passengers in New Jersey paid the lowest state average of 14.8 percent for their ride.

Square advises sellers on its home page that repeat customers make the most purchases but may not tip as generously. Using coffee shops as an example, Square estimates that two-thirds of café customers return once a month but repeat customers aren't as generous and "tip about 20 percent less than single-visit customers."

Copyright 2016 U.S. News & World Report