Holiday tipping: Can you tip your mail carrier?

As the Christmas holiday quickly approaches, many may be wondering: Should you tip your mailer carrier? 

You can give your mail carrier a gift as a holiday thank-you but, as federal workers, they have certain rules to follow when it comes to receiving gifts, per the United States Postal Service. 

The bottom line: less is more.


FILE - A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) worker wearing a protective mask and Santa Claus hat pulls a cart of mail through snow in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.

$20 or less

Under federal regulations, you can "tip" your mail carrier with a gift that is worth $20 or less per occasion, this includes Christmas, according to the USPS.

Federal employees are not allowed to accept gifts that are worth more than $50 from any customer during one calendar year period. 

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No cash

You cannot tip cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, in any amount, according to the USPS.

So if you plan to show your appreciation to your mail carrier this holiday amid the ongoing pandemic that has proven extra difficult for frontline workers everywhere, consider a small gift. 

Other tips

A survey conducted by found that trash collectors and mail carriers are tipped an average of $20 but only 19% of adults plan to tip their waste management workers.

Housekeepers and childcare providers are tipped the most at an average of $50. Forty-seven percent of adults plan to tip their housekeepers and 41% plan to tip their childcare providers.

Landscapers are tipped an average of $30, while teachers are tipped $25. 

Restaurant wait staff will experience this most with 27% of people planning to tip them more than usual. Hairstylists and barbers follow at 19%, food delivery personnel at 16%, bartenders at 10%. Coffee shop baristas are expected to earn the least at 9%.

"All of these service providers have dealt with unique challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and many have likely lost income," senior industry analyst Ted Rossman said in a statement. "If you can afford to do so, giving a little extra around the holidays could make a big difference."

FOX Business contributed to this report.