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joaquin torres

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I grew up and live in Santiago

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Americas > Chile > Useful Info
Submitted on Aug 10, 2020 Useful Info

Tipping culture and how much to tip in Chile

  • Tipping is a common practice in Chile. If you're visiting from North America, you will find the tipping culture here to be very similar as back home. If you're from Europe and Asia, this will be new, basically the way it works is that you need to provide a cash tip to people who provided you with service. How much to tip varies by industry and how good the service was
  • Common tipping amounts in Chile:
  1. Sit-down restaurants, bars, and cafes: tipping is extremely common and 10% is the standard, which you can pay through the credit card machine, or leaving cash on the table. If you pay by credit card, there will be a prompt asking you if you want to tip and how much you want to tip. This applies to hotel restaurants too. Note that the vast majority of the restaurants automatically include a suggested 10% tip onto the bill, as a line item below the total amount. This is not a service charge and you do not have to pay it, but it's customary to pay it. You do not have to add any more tips beyond this suggested 10% that is already shown on the bill, but if the service was particularly good, you can tip 15%. If the service was terrible, tip 5%. It's extremely rare to go lower than 5% even for bad service
  2. Fast food restaurants: no tipping necessary at places like McDonald's
  3. Supermarkets: this is quite unique to Chile. Basically if you go to supermarkets and the cashier helped you bag your purchases, you should tip that person 200-300 pesos (25-40 cents USD) in cash
  4. Taxi: there's no set amount, but the common practice is for passengers to round up the fare to the nearest 500 pesos when paying their fare (500 pesos = 62 cents USD). For example, if your fare comes out to 2655 pesos, you round it up to 3000 pesos
  5. Private transfers: these are the cars you book online to get you from the airport to the hotel or from one city to another. No tipping necessary. But if the driver went out of his way to provide a good service, you can consider 1000-3000 pesos ($1.25-$3.75USD) cash tip depending on the driving distance. For airport transfers no more than 1000 pesos is necessary
  6. Private tour guides: if you hire guides to show you around, it's customary to tip the guide for each day you're on the tour, but it's completely voluntary. You can tip 10,000-15,000 pesos ($13-$19USD) per day for your entire group. If your group is large (like more than 5 people), you may want to double this amount. If the tour has a separate driver, cook, or other support staff, their tipping rate is half of what you tip the tour guide, rounded up to the closest 1000 pesos
  7. Gas station attendant: most of the gas stations in Chile are full service, where you have an attendant that will fill up your car for you. If all they did was to fill up the car, 200-400 pesos (25-50 cents USD) is sufficient. If they performed additional services like cleaning your windshield, etc, you can tip 500-1000 pesos ($0.6-$1.2USD)
  8. Hotel: the bellhop who helps you carry your bag to your room should be tipped 500-1000 pesos ($0.6-$1.2USD). If you have a lot of bags, tip 500-1000 pesos per bag. Cleaning maids don't usually need to be tipped but if your room was particularly messy, you can leave 1000 pesos ($1.2USD) on the desk and also leave a note for the cleaning staff
  9. Haircut and other personal care services: it's not expected, but if you're happy with the service 2,000-3,000 pesos ($2.5-$3.75USD) is the standard tipping amount
  • Lastly, tips should only be given in Chilean pesos, and not in any other currency. Even though US dollars is commonly used in many south American countries, do not tip in US dollars in Chile. The people who receive the tips cannot use USD for anything they need to buy