Everything You’ve Ever Wondered About Tipping For A Massage

Maui Massage Therapist

We’ve got answers to your most pressing questions about tipping at a massage spa.

What is the standard tipping rate?

Like most services, the standard tipping rate for a massage is 15-20%. If your masseuse did an outstanding job, feel free to tip more. However, depending on where you received your massage and how you booked the appointment, there are exceptions to this rule.

Should I tip with cash or credit card?

Either or! The benefit of tipping with cash is that the masseuse can take the money home right away. Tips that are made with a credit card are typically distributed in the masseuse’s paycheck, meaning a delayed bonus. Some massage spas will leave envelopes in the room for clients to leave their cash tips. Others will have envelopes at the receptionist’s desk. If this is the case, remember to write the full name of your masseuse on the envelope to ensure the tip gets to the right person.

What if my massage was discounted?

Always tip on the full amount of the massage service you received. For example, if you purchase a $60 massage through Groupon for a service that was originally $90, you should base your tip on the original $90 price. A standard tip would be between $13 and $18. Same goes for if you receive a gift card for a massage spa.

Do I need to tip even if I didn’t enjoy my massage?

While it’s unfortunate if you don’t enjoy your massage experience, tipping is still customary. Many masseuses are paid on commission or have a set hourly rate, so much of their income comes from tips. If you didn’t personally enjoy the style of your masseuse, remember not to book them again in the future.

However, if your masseuse behaved inappropriately or hurt you in a way not customary for that purchased service, this is a separate issue. In this case, speak with the management of the spa and voice your concern. You shouldn’t be paying for a service in which inappropriate behavior was conducted.

What if my masseuse owns their practice?

If you receive your massage from a private practitioner, it is still customary to tip. Your masseuse should tell you if they already include a tip in their price. If unsure, don’t hesitate to ask.

What if I’m staying at an all-inclusive resort?

All-inclusive resorts are an exception to the tipping rule. You shouldn’t tip at these spas. In fact, chances are the spa has a no-tip policy, in which case the masseuse could get in trouble for accepting any extra money.

What if my massage was at a medical spa?

Another exception to the rule here. In the majority of medical spas, tipping is not allowed. However, recently the rules have become less black and white and some services allow for tips. To understand the protocol for your specific medical spa, don’t be afraid to ask the receptionist or your masseuse.

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