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How Much Should You Tip Mail Carriers During Coronavirus Outbreak?

This deed won’t take 3 to 5 business days

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The U.S. Postal Service has a motto: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Add “coronavirus” to that list.

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Mail carriers are working diligently to guarantee customers receive packages and mail. And even though state officials have ordered citizens to stay indoors, the hardworking men and women delivering the mail remain essential employees.

If you want to express your appreciation for your mail carrier, you might consider leaving a few dollars. But this might not be the best way to go. Per USPS' Employee Tipping and Gift-Receiving Policy, postal employees can receive a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, like Christmas. However, cash and gift cards that can be exchanged for cash can never be accepted. 

According to Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert, author of “Modern Etiquette for a Better Life” and founder of The Protocol School of Texas, there's another way to show your gratitude.

“If you want to show your appreciation to your mail carrier, consider leaving a little bag with a power bar and a bottle of water as a nice gesture of gratitude," said Gottsman.

Industries across the nation have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Many workers have already been furloughed or laid off entirely. Supporting these businesses is now more important than ever. Here are small acts of kindness that can be done from your home during the coronavirus pandemic.


A previous version of this story featured information claiming USPS employees could receive a cash tip. The story has been corrected to reflect the official policy for USPS carriers.