Who pays the Valentine’s Day bill? Tips for managing this often-uncomfortable issue
The social protocol around who places their credit card on the bill tray at the restaurant remerges annually on February 14th.
“Valentine’s Day is a beautiful celebration of romantic love – a chance to forget about all of the day-to-day stresses, recalibrate as a couple, or explore the potential to become a couple. However, the magic and attraction of the day can become a little awkward when it comes to covering the bill for your fancy feast,” CreditCard.com.au spokesperson Tess Sanders Lazarus said.
“It can go one of many ways when the wait staff drop off the bill. There can be the stare down – where neither couple glace even in the slightest towards the tray, holding eye contact and conversation while waiting for one person to give in. There can be the race to hit the tray first – where both persons in the partnership or wanting to be in a relationship are eager to put their money on the line, or tray in this situation. Or, there can even be the argument – where neither couple particularly want to pay but wholeheartedly believe the other person should for one reason or another.
“Either way, we have all been in one of those situations on Valentine’s Day before. The lack of confidence and clarity surrounding who should pay the bill can unfortunately leave a sour and awkward note at the end a wonderful evening.”
According to Sanders Lazarus, there are a number of tips for managing this often-uncomfortable issue, so that you can concentrate on what is really important this February 14th.
Will you join me for a romantic dinner for two?
“My rule of thumb, and the most widely acknowledged rule for who pays the bill, is the person who asked for the date, pays for it,” Sanders Lazarus emphasised.
“From my experience, and talking to relationship gurus, this rule is the fairest and most reasonable way to split the bill. That goes for blind and online dates, too.”
At least make an offer
“It is certainly a nice gesture to at least offer to contribute to the bill if you’re not the one who puts their card down on the bill tray. The aim is not to start an argument over going 50/50, it is just to show that you care,” Sanders Lazarus said.
“Majority of the time the offer to make an input towards the bill will be denied, however it is important for the other person to know you’re willing to contribute, especially in the early days of a relationship as it is a positive trait for long-term relationship potential.
“You aren’t completely off the hook if the other person pays for dinner, though. An easy way to say thank you is to cover the cost of an after-dinner-dessert, drinks at the cocktail lounge, or even the fee for the taxi home.
“While the price tags may not necessarily match, it is a nice touch and far less awkward than asking the restaurant if they split the bill.”
It is difficult to make money sexy
According to Sanders Lazarus, having a serious conversation about money is an important milestone in any relationship, however that day should absolutely not fall on Valentine’s Day.
“It is difficult to make money sexy, so just don’t. Hold off the hard-hitting income and financial goals questions for this one-day of the year,” Sanders Lazarus added.
Use your credit card
“If you have been nominated as the candidate to cover the bill, at the end of the day you just want the situation to be over and done with so that you can get back to the real focus of the evening. That is why using your credit card is a good option,” Sanders Lazarus continued.
“Credit cards ultimately make the ease of payment so much smoother. No need to transfer money between accounts, no need to worry about the dreaded red letters saying declined on the EFTPOS machine, and no need to flip through your wallet trying to remember which debit card the money is sitting on.
“The situation can already add an uncomfortable strain to the moment, so you do not want to drag it on for any longer than necessary.”
If you’re going to pay, you may as well enjoy the perks
“It is fair game to claim the rewards and extras for covering the hefty bill on Valentine’s Day on your credit card. If you’re going to pay, you may as well enjoy the perks,” Sanders Lazarus said.
According to Sanders Lazarus, while some credit card extras may have lost their value to you as a cardholder, other perks may still be worth checking out.
Creditcard.com.au is a website which allows Australians to compare the best deals on credit cards so they can find the one that best suits their needs. Using CreditCard.com.au, you can easily compare a wide range of zero percent purchase offers. Their comparison tool makes this especially easy.