Police say a US$5000 ($7450) tip a woman left on a US$55 ($82) cafe bill wasn't a case of generosity or charity. The woman is accused of using her boyfriend's credit card to leave the tip as revenge, and she's charged with theft in the incident.

Police characterised the incident as a "revenge plot", ABC News reported.

Clearwater police say Serina Wolfe was upset her boyfriend, Michael Crane, wouldn't buy her a plane ticket home to Buffalo, New York. A police report says the boyfriend placed a hold on his credit card during the argument but later lifted it.

Clear Sky Beachside Café. Photo / Supplied
Clear Sky Beachside Café. Photo / Supplied

An employee at Clear Sky Beachside Café said Wolfe was dining alone when she completed the transaction.

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Crane saw the payment and reported it as fraud after asking Wolfe about it, who he said initially denied the charges, but police said she owned up to it later.

The boyfriend notified his credit-card company on Monday, calling it a fraudulent charge. Wolfe was arrested on Tuesday (US time) in Florida on a felony grand-theft charge.

The restaurant reportedly paid out the $5000 tip to the employee. It was notified of the fraudulent paymnt on July 1.

Serina Wolfe initially denied making the generous tip. Photo / AP
Serina Wolfe initially denied making the generous tip. Photo / AP
According to the arrest affidavit (shown), Crane told police he reported the payment as fraud after Wolfe denied she had completed the transaction. Photo / Supplied
According to the arrest affidavit (shown), Crane told police he reported the payment as fraud after Wolfe denied she had completed the transaction. Photo / Supplied

Wolfe, who lives in Buffalo, New York, "voluntarily handed [the arresting officer] the card and said this is the one I used to pay the $5055.37 tab," the arresting affidavit read.

- additional reporting AP