How To Say 'I Want To Pay The Check' In Spanish

  • Jada Lòpez
    Written byJada Lòpez
    Jada LòpezSpanish teacher, translator
    🎓 B.A., Translation and Interpreting English and Spanish, Universidad de Granada
    🎓 M.A., Formación de Profesores de Español como Lengua Extranjera (ELE), Universidad Pablo de Olavide

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How To Say 'I Want To Pay The Check' In Spanish

Eating out at a restaurant or cafe in Spain or Mexico, you’ll need to know how to request a bill.

Hand gestures work, but words are better. 😊

Sit-down restaurants typically work the same way as elsewhere - you finish eating and you ask for the bill (usually while remaining at the table).

I’ll explain how to do just that.

“I want to pay the check” in Spanish

How do you tell someone you want to pay the check? 💵


“I want to pay the check” in Spanish is Yo quiero pagar la cuenta.

You’d typically drop the first person pronoun at the beginning and just say quiero pagar la cuenta (unless you’re arguing with a friend over who gets to pay the bill, in which case you might use yo to emphasize “I will pay it”).

This phrase is straightforward and to the point, letting the waiter know you’re ready to pay.

Here it is broken down:

(yo) quieroI want
pagarto pay
(la) cuenta(the) bill / check / account

NOTE: Though this is a literal translation of “I want to pay the check” in Spanish, it’s not necessarily the most typical way to ask for it, as it’s quite long-winded.

Read on for better options.

Other phrases to ask for the bill in restaurants

Here are some (better) alternatives for asking for the check.

La cuenta

Meaning: The check

The most direct and succinct way to ask for the check. Also the most common way to do it.

La cuenta, por favor

Meaning: The check, please

Same as above, but a little more polite as you’re using “please”. Doesn’t hurt to add that on the end now does it? 😊

¿Podría traerme la cuenta?

Meaning: Could you bring me the check?

A slightly more formal way to ask, suitable for upscale restaurants or when you wish to be extra polite.

¿Cuánto es?

Meaning: How much is it?

While this asks for the total, it indirectly communicates that you’re ready for the bill.

¿Nos cobra?

Meaning: Can you charge us?

This is a colloquial way to request the bill, commonly heard in more informal settings.

Estamos listos para pagar

Meaning: We are ready to pay

This phrase makes it clear that your party has finished dining and is ready to settle the bill.

¿Puede cobrarme?

Meaning: Can you charge me?

This is another direct way to request payment, often used when you’re in a hurry or when it’s clear you’ve finished your meal.

La cuenta y un gendarme

Meaning: The check and a policeman

An old fashioned, tongue-in-cheek expression that implies you won’t be able to pay your bill, so fetch a cop as well. Might get you a few laughs depending on the age of your server.

¿Cuánto te debo?

Meaning: How much do I owe you?

Super casual way to ask ‘how much’ is owed. It might come across as impolite in certain contexts so use carefully.

By learning these phrases, you’ll have no stress asking for the bill after a meal in Spain or Latin America.

¡Buen provecho!

By the way, you might also find my Spanish guides on food, the butcher, please and thank you helpful after this one.

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I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
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