How To Say “I Want To Pay The Bill” In Spanish

Wanting to pay the bill is a common scenario when dining out or going to a restaurant. Whether you’re traveling in a Spanish-speaking country or practicing the language at home, it’s useful to know how to express this simple request in Spanish.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Quiero pagar la cuenta.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide multiple ways to say “I want to pay the bill” in Spanish, when to use each phrase, and extra vocabulary and grammar tips to help you confidently pay the bill in Spanish.

The Most Common Ways to Say “I Want to Pay the Bill”

“Quiero pagar la cuenta”

One of the most common ways to say “I want to pay the bill” in Spanish is “Quiero pagar la cuenta.” This straightforward phrase conveys your desire to take care of the bill. It’s a simple and direct way to let the waiter or waitress know that you would like to handle the payment.

“Quisiera pagar, por favor”

Another polite way to express your intention to pay the bill is by saying “Quisiera pagar, por favor.” This phrase translates to “I would like to pay, please.” Using “quisiera” instead of “quiero” adds a touch of formality and politeness to your request.

It’s a respectful way to indicate that you are ready to settle the bill.

“Me gustaría pagar ahora”

If you want to be more specific about when you’d like to pay the bill, you can use the phrase “Me gustaría pagar ahora,” which means “I would like to pay now.” This phrase lets the waiter or waitress know that you are ready to settle the bill immediately.

It’s a polite way to indicate your willingness to take care of the payment promptly.

Remember, when traveling to a Spanish-speaking country, it’s always helpful to learn a few basic phrases to make your interactions smoother. Being able to express your desire to pay the bill in the local language is not only polite but also shows respect for the culture and customs of the place you are visiting.

When to Use Each Phrase

At a restaurant

When dining at a restaurant in a Spanish-speaking country, it is important to know how to say “I want to pay the bill” to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings. The phrase you would use in this situation is “Quiero pagar la cuenta”.

This is a polite and straightforward way to express your desire to settle the bill. It is also a good idea to know how to ask for the bill in the first place, which is “La cuenta, por favor”. Using these phrases will help you navigate the payment process smoothly and show respect for the local culture.

At a bar or cafe

When enjoying a drink or a cup of coffee at a bar or cafe, you may also need to express your intention to pay. In this case, you can use the phrase “Quiero pagar”, which means “I want to pay.” It is a simple and direct way to communicate your desire to settle the bill.

Additionally, if you want to specifically ask for the bill, you can say “La cuenta, por favor”. These phrases will come in handy when you want to wrap up your visit and take care of the payment.

At a hotel

Staying at a hotel in a Spanish-speaking country often involves paying for various services, such as accommodation, meals, and other amenities. To communicate your intention to pay, you can say “Quiero pagar la cuenta” or “Me gustaría pagar”, both of which mean “I want to pay the bill.”

It is important to inform the hotel staff of your desire to settle the charges to ensure a smooth check-out process. You can also ask for the final bill by saying “¿Me puede dar la cuenta, por favor? “ or simply “La cuenta, por favor”.

Remember, being able to express your intention to pay the bill in Spanish is not only practical but also shows your respect for the local language and culture. Practice these phrases and feel confident in your ability to communicate effectively in various situations.

Extra Tips for Paying the Bill in Spanish

Useful vocabulary words

When it comes to paying the bill in a Spanish-speaking country, it’s helpful to know some key vocabulary words. Here are a few that you can use:

  • La cuenta: This means “the bill” or “the check.” You can simply say “La cuenta, por favor” to ask for the bill.
  • El dinero: This means “money.” You can use this word when discussing the payment.
  • El efectivo: This means “cash.” If you want to pay in cash, you can say “Quiero pagar en efectivo.”
  • La tarjeta de crédito: This means “credit card.” If you prefer to pay with a credit card, you can say “Quiero pagar con tarjeta de crédito.”

By familiarizing yourself with these vocabulary words, you’ll be better equipped to communicate your payment preferences in Spanish.

Polite expressions

When paying the bill, it’s important to use polite expressions to show respect and courtesy. Here are a few phrases you can use:

  • Por favor: This means “please.” You can use it when requesting the bill or asking for a specific payment method.
  • Gracias: This means “thank you.” It’s always a good idea to express gratitude when the bill is brought to you or when the payment is processed.
  • Disculpe: This means “excuse me” or “sorry.” If you need to get the attention of the waiter or ask for assistance with the bill, you can use this polite expression.

Using these polite expressions will help you navigate the payment process smoothly and show your appreciation for the service.

Asking for the check

In Spanish-speaking countries, it’s common for the waiter to bring the bill to you without you having to ask for it. However, if you need to request the check, you can use the following phrases:

  • La cuenta, por favor: This simple phrase means “the bill, please.” It’s a straightforward way to ask for the check.
  • ¿Me puede traer la cuenta, por favor?: This longer phrase translates to “Can you bring me the bill, please?” It’s a polite way to request the check.

Remember to use a polite tone and expression when asking for the check, as it will contribute to a positive interaction with the staff.

For more information on Spanish vocabulary and phrases related to paying the bill, you can visit

Practicing the Phrases

Listen to native audio

One of the best ways to improve your language skills is by listening to native speakers. Luckily, there are many resources available online where you can find audio recordings of Spanish phrases, including “I want to pay the bill.”

By listening to these recordings, you can familiarize yourself with the pronunciation and intonation of the phrase. Websites like SpanishDict and Duolingo offer audio resources that can help you practice.

Role-play with a friend

Another effective way to practice saying “I want to pay the bill” in Spanish is by role-playing with a friend or language partner. Take turns playing the role of the waiter or waitress and the customer, and practice using the phrase in different scenarios.

This interactive approach will not only help you improve your pronunciation but also build your confidence in using the language. Remember to have fun with it and don’t be afraid to make mistakes!

Use it next time you’re dining out!

The best way to truly master a phrase is by using it in real-life situations. The next time you find yourself dining out at a Spanish-speaking restaurant, seize the opportunity to practice saying “I want to pay the bill” in Spanish.

Your server will appreciate your effort to communicate in their language, and you’ll gain valuable experience in using the phrase in a practical context. Don’t worry if you stumble or make mistakes – it’s all part of the learning process!


Being able to smoothly pay the bill is an important dining skill in any language. With the phrases, tips, and practice ideas provided in this article, you can confidently express that you want to pay the bill in Spanish.

Use these Spanish bill-paying expressions next time you’re at a restaurant, cafe, or hotel.

Knowing how to handle the bill in Spanish, whether you say “Quiero pagar la cuenta” or “Me gustaría pagar ahora”, will help you feel more at ease in Spanish-speaking environments. With practice over time, you’ll be able to pay the bill in Spanish effortlessly.

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