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6 Tips on Splitting the Dinner Bill With Friends

By Pam O’Brien · May 01, 2023 · 4 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

6 Tips on Splitting the Dinner Bill With Friends

You’re out to dinner with a group of friends and having a great time. Then the check arrives and an awkward silence descends over the group.

Splitting the check when dining out with friends can be tricky. Do you divide it evenly? Should each person pay for their specific order? Can everyone even agree on who pays what?

You don’t want to end your evening by doing a lot of math or risking hurt feelings. Fortunately, splitting the check can be simple with just a little advance planning.

Tips for How to Split a Bill With Friends

These strategies can help you split the bill and keep everyone happy. The next time you go out to dinner as a group, consider:

1. Picking a Place Where You Order at the Counter

You could go to a fast-casual restaurant that allows you to order at the counter on separate tabs and enjoy your meal together at the table. If you’re on a tight budget and trying to save money, or you’ve had difficulty splitting checks with friends in the past, this allows you to avoid a sticky situation.

Many popular fast-casual restaurants provide a relaxed dining experience while offering higher quality food than some other places. As this style of dining continues to grow in popularity, there are more and more restaurant options available. So you and your friends can have your choice of cuisines — without blowing your budget.

2. Asking for Separate Checks — Before You Order

Having everyone in your party get their own separate check is another simple solution. The key is to ask your server for separate checks before you start ordering. That way your server can track everyone’s order separately from the get-go, and avoid the confusing chore of splitting the bill after the meal has ended.

Still, be mindful of the extra work you’re asking your server to do. Some experts recommend limiting the number of separate checks you request to no more than six.

Recommended: How to Manage Your Money: 11 Tips to Do It Right

3. Having One Person Put the Bill on Credit

Another strategy is to have one person pay the bill with their credit card, while the rest of the group reimburses them with cash. This makes things easier for the server. Be sure to include the tax and tip in your calculations so that everyone pays their fair share.

Instead of cash, since most people don’t carry as much money around as they used to, you could use an app to transfer money from one friend to another. That’s one benefit of an online bank account.

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


4. Using an App to Track Your Outings

There are a few apps, like Splitwise and Tab, that allow you to track and split purchases with friends. These bill-splitting apps divide the cost of the bill and assign each person what they owe.

Some of the apps let you track borrowing and lending over time so that everyone can see what they owe and settle their balance. And a number of the apps connect to payment platforms so that everyone can pay their share or transfer money to others in the group.

Recommended: Guide to Mobile Wallets: What They Are and How They Work

5. Using Different Credit Cards to Pay

If you forgot to request separate checks at the start of the meal, you still have options for dividing the check. Confirm that the restaurant will take the number of credit cards you wish to pay with, then have everyone go through and tally up what they ordered. Then ask for those amounts to be charged to the appropriate card card.

Recommended: 10 Personal Finance Basics

6. Splitting the Bill Evenly

This concept works especially well when you’re ordering small plates, which are designed to be shared. After all, when you’re sharing all the food, even bill-splitting makes sense.

If there are certain dishes you’re not going to eat, speak up at the beginning of the meal and ask if it’s possible for you to get a separate check.

SoFi Checking and Savings Makes It Easy to Transfer Money

Consider opening a bank account that makes it easy to split a bill. With SoFi Checking and Savings, you can easily send money to your friends after a dinner out.

Not only can SoFi Checking and Savings simplify your check splitting experience, you’ll also earn a competitive APY and pay no account fees.

Better banking is here with up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.


Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
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SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


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