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In the past, splitting the cost of bills and expenses was a clumsy process. You had to calculate who owed what, then go through the tedious task of collecting money from each person. And since fewer people are carrying cash these days, settling up gets even more difficult. That is, until bill-splitting apps were introduced.
Bill-splitting apps let you divide up the cost of things like group dinners and group trips so that everyone can pay their fair share. The best bill-splitting apps also connect to a credit or debit card or another peer-to-peer payment platform, making it much easier for everyone to cover their share of the expense right away, even down to the penny. With bill-splitting apps, you’ll be able to keep the peace between friends by cutting down on squabbles about who owes what to whom.
Best Overall : Splitwise
Splitwise is a full-featured mobile app that makes it simple to split expenses and track borrowing and lending over time. Its helpful tools and user-friendly interface make it our top choice among bill-splitting apps.
Pros & Cons
Lets you create unique groups to split expenses
Option to export expenses to a CSV file
Range of features may overwhelm new users
Free for the web, iPhone, and Android, Splitwise is the most versatile of all the bill-splitting apps on our list and fits most situations where you need to split costs between multiple people. You can create groups with various friends and divide up what each person owes. All your shared expenses and IOUs are organized in one place, and everyone in the group can see the amount they owe.
The app tracks borrowing and lending over time. And until the balance is settled, each person’s outstanding balance may go up and down. Splitwise sends reminder notifications about your balances and you’ll find a tally of the amount you owe on the homepage. Payments can be settled with PayPal or Venmo directly from the app, or if the person who owes you pays in cash, you can record a cash payment to clear up the outstanding balance.
Runner-Up, Best Overall : SettleUp
Settle Up supports both simple and complicated payment scenarios, and it's particularly handy when you're traveling internationally and you need to split costs in a different currency.
Offers real-time exchange rates
Free version has ads
Can only upload pics of receipts with paid version
Settle Up can handle a variety of payment scenarios: When one person pays or multiple people have paid, it can split payments evenly based on the amounts or allow you to select individual amounts for each person to pay. The share function allows you to send expenses via a link. Expenses are backed up and synced for all people in the group so each person can see them.
If you’re traveling internationally, Settle Up offers all currencies and real-time exchange rates. The app's free version will display ads occasionally, which can get annoying if you’re a heavy user. The app's premium version doesn’t have ads, allows you to add photos of receipts, and lets you customize groups with color.
Best for Group Dinners : Plates by Splitwise
With the option to add up to 10 people, Plates by Splitwise makes it simple to split the cost of even the most complicated group dinners.
Drag and drop features lets you calculate totals easily
Option to split evenly or customize
Only available for iPhone
There are two types of group diners—those who don’t mind splitting the bill evenly and those who want to precisely split the bill based on what they owe exactly. Plates by Splitwise lets you handle both. The iPhone-only app gives everyone in the group a “plate.” Then as you add items to the group, they can be placed on a specific person’s plate or split up among the entire group.
For example, shared items like appetizers would be split among the entire group or just a few people in the group. The app can handily accommodate large parties by allowing you to add up to 10 people to each group. Once you’ve divided up the food among all the plates you can add in tax and tip. The app is made by the same company as Splitwise and is completely free. The only downside is that the app isn’t available for Android users.
Runner-Up, Best for Group Dinners : Tab
With seamless Venmo integration and a handy image upload option, Tab takes the headache out of splitting group dinners.
Option to upload picture of receipt for easy bill-splitting
Can customize splits for special events like birthdays
No web app available
We’ve all been to group dinners and the server brings out just one check—or the restaurant has a policy of not splitting up checks for large groups. Tab solves the headache of figuring out what each person owes. Each person in the group can pay for the items they ordered without having to send the server back to separate the ticket.
Take a picture of the order receipt and the app automatically reads the items from a receipt. This nifty feature saves you from having to enter the amounts for each item. Everyone in the group can join the same bill from their phones and tap the items they ordered to claim them. The tax and tip are divided proportionally among each person in the group. Then, each person gets an itemized total for their items. You can settle up the payment by using Venmo—which is integrated within the app—or by recording a cash payment if friends settle up using a different payment method. You can even use the app to evenly split up the tab for a birthday dinner.
Best for Group Trips : Splid
While it's not specifically for splitting travel expenses, Splid's easy-to-use app is handy for dividing trip costs no matter where you travel.
Supports more than 150 currencies
No web-based app
Splitting up the cost of group trips can be tough. Splid allows you to add in all the expenses of a trip and then split it up among each person on the trip. The app is useful for splitting up non-trip expenses as well. Multiple payees can be added to each expense, for example, if two people covered the cost of groceries upfront, but five people need to chip in on the bill. You can settle up bills in different currencies—choosing from more than 150 currencies.
If you need an offline record of the expenses, you can download a PDF or Excel file with a comprehensive summary of all the expenses. The app is free to use for just one group.
Most Versatile : Cash App
In addition to enabling users to send and receive payments, Cash App can also be used for banking and investing, making it one of the most versatile apps on our list.
Debit card is available
Has an investing option
Charges a 3% fee for credit card transactions
Cash App doesn’t have bill-splitting payment functionality built-in—not yet at least—but because it’s a peer-to-peer payment platform, it can be useful for splitting payments. Once you’ve determined how a payment should be split, you can send a payment request to each person in the group right through the app. They can open their Cash App and send payment based on your request. Then, once you’ve been paid, you can “cash out” and get a deposit to your bank account or use your cash card (a virtual debit card) to make purchases just like you would with your debit card.
The app is free as is sending money via debit card. Credit card payments are charged a 3% fee and instant deposits to your checking account are charged a 0.5%-1.75% ($0.25 min) fee. However, regular transfers to your bank are free.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does a Bill-Splitting App Do?
A bill-splitting app is an app you can download on your smartphone or tablet and use on the go for splitting bills. It divides the cost of the bill that is being split and assigns each person their cost down to the penny. Some bill-splitting apps can be connected to your financial institution or other payment apps and peer payment platforms, so bills can be split and paid immediately. You don’t need to worry about underpaying or overpaying when you go out with a group of friends because the bill-splitting app helps you fairly divide the costs.
When Would You Use a Bill-Splitting App?
Most people don’t carry as much cash as they used to, so a bill-splitting app is often the convenient and easy way to divide the costs of a bill. You might use a bill-splitting app when you dine out with friends, purchase a gift that multiple people contribute to, or plan a group trip.
How Much Does a Bill-Splitting App Cost?
Most of the bill-splitting apps are free. However, not all of them are available for Android users, and some bill-splitting apps offer free and paid versions. The paid versions typically don’t carry ads and offer more features, such as photos of receipts. Paid versions are generally inexpensive and may cost as little as $1.99. Other apps may charge fees to use a checking account or up to 3% to use a credit card with the app.
How We Chose the Best Bill-Splitting Apps
To choose our list of the best bill-splitting apps, we evaluated several options, considering factors like app functionality, availability, features, options to integrate with other payment apps, and user reviews. All of the apps we've selected offer an excellent user experience and features that appeal to consumers looking to simplify bill-splitting in specific categories or in general.