Need to Split the Check? There Are 5 Apps for That



SplitwiseThe free Splitwise service slices up the dinner bill so everyone pays up properly, but this all-purpose cost-divider can do even more—it also tracks shared household and travel expenses. The uncluttered interface is simple to use, and the app can email receipts to your companions. Splitwise is more inclusive than other check-splitter tools in another way: Like other apps, it’s available for iOS and Android, but third-party programs like Splittr also bring the service unofficially to Windows Phone users. On the con side, you need an online account to use it, and the service works best when pals also have accounts—which may be more effort than it’s worth if you’re just looking to carve up a bar bill once a month.

Receipt Ninja

ReceiptNinjaDesigned with group expenses in mind, Receipt Ninja lets you create events (like business trips) and enter in the associated costs for food, transportation, hotel and other on-the-road expenditures. You can note the cost in U.S. dollars or other currencies, add people with whom you are evenly (or unevenly) dividing a bill, and tap a button to see reports of just how much was spent in each category. Receipt Ninja, which comes in versions for Android or iOS devices, is available in a free, ad-supported edition or a $2.99 upgrade that eliminates on-screen advertising. Other bonus features include the ability to snap pictures of checks and bills to keep on file, and the option to share your cost analysis with companions by e-mail, text and even Dropbox or Google Drive cloud storage. Although Receipt Ninja is a powerful cost-tracker, there is one caveat: It’s not the most intuitive, so expect to do a lot of tapping.

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DivvyThis inventive, 99-cent app runs on iOS and uses the camera in the iPhone (or 5th-generation iPod Touch) to snap a picture of the check. Once Divvy has a photo to work with, it uses its optical-character recognition software to scan and highlight each item on the bill. Instead of tapping in amounts with your finger, you use it to drag each scanned item on the check to the side of the screen and then drop it onto an icon for every dinner companion. Divvy then adds up each individual’s share, including the tax and tip amounts of your choice. If you can get the hang of the ol’ snap-and-drag routine, splitting the check is quick and easy. On the downside, Divvy only works on printed restaurant checks, and it needs to run on an iPhone 4 or newer model. Are you an Android user? Check out the equivalent 99-cent Clever Bill Splitter app.

J.D. Biersdorfer, the author of “Best iPhone Apps, Second Edition” and “iPad: The Missing Manual,” blogs and podcasts weekly at

  • Caro

    No mention of Venmo? It’s like PayPal with a social media twist. You can use it to pay friends for your portion of the bill, pay your roommate for utilities… and you can also *request* payments from friends– very useful! More versatile than the apps you have here, I think.

  • Love this post!

    This is really helpful – I would love to see more posts like this!

  • CheckSpin

    Let’s not forget CheckSpin – spin to see who pays the bill, the tip, neither, or both!

  • Pak

    I used the Tip N Split on my old Droid, but for the new Galaxy S4 I found a handy app.
    Tap for Tips calculator immediately splits check for my company 2+2+1, and displays the result on the next tab.

    • Janne Haila

      I’m one of the founders, so my opinion is not very objective :) But try

      Works with laptop, desktop and smartphones. Most hand when your friends also have an account, but works also as a one man calculator. And free of course :)