He escuchado unas pocas opiniones distintas para decir "quédate con el cambio" (es decir, lo que le dices a alguien a quien acabas de pagar cuando cuando quieres que se quede la diferencia como propina).

¿Cuál es la más universal en el mundo hispanohablante?


I've heard a few different options for saying "keep the change" (i.e. what you tell someone you've just paid when you want them to keep the difference as a tip)

Which is the most universal through the Spanish-speaking world? What regional variations are there?

  • Quédese con el cambio.
  • Guarde el cambio.
  • El cambio es suyo.
  • 2
    I would like to note some regional variations for the word cambio (change) which I believe nonetheless to be the most widespread. I've seen many older people in Mexico say vuelto (e.g. No olvides traerme el vuelto/Don't forget to bring back back the change to me). Also, feria is very common in northern Mexico (e.g. No traigo feria/I don't have any spare change), although it is very confusing for people in Mexico City because it means 'fair' or 'show' (as in circus fair)
    – MrFusion
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 6:42

5 Answers 5


I have quite a few that I got working as a bartender in different countries and in places full of tourists:

(omitted the ones that you already know)

  • Déjalo de propina -> Leave it as a tip
  • Cóbrame / cóbreme $20 (as ponted by CesasGon) -> charge me $20
  • Hacelo $20 -> make it $20
  • Redondéalo | redondéalo pa riba (it should be para arriba) -> round it up (I think)
  • Déjalo en la caja chica (caja chica commonly refers to the place where the bartenders and other professions keep their tips) ->
  • Así esta bien | déjalo asi |-> Leave it as it is / That is ok
  • Suya | suya maestro -> It's yours (maestro is used as a compliment when leaving a tip)

I will think from my own experience that the first and the last one from your list are the most commonly used, and will be understood in quite a lot of places.

"Quédese con el cambio" and "El cambio es suyo" would be in my opinion the most used or easy to understand.


I forgot:

  • quédese con el vuelto‎ -> Keep the change
  • deje el resto -> let the rest of
  • I like this answer for the whole set of options which can be used. However, I think it should be pointed out that some of those are hugely informal and could be even taken as offensive it not said right.
    – Alpha
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 13:39
  • @Alpha I agree and disagree, yes you are right most of them are really informal, but for example "Dejalo de propina" if refined to "Dejelo como propina" becomes more formal or even "Ud. puede dejar el cambio como propina" I went for the informal route since I think these are the most easy to hear (I think) but you are right, some can be taken as offensive depending on the place (personally I don't know any of them as offensive, but, I'm not everywhere, so I can't say how others may take some of them)
    – user983248
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 13:49
  • Sorry if I expressed myself wrongly. I do think that the answer is ok, and that the chosen options are really the most common ones. I think it would be a good idea to add that information so if someone in the future looks at it will have a reference on what to say in specific situations / regions.
    – Alpha
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 13:52
  • @Alpha hehehe :) Valid point, the only problem is that I had absorbed all these ways with the time (a long time ago) and I'm finding hard to remember what is said where :) but never the less you have a valid point.
    – user983248
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 14:01
  • El cambio es suyo would be the most elegant/friendly way to express that willingness to tip
    – ipp
    Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 15:52

There is really no "universal" way of saying it. Each of your examples is valid and will be understood in each and every Spanish speaking country.

The only thing, if any, is that in any given country people may know you are not from there since the most common local way of saying it may not be the way you did.

Even where I come from, I've heard people say it in those, and other ways, even for example: "Asi esta bien" when someone is returning the change to you which literally means "That's ok" in that you are not expecting to get any change back.

  • 7
    I also hear often "cóbreme 20" ("make it 20"), for example, if the amount to pay is 19.50; it's an indirect way to expres the same thing.
    – CesarGon
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 21:23

I would first let him give me the change, then give it back to him and say "Esto es para ti, gracias por el buen servicio."

  • Hmm, not quite. Normally it's more considered to avoid that back and forth and release the other person of the effort of dealing with the change
    – ipp
    Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 15:49
  • So then say what the accepted answer says. Many businesses where I live are now asking customers if they want to round up the total to the nearest dollar. I tell them, "If you agree to round down to nearest dollar when the cents are 1 to 49, then I will agree to round up when cents are 50 to 99".
    – Joe R.
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 13:08

Por añadir una alternativa distinta, poco utilizada, que personalmente me gusta mucho, y que sospecho que es bastante regional, yo suelo usar (sobre todo en sitios donde hay una cierta confianza):

"Lo que sobra p'al bote" ("Lo que sobra para el bote") Haciendo referencia al "bote" donde normalmente los camareros de un establecimiento almacenan las propinas del día para repartírselas al final de la jornada.

Es una opción muy coloquial, pero no tiene connotaciones peyorativas o negativas, no la usaría en un entorno profesional, pero no habría problemas en un entorno coloquial.


"No cambio" is what I say when at a Mexican restaurant in the U.S. if they take payment at the table. They clearly know what I'm saying because I've never received any change. ;-)

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