Cleo Review: A Money App That Doesn’t Suck

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Cleo loops all your accounts and financial providers into one place helping you budget, autosave, and reach your financial goals.

‎Cleo | A Money App That Doesn't Suck ‎Cleo | A Money App That Doesn't Suck

You use Cleo to track your spending and make a budget. You link your checking account to the app, which scans your transactions and analyzes your financial habits. Spending patterns are identified by Cleo, as well as recommendations on how you should spend or save your money.

Quick Overview

  • Chat with this AI bot to learn if you afford that purchase you’ve been eying
  • Get a cash advance of $100 to get you to payday
  • Keep your money on track and up to date with targeted info
  • Learn what you can afford to buy
  • Put your money aside every week
  • Free and paid services

Cleo is an intelligent money assistant that looks after your money allowing you to better budget, save and track your spending. Depending on your budgeting skills, this money-saving app can help you make smarter money moves. Learn more in our Cleo review.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

What is Cleo?

Your AI pal that looks after your money. Budget, save and track your spending. It’s available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

After downloading the app and signing up for a free account — ask Cleo anything from ‘what’s my balance’ to ‘can I afford a coffee’, and she’ll do the calculations instantly. Drill down with personalized updates, graphs, and data-driven insights.

Let Cleo do the work, as she puts your spare change aside automatically, sets you a budget, and helps you stick to it.

Why Use Cleo?

The current banking services or products can easily be seen as flawed. Our finances should be easy to understand, our spending should be more manageable, and we should be able to make better-informed decisions about our financial futures in order to spend less money.

If you were given the ability to really see what’s going on with your finances, you would be better at managing them. That’s where Cleo can help, and it’s 100% free and offers paid services if you choose to subscribe.

Cleo Features

Cleo offers free services that should be enough for most people and offers paid services under a subscription model called Cleo+.

cleo referral code

Cleo Free Services

The free service offers the following:

Budgeting

By using AI to create personalized smart budgets for every customer, Cleo is helping people improve their budgeting skills worldwide.

You may request information on your account balances, have the app set up budgeting alerts, or have it create reminders to control your spending in specific areas.

‘Can I afford it?’, just ask Cleo. With a spending breakdown, help on bills, practical advice and an actual personality, budgeting like a boss has never been easier. Don’t be someone who lives in denial – get a budget.

Custom categories

As many as you want! Set aside money for a specific thing, or if you just need a better visualization on coffee spending. Want to spend a little more on groceries this week?

Cleo shows your spending per category over the last few weeks, so you can set a limit that makes sense (and she’ll update you on how much you’ve got left-to-spend throughout the week).

Saving

Saving money is a drag, but not when you’ve got an intelligent AI bot like Cleo dragging you for your spending. With Save goals, hacks and autosave features all experienced through interaction with Cleo herself, you save money fast and have fun in the process. That boring stigma’s broken.

With Cleo’s ease of use, clear presentation and smart insights, nobody should be left in the dark about their finances again.

Credit score

Your credit score is about to get a whole lot healthier. Our credit builder will make looking at your credit report way less scary, and you might even have fun in the process.

Leave the confusing credit building to Cleo and Equifax, you focus on feeling good about your money.

Cleo+

Cleo also offers a $5.99 subscription service for Cleo+ features:

⚡️ Up to 7% Cashback

Savings for spenders — get click-through offers, streak rewards and cold hard cash every time you shop at your regulars. There are a bunch of similar free rebate apps that you can consider as well.

⏰ Salary Advance

If you qualify, Cleo can spot you $100 to stop you going into your overdraft. This money is given to you interest-free, so they are literally spotting you $100. A lot of free apps offer this feature for free like MoneyLion (which offers $250 at any time without any interest) — so you may not want to subscribe if that’s the only reason you want it.

👀  Credit Coach

40% of you don’t know your credit score. Cleo is helping to change that and can help you improve your credit score as well.

Cleo App: Fees and Cost

The majority of Cleo’s features are accessible at no cost. To register and link a bank account is all that is necessary. The fee for using Cleo Plus’ functions is $5.99 per month.

How Safe is Cleo?

Cleo is extremely safe and secure. They use bank-level encryption and security practices, and Cleo is a read-only service so no-one can ever move money in or out of your account.

To access your transaction history, they either connect directly to your bank’s private API or use Yodlee/SaltEdge, world leaders in financial security and data aggregation. Cleo never stores your credentials on its servers and your transaction history is encrypted with all personally identifiable information removed upon receipt. Only you and Cleo can view your transactions.

Pros of Cleo

  • The app’s lighthearted, sometimes snarky tone makes managing your money a bit less daunting and more enjoyable.
  • You can get instant insight into whether or not you have the financial means to make a certain The app’s lighthearted, sometimes snarky tone makes managing your money and spending habits a bit less daunting and more enjoyable.
  • You can get a $100 cash advance at any time.
  • You can get instant insight into whether or not you have the financial means to make a certain purchase using Cleo. Instead of sitting down and studying your budget, simply ask Cleo if you can afford it and it’s AI-powered recommendations can help.
  • If you’re unfamiliar with the intricacies of the ‘Plus’ version of Cleo, then its extra capabilities, including Cleo Cash and the cashback program, might be attractive.

Cons of Cleo

  • In your Cleo Wallet, you won’t get an APY for savings. If you want to earn interest on your money, it is best to deposit it into a high-yielding savings account right away.
  • The “pledge” to protect up to $250,000 of losses “attributable to sign-up and use of Cleo” is a huge red flag. This isn’t FDIC deposit insurance, and customers should know that any money kept in the Cleo Wallet would be at risk if the firm shuts down.
  • The inability to create separate budgets for various categories, which is available in other budgeting programs like Mint, is a disadvantage.
  • It may take up to four days for money to move from your bank account to Cleo Wallet and vice versa.
  • The Cleo app’s artificial intelligence chatbot isn’t particularly intuitive
  • Facebook has been plagued with privacy issues. You might be hesitant to use Cleo because of its connection with Facebook Messenger.

Apps Like Cleo

What are the best sites and apps like Cleo for 2021? Below are the most similar financial apps that we’ve found:

Personal Capital

personal capital

Personal Capital is committed to altering the financial management landscape. The company is a useful blend of technology and financial savvy. The Personal Capital app is an excellent example of how good things happen when technology meets finance.

Anyone can download the money management app to help take control of their personal finances – it’s 100% free. If you want to track your personal finances on a minute-by-minute basis, using an app is a great place to start. It allows you to manage your spending, monitor investments, and avoid getting into debt.

Learn More: Personal Capital Review

Mint

mint

Mint styles itself as your personal finance consigliere. By linking your major financial institutions and ATM cards, Mint delivers a top-down view of your entire financial life. You can build and fine-tune a budget, create an emergency fund and look over your credit score — all for free.

Truebill

truebill

Truebill is your automated financial assistant and budget tracker designed to put you back in control of your money. Truebill lets you easily track bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions, and proactively requests refunds on your behalf, putting real money back in your pocket.

With Truebill, you can save money, find the best credit card, lower your bills, and stay in control of your finances. It’s like your own personal finance watchdog. This free app delivers on its promise to save you money effortlessly. You can use it to lower your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and bill negotiations.

Learn More: Truebill Review

MoneyLion

moneylion

The free MoneyLion app styles itself as a jack of all trades. It’s a platform for managing your current finances, investing and keeping track of your credit score — all while you save money and plan for the future. A free account gets you saving and borrowing tips, while a MoneyLion Plus account opens up the app’s suite of investment tools.

Learn More: MoneyLion Review

Paribus

paribus

Paribus, like many of these, is 100 percent free to use. Once you create an account, you can shop just like you usually do at more than 25 well-known online retailers. With each purchase, Paribus keeps track of your receipts and lets you know if you’ve qualified for any retroactive refunds based on price drops, late deliveries and more.

Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.

Learn More: Paribus Review

M1 Finance

best micro investing app m1 finance

M1 Finance lets you invest your savings into a portfolio of stocks and ETFs for free. It enables investors to create diversified portfolios, access a variety of financial tools and offered completely free to individual investors.

The M1 investment app was built with your financial well-being in mind. With M1, you can invest, borrow, and spend your money all in one place. You set your strategy and the app will automate it, so you can concentrate on the big picture while we take care of the day-to-day. If you are interested in investing for free — you can sign up for more information from M1 Finance by clicking here.

Learn More: M1 Finance Review

Qapital

qapital micro investing app

Qapital is another mobile-focused savings app that makes automatic or manual deposits based on your income. But it goes a step further than some of the others by offering a social and family component, where you can save money as part of a group, as well as robust goal-setting features for when you have specific savings milestones in mind.

Learn More: Qapital Review

Trim

trim review

Trim makes the bold claim that its machine-learning-facilitated app platform saves its users $1 million per month. How? By looking over your finances and canceling unused subscriptions, finding more affordable utility and service providers and generally looking for waste and redundancy. Give it a try. They also have a host of other features that make them worth checking out.

Learn More: Trim Review

Is Cleo Worth it?

Cleo is free — which makes it another useful app to install that’ll help you manage your money in a new way.

It really depends on what best works for you. If you prefer more conventional budgeting tools — like Mint or Personal Capital — use those. But if you want a savvy AI-bot helping you — Cleo is a no-brainer.

‎Cleo | A Money App That Doesn't Suck ‎Cleo | A Money App That Doesn't Suck

You use Cleo to track your spending and make a budget. You link your checking account to the app, which scans your transactions and analyzes your financial habits. Spending patterns are identified by Cleo, as well as recommendations on how you should spend or save your money.

About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of My Millennial Guide, a personal finance site helping you put more money in your pocket. He helps millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, MSN Money and more.

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