Cleo Review

Cleo Review 2023: Secret to Savings or Financial Fumble?

⚡ Cleo is a popular app that helps people save money. It's liked for its auto-saving feature, which takes money from your bank account and saves it. Users also appreciate the quick transfer times when they want their money back. It has good ratings on both iOS and Android. It's also known for giving small cash advances to members.

Managing your finances can be daunting, but with the right tools, it becomes a breeze. That’s where Cleo comes in, a revolutionary AI-driven app designed to help you take control of your personal finance game.

In this Cleo Review for 2024, we’ll dive deep into its features, benefits, and how it stands out among other budgeting apps.

📢 Key Takeaways
Short on time? Here’s what you need to understand from this article:
  • Cleo is an AI-driven personal finance app that helps users manage their money through budget tracking, spending analysis, and savings recommendations.
  • The app offers a range of features like budget setting, expense tracking, and savings through the Cleo Wallet. Users can also subscribe to Cleo Plus for additional benefits like cash advances and earning opportunities.
  • Those looking to improve their credit score can opt for the subscription-based service of Cleo Credit Builder with tips on managing debt and secured credit card options.
  • With high ratings on App Store and Google Play Store and bank-grade encryption ensuring data protection, Cleo is undoubtedly a trustworthy financial assistant worth considering in 2023.

What Is Cleo?

What Is Cleo?

Cleo is an AI-driven personal finance app that helps users manage their money through budget tracking, spending analysis, and savings recommendations.

Cleo’s Core Features

As a cash advance user, you can take advantage of Cleo’s core features to manage your finances effectively. Here is a list of what Cleo has to offer:

  1. AI Chatbot: A friendly and quirky financial assistant that analyses your spending patterns and provides insightful money-related advice.
  2. Budget Setting: Helps you create personalized budgets based on your financial goals and lifestyle.
  3. Spending Tracking: Monitors your expenses, categorizes them, and shares insights about your spending habits.
  4. Savings through Cleo Wallet: This enables you to save money efficiently by setting up auto or manual savings, helping you reach various saving goals.
  5. Cash Advances: Allows eligible users to borrow up to $100 without interest or fees for emergencies or unexpected expenses.
  6. Bank Connection through Plaid: Securely connects with your bank account using Plaid to download transactions for analysis.
  7. Roast Mode & Hype Mode: Offers tailored feedback in a humorous or motivational way to keep users engaged with their finances.
  8. App Availability: The App Store (4.6 out of 5) and Google Play Store (4.2 out of 5) are highly rated, catering primarily to US users.

By leveraging Cleo’s core features, you can stay on top of your financial game while also accessing cash advances without worrying about hefty interest rates and fees.

How Does Cleo Work?

Cleo works by using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to analyze your financial transactions and patterns. To get started, simply connect the app to your bank account via Plaid, a secure technology that allows Cleo to access your transaction information without compromising your privacy or security.

The magic of Cleo lies in its friendly and humorous communication style. Instead of presenting dry figures and graphs like traditional budgeting apps do, Cleo communicates with you through text-based conversations that feel like chatting with a friend who happens to be an expert in personal finance.

One standout feature is Roast Mode for users seeking motivation through some tough love from the AI chatbot – think along the lines of teasing about spending too much on lattes instead of suggesting simple cutbacks! On top of offering insights into daily cash flow management and tracking expenses across various categories such as groceries or entertainment – all tailored specifically towards helping cash advance users stay mindful about their spending – Cleo also provides Autosave functionality which automatically sets aside money for future needs while helping develop healthy saving habits over time.

My Personal Experience Using Cleo

I was initially drawn to Cleo because of its AI-driven approach. The idea of having a personal finance assistant that could analyze my spending habits and provide insights sounded like a game-changer. And let me tell you, it was.

I remember one month when I had a few big projects lined up. I was excited about the potential income, but I was also worried about managing it properly. That’s when Cleo’s budget-setting feature came in handy. I was able to create a personalized budget based on my projected income and expenses for the month. The AI chatbot was incredibly helpful, providing me with a clear breakdown of where my money would be going.

But what really stood out to me was Cleo’s roast mode. I have a habit of splurging on art supplies, and Cleo was quick to point that out. The chatbot would humorously roast me for my spending habits, which actually motivated me to cut back on unnecessary expenses.

Then there was the Cleo Wallet. I set a goal to save for a new drawing tablet, and Cleo helped me reach it faster than I thought possible. The app would automatically set aside money from my checking account into the Cleo Wallet, making the saving process effortless.

And let’s not forget about the Cleo Plus Cash Advance feature. There was a time when a client delayed their payment, and I was left in a tight spot. Cleo Plus allowed me to borrow a small amount to tide me over until the payment came through. The fact that it was interest-free was a huge relief.

Overall, my experience with Cleo has been nothing short of transformative. It has not only helped me manage my finances more effectively but also changed my perspective on money. Now, I feel more in control of my financial future, and that’s a feeling I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Cleo’s Free Service

Cleo'S Free Service

Cleo’s free service allows you to track your spending, set budgets, and save money through the Cleo Wallet – find out more about how this feature can benefit you.

Track Your Spending

As a cash advance user, you know the importance of keeping track of your expenses to avoid financial pitfalls. That’s where Cleo comes in handy! This AI-driven app takes the guesswork out of managing your money by automatically analyzing your spending patterns.

With this clear breakdown of where your money is going every month, it becomes much easier to pinpoint areas where you can cut back or make changes to save more for future needs or emergencies.

Cleo doesn’t just present these insights in dull charts – its quirky tone adds a touch of humor that makes understanding and improving your finances feel less overwhelming.


One of Cleo’s core features is budgeting, which helps users keep track of their spending and plan for their financial goals. With the app’s AI chatbot, you can set up custom budgets based on your income and expenses.

You can also view transaction history to see where your money goes each week or month. One unique aspect of Cleo is its roast mode feature, where the chatbot will provide humorous feedback on your spending habits.

Cleo offers a savings feature called Cleo Wallet that automatically sets aside money from your checking account into a virtual wallet to help you save towards specific goals like a vacation or emergency fund.

Savings And The Cleo Wallet

One of the core features of Cleo is the Cleo Wallet, which allows users to save money directly in the app. The wallet offers both manual and autosave options, which can help you reach your savings goals faster.

For example, let’s say you want to save $500 for a new laptop within the next six months.

It’s important to note that while saving through Cleo is convenient and easy to use, it does not offer actual savings accounts and is not FDIC-insured or insured by any other regulatory body.

However, the app uses bank-grade encryption technology to ensure that users’ funds are secure at all times.

Cleo Plus Cash Advance Feature

Cleo Plus Cash Advance Feature

The Cleo Plus Cash Advance feature is a great option for those who need quick cash without the hassle of traditional loans.

How Cleo Plus Works

Cleo Plus is a paid subscription service offering cash advances of up to $100 without interest or fees. To access this feature, users need to be Cleo Plus subscribers and pay a monthly fee of $5.99.

Once you become eligible, taking out a cash advance from Cleo Plus is straightforward. Simply select the amount you want to borrow within your limit and choose your repayment date, which can be extended for an additional 14 days without any interest or fees if needed.

Repayment happens automatically on the due date from your linked checking account, so there’s no need to worry about missing payments or affecting your credit score if repaid on time.

Cleo Plus Features & Benefits

Cleo Plus offers a range of additional features and benefits to help you manage your finances more effectively. Here are some of the key features you can expect as a Cleo Plus subscriber:

  1. Cash advances: Cleo Plus offers interest-free cash advances of up to $100 to help you cover unexpected expenses.
  2. Personalized saving goals: Cleo Plus helps you reach your savings targets faster with personalized saving goals that are tailored to your spending patterns.
  3. Overdraft protection: With Cleo Plus, you’ll never have to worry about overdraft fees again. The app monitors your accounts and alerts you if you’re in danger of overdrawing.
  4. Daily Cash Rewards: Cleo Plus members can earn cashback rewards through the Daily Cash program by completing challenges and hitting spending targets.
  5. VIP support: As a Cleo Plus member, you’ll get access to priority customer support to help you resolve any issues quickly and easily.
  6. Credit score coaching: With Cleo Credit Builder, you’ll get personalized credit score coaching designed to help improve your credit score over time.
  7. Cleo Credit Builder Card: As a Cleo Credit Builder subscriber, you can apply for a secured credit card that reports your payments to Equifax and Experian, helping you build credit faster.
  8. High-interest savings account: With Cleo Credit Builder, you’ll also have access to a high-interest savings account that earns 0.05% APY on all balances.

Overall, subscribing to Cleo Plus or Cleo Credit Builder can provide significant benefits for those looking for an AI-driven app that provides personal financial management tools such as cash advance or credit building features at an affordable price with no impact on their credit score if used correctly.


The cost of Cleo’s subscription-based service, Cleo Plus, comes at a relatively high price of $5.99 per month. While the cash advance feature is included with this subscription option, users may find it difficult to justify the cost for access to other features such as overdraft protection and cash-earning opportunities.

However, for those looking to build their credit score through Cleo Credit Builder—a bundled package including Cleo Plus—the cost rises significantly to $14.99 per month.

Despite its higher fee, subscribers gain access to tips on improving their credit score alongside a secured credit card option and continued access to cash advances.

Cleo Credit Builder

Cleo Credit Builder is a subscription service that offers personalized tips for improving credit and includes a secured credit card option.

How Cleo Credit Builder Works

Cleo Credit Builder is a unique subscription-based service designed to help users improve their credit scores. It works by providing personalized tips and advice on improving credit and alerts for changes in the user’s credit score.

The Cleo Credit Builder Card is also included with this subscription, which is a secured credit card that requires a deposit to serve as collateral for the credit limit. This feature can build up your credit history while ensuring you don’t overspend or accrue unnecessary debt.

Cleo Credit Builder Features & Benefits

Cleo Credit Builder is an excellent choice for users who want to build their credit scores efficiently. With this service, you can enjoy the following features and benefits:

  1. Secured Credit Card: Cleo Credit Builder offers a secured credit card option that requires a refundable security deposit of $100 to $500. This card helps you establish credit in a responsible manner.
  2. Personalized Credit Tips: The service provides customized credit tips and advice on improving your credit scores based on your financial behavior.
  3. Credit Score Coaching: Cleo Credit Builder gives you access to professional coaching designed to help you understand, build, and improve your credit score.
  4. Cash Back Rewards: You can earn cashback rewards for staying under your credit limit or making on-time payments on your Cleo Mastercard.
  5. No Hidden Fees: You won’t pay any fees for opening or using your Cleo Mastercard, with the exception of the refundable security deposit.
  6. Access to Cleo Plus: Subscription includes access to all of Cleo Plus’ features such as up to $100 cash advance with no interest, daily cash earnings opportunities and other benefits.
  7. Discounted Rates for Students: Students can access the service at a discounted rate of $9.99 per month with valid identification proof.
  8. Reporting to all Three Bureaus: Your good financial behavior will report to all three US bureaus (Equifax, Experian & TransUnion) so lenders can see your progress toward being responsible with credit.

With these features and benefits, Cleo Credit Builder goes beyond just offering a secured card; helping you build good financial habits while also having access to other beneficial features that many other services don’t offer, allowing users more opportunities towards building better financial stability in less time than traditional means alone could provide.

Pros & Cons

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of Cleo Credit Builder before deciding if it’s the right financial tool for you. As a cash advance user, consider the following advantages and disadvantages of Cleo Credit Builder:

Targeted towards Gen Z and younger Millennials, making it a user-friendly option for those new to credit-buildingA secured credit card option is available, which can be helpful for those with no credit history or limited credit history
Offers cash advances based on your Cleo Score, determined by completing tasks and challengesFeatures may be somewhat basic compared to other credit-building services
Provides tips and advice on improving credit, as well as access to the Cleo Credit Builder CardSecured credit card option is available, which can be helpful for those with no credit history or limited credit history
Discounted rate of $9.99 per month for students, making it more affordable for those in schoolNot as comprehensive as other credit-building services or financial tools
Monthly fee of $14.99 may be expensive compared to other credit-building options.Potentially limited customer support options compared to other services

While Cleo Credit Builder has its benefits, especially for younger users and those new to credit-building, it’s crucial to consider the costs and potential limitations before committing to this service.

App Availability And Support

Cleo is available for both iOS and Android devices, with customer support options readily accessible through the app.

Device Compatibility

As a cash advance user, ensuring that the Cleo app is compatible with your device before signing up is essential. Luckily, Cleo is available on both Apple and Android devices, so most users should be able to download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Additionally, Cleo can be accessed through Facebook Messenger for those who prefer using chat services. However, compatibility with some of Cleo’s features may depend on your bank.

It’s crucial to check whether your bank works with Plaid, which is the financial service company used by Cleo to connect with users’ banks and download their transactions.

Customer Support Options

As a cash advance user, it’s important to have access to reliable customer support when using financial management apps like Cleo. Here are the options available for getting help with any issues or questions you may have:

  1. Cleo’s FAQ section provides general information about the app’s features, functionality, and troubleshooting steps for common issues.
  2. The app also offers chat support, where users can speak directly to a representative for personalized assistance.
  3. Users can submit feedback and suggestions through Cleo’s website or social media channels.
  4. While Cleo does not offer phone or email support, their chat support team aims to respond to user queries within 24-48 hours.
  5. During peak hours, waiting times for chat support may be longer than usual.
  6. The support team is knowledgeable and aims to provide thorough responses to user queries.
  7. Users can access customer support through the Cleo app or website seven days a week.
  8. Cleo also provides an extensive library of resources, including articles and guides, to help users better understand the app’s features and functionality.

While there is no phone or email support, Cash Advance users who use Cleo should find that the chat option provides helpful and timely assistance whenever needed.

How To Get Started With Cleo

To get started with Cleo, simply download the app from the App Store or Google Play and follow the registration process by providing your basic personal information. Next, link your bank account to Cleo by entering your login credentials.

Registration Process

Getting started with Cleo is simple; it takes just a few minutes to register. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Download the Cleo app from either Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Sign up by providing your phone number and email address.
  3. Next, you will need to link your bank account(s) to the app using Plaid’s secure connection.
  4. Set up your Cleo profile by entering your name, occupation, and income information.
  5. Finally, personalize your account settings by selecting spending targets and saving goals.

And that’s it! You’re now ready to start using Cleo to manage your finances and optimize your budgeting strategy effectively.

Linking Your Bank Account

Linking your bank account with Cleo is an important first step to start using the app’s features. Here are some things you should know:

  • Cleo uses Plaid, a trusted financial services company, to securely connect with your bank and download your transaction history.
  • You’ll be asked for your online banking credentials (login and password) when linking your bank account. This information is encrypted and stored securely by Plaid, not by Cleo.
  • By linking your account, you give Cleo permission to access and analyze your spending patterns. This allows the app to provide personalized feedback on where you can save money.
  • To link an account, simply follow the prompts in the Cleo app. You’ll need to select your bank from a list and enter your login credentials. If you have trouble connecting, try troubleshooting tips or reach out to customer support.
  • Once connected, Cleo will categorize all of your transactions automatically. You can view these categories in the app’s spending analysis feature or set up custom categories.

By linking your bank account with Cleo, you’re taking an important step toward managing your finances more effectively. Access to transaction data allows the app to offer valuable insights and recommendations based on your spending habits.

Understanding The Cleo App

Discover how Cleo makes money, whether you can borrow money from the app, and if borrowing from them affects your credit score.

How Does Cleo Make Money?

Cleo makes money primarily through its subscription-based services. Its Cleo Plus service costs $5.99 per month and offers additional features like cash advances and cashback opportunities, while its Cleo Credit Builder service costs $14.99 per month and includes Cleo Plus along with credit coaching, a secured credit card option, and tips on improving credit score.

In addition to these paid services, Cleo also raises funds from venture capitalists.

Can I Borrow Money From Cleo?

Yes, Cleo offers cash advances of up to $100 without interest or fees. Borrowing from Cleo does not require a credit check or proof of employment, making it an accessible option for many individuals in need of extra cash.

To access this feature, users can subscribe to Cleo Plus for $5.99 per month and apply through the app’s cash advance section.

Once approved, funds typically arrive within 3-4 business days, but for a small fee of $3.99, you can receive the money within 24 hours. Repayment terms are flexible, too; if needed, you can extend repayment by another two weeks without any interest or fees.

Does Borrowing From Cleo Affect My Credit?

Borrowing from Cleo does not affect your credit score. This is because Cleo does not perform a credit check when you apply for a cash advance. However, it is important to note that if you fail to repay the loan on time or default on the loan, this can harm your credit score and make it difficult for you to obtain future loans or lines of credit.

It’s always best to borrow responsibly and only repay what you can afford within the designated timeframe.

Cleo Vs. Other Budgeting Apps

Cleo stands out from other budgeting apps with its unique AI chatbot and personalized approach to financial management, making it a must-try for anyone looking to take control of their spending habits.

Key Differences

Let me tell you about some of the key differences between Cleo and other budgeting apps that offer cash advances:

  1. Cleo offers a free service with essential features such as tracking spending, budgeting, and savings through Cleo Wallet. Other apps may require a paid subscription to access similar features.
  2. Cleo Plus is a subscription-based service ($5.99/month) that offers cash advances up to $100 without interest or fees, whereas other apps may charge high-interest rates or fees for cash advances.
  3. Cleo Credit Builder is a unique feature that offers credit-building tips, advice, and a secured credit card option for users looking to improve their credit score. Other apps may not offer such services.
  4. For those who value personalized financial coaching and the convenience of an AI chatbot experience, Cleo’s algorithms can provide customized guidance while other budgeting apps may not have access to AI technology.
  5. Unlike some cash advance apps that require a credit check or limit borrowing amounts based on income, Cleo does not conduct credit checks nor impose limits based on income level.

Overall, Cleo’s combination of free basic services with add-on subscription-based offerings makes it stand out among other budgeting apps in terms of accessibility and personalized engagement options through its advanced AI chatbot technology.

Pros & Cons

As a cash advance user, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of using Cleo before deciding if it’s the right app for you. Below, I have outlined the advantages and disadvantages of this app to help you make an informed decision.

Free financial assistant with AI chatbot for money-related questionsSome advanced features require a paid subscription
High ratings on App Store (4.6/5) and Google Play (4.2/5)May not be suitable for advanced users who need more robust budgeting tools
Helpful features like budget setting, spending tracking, and savings optionsConnecting with banks via Plaid might be a concern for some users due to privacy concerns
Cleo Plus allows borrowing up to $100 without interest or feesCleo Plus costs $5.99 per month
Express transfer option for a $4 fee if you need cash quicklyNot all users will qualify for cash advances
Borrowing from Cleo does not impact your credit score if repaid on timeRepaying late may lead to suspension of Cleo Plus benefits
Great option for beginners in personal financial managementLimited customer support options

Customer Reviews And Trustworthiness

Customers have given Cleo high ratings on both the App Store and Google Play, highlighting its user-friendly interface, helpful features, and personalized feedback.

Ratings And Testimonials

Cleo has garnered a lot of attention since its launch, with millions of users worldwide. Here are some of the ratings and testimonials that may be relevant to cash advance users:

  1. Cleo has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on the App Store for iOS and 4.2 out of 5 stars on Google Play for Android.
  2. Cleo has a 4.4-star rating on TrustPilot, with many users praising its user-friendly interface and easy-to-use features.
  3. Despite positive overall feedback, Cleo does have some negative reviews, with some customers reporting frustration with delays in receiving cash advances.
  4. According to some reviewers, Cleo’s terms of service can be somewhat vague.
  5. In general, however, most customers seem satisfied with the product and recommend it to others looking for budgeting tools or help managing their finances.

Overall, cash advance users interested in trying out Cleo should take the time to read through reviews from other users before making a decision – but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this innovative app could be helpful in managing your spending and saving money over time.

Security And Privacy

As a cash advance user, it’s important to consider the security and privacy of any financial app you use. Cleo uses bank-grade encryption to protect your personal data and transactions from hackers and fraudsters.

Additionally, they do not sell or share your information with third parties without your explicit consent.

It’s also worth noting that Cleo does not store your bank login details on their servers but instead uses Plaid, an industry-leading financial services company, to connect with users’ banks securely.

Our Takeaway

In conclusion, Cleo is an AI-driven app that has revolutionized the way users manage their finances. Its quirky and funny approach to offering feedback on spending patterns has become a popular choice for many cash advance users.

The app offers a range of features like budget setting, expense tracking, and savings through Cleo Wallet. Users can also subscribe to Cleo Plus for additional benefits like cash advances and earning opportunities.

Additionally, those looking to improve their credit score can opt for the subscription-based service of Cleo Credit Builder with tips on managing debt and secured credit card options.

Article Sources & Helpful Links

Here are some helpful links that may help you learn more:

  1. Cleo’s Official Website: The official website of Cleo, the AI financial assistant.
  2. Cleo on the App Store: Download Cleo from the Apple App Store.
  3. IRS Guidance on 529 Education Savings Plan: IRS’s official guidance on 529 education savings plans.
  4. Understanding Credit Reports: A comprehensive guide from on understanding and obtaining your credit report.
  5. Cleo Reviews: Read reviews about Cleo from users.

Cleo Review (FAQs)

How does Cleo’s Cleo Cash Advance work?

Cleo Cash Advance allows you to borrow up to $100 at a time, with a monthly subscription fee of $5.99 or $14.99 for higher advance limits. You can pay Cleo back in the app, and the money will be deducted from your account on your next payday.

Can anyone use Cleo’s Cleo Cash Advance?

No, not everyone is eligible for Cleo Cash Advance. The service is currently available only to users who have had a salary paid directly into their bank account for at least two months and who have a positive balance in their account.

What is Cleo Builder?

Cleo Builder is a feature that allows you to save money automatically and build your credit with a credit builder loan. You can choose the amount of money you want to save each week, and Cleo will move the money into a separate account where it will earn interest for you. Cleo Builder also reports to credit bureaus to help you improve your credit score.

How much does Cleo cost?

Cleo is free to download, but access to its premium features like Cleo Cash Advance and Cleo Builder, costs $5.99 a month or $14.99 a month for higher advance limits and additional features.

What other features does Cleo offer besides Cleo Cash Advance and Cleo Builder?

Cleo offers features like budgeting, savings goals, spending tracking, and overdraft protection. You can also ask Cleo for insights into your spending habits and receive personalized recommendations on how to save money.

How does Cleo connect to my bank account?

Cleo uses Plaid to connect to your bank account securely. Plaid is a trusted third-party service that is used by many financial apps and institutions.

Can Cleo help me with money management?

Yes, Cleo is a budgeting and money management app that can help you keep track of your spending, save money, and achieve your financial goals.

Can I borrow more than $100 with Cleo Cash Advance?

Depending on your account history and other factors, you may be eligible for a higher advance limit with Cleo Cash Advance. The subscription fee for higher advance limits is $14.99 a month.

How long does it take to receive funds through Cleo Cash Advance?

Funds from Cleo Cash Advance can take up to four days to be deposited into your account, so it’s important to plan ahead if you need the money for a specific purpose.

What do customers say about Cleo?

Reviews on Trustpilot and other sites vary, but many customers appreciate the convenience and accessibility of Cleo’s features and the personalized insights provided by Cleo’s AI-powered chatbot. However, some customers have had issues with fees and customer support.

James Allen, a finance enthusiast with 10+ years of experience, founded Billpin in 2020 to demystify personal finance. Inspired by his mother’s frugality and his own financial expertise, James aims to transform people’s relationship with money. Through this site, he provides easy-to-understand guides, empowering individuals to manage their finances effectively and take control of their financial future.

Content Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the authors alone, not those of any companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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