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  7. Cleo Review: Is This AI-Powered Money App Legit?

Cleo Review: Is This AI-Powered Money App Legit?

Noah Zelvis - November 09, 2021

cleo review
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Our Cleo review breaks down everything you need to know about this AI-powered financial management tool. Keep reading for an in-depth look into the money app’s features.

In the world today, few people have time to actively keep track of all their banking details between what they are saving and how much they spend.

Bank accounts aside, throw in a credit card, debit card, budgets, investing services, and more, and you have too much to handle.

Luckily, some services, like Cleo, can help keep track of your finances.

Cleo has a whole host of features that help you spend right and save money.

Check out our Cleo review if you want a deep dive into everything this AI-powered money app has to offer.

Cleo Review

Cleo Review: Overview

The Cleo app, or Meet Cleo, is touted as a sassy, intelligent savings assistant bot that will help you keep your financial accounts in order.

The no-nonsense online presence will help you manage finances, curb spending, start saving money, and get some budgeting in place.

The AI-powered chatbot will connect through your smartphone to chat about spending suggestions, budgeting insights, and tips for managing finances.

Connect Your Bank Account with Cleo

It’s important to note that the service does need to take a look at your bank accounts to work.

But really how could it accurately track your spending patterns without accessing that type of info?

You can also connect Cleo to multiple accounts to help better track your spending.

The Cleo app takes banking to the next level with two investment tiers, the first being a free service and the plus model costing $5.99 per month.

Who Owns Cleo?

Barnaby Hussey-Yeo is the founder and CEO of Cleo, having started the service back in 2016.

He runs the company out of their headquarters located in London, UK.

Cleo-Money-management

Cleo Review: What’s Included with Cleo?

Cleo includes some banking tools to help you balance your budget and keep your transactions in the green.

The Cleo app’s standout features are:

  • Spending Habits
  • Saving
  • Budgeting
  • Cleo Wallet
  • Salary Advance
  • The Game: Weekly Quiz
  • Credit Builder Card

Keep reading our Cleo review for a breakdown of each feature.

Cleo saving app

Cleo Spending Habits Review

Probably Cleo’s most important budgeting feature is its ability to track spending patterns in granular detail.

After connecting the app to your bank account, you can keep track of a variety of spending habits to ensure you have a strong idea of where your money is going.

This is great for someone who might be a little loose with their finances and want to rein in their spending. 

By tracking your spending habits, you can keep a close watch on how much you spend in certain categories, largest expense, budgeting, etc.

All in all, it’s a great feature to have and can help you move one step closer to achieving your financial goals.

Cleo Saving Review

Every week, Cleo will calculate how much money you can save based on your weekly spending habits.

The app will make recommendations on how much to start saving, and you can opt to automatically transfer funds to your Cleo wallet to save you time.

You can use Cleo to help you set some long-term savings goals so that you can save up for that new car, vacation, or just have some extra money in the bank for when you need it.

You can ask Cleo to calculate how long it will take to reach a particular goal based on how much you save.

Save Money with the New Savings Account Feature

Very recently, Cleo rolled out a new savings account feature.

These savings accounts will add up to 1.5% interest on the money you deposit into the account.

However, it’s important to note that the website outlines that the interest value on your savings account is subject to change.

So far, the feature is fairly new so it’s hard to get a read on whether or not it is worth your time.

Cleo budgeting

Cleo Budgeting Review

The Cleo app is designed to work on a budget.

It looks at the finances in your bank account, and how much cash is going in and out each month.

Cleo uses that information to create a personal budget based on those numbers.

It can be difficult to track all of your spending, and it’s time-consuming to record every expense.

Luckily, Cleo can do this for you.

Then the app will take it another step further and provide insights into areas where you may be able to cut back on weekly spending to help save you more money.

With a budget, Cleo clarifies when you can afford to spend a little more for something and when it’s best to cut back.

Cleo wallet

Cleo Wallet Review

Among Cleo’s many other features is the Cleo Wallet.

The Cleo Wallet is a digital space that the app recommends you use to put money aside for your long-term financial goals.

To open up this feature, you will need to provide some personal information (like name and address), debit card details, and link it up with your bank account.

The digital wallet is only partially effective.

It can set aside your money, but no interest will be earned — unlike the savings account.

Also, it is not covered by the FDIC insurance so it could be vulnerable.

A better strategy might be to use the digital wallet to set money aside then transfer those funds to a savings account that earns interest.

Cleo salary advance

Cleo Salary Advance Review

Cleo Plus members can take advantage of an interest-free salary advance service to supplement their income and help pay off unexpected fees.

The service can give members up to $100.

Then they pick a repayment date between 3 and 28 days from the time of the loan to pay it back.

This doesn’t affect your credit score, and it’s possible to request another loan just seven days after one has been paid back.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as signing up and collecting some cash.

In fact, signing up for Cleo Plus is no guarantee that the service will approve you for the loan.

To qualify, users need to collect some badges and complete a series of challenges that Cleo uses to determine how likely a user will be to pay back the loan.

This has led to some confusion with users who expected the process to be more straightforward or guaranteed.

 Check-Account-balance-with-cleo

Cleo The Game: Weekly Quiz Review

Every week, your personal assistant Cleo will throw a fun quiz your way with questions about what you’ve been up to with your spending and savings.

If you correctly answer all the questions, you’ll be entered into a draw for a cash prize.

Cleo Credit Builder Card Review

The Cleo Credit Builder Card is a charge card you can use to help improve your credit score.

Best of all, there’s no minimum deposit required and no additional fees or hard credit check.

To start building your credit, all you need to do is put cash in a security deposit and use the card for daily purchases.

When you pay off your balance, Cleo will report your account status to Experian.

While this can help improve your credit score, Cleo doesn’t offer any guarantees.

Another drawback is that you only have access to the credit builder card if you’re signed up for Cleo Plus.

Though, it’s fair that this addon costs more as it does offer users a solid way to start building up their credit score.

>>Like what Cleo has to offer? Click here to sign up today! <<

How Do I Get My Money from Cleo?

The AI-powered app puts your money into an online wallet that you can easily access at any time.

From there, it’s up to you to transfer that money to an account at one of the banks that Cleo works with.

Cleo Review: What Happens If You Don’t Pay Cleo Back?

Like most loans, it’s possible to request an extension if you’re unable to come up with the funds in time.

However, it’s up to Cleo as to whether the request will be granted or not.

Failing to pay back any loans can result in extra fees and termination of your account.

Is Cleo FDIC Insured?

Cleo is not insured by FDIC.

The company does state they have security measures in place to keep funds safe, but having money in a digital wallet with questionable protection is a concern for many.

However, if you choose not to use the Cleo Wallet or savings account, there’s still plenty to like about this AI-powered financial assistant.

Cleo App Review: Is Cleo Legit?

Cleo is a legit service that has been operating since 2016.

The company has backing from a lot of well-known banks and has millions of users worldwide.

Cleo Review: Is Cleo Safe?

The Cleo App advertises itself as having world-class security.

The company uses bank-level security protection to keep your financial data safe.

It also has read-only access to your account, meaning it only views encrypted transactions and can’t perform any of its own.

The company doesn’t store any login information and states that it only shares information when it needs to for providing services.

Meet Cleo does run through Facebook Messenger, so be sure to protect your Facebook account from malicious sources.

If something happens to your Facebook account, Cleo recommends deleting all of Cleo’s communications while resetting passwords to both Cleo and Facebook.

>> Ready to give Cleo a shot? Sign up now by clicking here! <<

Cleo Cancellation Policy

If you cancel within the first seven days of signing up for a Plus level account, you’ll be refunded your $5.99 subscription fee.

Any time after that, you’ll have access to the features of Plus until the end of that billing cycle, where you will return to the free service.

However, you won’t be able to cancel your account if you have requested a cash advance.

Cleo App: Fees and Cost

Most of Cleo’s features are free to use.

If you want access to Cleo Plus’s features, the cost is $5.99 per month.

Does Cleo Give You Money?

Signing up for Cleo Plus allows access to a cash advance feature that loans you up to $100 at a time if you qualify.

In addition, if you’ve signed up for the Plus plan, it is possible to add a bit of money to your digital wallet balance.

Cleo Rewards has some weekly challenges that, when completed, will put a few cents into your account.

There are also ways to get cashback for everyday services, but this may not be worth the $5.99 you’d be putting down to get this feature.

Cleo Plus rewards

Cleo Plus Rewards

Cleo Plus (also known as Cleo+) is the app’s top-tier feature that gives access to a few additional financial perks.

The first is the salary advance feature covered above, which provides up to $100 for emergency spending.

Another one of Cleo Plus’s prominent features is called Daily Cash, which has three ways to earn some cash back.

Money Makers lets you choose five stores from a list on the app.

You will also get a small percent back when you shop at those stores.

The money appears right in your Cleo wallet.

The Bigger Buys feature lets you earn some cash back for shopping through companies featured on the app’s Daily Cash page on any given day.

Finally, it’s possible to get paid a bit of money for completing challenges called Cleo Rewards.

These rewards usually range from only $0.10 to $0.25 but can be fun to complete.

At this time, these are all the perks that Cleo Plus has to offer.

There is no additional support and no other insights.

It doesn’t look like Cleo Plus is necessarily worth investing the $5.99 per month price tag at this time.

However, keep an eye out for future updates.

>> Ready to earn some rewards with Cleo? Click here and sign up for an account today! <<

Cleo Review: Pros and Cons

We found a lot to like in our Cleo review, but there are some areas that the service can definitely improve on.

Follow along to find out what we found.

Cleo Pros

  • Easy to track your spending and great budgeting app
  • Setting up a Cleo account is quick and painless
  • Free account option
  • The AI-powered app provides funny banter that makes saving fun
  • Cleo Credit Builder Card makes it easy to start building credit
  • Review financial data quickly
  • Save money automatically
  • A fast and convenient way to create budgets and check account balances
  • Bank-level security
  • Earn cash back rewards with Cleo Plus
  • Earn interest of up to 1.5% with the savings account
  • Can help improve credit score
  • Intelligent insights on spending
  • Offers accountability on finances
  • Cash advance

Cleo Cons

  • The app’s attitude is not for everyone
  • Not FDIC insured
  • Could get a higher interest rate by opening your own savings account
  • Basic functionality
  • Chat-based approach
  • Links to Facebook
  • Does not work with all banks
  • Needs to connect to banking data through checking account

Is Cleo Right for Me?

Cleo appears to be a good tool for beginners trying to wrap their heads around their banking data.

The app can quickly scan your banking information and provide feedback on how to save and budget.

Even if you already have your affairs in order, the service can still be used to offer financial suggestions at a glance.

Beyond that, at this time, Cleo doesn’t have much else to offer.

Since all of the above is part of the free service, there’s little risk in trying it out to see if it fits your needs.

Cleo Reviews by Members

The general vibe online is that people like the free version of the software, but reviews show that the subscription service leaves a lot to be desired.

Check out these Cleo reviews to see what others have to say about the money app.

It is rated 4.1 out of 5 on Google play and 4.7 out of 5 on the Apple App Store.

“Wonderful app, always there when I need it!!.. has helped save me from the unknown, 3 or 4 times… Although I had to gain badges to get advance once, but otherwise I’m big fan, big fan!!”

– Derek, on Google Play Store

Another Cleo review reads:

“Very frustrating. Paid for plus but it won’t tell me why I don’t qualify for an advance. I had an account before and had no problems with advances. Now the app stinks.”

– Rebecca, on Google Play Store

Final Review: Is Cleo Worth It?

If you’re not savvy with finance or just need some help balancing a budget, Cleo can help set you on the right path.

The app will work with you to set up goals and even offer suggestions on expenditures to help you see where you can afford to save a few dollars.

Since all you have to do is sign up and link up a bank account, there’s little risk in doing so.

This money app may be the future of budgeting, but the subscription service currently leaves a lot to be desired.

It may be best to steer away from that unless you really need to tap into an emergency source of funds.

Time will tell if improvements to the Plus tier will make it worthwhile.

However, many users love the free account, so it might not be a bad idea to start there.

>> Sold on Cleo? Start saving, budgeting, and earning rewards today! Click here to sign up. <<

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Noah is an American copywriter on a mission to help clarify the nuances of the financial world. When he's not working, you’ll likely find him running or traveling.