Are you ready to streamline your finances and start saving money in the New Year and beyond? If so, meet Cleo – the Cleo App is a budgeting app you’ll want to consider.
It can help you create personalized smart budgets, manage your checking account, monitor your spending habits, and even keep track of your credit score.
Is this money management app is one to write home about? We’ll tell you everything you need to know in our detailed Cleo App review.
What is the Cleo App?
Think of the Cleo App as a personal assistant for your finances! The Cleo App is a chatbot that allows you to interact with it via text messages to do everything you could possibly imagine when it comes to tracking your spending patterns and learning how to best save money.
The Cleo App will make a budget for you, help you build savings, and even offer you a digital Cleo wallet to save money. There’s even overdraft protection!
Cleo was initially designed as a budgeting app to help people track their spending habits and save money fast. You can connect your checking account to the Cleo App so that it can keep track of your purchases and analyze your spending patterns.
Based on this analysis, Cleo will provide advice (sometimes harsh!) about how you could make better choices to pursue financial freedom.
The chatbot works through your Facebook Messenger account. Once you connect it, you’ll get direct messages through Facebook messages about your finances. You can ask questions about your account balances, have it set up reminders for you, and much more.
Based in the U.K, Cleo is an app that can really transform your financial life.
How Does the Cleo App Work?
There are a few different features you can use within the Cleo App.
One is the budgeting tool. This integral portion of the money app will help you come up with a budget plan that meets your needs as soon as you provide your banking details. You can only set one budget at a time (you won’t be able to break it down for different categories).
You’ll also be able to access the Cleo digital wallet. Here, you can stash your money to start building a savings account. You can even participate in a weekly quiz that will make sure you understand how to improve your financial standing – if you get all the questions right, you will be entered into a drawing for a cash prize.
Finally, you can also get money from Cleo via the cashback rewards program. You can shop with partner retailers and get up to 7% back in your Cleo Wallet.
There are other ways you can get cashback besides shopping, too, such as sticking to challenges like logging into the app daily or sticking to the budget it has set for you.
How Long Does it Take to Get Money From Cleo?
If you have a Cleo account to save your money, you’re going to have to wait if you want to make a withdrawal. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get your money immediately, since it takes up to four days for direct debits to clear.
You can get a salary advance from the app (a separate feature), but it comes with a fee.
How Much Does the Cleo App Cost?
Cleo is free to use. However, where the Cleo App makes money is through Cleo Plus, an upgraded version of the app.
You’ll get Cleo Cover – which is overdraft protection for your savings account – along with access to Daily Cash, which is a cashback rewards program.
With Cleo Cover, you will also be able to borrow up to $100 to help you get by until payday. NO interest is charged as long as you pay back the cash advance within 28 days. However, you are charged a $3.99 fee if you want the payment deposited into your Cleo wallet the same day.
Cleo App Security
Is the Cleo App safe? That’s a fair question, especially since the company is based outside of the US.
The app does use bank-level encryption and security practices. It’s also a read-only service, so nobody can ever move money into or out of your account.
That said, there are some concerns over its partnership with Facebook. Facebook has had its fair share of data slips, so it’s understandable to be wary about the conversations you have with Cleo within Facebook Messenger.
Cleo App Customer Service
For the most part, the Cleo App has pretty decent customer service. You can call the help hotline to check on your account balance or ask any questions you might have.
There are also chat and email help services on the company’s website, so finding the help you need should not be a problem.
Cleo App Pros and Cons
Below are some advantages and disadvantages of the Cleo financial assistant app.
Pro: Makes Saving Money Fun
Whether you want to find better ways to build a budget or learn how to improve your credit score (or perhaps are just looking for a new bank account to stash your money in), Cleo is a great choice because it is so friendly and fun to use. Plus, unless you decide to upgrade to Cleo Plus, it’s free.
You’ll feel like you’re chatting with your best friend instead of a computer when you ask questions in the Facebook Messenger portal – and the snarky tone of the program will make it feel like you’re getting advice from a real person.
This can make the prospect of managing your money far less intimidating – and much more enjoyable.
Pro: Fast and Convenient
If you’re thinking about making a big purchase, the old-school way of making sure you could afford it would be to sit down and go through your budget, line by line. With the Cleo App, you no longer have to.
All you have to do is ask Cleo if you can afford it! It’s as simple as that.
Con: The Cleo Savings Account
One of the biggest red flags associated with this app is the savings account. Although the account offers a way for users to save money automatically, it is problematic in that it doesn’t offer the best interest rates.
That’s not unusual – most savings accounts don’t offer much in the way of interest, particularly if you are looking at a free account.
However, what’s problematic is that it’s unclear which institution will hold your wallet funds in the US (since this is a UK-based company), and it is not FDIC-insured.
Cleo claims to offer $250000 in protection, but the terms aren’t like the deposit insurance you would get with the FDIC.
Con: Can’t Set Budgets for Different Categories
Another big drawback of using the Cleo App is that, even when you pay to use Cleo Plus, you can’t set budgets for different categories. Other programs, such as Mint, allow you to do this.
Con: Chatbot Isn’t the Most Intuitive
While it can be fun chatting with the Cleo chatbot, it isn’t always the most intuitive. You might find that you get a slew of auto-responses that don’t actually answer your question – that leads to some pretty confusing credit building and banking, we have to say!
How Does the Cleo App Compare?
Of course, Cleo isn’t the only app out there that can offer practical advice on how to improve your financial well-being (although it’s one of the few with an intelligent AI bot).
One alternative choice in the world of personal finance tools is Mint. The biggest benefit of Mint is that it is more customizable. You can set custom budget categories for different types of transactions (even something as simple as your monthly coffee spending!), and you can even create custom alerts for when certain bills are due. This just isn’t an option when it comes to tracking your spending breakdown with Cleo.
Digit is another alternative. Like Cleo, it also has a savings account, but all funds come with FDIC deposit insurance. There are also rewards for using a digit savings account, especially when compared to a Cleo account. For instance, you’ll get a 1% savings bonus if you are able to save money consistently for three consecutive months.
That said, compared to both of these platforms, the Cleo App has a clear leg-up when it comes to how you interact with your banking data. Neither of these platforms has the quirky and intelligent AI bot – which is really a defining feature of Cleo (and something we love, to say the least!).
Is the Cleo App Legit?
In our Cleo App review, we covered everything from how to track your spending with this app to how it stacks up compared to other banking apps that are out there.
The Cleo App is a legit app that can allow you to earn Cleo cash, hone your budgeting skills, and boost your credit report as you enhance your financial habits. Of course, it has some drawbacks – namely, related to its headquarters outside of the US and its sometimes cookie-cutter approach to creating a budget. However, for a free app, it’s definitely one of the best to help you manage your personal finances.
So what do you say – are you ready to meet Cleo?
The sign-up process is easy, and while this might not be the best app for everyone, hopefully, our Cleo App review has provided you with the information you need to determine whether this program is right for you.