Editor’s Note: Overdraft Apps provides detailed product reviews and recommendations based upon extensive research and our own hands-on testing. We may earn a referral fee when you sign up for or purchase products mentioned in this article.
Budgeting, spending tracking, savings goals… have you already dozed off? If you’re looking to get a better grip on your finances but can’t find a way to stick it with it, Cleo may be the app for you. Cleo organizes your money habits in a way that makes it easy to see how just a few small changes can make a big impact, and her sassy (ok, WISEASS) way of explaining things to you will truly make you LOL.
Oh yeah, and when you’re a little short on cash, Cleo can help out with $100 cash advances with no interest and no credit check. Want a little fun with your finances? Read on for our full Cleo app review.
Don’t need to read on? >>> Get started with Cleo in two minutes
“A money app that doesn’t suck”
Yup, that’s how Cleo describes itself, and it’s a pretty big clue that its approach to getting a better handle on your finances may not quite be like other financial management apps that you’ve quickly lost interest in.
Cleo will share some powerful insights and advice on your finances almost instantly, and probably make you crack up more than once within the first few minutes of using it.
You’ll see what makes Cleo more useful and more fun than other apps as soon as you get started. Download the free app and set up a free account, including creating a secure link to your bank account in about two minutes. Cleo will instantly import and analyze your recent transactions, and the chatbot will ask you some quick questions about your goals and to better understand your earning and spending patterns. Then she lets it rip!
You may get some jaw-dropping insights on how much you’re spending and where you’re spending money most often. (Postmates, DoorDash and Uber addicts better be prepared to get a good talking to!) Cleo will quickly breakdown your earnings, spending and bills in a way that may finally make it click for you and immediately start offering up some practical recommendations on how you can easily spend a little less, save more and start making some progress towards your financial goals.
Oh, Cleo does this with some language that you may not want to repeat in front of your mother, and has some strong meme game, too. Cleo flips between two modes – Toast Me for when you need a pick me up or Roast Me for those times when you want to be ripped to shreds. Both are hilarious and full of your (new) favorite memes and GIFs, while giving you some useful financial advice you may actually pay attention to.
“The no-bullshit AI making the money thing easy.”
(Again, Cleo’s words, not ours!)
So, let’s review how Cleo actually help you get a handle on your finances:
Analyze your spending. Cleo is better described as a spending and saving tracker than a budget. You’re not going to get a detailed spreadsheet that details where every dollar is coming from or going to, and that’s probably not something you’re going to stick with anyway. Cleo automagically categorizes your spending and gives you the punchy highlights. The monthly earning vs. spending charts can be very eye-opening and Cleo is particularly good at identifying those small, frequent charges that add up to much more than you realize, such as food delivery or Amazon purchases.
Set monthly goals and spending targets. You may not want a rigid budget, and Cleo is a great tool if you do have a sense of where you could shave a little spending. For example, maybe Cleo helped you identify that you spent way more than you would have liked at restaurants last month so you want to cut back by $200. You can easily set that goal with Cleo, which will automatically track your progress and update you at any time. You can even check in how much you wiggle room you have left to spend before a big weekend by asking Cleo in plain English.
Automate your savings. You can set up multiple savings goals, like save for a trip or build a reserve fund, and create an (optional) free Cleo Wallet account to use Cleo to move money and track your progress. Cleo offers easy set-it-and-forget-it savings hacks like rounding up purchases to the next dollar or allocating a few bucks from each paycheck to make it effortless to build up your savings balances over time.
All of these services are available on the free version of Cleo, with no subscription required.
Spend, save, laugh >>> Check out what Cleo thinks of your finances, free
What are Cleo’s cash advance requirements?
You can borrow up to $100 with a Cleo cash advance. New users can borrow as much as $70 right away, which is a higher initial limit than most other cash advance apps. Cleo’s cash advance limit is primarily based on the transaction history of your linked bank account
There is no credit check to borrow from Cleo, and no regular income is required, making Cleo a good option for freelancers and gig workers. You don’t need to change your direct deposit, or submit timesheets like apps like Earnin require. Funds are sent to your linked bank account, so you can use them for ATM withdrawals, debit card purchases, or however you like.
This is no interest or direct fees for Cleo cash advances, however, they may not necessarily be free. Funds usually take 3 – 4 business days to reach your bank account, though for a $3.99 express fee they will be in your account within 24 hours; often within seven minutes. You’ll need to be a Cleo Plus (or Cleo Builder subscriber) for $5.99/month to access cash advances, however there is a big loophole buried in Cleo’s terms and conditions! You can apply to borrow from Cleo without subscribing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and stating that you would like to receive a Salary Advance without subscribing to the Cleo Plus services.
You can set your repayment date for up to 14 days after you take out your advance. You can also extend your repayment date for an additional 14 days with no interest or fees. If you’re unable to repay your cash advance, you won’t be able to borrow any additional money, however Cleo does not utilize debt collectors or report unpaid loans to credit bureaus.
No-interest cash advances for up to $100 >>> Create a Cleo account in two minutes
Get a Cleo app free trial
Cleo is free to download and you can use most of its best features without ever paying for a subscription. You’ll get a ton of valuable information about your spending habits (and a few of the best jokes!) within the first five minutes of using Cleo, and the app won’t ask you to pay a dime.
If you never use Cleo again, you’ll still get a ton of value (both the financial and entertainment kind) out of quickly trying it out. If you find it useful or just want to explore some more, you can keep going without any subscription or fees; you can do a ton of stuff with the free version of Cleo including:
- Building a budget you might actually pay attention to
- Effortless bill and spending tracking
- Savings goals and monthly targets
- Cleo Chat to help you stay on track, whether that’s through roastin’ or toastin’
If you’re ready to take it to the next level (and want to be able to borrow an extra $100 when you need it), you can bump up your subscription to Cleo Plus for $5.99 per month to get all of the free features, as well as:
- Up to $100 in no interest, no credit check cash advances
- Credit score coaching and analysis
- Cashback offers on restaurants, retail, travel, and even gas and groceries!
Cleo Plus coupons or promo codes are usually not available (so don’t waste too much time copying and pasting invalid codes from coupon sites), but it’s easy to cancel Cleo directly from the app (no annoying phone calls to customer service) whenever you want to go back to a free account or just call it quits. There is currently no offer for a Cleo Plus free trial.
Cleo does offer a $5/month discount for the first three months on its Credit Builder Secured Credit Card (regular price is $14.99/month); the discount is permanent for students.
Cleo does not charge any fees other than the optional subscription or express fees, and it won’t ever ask for a tip when you take out a cash advance. You can use most of Cleo’s features absolutely free.
Try out Cleo, absolutely free >>> Get started with Cleo
Can you trust the Cleo app?
Sharing all of your financial information – and access to your bank account – with a foul-mouthed app can be a scary proposition. Be confident that while Cleo can sometimes sound like your best friend giving you a play-by-play from Coachella, behind the scenes things are all business.
Cleo connects to your bank account via Plaid, the premier company in building ‘pipes’ for financial technology apps. Plaid not only makes it super-simple for you to link your bank account to Cleo, it also ensures that you’ve only granted read-only access, meaning that Cleo can see what’s happening in your bank account to give you spending and saving summaries and recommendations, but it can’t touch your money. (You’ll provide a specific repayment authorization on cash advances or savings transfers that only applies to that transaction.) Plus, Cleo protects data with bank-grade data encryption and doesn’t store your bank login information anywhere, so you don’t need to worry about hackers stealing it in a data breach.
Cleo is backed by $57 million in capital from venture capital investors and its banking products are provided by WebBank, a member bank of the FDIC, which insures your account for up to $250,000.
A money app that doesn’t suck >>> Get Cleo now
Don’t just take our word for it… watch more Cleo app reviews:
You got this far, but decided this isn’t your jam? Check out these apps like Cleo instead.
- Current Card – No Fee Overdrafts up to $200 with Overdrive - October 1, 2022
- How to Overdraft up to $200 with Chime SpotMe - September 20, 2022
- Chime Credit Builder Card Review – No Credit Check + up to $200 Overdrafts - September 20, 2022