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Cleo cash advance app review

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Cleo
Min. Amount
$20
Max. Amount
$250
Turnaround time
3 to 4 days standard transfer. Same day with $3.99 express fee.

Our verdict

A quirky budgeting app for building better money habits – but a monthly fee applies for cash advances.

Cleo is a budgeting app that comes in a free and paid version. It’s best for people who want tools to break bad money habits and spend smarter. It offers monthly financial targets and shows where you're spending your cash – with a humorous AI assistant to help you stay on track.

But to get cash advances you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription fee of $5.99, with same-day transfers costing an extra $3.99. And its cash advance feature is somewhat limited. You can only borrow between $20 and $70 until you establish a payment history, and the maximum amount tops out at $250. Some other apps go up to $500 or more.

But if you want a money app that offers a personalized AI budget planner, multiple savings tools and low balance alerts – Cleo could be a good choice.

Pros

  • No credit check required
  • No interest on cash advances
  • Tools to help you save money and build credit

Cons

  • $5.99 monthly membership fee
  • $3.99 express transfer fee
  • Three to four business days for regular transfers

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product details
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Details

Product details

Product Name Cleo
Max. Amount $250
Turnaround time 3 to 4 days standard transfer. Same day with $3.99 express fee.
Costs $5.99 monthly membership fee to access cash advances

Cleo overview

Cleo is an app that allows you to access up to $250 at a time between repayments if you’re eligible. It offers two service levels:

  • Free. A free plan that gives you access to Cleo’s Personal Financial Management Services.
  • Cleo Plus. A $5.99 monthly plan that provides transfers up to $250 after you establish a payment history.

With Cleo, you pick a repayment date which can be between three and 14 days after you borrow money and pay Cleo back on your chosen repayment date through the app.

Features

  • Borrow up to $250
  • Membership costs $5.99 a month
  • Same-day express transfers cost $3.99
  • Regular funding typically in three to four business days

Requirements

To use the app, you must link a bank account or debit card so Cleo can deduct your monthly membership fee. Cleo connects to your bank account using Plaid, where you’ll find lists all the banks it supports.

Other services

Cleo offers a range of budgeting and credit-building tools, including:

  • Cleo Personal Financial Management Services. Gives you insights into your spending habits to help you budget and save money.
  • Cleo Wallet Services. Provides a place to put money aside, either manually or automatically. It’s not a savings account and doesn’t pay interest.
  • Budget Management. Links to your bank account to alert you about upcoming bills and other expenses. The notifications can help you avoid overdraft fees.
  • Cleo Builder. This $14.99 a month service gives you a secured Credit Builder card. Spend on the card and Cleo reports your activity to Experian, Equifax and Transunion to help build your credit score. You can also get a small amount of cash back on your purchases.

Cleo reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating F
BBB customer reviews 1 out of 5 stars, based on 4 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints 97 customer complaints
Trustpilot Score 4.2 out of 5 stars, based on 3,343 customer reviews
App Store Score 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on 90,700 customer reviews
Google Play Score 4 out of 5 stars, based on 56,500 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 21 October 2023

Cleo gets mostly positive reviews on Trustpilot from over 3,300 reviewers, with nearly 80% of them giving Cleo 5 stars. But recent reviews are mixed. Satisfied customers report liking the app and its budgeting tools which can help curb frivolous spending. A few customers report enjoying receiving humorous comments from the app.

Less pleased customers complain about the $5.99 subscription fee, claiming that it’s too high for what they get in return. Another customer mentions they were bumped up to the credit builder service and charged two different subscription fees.

Cleo isn’t registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), has an F rating and 1 star out of 5 from a handful of customers. But keep in mind that a few reviews isn’t enough to make a fair judgment, as few people leave reviews for positive experiences. Cleo has closed 79 BBB complaints over the past 12 months.

Is Cleo legit?

Yes — though no app can guarantee your information stays 100% safe. Cleo uses Plaid to connect to your bank account. Plaid is compliant with PCI DSS requirements, which is the credit card security standard used by all major banks. Its privacy policy outlines what kinds of information it collects, how it’s used and whether it’s shared. See Cleo’s privacy policy for more information.

Cleo app vs. payday loans

Cleo provides cash, but that’s where its similarities to a payday loan ends. Here’s how the two stack up:

Cleo cash advancePayday loans
Borrowing amountUp to $250Typically up to $1,000, and most states allow only one at a time
Turnaround time3 to 4 business days with standard transfersUsually next business day
Application processMobile app signup that requires connection to bank accountOnline application, typically requires Social Security number and bank account numbers
Costs$5.99 monthly membership fee
$3.99 for express transfers
Fee of $15 to $25 per $100 borrowed
State availabilityAnywhere in the USProhibited in some states

Is Cleo worth it?

If you only need cash advances for small amounts and like using Cleo’s different budgeting tools, it may be worth paying the $5.99 monthly membership fee. But other apps similar to Cleo may offer higher cash advances and lower fees.

But compared to predatory payday loans — which charge extremely high interest rates and fees — Cleo is likely a cheaper option since it doesn’t charge any interest on balances owed.

Compare Cleo to other cash advance apps

Compare even more cash advance apps to find the right one for your lifestyle and budgeting needs. View maximum loan amounts, turnaround times and applicable costs and fees.

Name Product Filter Values Max. amount per pay period Turnaround time Costs
Chime SpotMe®
Not rated yet
Chime SpotMe®
Up to $200
Same day
No fee
Access fee-free overdrafts up to $200 when eligible. Plus get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit. See Chime terms and conditions.
EarnIn
Not rated yet
EarnIn
Get up to $100 per day or $750 per pay period.
1 to 3 business days, or same-day for a fee
Free to use or $3.99 for Lightning Speed transfers.
No mandatory fees, no interest, and no credit checks. Subject to EarnIn terms & conditions
Albert
Not rated yet
Albert
Up to $250
2–3 business days or instant for a fee
$14.99 monthly subscription to access overdraft protection
Get up to $250 overdraft protection if you sign up for Albert's banking app.
Brigit
Not rated yet
Brigit
Up to $250
1 to 3 business days or instantly with a fee
$8.99 monthly membership fee, up to $3.99 in express fees
Have up to $250 automatically deposited into your account — for a $8.99 membership fee.
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