Cleo app for Facebook Messenger review September 2019 |
Screenshot of Cleo in Messenger

Meet Cleo review

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Meet the AI friend you can chat to about your finances.

Cleo offers intelligent insights into your spending patterns, trends and budgets all via Facebook Messenger or the Cleo app.

What is Cleo?

Cleo is an AI program that helps you keep track of your money by analyzing transaction data on your bank account.

It’s creators strongly believe in the power of new technologies to help us manage finances better. Since its launch in 2016 Cleo has grown exponentially, currently helping 400,000+ US users have a clearer and more positive relationship with their budgeting.

How does Cleo work?

By providing Cleo with your online banking login, it’s able to securely analyze your transaction data. It uses the information to chat with you on Facebook Messenger or in the app, where you can ask it to:

  • Set and keep track of daily, weekly or monthly budgets.
  • Check your direct debits.
  • View your balance.
  • Check latest transactions
  • View your spending habits split up into categories.

Is Cleo safe?

Cleo gains read-only access to your account, meaning it can only view encrypted transactions — it can’t move money into or out of your account.

Your credentials will never be stored on Cleo’s servers, and the company uses bank-level bank-level encryption to keep your data safe.

Cleo is so confident in your safety that they pledge to cover you up to $250,000 for any security breaches.

Pros and Cons


  • Sign up in less than two minutes.
  • Easy to use — contact Cleo from the Messenger app at any time.
  • Intelligent insights into your budget and spending.
  • Great for those who aren’t particularly engaged with their money.


  • Cleo may not be useful for people who are already in the habit of saving.
  • Requires you to give access to your bank logins to a third party.

Case study: Dawn’s experience

profile pic

Dawn Daniels
Associate Editor

The Cleo app might be a good choice for people who have trouble staying on top of their finances. But as someone who always knows what’s in my account, I didn’t find it particularly useful. It’s made me much more aware of how much I spend eating out, but sometimes it can be a bit of a nuisance. It’ll message me at random times to let me know how much I’ve spent this month in certain categories, and I wish it would only display financial information when I ask it to.

It’s also not great at categorizing expenses — it’s marked a money order as “eating out” a few times now. Overall, it keeps me up-to-date on my account balance, which is nice, but the features aren’t as advanced as I’d hoped.

Compare checking accounts to connect to Cleo

Name Product APY ATMs Fee
Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches nationwide
(can be waived)
Get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking account and set up direct deposit within 60 days of opening your account. Chase's simplest checking account is easy to use and gives you access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches.
No ATM fees nationwide at more than 64,000 AllPoint, participating 7-Eleven and BBVA USA ATMs
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
Linked checking and savings accounts from a mobile-first bank that’s light on fees.
1.25% on balances of $0+ with $1,000+ in direct deposits, 10 $3+ debit card transactions and 5 additional account transactions per month
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
Earn up to 1.25% APY while enjoying a suite of digital tools for smarter money management.
2.00% on balances of $10,000+ or deposit $1+ each calendar month into any Aspiration cash management or investment account
Free to use anywhere worldwide
A spend and save combo account with no monthly service fees, free access to every ATM in the world, unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC. The Aspiration Spend & Save Account is a cash management account offering of Aspiration Financial, LLC, an SEC-registered broker-dealer. Aspiration is not a chartered bank.
Free to use anywhere worldwide
(can be waived)
Get a $750 welcome bonus when you join Sapphire Banking by September 28, 2019. Within 45 days of joining, transfer a total of $75,000 or more in qualifying new money or securities to a combination of eligible checking, savings and/or investment accounts (excludes any J.P. Morgan retirement accounts and CDs), and maintain the balance for at least 90 days.

Compare up to 4 providers

The future of Cleo

Cleo was started in London, and is still growing here in the US. In the future, the company has plans to let you send money to friends, make investments, get overdraft coverage and keep track of your credit score.

Bottom line

If you have trouble staying on top of your finances, Cleo can help. It’ll let you know if you’re sticking to your budget, have upcoming bills or can afford to go out to eat tonight. But if you’re already a pro budgeter or don’t like the idea of giving up your bank logins, this financial solution might not be a fit.


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