Apps Like Cleo – 9 Best Options To Choose From

My cash, like many others, has a way of coaxing itself out of my wallet. My wallet is empty, and that’s when it stops being subtle. Cleo is a money-management app that helps me avoid knee-jerk spending. It’s not the only one, there are many apps like Cleo.

Cleo is an app that uses different methods to change spending habits. The most popular alternatives are NudgeGlobal and, CashApp, MoneyLion. There are many options for saving, budgeting, and cashback. Some use low-level AI.

We’ll introduce Cleo to help you get used to these apps. The benchmark will help us compare the contenders.

What is Cleo?

What is Cleo

Cleo is an Android and iOS budgeting app. It is named after an octopus, and its tentacles can be found all over your spending habits to make them more thrifty. It follows a freemium approach, with most functionality available for free and premium features costing $5 per month.

Cleo has a chatbot named “Cleo,” which is a play on the name of Siri. It’s a chatbot that acts like Siri but with more attitude. Cleo can describe users’ behaviour and interact with them as their financial lives unfold. Cleo is a financial guardian angel who monitors the credit and debit balances of users’ accounts, sending out sarcastic prompts along the way.

What Does Cleo Do?

What Does Cleo Do

After downloading the mobile app, Cleo will prompt you to link your bank account via the Plaid platform. Cleo AI can analyze your savings, spending, and deposit data without accessing any personal information.

The app is available for Android and ios and analyzes your bank activity to determine if you are eligible for an advance. If you accept the passage, the advance amount will automatically be deducted from your next direct payment. For first-time borrowers, you can get up to $70. There are no interest fees. You will pay $4 for an express advance, while regular ACH transfers are free.

You must upgrade to the paid version to accept cash advances. The monthly cost for the paid version is $5.99

The Cleo Experience

The Cleo Experience

It’s worth visiting the Cleo website before downloading the app. Is this your favourite website? This website is a throwback to early web surfing days. The cursor transforms into a pizza slice when you hover over a link. You are greeted by a header reading “A Money App That Doesn’t matter Sucker” and artwork of two octopus tentacles. One is holding a fountain drink; the other has an ornament made from dollar signs.

After you have downloaded the app and created an account, the CleoAI will greet you. Cleora is designed to feel just like texting with friends. Cleo, as previously mentioned, uses slang and emojis. She also has a “sassy” attitude.

The questions you’ll be asked include whether you would like to examine your spending and if you need budgeting assistance. You will also be asked if your opinion is weighed on your spending habits.

  • The art of throwing the goat can indicate the excited mode.
  • The roast mode can be characterized by the art of a hand flipping off. (Yes. That is correct.

Cleo will tell a request for an advance that you must upgrade to the paid version of your account if you want to ask for one. Cleo will then tell you whether you qualify for an advance before paying for it. You won’t know how much advance you can get because there is always a catch.

These Are Some Of The Top Apps Like Cleo.

Cleo is not the only cash advance app. There are many competitors in the fintech industry. These are the ones we love:


  • Up to $250 Cash Advance
  • Credit Check: No
  • Fees Slight “convenience” fee to expedite loan deposits
  • Other services include Banking and investing and balance monitoring.
  • Perks –Cashback on Purchases Made With the Albert Debit Card, Bill Negotiation
  • Pro plan:$6-16, depending on how much you choose to pay.


  • Up to $250 Cash Advance
  • Credit Check: No
  • No late fees or interest charges
  • Get free services with your plan: Financial advice and insights and a platform for finding ways to make extra money.
  • Pro plan services: Free Plan stuff as well credit building, identity protection, instant deposits and automatic advances, flexible repayment options, and credit construction
  • Perks Not really
  • Pro Plan: $9.99/month


  • Up to $200 Cash Advance
  • Credit Check: No
  • Membership Fees:$1/month
  • Other services Banking, budgeting assistance, goal setting, balance monitoring
  • Perks: Banking Members get free access to Level Credit. This reports your rent payments to credit bureaus.
  • Pro plan: No offer


  • Cash Advance amount: Up to $100 per day or $500 per Pay Period
  • Credit Check: No
  • Fees Users who choose Lightning Speed Advances will pay a small fee. There is no information about the cost.
  • Other services balance Shield (early access/money the day you earn it), Cash Out, and Earnin’ Express. Finance tools, savings tools.
  • PerksBalanceShield (it’s a fantastic service, so it gets included here), low balance tool
  • Earnin does not appear to offer one.

Empower Cash Advance

Empower Cash Advance
  • Cash Advance amount: up to $250
  • Credit Check: No
  • Fees $8/month Membership Fee, $3 to have an advance deposited in an external bank account
  • Other services Banking
  • Perks: Cash Back when you use the Empower debit card
  • Pro plan: Empower does not appear to offer one.


  • Cash Advance amount: up to $50
  • Credit Check: No
  • Membership Fees:$1.99/month
  • Other services Financial insights
  • Perks: None
  • Pro plan: No


  • Up to $100 Cash Advance
  • Credit Check: Nope
  • Fees None
  • Other ServicesNone
  • Perks: None
  • Pro plan: $2.49/month for Klover+


  • Up to $250 Instacash Advances
  • Credit Check: Not For Instacash Users
  • Fees A small fee is charged for “Turbo,” based on the amount paid in advance.
  • Other services include banking and credit building, investing, crypto, and financial planning.
  • Perks: Cashback Rewards, Safety Net, Financial Tracking
  • Pro plan:$19.99 to HTML19.99, depending on the services you use.

Possible Finance

Possible Finance
  • Possible’s “cash advances” are similar to small-dollar installment loans for borrowers who have bad credit. They allow you to borrow more money and don’t need to be repaid in full until your next payday. The fees are much higher than other options.
    • Cash Advance amount for Up to $500
    • Credit Check: Yes
    • FeesAvailable between $10-$25 for $100 borrowed, depending upon the state where you live.
    • Other services done
    • Perks: None
    • Pro plan: None

Cleo’s pros and cons

Cleo's pros and cons

Cleo seems to be a decent app overall:

MoneyCrashers awards Cleo three stars out of a possible five.

TrustPilot scores Cleo as 3.8 out of 5. It has been rated five stars by 81% of its reviewers.

But, should you? To help you decide, here’s a list of pros and cons.


  • This tool can be used to help you set goals and budgets.
  • This tool will help you avoid overspending.
  • Cashback rewards when you shop via the app
  • Automated saving
  • If you have the premium plan, you can get payday advances.
  • Privacy protections: The app does not see your bank information.


  • AI-powered — Not everyone’s cup of tea
  • FDIC does not insure this property
  • A wallet doesn’t earn interest.
  • The premium plan costs $5.99 per month, making it difficult to pay.
  • No assistance in investing
  • There is no free savings account.

Apps For Online Banking

Online banking apps are also a great way to get cash advances. Many of these apps allow you to make direct deposits as soon as possible. Many offer gap loans to keep your account in good standing from one paycheck to another.

There are many online banking apps available. These are the two we trust most.


  • You have probably seen commercials for Chime. It is marketed as banking for millennials, easy to use and convenient, with 25-40somethings’ needs in the forefront.
  • Chime offers savings and spending accounts. Chime account holders receive a Visa Debit Card, which can be used at any in-network ATMs. You can access your paycheck’s funds for up to two days after the deposit arrives if you have qualified direct deposits. It’s pretty standard stuff.
  • The “SpotMe” program is what makes Chime so unique. SpotMe is a safety net that keeps you from spending too much on your spending account.
  • Suppose you purchase something for $50, but you have only $30 in your spending account. SpotMe will pay $20 to cover any overdraft fees. SpotMe funds are $40 for customers who qualify. As they establish a track record of consistent repayments, this amount can increase to $200 overtime.
  • SpotMe requires that you have a Chime account with direct deposit and that the assurance comes from a “qualifying depositor.” Unfortunately, PayPal transfers don’t meet this requirement, so freelancers will need to use one of the cash advances apps compatible with Chime.



Varo, one of Chime’s most popular competitors, is also available. It offers both a savings and checking account, just like Chime. These accounts are free and do not require any fees. Varo offers mobile bank deposits, allowing users to deposit cash at Green Dot locations such as Walgreens and 7-11.

Varo also offers a credit-building program that includes a “credit card” to its customers. You can read more about Varo Believe.

The Varo Advance program is the best. You can get a cash advance if your account balance is too low or your income is insufficient to pay all your expenses. Advances over $50 will incur a small fee, but the maximum cost is $5 per $100. Repayment terms are flexible too. As long as the advance is fully paid within 30 calendar days, you can repay it as much as you like.

Apps For Cash advances sponsored by employers

Employers may allow employees to receive advances on their Pay. These employers can facilitate advances by partnering with companies such as:

  • Even Instapay
  • Branch
  • Amazon Anytime Pay
  • Axos Bank Direct Deposit Express
  • Flexwage
  • Daily Pay
  • PayActiv

These cash advance apps can also be paired with companies such as Uber and DoorDash, so that gig workers have a faster way to get their money. But what is the downside? The drawback?

Peer-to-peer loan apps

A peer-to-peer lending platform is another way to bridge the gap between paydays. These apps do exactly what they sound. Users can request money. Other users fund these requests.

Many of these apps promise large loans “even with poor credit.” However, many of them are predatory lenders. These are the top three P2P lending apps that we love.

What are the cash advance apps?

A cash advance works by connecting to your bank account. They use your bank history to determine if you are eligible for loans/advances. The funds will be deposited within 2-3 business days if you qualify. You can pay a fee to have the money expedited. You can pay a small fee for expedited delivery or have payments automatically deducted from your next deposit.

This may sound familiar. Payday loans are very similar to cash advance apps. Cash advance apps are not predatory, but that’s the difference. They won’t keep you in a cycle of debt.

They offer smaller loans, usually between $100 and $500. They also charge fewer fees. Others don’t charge any fees!


Many cash advance apps ask users to tip the app in a way that “thanks” them for their service. These tips are optional. Tipping is not required. Apps might suggest a tip amount. This amount should be carefully considered. Although it may seem reasonable, it could be the equivalent of a 300% APR. To determine how much you should tip, an APR calculator will help you. An example: A 36% APR for $100 would cost just $1.50.

Tipping is fair and a reasonable price to pay to get emergency cash compared to other options. You have control over the amount. Cash advance apps can convince you to spend more by promising that a portion of your trip will be donated to charity. This is easy to do and sends in a higher tip than you can afford.

The truth is that you can donate directly to charities. It doesn’t matter if you do it through third-party organizations. You can also donate directly to the charity and know that 100% of your donation goes now to the charity.

Why Is Cleo better For Payday Loans Than Loan Apps?

Apps like Cleo are more convenient than payday loans. They are easier to use. They allow you to access funds directly from your smartphone. They have lower fees. These apps rarely charge interest. Many of these apps offer financial planning and budgeting assistance and other perks. If you can’t pay the loan back by your next payday, there are several options available. This will ensure that you don’t fall into the payday loan debt trap. More than 90% of borrowers of payday loans end up regretting their payday loans. Don’t be one among them.

What You Should Look For In An App That Offers Cash Advances Like Cleo

There are many cash advance apps available. How can you choose which one is worth your time? These are the criteria you should consider when looking for cash advance apps.

Limits On Borrowing

The majority of apps limit borrowing to a low level. The most common limit is $250. However, some apps will lend up to $500.

Good apps will help you build a strong reputation with your company. You’ll be given a small amount to get you started. Your limit will rise as you repay your advances in due time.

Turnaround Time

It is unlikely that you will find an app that will instantly fund your loan request. You can expect that the deposit will take several days to appear.

Apps that offer quicker funding may be available in return for a small fee. The fees vary from one app to the next.


A cash advance app will rarely charge you a fee for the advance unless you have immediate needs. Instead, these apps will offer additional services in return for you signing up for a monthly subscription.

Cleo requires that users sign up for its monthly membership to approve advance requests. The monthly membership fee is $5.99.


It takes little more than a pulse for most cash advance applications to be approved, just like payday loans. You will likely be eligible if you are a legal adult, a U.S. citizen, have a bank account, and are employed. Some apps have reduced the age requirement to 16 (instead of 18).

Additional features

What other services can the app offer? Is the app able to help you set up and stick to a budget? It will monitor your account and notify you if it is low. Is it able to open savings and checking accounts? It can help you improve your credit score. Although you may not believe that you need all-in-one apps, it is helpful!


I don’t believe any app promises you the moon. It’s not always possible to deliver. You should read reviews about each app that you are considering using. Learn about the experiences of other users. Trustpilot, the app store, and others. These are great resources for user reviews. The Better Business Bureau has more information about the app’s developer.

The bottom line

Cash-advance applications can be a great way to get out of financial trouble. Cash advances are not the long-term solution to your financial problems. These cash advances are only intended to solve your financial issues temporarily. The app’s financial advice and budgeting tools can be helpful if you are dealing with long-term economic issues.

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