Millions of us have credit cards – and sadly, many of us find it tricky to keep track of fees, interest and when payments are actually due! With all the best intentions in the world, it’s really easy to get swept behind. Thankfully, Cardeo – a brilliant new card management app for the UK with a clever AI twist – is here to help make managing your money that bit easier.
I’ve been given the chance to write a Cardeo review hands-on – and in short, I’m impressed. While banks and card issuers are seemingly doing more to help people manage their money, there’s still a lot to be desired. So – what is it that Cardeo does, and how could it help you destress from debt?
- Cardeo is a user-friendly app that’s quick to load and smooth to flip through at your convenience.
- Using minimal data, it’s extremely easy to add your own cards and search for lower interest rate loans to consolidate your credit card debt.
- Encrypted Open Banking technology helps you consolidate cards from all UK providers.
- Cardeo’s spending management service is simple, yet easy to visualise – it beats keeping paper receipts!
- It’s completely free to use.
- You can set repayment targets or rely on the app to set schedules that benefit your regular spending demands.
What is Cardeo?
Cardeo is a credit card management app that’s designed to help users keep track of spending and easily balance when they pay fees back. The app is available for both iOS and Android, and it’s absolutely free to download and use.
After you enter a few details (your name and address), you’ll get the chance to add cards to your profile that you’d like to track. You can add multiple different credit cards from UK providers, with the view to easily managing your money from one single platform.
Cardeo is designed around AI – with a few details, the app will work out the quickest and least expensive routes for you to pay off credit card debt, and to make sure you don’t miss any monthly payments.
The Cardeo team roots the app in Open Banking, which means they can easily retrieve your financial data with the promise that your information is fully encrypted. Therefore, your money’s safe, and it won’t affect your credit score to get started.
Now you know a little bit about how Cardeo works and what it stands for, let’s tap into how the app works in practice.
Ease of use
What’s immediately striking about Cardeo is that it’s refreshingly simple. I’ve used various banking and investment apps over the years and some are better than others at presenting information in an intuitive way. I like the fact that Cardeo presents five different options – dashboard, plan, loams, deals and spending – cleanly at the bottom of the app screen.
Cardeo also seems to load much quicker than many of its competitors. The brand states that they use impressive technology but deliver a simple service – and that shines through. If you want to add cards to your dashboard, jump to the panel on the furthest left, and if you want to track your spending, head to the panel on the furthest right.
The stripped-back visuals may not appeal to everyone, but I think they go a long way to deliver a straightforward app that doesn’t over-stretch itself.
As mentioned, the hub of Cardeo is the dashboard, which is where you’ll be able to add your cards. You’ll be able to manage your total balance across all the cards you add here, meaning you have an instant, consolidated figure to work with – saving you a bit of time on the calculator, at least.
Secondly, the ‘spending’ section of the app goes a little deeper than most features – where you can see your transactions across all your cards and keep track of where you may be spending ‘invisibly’ (e.g., if you’re still paying for a Netflix account you simply don’t use).
You can track spending on all your cards for up to three months, which is impressive – but I’d appreciate a longer filter if possible.
The ‘Plans’ section of the app was in beta testing when I reviewed Cardeo, but it’s clear to see what its intentions are. It’s here where you’ll be able to set up a repayment plan for your debt that fits your short and long term goals.
For example, you can choose the ‘cover minimum payments’ plan to create a schedule that lets you minimize your payments while ensuring your creditors get the bare minimum to ensure your credit score is not affected. While this can work in a pinch, my moto for myself and my recommendation for my readers, is to always pay off your credit card debt as quickly as possible.
The ‘save money overall’ plan is tailored to getting you out of debt faster while effectively reducing your interest premiums. If you can’t pay off your credit card balance in one shot, this is my suggested option as it helps you become debt free faster!
This is all possible through the power of AI – which is impressive in and of itself. This means you don’t have to worry about number crunching, instead simply letting Cardeo work its magic to analyse a schedule that supports your financial needs.
The ‘loans’ section is Cardeo’s middlemost tab, which lets you search for finance to help pay off your cards, or to plan for a major purchase. The aim here is to help you cut costs – Cardeo will suggest loan options instead of letting you rely on credit cards where possible.
You can also use Cardeo’s loan calculator, which allows you to work out monthly payments and interests based on a few borrowing specifics (such as amount and interest expected). This feature alone is a great little widget that can really help you visualise your money.
Finally, there’s a ‘deals’ section where you can find money off entertainment, insurance, travel and work expenses. It works a little similar to Groupon, but is stripped-back to the point where you can easily browse available offers in a matter of seconds.
This section of the app works wonderfully from an accessibility perspective, but I’d like there to be a search function in future releases. For now, it’s great for finding quick free trials and money off on popular services.
Cardeo’s commitment to data pooling through Open Banking and encrypting your financial data means this is amongst the safest banking apps on the market.
Adding cards won’t have detrimental effects on your credit rating, and the providers store your data with leading security standards in mind.
If you do wish to remove your cards at any time, of course, you can. Cardeo lets you scale your banking options up and down whenever you wish, making it nice and easy to shrink your app portfolio if you want to.
Does Cardeo actually work?
Cardeo is still in its infancy at the time of writing this review, but I love the technology and setup. By using notifications, it’s really easy to keep tabs on what you’re spending, from where, and how you can cut back to reduce interest fees.
Cardeo does a lot of different things with a very minimalist approach – which can be tricky to balance. However, it’s replete with enough information and reassurance to provide you with plenty of confidence.
The iOS build of the Cardeo app is robust and super-quick to load, even with financial data entered in. I experienced no problems with installing or using the app during testing, which is more to the designers’ credit (given this is the first public beta)!
Cardeo, ultimately, will only work if you’re willing to give it time and effort. If you’re serious about balancing your credit cards and want to get out of debt quickly, it’ll help. However, you’ll need to commit to the changes it suggests – it won’t do all the hard work for you!
I like the fact that you can change your payment plan and profile as you go. You’re never tied into any subscriptions or services you don’t feel uncomfortable with. It’s essentially a simple yet sophisticated version of budget planner sheets you may find online.
That’s immediately appealing to me – I don’t want to spend hours muddling through spreadsheets! I’d bet that most other credit card users in the UK don’t, either.
Cardeo goes a long way to try and make money easier to understand. I don’t think there’s a simpler way of breaking this all down – honestly!
Cardeo is an app that’s showing a lot of promise. Given that credit finance is tricky enough to manage, it’s going to support a lot of people who have cards but don’t know how to balance them.
The fact Cardeo tries to offer you ways to manage your cards and loans while teaching you how interest works is really fascinating. I think it’s a brilliant tool for young people taking out credit for the first time, but it’ll appeal to anyone who’s au fait with smartphone apps.
I think the app has a few areas where it could go more in-depth (such as with a search function for deals), but that risks overloading the interface.
As such, Cardeo is a nicely-presented, super-accessible app that takes you through the intricacies of managing credit card debt without dumbing it down completely. The AI-based planning system is also superb for those of us who don’t want to juggle spreadsheet after spreadsheet!