Pleo review – A better way to business spending

Could this smart company credit card help your business?

Updated: August 5, 2021
Pleo review - A better way to business spending
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Pleo describes itself as ‘a whole new way to manage business spending’. It promises that you’ll be free from piles of receipts, for easier tax form submissions. If you run a business, could Pleo lead you to paperless success?

First Glance

Not a bank account, but a company card, Pleo can be used for all of your business buying. It scales up, suitable for use by a sole trader or a much larger company.

With so many features, giving more control, could Pleo be your new business payment card?

Review your own bank

Read on for more information ‘at a glance’, as well as all of the information you might need to see if Pleo’s perfect for you:

Pros

  • As many cards as you need
  • Automatic transaction categorisation
  • Easy spending reports
  • Set individual spending limits for every company card
  • Scaled pricing to suit every business

Cons

  • No branches for customer support
  • You’ll still need a separate business bank account
  • You’ll need to remember to keep Pleo topped up

What is Pleo?

With Pleo, you’ll get plastic bank cards for you and every employee. There are also virtual cards for secure online spending.

Every payment made is categorised automatically. At any time, export expenses reports and see where your money is going.

You can manage your account through your web browser or download the Pleo smartphone app. Pleo’s app is available on Android and iOS devices, which means that you can stay connected using your iPhone on the go.

Pleo launched in 2015. Today, it’s used by more than 6,000 companies. The founders, Niccolo Perra and Jeppe Rindom, created Pleo with the aim of automating expenses and streamlining company spending.

A simple spending solution for your company

Pleo

Today, Pleo exists in the UK as well as Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Spain and Germany. It integrates with accounting products like Sage, Xero and Quickbooks. If employees do all of their spending through Pleo, paperwork could be a thing of the past.

Pleo’s features include a real-time dashboard that brings together all of your Pleo card spending. Receipts are matched to transactions, which are categorised straight away, and you can set spending limits to make sure you never go over budget.

Who is Pleo for?

Pleo is a spending solution specifically for businesses. With automated reports to keep track of expenses, users will find it easier to stay on top of their spending.

Sole traders can benefit from Pleo’s features to simplify their tax returns. For businesses with multiple employees, using Pleo gives everyone a spending card with an individual limit. Then, all transactions are brought together so you can see where the money’s going.

Pleo isn’t a bank. It’s not a credit card, either. Instead you’re getting prepaid Mastercards® in physical and virtual forms. As a result, Pleo is suitable for anyone. You’re not borrowing money and will need to top up your card, so you shouldn’t need to worry about your credit rating or proving that your business is successful.

Pleo is best suited to businesses that are usually juggling business credit cards, spending in various places or reimbursing employees for their spending. You will need to load money onto your account before people can spend it. Employees won’t need to use their own money, then claim their expenses back later.

Accounts are available for customers in Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Germany and the UK.

How does Pleo work?

You’ll manage your account completely online, using the app or your browser. You must top up your account, so that money can be used for spending on any Pleo card.

Different Pleo cards can have different spending limits, providing more specific control. Perhaps one employee only needs to buy a £3 meal deal each day on the go, whilst another needs the power to purchase costly technology equipment. With a Pleo card for every employee, complicated reports and reimbursed expenses should be a thing of the past.

You can start with a Pleo free trial, to see if it works for your business. For more guidance, you can also book a demo to see how the Pleo system works.

What features do you get with Pleo?

Pleo’s features are designed for business users:

Physical and Virtual Cards

You can get a physical Mastercard for each and every employee. You can also create virtual cards for your online spending. Virtual cards can be used with one supplier, so that you can track your spending. They’re also handy for security, as they can be used once and then deleted if you’re feeling particularly cautious.

Spending Limits

Set different spending limits on each card. All money comes from a central pot, but you can choose which employees will have more spending power than others. You can also set specific rights, choosing where employees can spend money.

Instant Top-Up

Top up your Pleo account instantly by bank transfer.

Spending Categorisation

Whenever someone spends money, Pleo will categorise their purchase. You can quickly see how much is being spent on fuel, on food or on stationery supplies. Receipts can be matched to individual transactions, to keep track of spending for your tax return.

Real-Time Dashboard

At any time, you can see up-to-date information using your online dashboard. See your live account balance and where your cards have recently been used.

Business Software Integration

Pleo integrates with accounting software including Xero, Quickbooks, Sage, and a variety of other products for time and money management.

pleo dashboard
The Pleo desktop dashboard

What packages does Pleo offer?

There are three different Pleo packages.

The Essential account costs £6 per user, per month. Small businesses will pay a lot less than larger corporations, with a price that scales to make it fair for everyone. With the Essential package, you get physical and virtual cards, transaction categories, software integration and advanced fraud protection. You can use the Essential package for a maximum of five people.

For £10 per person, the Pro account provides access to spending controls. You get advanced analytics and reporting, as well as the option to give your bookkeeper read-only access to your records.

For Premium status, you’ll have to talk to Pleo for an individual quote. With this you’ll have a dedicated account manager, Pleo training at your business and a custom onboarding experience. You also have the option to pay a little more for AXA business travel insurance.

Are there any additional charges?

If you want more than one Pleo card per person, they will cost an extra £10 each.

You will be charged 2% for foreign exchanges and £4 for each ATM withdrawal.

Charges, including your monthly subscription, are taken from your Pleo balance.

How safe is Pleo?

Though Pleo is not a bank account, it claims to offer bank-level security. Funds are held in a regulated ring-fenced account, rather than with Pleo themselves. Your money will be kept with Danske Bank or JP Morgan. There’s also advanced fraud protection to highlight unusual spending.

Using the app or your web browser, you can block any card at any time. You will also be protected by Mastercard’s Zero Liability Policy, which will allow you to claim money back if a loss isn’t your fault.

What about customer service?

You’ll do all of your management online. There are no physical branches, and you’ll need to use your browser or a smartphone app to keep on top of your spending.

You can email [email protected], or speak to an advisor using Pleo’s live chat on their website.

If you’re a Premium user, you will have access to a dedicated account manager. This is the best way to get high-level service whenever your business might need it.

Can Pleo replace your everyday business bank account?

Pleo isn’t a replacement for your business account. It’s not a bank account, but a way to manage spending using prepaid cards for employees.

You’ll need to top up your account using a separate business bank account. The money is then centrally held so that you can use any Pleo card.

If you’re looking for a way to track business expenses, this could be a great way to do it. Your transactions will be put into categories, and Pleo will generate automatic expenditure reports.

If you have employees that need to make business purchases, each can have their own card. You won’t need to spend time validating expenses, checking receipts and refunding money.

To use Pleo, you will still need a separate business account. Your customers and clients can’t pay into Pleo, and you’ll have money to manage elsewhere.

Remember that Pleo comes with ATM withdrawal fees, and that there are no Pleo branches.

Pleo: The Verdict

For businesses, having Pleo could save time and effort. Businesses can track their expenses, save time on reports and avoid huge files of papers and receipts.

As Pleo isn’t a business bank account, it is very widely available. Your financial history won’t come into play when you apply for an account. You can manage Pleo using your smartphone, but also online with a web browser that may be easier to use.

There are no physical Pleo branches or offices that you can visit. You’re also discouraged from using the phone to speak to their team. If you’re going to sign up, you must be prepared to use live chat and email support.

One of the best things about Pleo is that the price scales up. Small businesses can start on an affordable package, without paying for features they won’t need. Larger businesses can pay a little more, though the price is still based on the number of users to keep it very fair for all customers.

The goal of Pleo is to track all expenses and see what your money is spent on. Therefore, it’s understandable that a £4 fee applies to any ATM withdrawal. If you’re doing business abroad, you should also be aware of the charges for foreign exchange.

You can use virtual cards for secure online spending, but will also get a Mastercard for each employee to use. These are widely accepted, wherever Mastercard Debit can be used.

Pleo is not a replacement for your business bank account. But, it does make it easier to manage spending in various places. It could be a very valuable extra, for those that would like to save time. Yet, it’s still worth finding the best business bank account before you think of signing up for Pleo.

Pleo FAQ

Running a business can be full of challenges. Not only do you have to manage the day-to-day operations, but you also have to think about paperwork, employees, and finances. Pleo is a service that aims to take some of the pressure off the finance side of things, offering company credit cards with built-in automation. We take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about the company and its services in our Pleo FAQs.

Are there any Pleo branches?

No, there are no Pleo branches. You must top up your account online and will need to email Pleo for customer service enquiries.

Can clients pay into a Pleo account?

Pleo isn’t a bank account and isn’t intended for incoming payments. You can top up your account to spend from it but will need a separate bank account for any customer payments.

Will I earn interest on money held in Pleo?

You won’t earn interest on the money that you keep within Pleo. It’s important to maintain it with plenty of money to cover day-to-day business spending, but don’t add too much as you may earn interest by keeping spare money elsewhere.

Does Pleo offer loans or overdrafts?

Pleo does not offer any form of credit. You will need to top up your Pleo account before you can spend on your cards.

Where are Pleo cards accepted?

You’ll receive a Mastercard for each user. This prepaid debit card can be used wherever Mastercard is accepted. You can use your card overseas and in the UK. Pleo also offers virtual cards, to be used online for more secure spending.

Is it free to put money into Pleo accounts?

Yes. You can transfer money into Pleo without any charges or fees.

How much can I withdraw from an ATM?

You can make up to five withdrawals a day. The maximum withdrawal limit is £365. You will be charged £4 for each ATM withdrawal.

Can a Pleo card be shared?

Pleo cards should not be shared and are intended for one person each. You’ll need a card for each employee that you want to give spending power to. This allows you to keep track of all transactions.

What if I don’t set a spending limit?

If you don’t set a spending limit, each Pleo card will automatically default to a limit of £18.25 per day. It’s very important to change this manually if you’d like to give employees more spending power. You will also need to ensure that your Pleo account remains topped up to cover all spending – money can’t be automatically taken from your business bank account.

What is Pleo?

Pleo is a service that offers companies a new way of managing their expenses. With a Pleo prepaid Mastercard, employees can make work purchases and transactions, while account managers still have control of spending. With the addition of automated features, reports, and bookkeeping, it’s a unique way of managing business finance. Those with accounts get access to both virtual and physical Mastercards that can be used around the world.

The company launched back in 2015 with headquarters in Copenhagen and London. Since then, the team and the service have grown, offering all kinds of incentives for businesses to join up.

What features does it have?

There are several unique features that make Pleo stand out from traditional corporate credit cards. For those looking for a fast sign up and plenty of flexibility, there are a few that stand out:

  • No paperwork. You can get set up with an account and start onboarding employees with minimal fuss in a quick and simple way.
  • Automated reports. You’ll get expense reports that automatically match receipts with purchases.
  • Instant access. Once you’ve set up your account, you can set up and start using your virtual card almost instantly. Physical cards can be ordered with just a few clicks.
  • Ultimate control. You can manage cards individually, allowing you to limit who has access to what.
  • Instant notifications. You’ll get real-time data on company spending as it happens.

How much does it cost?

There are three pricing tiers for Pleo’s service, each designed for different sizes of companies. The Essential tier gives you the basics of the service, giving you everything you need to get started. It costs £6 per month and gives access to 5 users. The Pro tier is £10 per month per user but gives enhanced flexibility and insights.

There is also a Premium tier, which is designed around enterprises and larger teams. Pleo doesn’t have details about how much this one costs, instead basing it on a case by case basis. There are no upfront costs or long-term commitments for any tier.

Are there additional fees?

There are few extra fees worth knowing about, although Pleo is upfront about what they charge for various services. On top of the monthly subscription, you’ll also pay:

  • 2% for foreign exchange transactions
  • £10 for every additional physical Pleo card
  • £4 for ATM withdrawals
  • £25 for customer refunds

These prices are given excluding VAT.

How does Pleo work?

After signing up for an account, you’ll have access to both a physical and virtual Mastercard. These cards work just like any other debit card, either by chip and pin or contactless. You can purchase goods and services using funds that you can add into your Pleo account.

After a purchase is made, the user can capture details of the receipt using the Pleo app. This receipt is then automatically added to an expenses report, which takes into account a variety of factors, including previous behaviour.

Where is Pleo available?

Pleo currently operates in a variety of companies in Europe. This includes the United Kingdom, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, and Germany. The company plans on adding further locations in the future.

Where can I use my Pleo card?

Because Pleo uses the Mastercard service, you can use the card anywhere there is a Mastercard Acceptance Mark. There are over 30 million locations worldwide, as well as plenty of online stores, that accept Mastercard. So, even if you’ve registered in one country, you can use the card around the world. Just keep in mind that there is a 2% fee for transactions in other currencies.

Is Pleo safe?

There are a few safety measures in place when it comes to using Pleo. Firstly, the company is regulated by the Electronic Money Institution and authorised by the Financial Supervisory Authority in Denmark. The card itself is issued under a license from Mastercard International Incorporated.

When it comes to fraud, all purchases you make are monitored by a fraud detection algorithm. If suspicious activity is spotted, you will be notified, and your card will be temporarily blocked. You can re-enable your card (or block it manually) via the app. Pleo also uses bank-level data encryption, meaning your personal data and password are protected.

How can I add funds to my Pleo card?

To use your Pleo Mastercard, you’ll need to add funds to your Pleo account. You can easily do so using the app. You’ll have to wire the money into the account from an existing bank account. You cannot pay cash into your Pleo account.  

Where are the funds held?

When you pay money into your Pleo account, the funds are held in a segregated account with either Danske Bank or JP Morgan. These two are both Systemically Important Financial Institutions, meaning your money is always safe.

Funds are held in compliance with EU law, which means that they are always your property. If anything happens to Pleo, your funds are still protected.

Can I connect Pleo to my accounting software?

Yes, Pleo works with just about every accounting system, one way or another. For those using Xero and e-conomic, you can directly integrate Pleo. For other accounting software, you can export a customised CSV which generally works well.

Once set up, you won’t have to worry about creating your own expense reports. When using your Pleo card, the app will categorise expenses and create an automated report.

Matt Crabtree
Matt Crabtree
Hi, I'm Matt and I'm an author here at CompareBanks. I write about a range of topics including UK bank stories and the latest news in the banking world. If you'd like to get in touch, feel free to send me an email using the link in my bio.

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