Today’s post is a review of the National Consumer Panel, also known as NCP. National Consumer Panel is a joint venture between IRI and the Nielsen company, who you may remember from their Nielsen TV ratings boxes. This service pays its users to simply scan the barcodes of items they’ve bought and record their prices.
Users, called “Panelists,” are also encouraged to scan their receipts to earn further rewards.
Nielsen takes all this data and uses it to let companies know how visible their products are, how much people are buying, and how much people stick to specific brands.
But is it worth the effort?
Read on to find out.
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How to Become a National Consumer Panel Member
So, unlike other similar survey sites and apps, the NCP doesn’t accept everyone who signs up. They are very exclusive. They only accept new members when they have new openings for new panelists.
Here’s how the process works:
- To sign up, go to this page and fill out the registration form.
- Once you are done with the signup process, the company will review your information. Then, whenever there is an opening on the panel for a household that matches your demographic profile, the company will contact you letting you know you’ve been selected to be a panelist.
This isn’t great especially if you are trying to start making some extra cash right away (there are better ways if you need money right now!). That said, you can always sign up and just move on with your life. If they select you, great. If not, you lost nothing but a minute of your time filling out the signup form.
Features of National Consumer Panel
There are two main features of this service that allow you to make money.
- App: First is the app, which allows you to earn money by scanning your receipts and the bar codes of items you’ve purchased. You can scan receipts from literally any store as long as the name of the store is on the receipt. The app is available to both iOS and Android users.
- Survey: The second main feature is the survey section. You take surveys to earn more points for their point system. After you buy something, there is a chance you’ll receive a survey about that product.
While it isn’t certain that you’ll always get a survey, these are actually pretty nice ways to earn extra points. The surveys themselves are quite short so it’s usually worth the money.
Other features the app has are sweepstakes and special panels. Each receipt you scan counts as an entry into their monthly giveaway. The panels occur infrequently but are usually worth the effort to join. They also have a quarterly $5,000 cash giveaway for members to join.
How Do You Earn Points on NCP?
In order to understand how to make money with this app, it’s important to break down how their point system works.
You get 50 points per receipt, with a maximum of 500 earned per week. This means you need to submit ten receipts a week to reach the maximum.
The minimum payout is 5000 points, which is worth $5.00. However, if you wait to cash out for bigger amounts, they will cost fewer points. This means you actually make more money per point by saving your points for the $25 reward than the $5.
Here’s a helpful breakdown of their rewards to review:
- $5 for 5,000 points is $0.05 per receipt
- $10 for 9,000 points is $0.0556 per receipt
- $25 for 21,000 points is $0.0595 per receipt
- $50 for 41,000 points is $0.061 per receipt
As you can see, you do make more money by saving up your points. However, the downside is that it takes much longer to earn all those points.
Keeping in mind that you can only get 500 points a week and that there are 52 weeks in a year, you can earn 26,000 points a year. This means you can earn about $25 a year from this service.
Some requirements they have about the receipts you submit are:
- Each receipt must include the business name, date, and total amount spent
- You can only submit a maximum of 10 receipts per week
- The receipts can’t be older than 14 days
National Consumer Panel Alternatives
One of my favorite things about these types of services is that they are very easy to do all at once.
One receipt can be scanned by dozens of other services so you can earn multiple rewards.
Some similar apps to National Consumer Panel are:
- Ibotta (our review)
- Checkout51 (our review)
- SavingStar (our review)
- Shopkick (our review)
- Fetch Rewards (our review)
- ReceiptPal (our review)
- Receipt Hog (our review)
And if you are looking for similar survey sites, here are a few survey panels like the NCP (that you can earn money with faster!).
- PineCone Research
- Opinion Outpost
- Harris Poll Online
For more details and a much bigger list of legit survey sites that pay, check out this list.
NCP Reviews & Ratings
Perhaps, for this service designed to draw in what people think about other products, it would be best to draw together what people think about the service itself.
Here are a few National Consumer Panel reviews on Reddit:
“I did this for a short while. It is legitimate. To me, it wasn’t worth the time I spent scanning to get the rewards they offered. Also, you have to scan something every week or you can get removed from the program,” said a Reddit reviewer.
“I’ve gotten three $15 AMEX gift cards during some special promotion but I haven’t cashed my points in yet. I’ve been a member for 4 months or so and I almost have enough for $25 on iTunes,” said a Reddit user.
The Nielsen company, as a surprise to no one, is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. They have an A+ rating, meaning it operates transparently and maintains a good complaint history, among other things.
So, is National Consumer Panel Worth It?
Keeping all of this in mind, I would say that the National Consumer Panel is legit but probably not the best service out there IF you’re looking for apps and sites that you can make money with quickly.
That’s not to say that the National Consumer Panel is a scam. Not at all! It’s just that the payout takes a lot longer than most other receipt scanning apps, to the point that you aren’t really making that much money in a year.
However, if you plan on using this service along with other receipt apps, it is probably worth the effort. This is especially true when you consider the many rewards you can earn from their giveaways, including that $5,000 sweepstakes.
Either way, I hope my National Consumer Panel review has given you all the information you need to decide whether or not it’s worth your time.