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Panel App Review: Scam or Easy Cash?

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If you open up the Google Play and/or iTunes app and search for ways to make money, you will find that there are a ton of ways to do so.

One app, in particular, the “Panel App,” pops up as one of the highest-rated prizes and rewards app.  As I write this, they have more than one million downloads with a solid 4.5 out of 5 rating. They claim that you can earn points in sharing your location, in which you can eventually cash out for prizes, rewards and gift cards.  More on this later.

While most of these apps are scams and/or not worth your time, it’s hard to determine which app is actually worth your time.

This is where I can help.  

As with all of my reviews, I sign up, and I test it out for a while to report back as to whether or not it’s worth your time.

If you’re thinking about downloading the Panel App, then sit back and see how it works.   I will talk about the many things you can do as well as if it’s actually worth your time.

Let’s begin!

Panel App Review

What is the Panel App?

As with all of my reviews, I first want to dive in and see what the company is about.  Usually, looking into a company’s history can say a lot about who you’re working with.

According to the official app, the Panel app will reward you to take surveys as well as keeping your app active, in which you can earn points to eventually cash out for a variety of prizes.  In short, your surveys will relate to where you take your phone.

It’s 100% free and will never cost you a cent.   Don’t worry!  I will talk about this in-depth as the review goes on.

The app is part of a company known as Placed, which is powered by Foursquare, a local search-and-discovery mobile app with more than 50 million users.  The company is said to be the leader in location analytics, “directly measuring locations through smartphones and leveraging big data principles.”  Aside from operating the Panel app, they also run the Give2Charity and Frequent Flyer app, both of which are not nearly as popular as the Panel app I’m reviewing now.



Signing Up

To start using the app, you will first be asked to acknowledge the terms.  When you sign up, it specifically states, “This app collects location and device data in the background in exchange for points.  It also collects your phone number and a list of installed apps.  By tapping accept, you acknowledge the terms.”   Just let it be known that you will have to give permission in order for the app to track your whereabouts and send you surveys in regards to where you have been.  Some people are okay with this, while others don’t like the idea.  There’s no right or wrong answer here, so it’s really up to you whether or no it’s worth signing up for.

After you agree to the terms, you are then asked to create a profile, which will look something like this…

In creating your profile, the app will reward you with a quick 100 bonus points, which is equal to about $0.10 in value.  Later on, I will talk about the points and its value.

As with any research company, it’s important to fill out this profile as they will be able to match you up with surveys based on your demographics.  This can be said with any survey app/website.

This process will take you less than a minute to complete.

Your Dashboard

After downloading the app and signing up, you can then access your dashboard, which will look like this at first…

On this dashboard, you can redeem your points, begin a survey or even check out your most recent activity.  You can also check your balance, which, as you can see, takes up most of your screen. I will talk about each subsection below, don’t worry!

When I took the first survey, it took all of maybe one minute.  After I was done, I was asked to create a profile so that I could redeem my prizes and recover my points in case I change phones.  It’s important to do this as well because you would hate to see your points go to waste!

For now, let it be known that the app is very easy to use as there’s not much to it.  From playing around with it, most of your points will rely in the surveys.

Below, I break down each section as to what you can do as well as how you can earn points.

Surveys

First, let’s begin with the most important part of the app — taking surveys.

When you first sign up, they will ask you to take part in your first survey.  In this survey, it’s much like a demographic survey so that they can connect you to surveys in the future.  Like all survey apps/websites, it’s so important that you fill it out so that researchers can learn more about you.  Almost all of your surveys will be based on your location history as well as your most recent visits.

The number of surveys you receive will depend on where you take your phone.  So, for example, if you visited a fast food joint, they may ask you about that most recent visit.  If you don’t go anywhere, you may find that you won’t receive any invites.

After that, you will want to continue to log in and/or pay attention to your notifications so that you don’t miss out on any survey opportunities.

So, how many surveys should you expect?

This is highly dependent upon your usage with the app as well as your demographics, but you can expect anywhere from one to three+ surveys a week, sometimes more, sometimes less.

For instance, if you travel a lot and find yourself at a lot of places outside of your home, you would receive a lot more surveys than someone who just stays at home.

The more you travel, the more you can benefit from the app.

Activity

As the name implies, the activity tab will just show you what you made for the past seven days as well as how you made your points.

As you can see, you can make your points from surveys, your location and/or via referrals.  You can also see how many points you made for every day in the past week.

I don’t see much value in the activity tab, but it could be a nice way to keep track of your points or even try to beat the day prior if that’s your goal.

Referrals

Your last tab on your app, the referrals tab, allows you to refer your friends and make a portion of what they make.

According to the app, you can refer a friend and “earn a portion of their daily location points.”  The more people you refer, the faster you can gain points.

On this tab, you can see your current rank, the number of points you earned from your referrals as well as how many referrals you have, broken down by this month as well as all-time.

Referrals, as noted in my 50+ best referral companies, can make you a lot of money if you know how to promote properly.  From your social media accounts to people you know, sharing a referral link on just about any platform that allows it can earn you a decent amount of cash, especially if they reward you for the life of the account.

To start referring family and friends, click on that golden plus sign and you will then be prompted as to how you want to send your unique referral link.  Just make sure you use this link as this is how the app will track your invites.

Redeeming Your Points

The Panel app allows you to redeem your points in a few ways:  either via a sweepstakes prize or a “guaranteed” prize.

If you want to use your points toward a sweepstakes prize, then you can convert your points into a ticket.  The app almost always has a ton of sweepstakes, ranging from a $1 gift card to more than $100+.  Physical items are often available as well.

For instance, when I was writing this, this was just a sample of what I could redeem my points for…

Sweepstakes are a gamble, of course, and I don’t really recommend it as there’s no guarantee to win that prize.  Instead, I would save your points for an award you’re guaranteed to get.  Speaking of, this brings me to the next option, the guaranteed prizes.

The guaranteed prizes are just that — guaranteed.  And, all of these prizes can be redeemed for specific gift cards.

For example, as I was writing this, you could redeem your points for an Amazon, Visa, Walmart, or even Google Play gift card.  Seeing most people want cash or Amazon, they have you covered, so that’s a good thing.  Other than that, the selection is pretty scarce, but it’s not bad.

If you’re going to use this app, again, I recommend you save your points to cash out.  2,000 points will earn you your first $1, whereas 30,000 points will get you a $25 Amazon gift card.  Doing the math, this means your points are worth about $0.0005! in value.  I know this can be confusing, but sadly, a lot of these apps and survey sites use this strategy as they feel 100 points sounds a lot better than $0.05.

You only need 2,000 points, an equivalent of $1 in value, to cash out, and your points never expire.

What Others Are Saying

These reviews, as with all of them that I write, are not all about me.  For that reason, I love to scour the web and see what others are saying, both good and bad.

Even the best apps have downfalls, so take everything you see here with a grain of salt.  I try to cover both sides of the story.

Here’s what I found…

The Pros

A great way to earn a few dollars a month if you’re out and about.

Short surveys that are different than most.

Very easy to use.

Backed by a reputable company, the same one that powers Foursquare.

Highly rated on the Google Play store, scoring a solid 4.5/5 rating.

A ton of sweepstakes to win cool prizes and cash, up to $50+



The Cons

Not a lot of surveys for some people, but like any survey company, this is highly dependent upon your demographics.  Your results will vary.

To some, the gift card selection is limited.

Only open to a few countries.

Some people don’t like the idea of letting an app track them as they are out and out.  If you have privacy concerns, then it’s definitely one you won’t want to download.

You won’t earn much, maybe only a few dollars a month.

Since the tasks are location-based, you will have to leave the home in order to receive survey invites.  This can be a con to some.

Final Thoughts

If you’re finding yourself traveling a lot outside of your home, then the Panel app may be one to consider.  It reminds me a lot like the Google Opinions app, wherein you’re rewarded for answering questions in relation to your previous visits outside of the home.  You’re not going to get rich nor is it one of the best money-making apps on the market.

While it has a great review, I wouldn’t expect more than a few dollars a month, if that.  Of course, it could be more if you refer your friends or even win a sweepstakes.  Definitely don’t expect to quit your day job or be extremely happy with the results.  If you like the idea of making about $5 a month, then sure, consider it.

Like most of your money-making apps, you will be lucky to make more than $15 a month, with the exception of some of your higher-paying ones, such as Swagbucks and Survey Junkie.  Those two can make you much more, the main reason I promote them so much.

For now, at least download it to see how many surveys you can get.  If you’re out and about, you will have a lot more luck than someone who sits at home most of the day.  Worst case, if you find you’re not receiving a ton of surveys, you can always delete if from your phone.

Now, it’s your turn.

Have you ever used this app?  Are you thinking about it?  Have you cashed out or even won a sweepstakes?

The comments section is designed just for you.  Feel free to sound off as long as it relates to the Panel app!  I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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