shopping cart in the cvs store

Are you a frequent CVS shopper? And when I say CVS, I mean the drug store that has shopping centers in most of the US. If you are, you might be interested in a possibility to bag a few extra bucks every now and then, with CVS Advisor Panel.

As with most survey panels, you will get a chance to take surveys online. In return, they will offer you compensation. The panel is tied to their rewards program called ExtraBucks. Most CVS shoppers already take advantage of it on a daily or weekly basis. But for those of you who aren’t familiar – ExtraBucks are in-store credit that you earn by shopping at CVS, and can redeem it exclusively at CVS.

So, I decided to try and find out if this panel actually works, and if you should give it a try. Normally, I would first try to determine if it’s legitimate or a scam. However, CVS is a serious and highly reputable drug store chain, so it’s safe to skip the legitimacy part and cut right to the chase.

How Does CVS Advisor Panel Work?

Signing up for this program is free, but there is one condition apart from the usual one to be a 18+ years old US resident. During the registration, you will be prompted to enter your ExtraCare card number.

ExtraCare card is their loyalty card that gives you 2% back of every purchase you make at CVS, plus access to many sales and promotions available for members exclusively. So, basically, for every $100 you spend there, you will get at least $2 back in ExtraBucks that you can use on future purchases. I said “at least” because you can actually get more if you take advantage of the sales and promos.

If you haven’t done it already, you can request your ExtraCare card by filling out a form at your local pharmacy, or calling (800) SHOP-CVS. It won’t cost you anything and can make for a huge difference in your wallet.

Back to the Advisor Panel – everybody who has this card can sign up for an account. The company’s goal with this is to collect information about their shoppers in order to improve their products and services. After you spend 10-15 minutes on filling out the form with your basic information and purchasing habits, there’s nothing else you can do but wait for surveys to hit your inbox.

CVS Advisor Panel homepage preview

How Much Can I Earn?

If you hope for a survey invitation every day or week, you’re in for a big disappointment. They will only send you a survey a few times each year! Most of them will bring you $5 in ExtraBucks. That’s the average, but there are also very short surveys worth $2, and very long ones that can earn you $10-$15. On the bright side, you will always stand a good chance to qualify for the surveys. Plus, most of the time they are really easy to fill out.

As you complete a survey, you will get your ExtraBucks right away in the form of a coupon.  You can print it out and carry to the store to use during your next shopping trip. If you don’t have a printer, you will also get it in email, so you can print it out whenever works best for you.

What I Like About CVS Advisor Panel

  • It’s an easy way to earn a few extra bucks (or to be more precise – ExtraBucks) if you’re a CVS ExtraCare member. Surveys are mostly short and easy, so they won’t take up much of your time or energy.
  • Surveys pay off more than is the industry average. $5 per survey on average, and it usually takes less than 20 minutes – sounds like a pretty good deal. Just to illustrate this point, the industry standard is $3-$5 per hour of survey taking.
  • You don’t have to wait to cash out. Most of the time, your ExtraBucks will be available right after you’re done with the survey. It means you can get advantage of them whenever you want.
  • It’s quite easy to qualify for a survey. Of course, the dreaded but common scenario of survey taking can happen here as well: you’re already 10 minutes into a survey when they kick you out because you aren’t eligible for whatever reason. But it seems to happen pretty rarely, compared to other survey panels.

What I Don’t Like About CVS Advisor Panel

  • Not enough earning potential. Let’s say you get five survey invitations per year. Assuming you qualify for all of them, that’s just $25 in ExtraBucks. And that’s if you’re lucky enough not to get the shortest surveys! Not really worth it, it seems to me.
  • Only CVS ExtraCare members are welcome to join. It’s understandable, but I still don’t think it’s convenient. My wife happens to have an ExtraCare card so she could sign up. But I guess many people don’t have it. And the rare earning opportunities certainly won’t motivate them to sign up for it.
  • You earn credit and not actual cash. That means you will only be able to redeem your earnings at CVS. Which is okay if you shop there anyway. But it’s not okay for people who don’t even have a CVS in town.
  • They don’t compensate users who get disqualified. Frankly, they aren’t different from most survey panels in this regard. But I decided to mention and count it toward disadvantages because they used to do it until a couple of years ago, according to some users. They offered $2 in ExtraBucks as a consolation prize. It would be nice to see that again some time in the future.

Final Verdict – Does It Pay Off?

To those committed to frugal living and shopping frequently at CVS as loyalty program members, this certainly seems like another way to save a few more bucks here and there. It won’t account for much savings, but it doesn’t bring much hassle if any. Especially when combined with similar panels such as Ebates.

However, if you don’t have a CVS nearby or just don’t prefer to shop there, joining this panel will most certainly be a waste of your time. You won’t even get a chance to redeem what little ExtraBucks you manage to earn by taking surveys. For you, it’s probably the best option to keep looking for panels you can make more money with. Even if they require more commitment.