This is an iOS app called Nate: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/nate/id1479125647
So, real fast summary, "Nate" is an online shopping app, it will give you $50 to spend at some* online stores if you link your bank account with it. Here are all the catches that I know of after I successfully bought something using it:
It only works on select stores. I've had success on Best Buy, others report success at Macy's, Sketchers, Columbia, Carter's, Apple. It does not work at Amazon, Bloomingdales, Bed Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom. It tends to not work for most sites, especially if the site doesn't have a "Guest Checkout" button.
It does not work on gift cards. I used it to buy a switch game from Best Buy.
They only have an iPhone app, android users are out of luck.
The purchase flow is convoluted. You have to get the app, register an account, link your bank account via Plaid, then open up Safari on your iPhone, go to the store you want and find the product you want, Click on the "share" button then click on the nate app like this: https://i.imgur.com/SgfD2UH.jpg and order that way
It takes them an hour or two to actually confirm your order/reject your order
Even if you order from a store other's have success with, they might reject your order for whatever reason.
Did I mention you gotta link your bank account to their app via plaid? Use an account where you don't have too much money on it just to be safe.
They take a $1 ish cut for every order placed.
One item per purchase, so if a website charges you for shipping, and you want to order multiples of one item, you are gonna have to pay multiple shipping fees for multiple items. Best to find someone with no shipping charge.
As for the trustworthiness of this app, all I found is that they received 38M in Series A funding on crunchbase, so that gives me a tiny bit of reassurance. https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/nate And their linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/natetech/
So you start with $50 in your account, if you buy something that exceeds that, the excess money will be deducted from your checking account. After you successfully placed your first order, you will get another $20 credit. After you successfully placed your second order, you will get another $20.
My recommendation is to find something on best buy that is less than $50 after tax/shipping, buy it, and then after the order is successful, buy something for less than $20+your remaining balance, then buy another item for less than $20+ your remaining balance. Basically the goal here is to never spend a single dime from your own bank account, use only the $50 + $20 + $20 that nate gives you, then delete the app after you got the stuff.
Q: What does my order status mean?
A: "Pending" means they have yet to work on it, give it 1-3 hours to place the order. "Incomplete" means they aren't gonna place the order for whatever reason, switch websites and try again. "Purchased" means it's bought, but make sure you got an order confirmation email too before you start to celebrate.
Q: Is it really worth it to do this deal? A: It took me a few tries of ordering and being rejected before I landed on Best buy. If you are ok with linking your checking account to an app for $50, go for it. If that sounds too sketchy, definitely don't do it.
Q: Why is my order stuck at pending for more than 3 hours?
A: the going theory is that if your checking account has less than $200 in it, Nate will not approve your orders. I’ve had success 3 times buying stuff from Best Buy with a checking account that had $600 in it. But you should not connect a bank account with much more than that just out of precaution.