Nintendo announced last month that they were planning to expand the Nintendo rewards system by allowing you to use gold points – points specifically gained as a percentage of money spent on games and associated content – to make purchases on the eShop. Today, that system went live.
If you buy a game or DLC for the Switch, you then earn a percentage back for your Nintendo account which amounts to one cent per gold point. So if you wanted a brand new $60 game for free, you’d need about 6000 gold points. Considering points expire after a year, by and large, the gold points will mostly be used for discounts rather than wholly free titles.
The rewards system is heavily geared toward transitioning customers to digital purchases. You get a higher percentage back when using digital (5 percent versus 1 percent for physical) and physical games can only earn points within a year of the game’s release. I imagine that rule has exceptions, however, as the Switch just turned a year old and launch games seem to be eligible. That limit is two years for Europe, but one year for everywhere else.
Also, DLC only counts for Switch. While game purchases on 3DS and Wii U count, DLC does not. It is not clear if mobile game DLC does or not.
This seems like a good deal if you’re buying lots of Nintendo stuff digitally, as some discounts are better than nothing. Still, I miss the old Club Nintendo, as I felt you got more bang for your buck there.