From March 2018 you will be able to spend your My Nintendo Gold Points on games in the Switch eShop.
My Nintendo is a loyalty programme that launched in 2016, replacing the old Club Nintendo. The programme rewards you for things like signing up for emails, playing Nintendo’s mobile games and buying Switch games. Buying games for Nintendo Switch earns you Gold Points which can then be spent on useless tat like mobile phone screensavers.
So far, the rewards available on My Nintendo have been largely pathetic (as far as Switch is concerned) and many fans have simply forgotten the programme exists. The old Club Nintendo programme had its problems but it did at least allow you to exchange points earned for games (as well as some incredible collectables). However, Nintendo has listened to fans’ feedback, and the option to exchange points for eShop games is now coming to the Switch.
How to earn Gold Points
Every time you buy a game from the Switch eShop you will automatically earn Gold Points. Currently, buying a cheaper game such as Zero Gunner 2- for £6.99 (UK store) will earn you 10 Gold Points. More expensive games will earn you more points up to 80 Gold Points for a full priced title. You can log on to your My Nintendo account online to check your points total.
Existing Gold Points will lose their relative value but you will earn more Points per pound spent with the new system.
According to the My Nintendo site, the new value of Gold Points will be:
1 Gold Point = 1 pence (GBP)
So 500 points would get you £5 discount off a game. This is just about OK for a rewards programme and to be honest it’s better than nothing.
Nintendo has stated that you will earn Gold Points worth 5% of the amount paid for a download copy and 1% of the undiscounted eShop price for a physical game.
So, if you buy a £40 game on the eShop you will earn 200 Gold Points. This will entitle you to £2 off your next eShop purchase.
But if you buy a £40 physical game and register it against your account you will only get 40 points (assuming it’s worth £40 on the eShop). This will only entitle you to 40p off your next eShop purchase. This is harsh if you prefer physical games but you can at least trade them in or sell them on to earn money back that way.
Did you know you can earn points for physical game purchases?
When you purchase a physical Switch game (a boxed game cartridge from a store) your game will not automatically register for Gold Points. You need to insert the relevant game card into the Switch and ensure the icon of the game is selected. Then press the ‘plus’ button on the Joycon and select ‘My Nintendo Rewards Programme’ followed by ‘Earn Points (game card version only)’. This will then allow you to register that game card to your My Nintendo account and the Gold Points will show in your account online.
If you’ve got loads of physical Switch games and haven’t registered them yet, it may be better to wait until the new system is in place, as you will get more Gold Points per pound (according to my limited Maths). I just registered a copy of Splatoon 2 and got 14 Gold Points – I’d get more Points under Nintendo’s new stated rate of conversion.
Gold Points expire!
One thing that is particularly annoying about My Nintendo Gold Points is that they expire after one year. The fact that these points will soon be able to be exchanged for Switch games online makes this a more contentious issue. Internet forums and social media will soon be filled with complaints from angry Nintendo fans whose points expired before they redeemed them. Gold Points earned in March 2017 will expire at the end of March 2018. If you’ve been buying Switch games since launch it’s worth spending them before they disappear so keep an eye out for more information from Nintendo in the coming weeks.