Nintendo's rewards program is getting an update featuring new incentives, including the option to redeem Gold Points toward the purchase of some digital Switch games. The Nintendo rewards update is expected to debut in early March.
Nintendo is clearly offering greater incentives to those consumers who have upgraded to their latest console and those who prefer to buy digital games. Players earn Gold Points equivalent to 5 percent of the eShop purchase price for any digital game purchases, but only one percent of the going eShop price when a physical copy is bought instead. When it comes time to redeem Gold Points, My Nintendo members will only be able to apply Gold Points to games and downloadable content for the Nintendo Switch. They will not be able to redeem their Gold Points for games or DLC on the Nintendo 3DS or Wii U.
However, according to the official Nintendo website, the existing My Nintendo rewards for the Nintendo 3Ds and Wii U are not going away. Everyone can still redeem their points for the rewards presently available, and no changes will be made to anyone's point balance when the program update happens. Just keep in mind that Gold Points do expire a year after they are earned.
The new Nintendo rewards redemption process seems to offer its members a degree of flexibility for the growing number of Nintendo Switch owners. Since Gold Points have a redeemable value equivalent to a penny each, members can choose how many of their available Points to apply toward their digital eShop or Nintendo.com purchase. It is expected that only "select" games and content will be eligible to purchase with Gold Points, and some games or DLC are likely to be excluded from the promotion.
In theory, if enough Gold Points are available, they could be used to earn free Switch games, or a free Season Pass, or other free DLC. However, as the full details of the program have yet to be revealed, it's not clear if Nintendo will limit the number of Gold Points that can be redeemed per transaction in the eShop, or what other limitations the program might have.
Additional details about the changes to Nintendo rewards are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.