Getting free Nintendo eShop codes may sound too good to be true, but there are legitimate ways to earn free eShop credit without spending any money. With a little effort, you can add funds to your Nintendo Account and download new games for free on your Nintendo Switch, Wii U, or 3DS.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll explain the best methods for scoring free Nintendo eShop codes in 2023, including rewards programs, giveaways, selling used games, credit card rewards, and more.
Earn Free eShop Cards with Rewards Programs
One of the easiest ways to get free Nintendo eShop credit is by participating in rewards programs that offer gift cards. Here are some popular rewards sites that provide points you can redeem for eShop codes:
Swagbucks – Complete surveys, watch videos, play games, shop online, and more to earn Swagbucks. $10 eShop card costs 1500 SB.
My Nintendo – Link your Nintendo Account to earn Platinum Points for purchases and Gold Points for playing games. Redeem for eShop credit.
RewardXP – Take surveys, complete offers, play games, and get paid in points. $10 eShop card is 11,500 points.
PrizeRebel – Earn points by taking surveys, playing games, referrals. 11,500 points gets a $10 eShop card.
Idle-Empire – Complete surveys, offers, videos, games, and more for points. $10 eShop card is 35,000 points.
The great thing about rewards sites is you can earn points for free in your spare time. Just make sure to look out for high-paying activities to maximize your earnings.
Enter Giveaways and Contests
Nintendo eShop codes are a popular prize for giveaways and contests run by blogs, gaming sites, influencers, and brands.
Follow gaming sites like Nintendo Life and GoNintendo for giveaway announcements.
Browse giveaway sites like Gleam, Rafflecopter, and Giveaway Monkey for Nintendo prizes.
Look for eShop card giveaways on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch.
Enter contests sponsored by snack/drink brands related to gaming.
Giveaways provide a fun way to potentially win a free eShop code quickly. Just be aware of any participation requirements and check legitimacy before entering.
Trade-in Used Games
If you have old Nintendo games you no longer play, trade them in for cash or store credit you can use to buy eShop codes.
GameStop offers cash or more trade credit for games. $10 card is 1500 points.
Decluttr lets you trade games for cash by mail. $10 eShop card is 9 games.
Amazon Trade-In also provides cash/credit for eligible games.
Check trade-in values online and gather any games worth trading. This nets you free eShop funds by recycling games you no longer want.
Use Credit Card Reward Points
Many credit cards allow you to redeem earned points for gift cards, including Nintendo eShop.
Chase Ultimate Rewards offers $10 Nintendo eShop cards for 1,200 points.
Citi ThankYou Rewards has $10 eShop gift cards for 1,100 points.
Capital One Reward Points can be redeemed for eShop cards in various denominations.
Discover Cashback Bonus can be used to buy eShop gift cards.
Check your credit card account for point redemption options. Just avoid overspending just to earn more points.
Get Cash Back Through Sites Like Rakuten
Cashback platforms like Rakuten provide money back when you shop online from partner retailers. These earnings can be used to buy Nintendo eShop gift cards.
Get 2% cash back at Best Buy to put towards eShop cards.
Earn 1% back at Target and buy Nintendo gift cards with your cashback.
Amazon provides 1-10% back depending on membership. Buy eShop credit.
Walmart offers up to 4% back to use on Nintendo gift card purchases.
Simply activate cashback at your chosen retailer through the Rakuten site/app before you shop. Your earnings will accumulate in your account to redeem for eShop codes.
Refer Friends to Nintendo Switch Online
If you have friends who don‘t have a Nintendo Switch Online membership, you can refer them to earn free eShop credit.
For each friend who signs up for at least a 1-month membership after clicking your referral link, you‘ll receive a free download code for $5 in eShop credit.
You can refer up to 10 friends per year, so you could potentially get $50 in eShop codes for free by promoting Switch Online.
Participate in Nintendo Events & Promotions
Keep an eye out for special Nintendo events and promotions that offer chances to win eShop codes.
Social media giveaways – Follow Nintendo accounts for giveaway contests.
Sweepstakes – Enter Nintendo sweeps at events like E3, PAX, ComicCon for a chance to win eShop cards.
Nintendo NY events – In-store eShop card raffles and trivia contests.
Gaming conventions – Booths sometimes give out eShop codes for playing demos.
Promo events – Splatoon Splatfests and other games have offered free codes.
Partaking in Nintendo‘s unique events, either online or in-person, can score you bonus eShop credit just for showing your fan enthusiasm.
Earn Gift Cards with GPT Apps
Get-paid-to apps offer gift cards, including Nintendo eShop, in exchange for completing simple tasks on your phone.
Swagbucks: Earn points (SB) through cashback, surveys, games, videos. $10 eShop card is 1500 SB.
RewardXP: Complete surveys, offers, games, videos to earn points for gift cards. $10 eShop card is 11,500 points.
Mistplay: Play new Android games and earn units towards gift cards. $10 Nintendo eShop card is 35,000 points.
FeaturePoints: Download featured free apps to earn points for rewards like eShop gift cards. $10 card is 10,000 points.
Install GPT apps you find rewarding and work towards Nintendo eShop codes without spending extra money. Just don‘t overdo app use and impact your phone storage space.
Ask Friends & Family to Gift Nintendo eShop Cards
An easy way to score free Nintendo eShop credit is by requesting gift cards for your birthday, holidays, graduations, or other gifting occasions. Most family/friends will understand this makes an ideal gift for a Nintendo fan.
CASUAL SUGGESTION EXAMPLES:
"I‘d really appreciate Nintendo eShop cards for my birthday this year so I can get some new Switch games."
"If anyone needs gift ideas for me, I‘d absolutely love more eShop credit to put towards Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros!"
This subtle approach makes it simple for loved ones to buy you eShop codes without wondering what games you want.
Review Games for eShop Credit
Some Nintendo gamers have scored free eShop codes by reviewing Switch games purchased from the Nintendo store.
When reviewers provide proof of their eShop purchase receipts along with their reviews, Nintendo has been known to surprise them by offering $5-$20 in free eShop credit as a thank you.
If there are any digital Switch, Wii U, or 3DS games you bought directly from Nintendo and want to review, it may be worth contacting them after with your review and receipt to see if they‘ll hook you up with any free eShop credit.
Local Video Game Tournaments & Events
Check your local gaming stores, arcades, conventions, colleges, and community event boards for any upcoming video game tournaments or events with eShop cards as prizes.
Smash Bros. tournaments award eShop codes.
Mario Kart events offer eShop credit prizes.
Gaming stores host in-house Switch competitions with eShop card rewards.
College gaming club contests may give out free eShop codes.
Compete and engage in local Nintendo gaming events for chances at free eShop credits. It‘s fun and helps build gaming community connections too.
Follow Nintendo Creators for Giveaways
Nintendo gamers, streamers, YouTubers, artists, and other creators sometimes sponsor Nintendo eShop card giveaways for their followers.
Watch Nintendo streamers like AbdallahSmash and LookUponTheStars for eShop card giveaway broadcasts.
Follow Nintendo YouTube channels like GameXplain and Nintendo Life for giveaway alerts.
Check Nintendo fanart accounts like ayikk and nintendrawer for eShop code giveaways.
Subscribing to Nintendo creators you enjoy can provide more opportunities to win free eShop gift card codes for your loyalty and community support.
Participate in Surveys That Pay in eShop Credit
Some survey panels like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and Prize Rebel that pay real cash also offer gift card payout options, including Nintendo eShop.
Each survey panel has a minimum payout amount you must earn before cashing out your rewards. For example, Survey Junkie requires earning 1000 points to redeem a $10 eShop gift card.
Just stick to legit survey platforms and be selective about which surveys you actually complete to start earning free eShop codes from home.
Recycle to Earn eShop Credit
Recycling programs like EcoATM provide gift cards in exchange for responsibly recycling your eligible electronic devices. Their kiosks offer Nintendo eShop gift cards.
You can bring in things like old phones, tablets, game consoles, etc. to be recycled for instant gift card rewards. Typically, the more valuable the device, the higher the payout.
An older unused Nintendo handheld traded in could easily score you enough for a $10 or $20 eShop card from EcoATM to use on new Switch games.
Teach Others to Earn Free eShop Credit
If you have special skills or knowledge related to Nintendo games, you may be able to earn free eShop codes by teaching others online.
Platforms like Udemy allow you to create video courses or guides and get paid whenever users purchase your content. Course creator payouts can be redeemed for gift cards.
For example, you could create tutorials for mastering Smash techniques, discovering BotW secrets, speedrun strats, unlocking achievements, or other Nintendo topics that players would pay to learn from an expert.
Rent Out Your Collectibles
Have any rare or retro Nintendo collectibles like games, consoles, or accessories? You can earn passive income just for renting out your items to other collectors on platforms like Groove or Loanables.
Once your rented Nintendo items are safely returned, cash out your rental earnings on eShop gift cards to start building your digital Switch game library for free!
Participate in App Testing
App testing platforms like Tester Work and UTest pay participants to download and test new apps, take surveys, or complete other tasks requested by app developers.
You‘ll earn money for each app test, which you can cash out on Nintendo eShop cards once you hit the $10+ minimum payout thresholds on these sites.
It may take testing 5-10+ apps to earn enough for a $10 eShop code, but you get paid just for providing your opinions on new apps.
Install free browser extensions like Lolli, Rakuten, or Swagbutton on Chrome/Edge to earn cashback as you shop online that can be redeemed towards eShop gift cards.
Lolli partners with 500+ major retailers and pays bitcoin rewards on eligible purchases. Swagbutton applies any Swagbucks cashback offers as you browse.
Simply add the extensions you want, browse/shop the web as normal, and watch your rewards accumulate to exchange for Nintendo eShop credit.
Scan eShop Codes from Receipts
Apps like CoinOut and Shopmium will actually pay you to scan and submit photos of any eShop purchase receipts (either paper or digital) that have visible store names, dates, items purchased, and total amounts.
Once approved, you‘ll earn cash rewards in your account to cash out on free eShop codes once you reach the required minimum balances (around $10).
Essentially it pays to hold onto Nintendo eShop receipt codes and digitally submit them to these apps for extra rewards.
Live Stream Nintendo Gameplay
Broadcasting your Nintendo gaming sessions on streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook Gaming lets viewers support you with paid channel subscriptions, tips, and donations.
Your follower contributions can be cashed out regularly into your payment account, then used to buy Nintendo eShop gift cards for free so you can buy even more games to stream!
Just make sure to have fun, engage your audience, and promote your channel regularly to attract more Nintendo fans to support your streams.
UserTesting will actually pay you $10 for each time you test a website or app and share your thoughts via video. Companies want to see real user reactions and feedback.
Once you earn $50, you can cashout your earnings on a $10 Nintendo eShop code. Testing 5 apps nets you enough for free eShop credit.
You get paid just for recording your genuine reactions while interacting with new sites and apps. It‘s an easy way to get free codes fast.
Sell Handmade Nintendo Crafts
Crafty Nintendo fans have earned eShop credit by selling their custom-made Mario and Zelda quilts, Smash Bros mugs, hand-painted Switch docks, crocheted Yoshi dolls, and other Nintendo-inspired wares on sites like Etsy and eBay.
Not only can you profit from your Nintendo fandom, the money earned from your homemade goods sales provides free eShop funds to buy more digital games.
Claim Free eShop Credits from Class Action Lawsuits
If you purchased digital games from the Nintendo eShop during a specific time period, you may be eligible to claim free Nintendo eShop credit as part of an $11 million class action lawsuit settlement.
Affected purchases made between June 17, 2016 and Sept 19, 2022 can qualify a claimant for a $10 or $6 eShop credit (with valid proof of purchase).
Visit eShopClaims.com and submit your claim before the May 1, 2023 deadline to receive your free Nintendo eShop credit.
Consider an eShop Code Reseller
While I don‘t recommend or endorse buying from unauthorized eShop code resellers, some "discount" code sites do exist which offer cheaper gift cards in exchange for cryptocurrency payments.
Use caution and shop at your own risk, as unreliable sellers may deliver already redeemed or fraudulent codes. Safest to earn codes through legitimate methods.
For more guidance on avoiding unsafe code resellers, follow Nintendo‘s tips on identifying fraudulent eShop cards.
Maximize Credit Card Cashback
Using a credit card that offers bonus cashback on Nintendo eShop purchases lets you get up to 5% back or more to put towards free eShop credits.
Cards like Chase Freedom (5% back quarterly categories), Discover It (5% back quarterly categories), and Capital One SavorOne (3% back on entertainment purchases) can help maximize your cash rewards.
You‘re then able to use the cashback earned to buy more eShop credit for free games. Just always pay off balances in full.
Microtask sites like MTurk, Clickworker, and Picoworkers offer small quick tasks you can complete in your spare time to earn a little extra money for Nintendo eShop credit.
Common microtasks include:
- Data categorization
- Website testing
- Search engine evaluation
- Content moderation
Assemble your microtask earnings over time until you hit the minimum payout threshold to redeem your free Nintendo eShop codes.
Participate in Mock Juries
You can earn extra cash by providing your opinions on civil court cases through online mock jury services like eJury. Simply share your verdict on case summaries to earn rewards.
$10 can get you a $5 eShop code, so completing two mock juries nets enough for a free $10 eShop credit. You get paid for weighing in as an at-home juror.
Nintendo Creators Program
If you produce and monetize your own Nintendo-related content on sites like YouTube and Twitch, you can enroll in Nintendo‘s Creators Program to receive a share of the ad revenue.
You‘ll earn 70% of revenue from Nintendo-copyrighted content. Cash out regularly to treat yourself to eShop codes!
Just ensure your channel follows the program guidelines and properly attributes Nintendo IP.
While getting something for nothing might seem unlikely, there are legitimate ways to earn free Nintendo eShop codes through rewards programs, special offers, trade-ins, referrals, fan creations, and selling your used games and tech.
Completing online activities like surveys or app testing in your spare time offers another avenue to slowly accumulate credit over time to redeem for eShop gift cards.
Remaining alert for giveaways, contests, events, and cashback opportunities also provides periodic chances at scoring free eShop codes.
With a mix of patience and persistence, you can unlock plenty of free credit to enjoy Nintendo‘s latest digital games!