Want to get your hands on some sweet discounts for the Nintendo eShop without spending any extra money? Then my friend, you need Nintendo Gold Points in your life.
Gold Points are Nintendo‘s loyalty reward currency that you can earn and redeem for credit toward digital purchases on the eShop. If you‘re a Nintendo Switch, Wii U, or 3DS user, these points can take a nice chunk off the prices of games, DLC, subscriptions, and more.
In this guide, I‘ll show you 11 sneaky tips and tricks for scoring Gold Points without having to open your wallet. Follow my advice and you‘ll stack up hundreds or even thousands of points – which means plenty of eShop credit for free games!
1. Buy Digital Games and DLC from the eShop
The most straightforward way to rack up Gold Points is by buying digital titles directly from the Nintendo eShop. For every dollar you spend, you‘ll receive 1 Gold Point added automatically to your Nintendo Account wallet.
- So a $60 digital game nabs you 60 points
- A $20 DLC or expansion nets 20 points
- Purchase a $10 indie gem and claim 10 points
It adds up over time! In its 2021 fiscal year, Nintendo reported $4.2 billion in digital software sales across its platforms. Based on the 1% return rate, that‘s around 42 billion Gold Points up for grabs!
Pro Tip: Take advantage of eShop sales and stock up on digital games when prices are discounted. You‘ll maximize savings by stacking sale prices AND earning points. It‘s a win-win!
2. Redeem Download Codes from Retailers
When you buy a download code for a Nintendo game from a retailer like Amazon or Best Buy, redeeming that 16-digit code on the eShop gives you both the game and its corresponding Gold Points.
So snagging download codes on sale is a sweet bonus. Say Amazon has a $60 Nintendo game discounted to $50. You‘ll get:
- The full game for $10 less
- The standard 60 Gold Points as if you paid $60
It essentially nets you extra points for free!
3. Purchase Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers
The Nintendo Switch‘s Game Vouchers program offers bundle packs that give you nice point bonuses:
- $99.99 Game Voucher Pack – 600 Bonus Points
- $49.99 Game Voucher Pack – 300 Bonus Points
When redeeming the vouchers for games, you‘ll also earn the normal Gold Points from those purchases.
So a $99 pack that includes a $60 game and a $40 game scores you 600 bonus points plus 100 standard points – $10 in total eShop credit! Pretty sweet deal.
4. Link Your Nintendo Account to Nintendo Switch Online
Subscribing to Nintendo‘s Switch Online service for cloud saves and online play (just $3.99/month) nets you bonus points:
- 50 Points for linking your Nintendo Account
- 50 Points per month for an active membership
That‘s up to 600 extra points per year just for keeping your subscription going!
5. Complete My Nintendo Missions
The My Nintendo program has tons of missions and activities for earning rewards points:
- 100 Platinum Points for linking your Facebook account
- 50 Platinum Points for reading Switch game info
- 30 Platinum Points for clicking an email coupon
- 200 Platinum Points for taking a game survey
You can then redeem Platinum Points for Gold Point rewards! It takes a bit of work, but offers a nice points boost.
6. Take Advantage of Bonus Point Promotions
Nintendo runs special promos all year long that give bonus points on select purchases:
- Buy 2 Mario games in March, get 200 extra Gold Points
- Purchase Just Dance 2023 in November for 300 bonus points
- Get 600 bonus points with purchase of a Switch Online + Expansion Pack family plan
Follow Nintendo‘s social channels and emails to capitalize on these sweet limited-time deals. Easy big point hauls!
7. Buy and Resell Rare/Limited Edition Nintendo Items
Have an eye for sniffing out hot limited edition Nintendo stuff? Here‘s how to leverage that skill into points:
- Buy a rare item like a Zelda joy-con at retail price
- Resell it later for a nice profit on eBay
- Use the profits to buy eShop gift cards
Say you grab the joy-con for $80, resell for $120, then spend that $40 profit on a $40 eShop card. You‘ll net yourself 400 Gold Points without any extra money spent. Pretty cool trick!
8. Register Physical Game Copies with Nintendo
Physical games only give you points when registered on Nintendo‘s website within a year of release. But it adds up:
- 30 Gold Points per registered physical game
- Up to 600 points for a 20 game collection!
Visit Nintendo‘s site and enter the 16-digit code from each game card‘s back to rack up the points. Every little bit counts when chasing free eShop credit.
9. Dabble in Nintendo‘s Gold Point Program
Don‘t leave any points on the table by missing out on the Gold Point program. Be sure to:
- Set up a Nintendo Account
- Link your Account to all your Nintendo devices
- Enable promotional emails for bonus details
- View your point balance and expiration dates
This ensures you‘ll automatically earn points from device purchases and stay on top of point-grabbing opportunities. Don‘t miss out!
10. Maintain Your Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack Membership
The premium Expansion Pack subscription ($49.99/year) not only unlocks access to Nintendo 64/Genesis games, but nets you bonus Gold Points too:
- 300 points each month
- Up to 3,600 extra points per year!
Combined with the standard online perks, it‘s a pretty sweet way to build up your Gold Point balance.
11. Refer Friends to Join Nintendo Switch Online
Nintendo lets you score points by referring friends:
- Refer 4 friends to get 200 Platinum Points
- Refer 8 friends to get 400 Platinum Points
You can then swap that Platinum for bonus Gold Points. Plus your referred friends can participate in Family Memberships to save money!
Turning Gold Points into eShop Discounts
Now that you‘ve mastered gathering points, here‘s how to cash them in:
- 100 Gold Points = $1 eShop credit
- 500 Points = $5 credit
- 1,000 Points = $10 credit
- 10,000 Points = $100 credit!
Visit the Nintendo eShop on your console or Nintendo‘s website to browse games and apply your points at checkout. Big point balances let you score new games at a steep discount or even for free!
Key Things to Remember About Nintendo Gold Points
To wrap up, here are some key facts about Gold Points you‘ll want to keep in mind:
- Points expire 1 year after earning them, so use them quick!
- They can only be used on the eShop and Nintendo store, not other platforms.
- You can‘t transfer points between Nintendo Accounts.
- Physical game cards must be registered on Nintendo‘s site within 1 year of release to get points.
- Bonus promotions are region-specific, so offers will vary by country.
- An active Nintendo Switch Online membership nets you bonus points each month.
Now Get Out There and Start Earning!
With those pro gaming tips in your arsenal, you‘re ready to start racking up Nintendo Gold Points today!
Be diligent with registrations, promos, missions, and digital purchases to quickly build your eShop discount budget. Before you know it, you‘ll be swimming in points and enjoying some sweet free Nintendo games!
So get to it, my friend! Happy gaming and happy savings!