Hey Big Spender: Nintendo’s Gold Point Loyalty Program for Switch Leaves Much to Be Desired

Nintendo has finally unveiled its customer loyalty program for the Switch, and it unfortunately leaves a lot to be desired. For some time now, game purchases have awarded players with Gold Points, which could be redeemed for 3DS and Wii U games and discounts online. The Switch section of the My Nintendo homepage has been tantalizingly “Coming Soon” for a year. Now, Nintendo has filled us in on what it’s all about.

According to information found on My Nintendo, players will earn 5% back in Gold Points for every digital purchase, and 1% back on physical games. Each Gold Point is worth one cent (as in, one U.S. penny). Gold Points can then be used toward “eligible purchases” online.

If my math is correct, that means a brand new, $60 Switch game would cost 6,000 Gold Points. Purchasing a $60 game online would net you 300 Gold Points (5% of the game’s cost). That means you would need to purchase 20 $60 games to acquire the points needed to redeem one free game.

Keep in mind, your points expire after one year. So if your goal is to earn a completely free game — after spending $1,200 on digital releases — you’d better get to work.

Still, getting a few dollars off purchases here and there is nothing to scoff at. Those who purchase physical games are the ones who really get the short end of the stick. You’ll earn so few points, it’s almost meaningless to even try collecting them that way. The future is digital, I guess.