If you’re registered with My Nintendo (which you should definitely do if you haven’t already – it’s free), you may have noticed that any time you purchase a digital game on Switch, Wii U, or 3DS, or a physical game on Switch, you receive a few Gold Points. Previously, these could only be redeemed on the My Nintendo website for a small selection of digital games, and discounts. However, beginning in March, all of those Gold Points that you’ve saved up will now become currency that you can spend directly on the Switch eShop, or when you buy Switch digital software via the My Nintendo website.
When purchasing anything from the Switch eShop, an option will become available that will let you spend your Gold Points as a payment method. If you haven’t got enough Gold Points to cover the entire cost of whatever it is you wish to purchase, you can pay for the remaining balance with with any other payment method that is available for the eShop.
As long as your My Nintendo account is linked to the Switch, 3DS, or Wii U system that you’re using to purchase digital software, you will automatically accumulate Gold Points upon purchase. To earn Gold Points from physical Switch games, make sure that the game card is inserted in the system, scroll to the game’s icon on the home menu and press the + button, scroll down to the “My Nintendo Rewards Program” option and select earn points from there. If you need help on linking your My Nintendo account to your system, here is a helpful guide from Nintendo.
The Gold Points that you earn will only remain valid until the end of the following calendar year. So once you get some points, you’ll only have around a year to spend them before they expire. Any points that you earned at the launch of the Switch (March 2017) will expire shortly after this My Nintendo update is released in March 2018.
How much a Gold Point is worth in real money hasn’t been announced as of yet, but Nintendo assures that we’ll be getting more information in the coming weeks.