Nintendo's Switch Online service goes live tomorrow, and it will finally wall the console's online services behind a paywall. However, in exchange for membership you'll get free NES games, some exclusive deals, and cloud storage space. You can even pay for your first subscription using Nintendo Gold Points.
Nintendo hasn't outlined the exact terms but on the Nintendo Switch FAQ page you'll find a section that says, "Gold Points can be used when purchasing a membership in the Nintendo eShop. They cannot be used for auto-renewal."
So basically, you can buy your first subscription using Nintendo Gold Points but cannot use Nintendo's rewards program to keep your subscription up-and-running after the initial period runs out.
It's not clear how much Gold Point will be required, but Nintendo's breakdown of USD to gold points is roughly $1 USD to every 100 Gold Point. A Nintendo video game full-priced at $59.99 nets you 300 Gold Points if you purchase it digitally or 60 Gold Points for a physical copy.
A month of Nintendo Switch Online is $3.99, or nearly 400 Gold Points according to Nintendo's conversion. That's about the price of one full game, plus some change. A year of Nintendo Switch Online costs $20 USD, or about 2,000 Gold Points which is about 6.6 full-priced, qualifying video games which at $60 a pop is about $400 USD.
However, we don't know if this straight conversion even applies to Nintendo Switch Online's Gold Point price, or whether Nintendo will allow customers to buy a year's worth of the service with points. Even if they do, players should obviously just pay the $20 or $4 if they want to buy a Nintendo Switch subscription as it is much cheaper than the points alternative.
We've reached out to Nintendo for clarification about how the Nintendo Switch Online points exchange works. In the meantime, check out our Nintendo Switch Online guide for more details and check back tomorrow when we have a better look at Nintendo Switch Online when it comes out on September 18.