If you have purchased a Nintendo game recently, you may have noticed a card in the package, beckoning you to sign up for Club Nintendo. If you are like me, your first thought might be something like, “Great, another worthless rewards program.” Or you might have not paid any attention to it at all. But should you have?
I typically don’t sign up for many rewards programs since most of the ones I have seen are just schemes to get your email address for spam (And I avoid spam email like the plague!). The allure of getting free Nintendo goodies overcame me though, and I signed up. To be honest, I haven’t seen any tangible reward yet, but I can still see the benefit of signing up.
You may be asking at this point, “What is Club Nintendo?” so I will give you the gist of the idea behind the program. You get a code inside every Nintendo game and console you buy, which, in turn, is used to register your product to an account you create at club.nintendo.com. After registering the product, you take a quick five-minute survey on what led you to purchase the product. After completing the survey, you are rewarded with digital coins that can accumulate and be used to make a purchase from a list of reward items. After one week of purchasing a game, you will receive a Post-Play Survey in your to-do list in order to tell Nintendo what you did and did not like about the game. This allows you to score a few extra coins. Nintendo gives their breakdown here.
So what are the benefits? Here is the list I have compiled:
There are a number of free items that you can purchase with the coins you accumulate. They are primarily digital downloads of retro Nintendo games and a few physical Nintendo-branded items. I haven’t seen the physical items change out yet, so they may change annually, but the retro games change out once a month. I foolishly waited to see what games were coming the next month after signing up and missed out on getting Super Mario RPG. I would recommend getting the game that you want when it is available because there is no knowing what the next month’s games will be.
The physical merchandise ranges from a Kirby sew-on patch set, to Mario and Luigi greeting cards, to a Link Between Worlds poster set. Most of the items aren’t particularly must-have’s, but you buy them with coins that you earned from buying products you were going to buy anyway. After a few five-minute surveys, you get free Nintendo merchandise.
You can also receive an annual Elite Status bonus reward. The first year you sign up for Club Nintendo, it should be pretty simple to get into the highest status (Platinum), especially if you have a few newer Wii games in your cache that you haven’t registered yet. The amount of coins you get varies by product, but just signing up your Wii U will land you 160 coins, which is half-way to gold status already. The break down goes like this:
- Platinum Status – 600 Coins or More
- Gold Status – 300 to 599 Coins
- Silver Status – 299 Coins and Under
At the end of the Nintendo year (June 30th), your status will earn you your choice of reward from the list of items for that year. These are the items from last year for an example:
- Club Nintendo 2014 Calendar
- Sakura Samurai (3DS)
- Super Mario Land (3DS – VC)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX (3DS – VC)
- WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase (Wii)
- Super Smash Bros. (Wii – VC)
Platinum Status was Gold Status items plus:
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask Soundtrack
- Limited Edition Platinum Poster Set
For more information you can visit Nintendo’s site here.
It’s Easy to Get Coins
Like I said before, you are simply getting coins for making purchases you were going to make anyway. All you have to do is fill out a five-minute survey on what led you to purchase the product and then reap the rewards. You even get coins for registering some of your Wii games, and for taking a post play survey. Just to give an example, the post play survey asks questions like:
- On a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the maximum, how would you rate your satisfaction with this game?
- Now that you have played (insert game name here), how does it compare with what you thought it would be like before you purchased?
- Was this game easy to control?
They’re giving us free products for our opinion of their games. We like to give our opinions anyway, don’t we? Why not take a few minutes to get some rewards for giving it?
A Few Added Bonuses
You get a few added perks when you register your products as well. Consoles that are registered get an extra 90 days on top of the manufacturer’s 1-year warranty. While this might not be enough to make you want to run to the computer to sign up, when you partner this with the other benefits it does sweeten the deal.
The site also mentions members-only offers that include limited edition bonus items like CDs, gifts, and exclusive events. I couldn’t find any more information regarding the members-only benefits, but, again, the added perk is worth mentioning. A promotion that does come to mind is when Nintendo gave away a free game download for registering Mario Kart 8 when it was released to Club Nintendo members.
More information on added perks can be found here.
Most Importantly Nintendo Hears Your Voice
We said we like to give our opinions already, and that is for good reason. We want game producers to make games the way we want them! These surveys are a great way for your voice to reach Nintendo’s ears, and, more importantly, it shows that they are listening. The information you give is valuable to Nintendo because it lets them know how to make you aware of their new games most effectively in the future, as well as what aspects they should include in future games. Because of this, it pays to be honest and not just fly through the surveys.
So if you were to ask me if you should sign up for Club Nintendo, I would say, “Most likely.” If you don’t plan to play practically any Nintendo games in the future, then maybe not. I would say that Club Nintendo is for most people though.
For more information, or to sign up for Club Nintendo, visit club.nintendo.com.