Welcome to the thread for discussion of the US Club Nintendo service. Club Nintendo is a loyalty program offered by Nintendo where fans can provide feedback and receive some gifts in return. Most products you buy from the US region come with special codes which qualify you to receive coins if you enter them and fill in some surveys.
This thread replaces the old Club Nintendo thread and is being posted in conjunction with the start of Club Nintendo's 2012-2013 year. We deal only with the current terms and conditions here.
This post covers all the information you need to know to get the best out of Club Nintendo, and the thread serves to answer your questions and discuss any changes or problems you are having with the service. Please, read the relevant sections in this post first before asking questions as we will tend to just refer you back here if you ask something and there may be further penalties for severe infractions. While this thread covers the US/CA region, there will likely be some discussion of other regions too, including their prizes and so on. This is allowed, but keep in mind that it will always be assumed you are discussing the US/CA version unless otherwise stated.
What is Club Nintendo?
Club Nintendo is a free service provided by Nintendo allowing you to earn rewards for buying games on Nintendo platforms. There are several versions of this service in different regions (Japan, US, Europe and Australia being the main ones). Each region only accepts games purchased within the region, so codes are generally not exchangeable (although some selected European codes will work for the Australian service and vice versa). Both retail games as well as games available on the various console-based stores on Nintendo consoles qualify for rewards.
The benefits you receive from Club Nintendo come in several forms. The currency of Club Nintendo is coins. You receive coins for filling in the surveys you are given when registering the purchase of eligible games (see Earning Coins). These coins can be used to buy Nintendo-themed prizes (see Rewards). If you earn a certain quota of coins in any Club Nintendo year (which runs from July 1-June 30), you will also receive a special free bonus prize (see Elite Status). Being a member also qualifies you for certain benefits from time to time, such as discounts on Nintendo concert tickets and warranty extensions on registered hardware.
How do I join Club Nintendo?
Click the Sign Up button at this page.
Does the service cost anything?
No. It's completely free, including shipping, provided you live in the US or Canada.
I'm joining for the first time and I have a lot of past codes to enter. What's the best approach?
Read this post first and learn all the mechanics. You may want to stop registering games after you have earned enough coins to reach Platinum Elite Status for the year (keep post play survey values in mind if doing this). You can leave the extra codes to make it easier to reach Platinum in future years too.
What do I need to take advantage of the service?
Just an Internet connection and some codes to register from eligible products.
When does the new Club Nintendo year start?
Club Nintendo years start on July 1 of the calendar year and run until June 30.
What sort of products can get me coins?
All retail games published by Nintendo, selected 3DS retail games from other publishers, all downloable games released after 2009 and most recent systems (DSi, DSi XL, 3DS, 3DS XL, Wiis sold after May 2010, Wii U). You can see a list of all of these games here or check the Spreadsheet section below. Note that Wii Shop games purchased on the Wii U will not get a survey.
Can I use games imported from other regions than the US on the service?
No. Only US games qualify for the US Club Nintendo. Most other regions have their own services.
If I import my games/systems from the US, can I use the service?
Yes, but this is against the Terms and Conditions you will agree to when signing up. You will need an address in the US or Canada where Nintendo can send your stuff (such as a friend or reshipping company). If you do this, NEVER let Nintendo know you live outside the US/Canada for any reason as they WILL be forced to cancel your account if you do so.
Will my codes/surveys expire if I don't enter them in time?
Yes. See the Earning Coins section to find out when (or check your To Do list for dates).
The expiry dates shown on my account for surveys don't show the year. Which year are these dates in?
You can check the expiry year by clicking the View To-Do History link on the Earn Coins page below the games. Most will expire in the current year.
There are several ways to earn coins. Most involve filling out surveys. All the methods of earning coins will now be discussed along with the time frames you have to complete them and the relative coin costs.
Note that in order to get coins from the Wii, Wii U, DSi and 3DS stores, you first need to link your store account to your Club Nintendo account via the links available on the respective stores.
Welcome, Satisfaction and Specialty Surveys
You will receive a 30 coin survey when first signing up for the service. Nintendo also occasionally releases a special Customer Satisfaction or System Owner survey to people that have registered various systems. These can appear at any time and typically must be filled in within one or two months after they are released.
Occasionally, specialty surveys, such as for linking your system's shop account to Club Nintendo might be available.
System Surveys are earned for eligible systems. All eligible systems come with an insert that gives you the code to enter to register the game except the DSi, which you register with the system's serial number, and the Wii U, which you register by connecting to your Club Nintendo account and filling in a survey. After a week, the Wii U Deluxe bundle also gives you a Post Play survey for NintendoLand worth 50 coins. Systems appear to have registration surveys that last for a few years, but we are uncertain of the exact timing. Eligible systems and the coins you can earn for them are:
DSi: 100 coins
DSi XL: 100 coins
3DS: 160 coins
3DS XL: 160 coins
Wii made in May 2010 or later: 100 coins
Wii U Standard: 160 coins
Wii U Deluxe: 160 coins + 50 coins
If you have multiple systems, you may need to set up a family account in order to register them all for coins. This restriction is not in place for most newer systems, though.
Retail Games Registration
Retail games give a number of coins based on their suggested retail price (mostly at about 1-1, so a $49.99 game gives 50 coins). Retail registration surveys must be completed within a month of entering the code or else you forfeit the coins. You will also earn any coins for Intend to Buy or Early Registration (see below) when you complete this survey.
On the Wii and DS, only games published by Nintendo qualify for registration. On the 3DS, selected 3rd Party games qualify for Registration and Post Play surveys only. On the Wii U, 3rd Party games you download from the online store count for Registration, Early Registration and Post Play surveys. As yet, no 3rd Party Wii U games have codes at retail, though.
Some apps, such as Netflix and Nintendo Video come with a registration survey that varies based on the app. These appear to typically be valid for a month after downloading the app for the first time. Ensure that you have linked your system's store account before downloading the apps
Downloadable Games Registration
3D Classics and most of the original games available for the 3DS on the 3DS store provide registration survey that is worth 5-20 coins, depending on the price of the game. These surveys are available for only a month after purchasing the game, so make sure you visit Club Nintendo soon after any purchases. They may take a few hours to appear, but should definitely appear within 24 hours. These games also qualify for post play surveys.
Intend to Buy Surveys
Within the month before release of any Nintendo published retail game on Wii, Wii U, DS or 3DS (excluding Nintendo Selects and New Play Control titles), you will be able to fill in an Intend to Buy Survey. To see if any such surveys are available, go to the Earn Coins page to see if any games are asking you to register your interest. Completing this survey will earn you an extra 10 coins when you register that game. You don't have to buy the game at launch, the survey will stay valid for at least 5 years.
Filling in an Intend to Buy survey will add an extra entry to your To Do list to register the game. The only way to remove this is to register the game.
An Early Registration bonus of 10 coins is given to you if you register a game within a month of launch. There is no survey associated with this bonus, it is just automatically applied when you fill in the registration survey.
Post Play Surveys
All retail games that come with a registration survey and all downloadable games from the Wii (released after 2009), Wii U, DSi and 3DS stores qualify for post play surveys of 10 coins shortly after you register the game. This survey will appear 7 days after you register the product and will expire 120 days after registration if you haven't filled it out by then.
The following table summarises the coins you can earn for each type of eligible product you can register. Note that older games and some other selected titles may not apply. Check the Spreadsheet section for info on specific games.
How do I find if I have pending surveys?
Check your To Do list. If there are any available for you, they will appear there.
I registered a code but then forgot to fill out the survey. Is it gone forever?
No, unless you have waited long enough for it to expire. Just follow the instructions in the next FAQ entry.
Can I leave a survey for later?
Yes. You can decide not to fill in a survey until a later time. Keep in mind that they often have a short expiry time (e.g., 7 days for game registrations). The survey will be added to your To-Do list so you can fill it out when needed. The deadline date for filling it in will also be shown.
Will my codes ever expire if I wait too long?
From what we can tell, games release before mid-2007 have their codes expire 10 years after release and games released later expire five years after release.
If I delay filling in a survey until a later Club Nintendo year, which year will I earn the coins in?
The later year.
Do my coins ever expire?
Yes, if you don't spend them within 2-3 years. See the Coin/Survey Expiry section for more info.
How do I get the most coins for a game?
For retail games, fill in the Intend to Buy survey within the month before release and then buy and register the game within a month after launch. For downloadable games on the 3DS, make sure you visit the site within a month to fill in the registration survey if there is one.
I have two codes for the same game. Can I register and get coins for them both?
Not on a single account. However, if you really are desperate for those coins, you can set up a family account and link it to your existing account to pool the coins. This allows you to register one game per attached account.
I didn't link my store to Club Nintendo and already downloaded some titles. Can I get the coins for those games?
You will need to contact Nintendo to see if they will add them for you.
I have an entry in my To-Do list for a game that asks me to enter the code for the game but I don't want to buy it. How do I get rid of it?
There is now a way to hide these games from view. When you hover over them in your To-Do list, there will be a close button at the top-right to hide it. If you want to access it after it is hidden, go to your To-Do History.
Elite Status (Gold/Platinum)
Elite status is a special incentive for the special fans of Nintendo. The system keeps track of how many coins you are earning each year (running from July to June) and if you reach special quotas, you will receive a free mystery gift at the end of the year. There are two levels of status that are attainable:
If you achieve Elite Status, you will get a choice of gifts to choose from in July that will be sent out at some time between October and December. You need to confirm your choice and address in July to ensure you will receive the free gift. The Gold Status has always been a set of desktop calenders featuring Nintendo art for the next year. The Platinum prize is usually a choice of the Gold prize or some other special collectible gift. Here is a summary of the Platinum prizes so far:
'08-'09: Choice between a plush Mario hat or the exclusive Doc Louis' Punch-Out!! game on Wiiware.
'09-'10: Mario and friends figurine.
'10-'11: Set of 25 Mario pin badges
'11-'12: Choice between Exclusive Mario Playing Cards or Exclusive Poster set (Luigi's Mansion 2, Skyward Sword, Kid Icarus: Uprising). Gold choice includes downloadable games. See image below:
The timeline for each Club Nintendo year is typically as follows:
July 1 - June 30: Earn coins
July 1: Discover prizes (usually around midday PDT)
Remainder of July: Fill in choice of gift survey
October-December: Gifts are sent out and received
How do I know how close I am to reaching the next Elite Status level?
Go to the Accounts & Coins page and the go to the Coins & Status tab. Towards the bottom of this page, you will see a tally of coins earned within the current Club Nintendo year. You need to increase this number to be over 300 or 600 by June 30 to achieve Gold or Platinum Status respectively.
What is the deadline for earning elite status?
June 30 is the last day. The new year starts at 12AM PDT on July 1.
Can I spend my coins and still get the free prize?
Yes. Qualifying for Elite Status only depends on how many coins you earn, not your coin balance. Spending coins will never affect your Elite Status.
When are the Elite Status rewards announced?
Typically July 1, the day after registration closes.
When will I receive the gift?
Physical gifts are sent at some point between October and December each year, typically in November. Digital download codes are usually distributed immediately upon choosing them.
I've changed address since ordering my elite gift. Can I change it?
Contact Nintendo via the Club Nintendo Customer Service info on the site. They'll fix your address for you provided the item hasn't shipped.
What happens if I qualify for Elite Status but don't answer the survey in July to choose a gift?
Nintendo assumes you don't want any prize and you get nothing.
I want to know what the gift is going to be before I register my games. How do I find out?
You don't. We don't know for sure what it will be, but you can get an idea based on the Japanese prize that is announced around December each year. The US prize is often the same as the Japanese one, but not always.
Can I enter codes now and hoard my surveys for later years to make it easier to earn Elite Status then?
Not any more. Almost all surveys expire within 120 days now. However, check the next FAQ.
Can I hoard my codes for later years to make it easier to earn Platinum status then?
Yes. You will get less coins total as you will not qualify for early registration bonuses and Nintendo occasionally reduces prices on older games, but if you feel you might struggle to earn Platinum Status in a future year, it is a good strategy to do this.
What happens to the coins I used to earn my Status. Do they disappear when the year resets or when my gift is shipped?
No. The gifts are free and only depend on the number of coins you earned. You can spend them on any other prizes whether you qualify for Elite Status in a year or not (see Rewards). If you don't spend them, they will expire 2-3 years later (see Coins/Survey Expiry) just like any other coins you earn. Only your Status resets to zero, not your balance.
Rewards are the things that you spend your coins on. They come in two types, physical rewards, such as Game and Watch DS games, T-shirts, posters, etc. and codes to download games from the Wii, Wii U or 3DS shops. The digital games change every few weeks while the physical rewards are generally available permanently. The physical rewards do include some digitally delivered things as well (the exclusive Wiiware game Grill-Off with Ultra Hand! and some screensavers), but that's just the easiest thing to call them Nintendo occasionally adds products to the physical rewards list or takes some away. For a full list of rewards available from launch, see the Spreadsheet section.
To purchase any reward, just go to the rewards page and select the reward, giving your shipping address in the process. Your address must be within the US or Canada.
When do new physical rewards become available?
New rewards appear randomly every few months. There is no discernible pattern as to when they arrive.
When do new digital game rewards become available?
On the first of every month. They replace the previous month's digital game rewards
Do rewards ever become unavailable?
The digital games change every month. The physical rewards do occasionally go out of stock or disappear entirely from time to time. There is no warning of when this might happen.
Can the digital titles be played on the DSi?
No. There is no way to enter codes on the DSi Shop, so these games are only redeemable on the 3DS.
Both coins and surveys can expire. The survey expiry times are listed above in the relevant sections, but a summary of when the surveys are available is as follows:
Intend to Buy Survey: Available for the month or so before launch. If filled in, you have five years to register the game (we think).
Early Registration Bonus: Earned automatically if the game code is registered within 30 days of launch.
Registration Survey: Available upon registration of the game (i.e., entering the code for retail titles or upon purchase of downloadable titles) and expires 7 days later.
Post Play Survey: Available a week after registration of the game and valid for 120 days after registration.
Elite Status Prize choice: Typically available from July 1 - July 31.
Coins have a different expiry method. Unspent coins expire two years after the year you earned them in ends. For example, any coins earned between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 will expire on July 1, 2016. Your oldest coins are always spent first.
If you have coins expiring in a given year, Nintendo will indicate this in several places from about April until June 30 when they actually expire. You will see a note in the status box near your coin balance if you have coins set to expire in the current year. Nintendo will also send you an e-mail informing you of how many coins are expiring. In addition, anybody can check their coin balance by going to the Accounts & Coins page then clicking the Coins & Status tab.
How do I know if my coins are expiring this year?
This is answered fairly clearly above.
I have coins expiring this year and I don't want to spend them. Will my balance reset to zero?
No, unless you haven't earned any coins in the last two years. Let's say you earned 200 coins in '09-'10, 300 coins in '10-'11 and 100 coins in '11-'12 and the only coins you ever spent were 150 coins on a downloadable game (the year you purchased this doesn't matter), then, prior to July 1, 2012, you will have a total balance of 450 coins (200+300+100-150) and you will have 50 coins due to expire (200-150). If you let them expire, you will be left with a balance of 400 coins on July 1, 2012. You will then have 300 coins due to expire on July 1, 2013 unless you spend them on something by that date.
So what do I do to ensure my coins don't expire?
Spend them on stuff (see Rewards).
NeoGAF's DavidDayton maintains a spreadsheet which keeps track of many statistics and other useful information about the Club Nintendo service. This includes historical data of rewards which are no longer available as well as the points available for every eligible game. It is frequently updated and is explained more in the next post below.
Thanks to flippedb for creating the banner and for DavidDayton for his great spreadsheet work.
The Club Nintendo spreadsheet
The old thread
Check the third post in this thread to see the current news...