Once the new Gold Points update rolls around, players can then use their collected Gold Points on an "eligible digital purchase" for the Switch, which includes "games and DLC" from the Nintendo eShop, Nintendo's US page reports. Previously, these could only be redeemed on the My Nintendo website for a small selection of digital games, and discounts.
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My Nintendo members already earn Gold Points by buying qualifying games. Each Gold Point is worth one British pence, which means you'll need to buy a lot of games (a £40 game on the eShop will net you 200 Gold Points, or £2) before you can get something substantial for free.
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. Thus, if you were to purchase a $60 game, 5% of that would you would earn 300 Gold Coins. While this seems to be the direction of speculation, Nintendo hasn't definitively set the value of a single Gold Coin. In fact, as of December, the Switch had three times as many games as the Wii U did at the same point after its own release, and double that of the Wii.
Furthermore, Nintendo clarified how long Gold Coins shall remain valid in your account "Once earned, Gold Points remain valid until the last day of the month in the following calendar year".