Demystifying Nintendo eShop Card Redemption: The Complete How-To Guide

Have you ever received a Nintendo eShop gift card for your birthday or the holidays and struggled to redeem it? Or even just wondered what exactly you can use that card balance for in the first place? Well, wonder no more!

In this all-encompassing guide, I‘ll give you an insider‘s overview of Nintendo eShop cards – what they are, where to buy them, what you can spend them on – and then fully break down the easy redemption process step-by-step for Nintendo Switch.

Let‘s get started demystifying how to put those eShop balances toward awesome new games!

Here‘s the Deal on Nintendo eShop Cards

First, a quick Nintendo eShop Card 101.

Nintendo eShop cards are essentially gift certificates with a specified dollar amount that can be redeemed directly on the Nintendo eShop app. According to financial analytics from 2020, consumers worldwide purchased $380+ million worth of Nintendo eShop cards from popular retailers.

These easy-to-gift cards make the perfect birthday present or stocking stuffer for the Nintendo fanatic in your life. Or, let‘s be real, just treat yourself! They can be bought at most major big box stores like Target, BestBuy, Walmart, or GameStop for denominations ranging from $10 all the way up to $100.

Once redeemed to your account, the credits unlock a universe of popular Nintendo Switch entertainment. Now, what might that be, you ask?

It‘s a Whole Nintendo World Out There

Get ready to jump down the Nintendo rabbit hole! Here‘s a quick cheat sheet reference of what you can actually transform those eShop card funds into once redeemed:

Content TypeExamplesAvg. Price Range
Full GamesThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate$40 – $60
DLC & ExpansionsOcto Expansion (Splatoon 2), Sword/Shield Expansion Pass$15 – $30
MicrotransactionsV-Bucks (Fortnite), FUT Points (FIFA Games)$1 – $100+
SubscriptionsNintendo Switch Online – Individual/Family Plans$3.99 – $79.99 per year

Whether you‘re dying to play the latest Kirby game, want to gear up in Fortnite with some swanky new skins, or simply renew yourlapsed Nintendo Switch Online membership that just ran out – eShop card funds let you avoid needing an additional payment method for all your Nintendo digital needs!

Now let‘s get to the good stuff: how to actually redeem these babies…

Redeeming Nintendo eShop Cards on Nintendo Switch

Redeeming an eShop card directly on your Nintendo Switch is quick and convenient, especially if you‘re eager to dive right into a new game. Follow me through these simple steps:

Step 1: Locate That eShop!

From your Switch‘s main menu, scroll through your game tiles until you spot the vibrant-red Nintendo eShop icon. Give that a solid click to launch the eShop portal.

Pro Tip: Create a shortcut by pressing down and dragging the eShop icon upwards along your Switch menu screen. This pins it into the Quick Access tray for easier access anytime!

Locate and open the Nintendo eShop app

Step 2: Seek Out "Enter Code"

Ok, from within the eShop you should now see a menu on the left side of the screen. Scroll alllll the way down that list until you find the "Enter Code" option. Select it to continue.

Troubleshooting: Don‘t see Enter Code? First check that you have the latest Nintendo eShop update installed. Go to the Nintendo eShop‘s main menu > hit the "L" button for options > choose "Check for Updates."

Enter Code option in the Nintendo eShop sidebar

Step 3: Time to Put in That 16-Digit Code!

You should now be viewing an enter code page. Carefully type in the full 16-digit eShop card code with each group separated by dashes. I recommend double even triple checking as you enter it in!

When finished, select OK to submit the code for redemption.

Warning! Nintendo eShop card codes are single use only. So enter meticulously on the first try!

Type in your full 16-digit Nintendo eShop card code

Step 4: Final Confirm + Celebrate!

Just one confirmation screen left! Verify the code digits match 100%, then hit that shiny Confirm button. Wahoo! Your eShop card value now lives safely in your Nintendo Account wallet for purchasing all kinds of awesome stuff.

Go explore the eShop and put that budget toward a memorable gaming experience!

One last code check then confirm redemption

Redeeming eShop cards on your Switch really couldn‘t be much simpler. But what if you just can‘t deal with that finicky little joycon controller keyboard? Let‘s check out how web redemption works too…

Option 2: Redeem Nintendo eShop Cards Online

Prefer a good ole‘ fashion keyboard and mouse or phone screen taps to enter your codes? Nintendo‘s got you covered there too. Here‘s how online eShop card redemption shakes out:

Step 1: Visit Nintendo‘s eShop Card Redemption Site

Open up your preferred web browser on either desktop or mobile and navigate to This launches Nintendo‘s official online eShop card management portal.

Pro Tip: Save that link! It‘ll come in handy whenever you‘ve got eShop cards to punch in.

Visit Nintendo's eShop Card Redemption Website

Step 2: Sign In to Your Nintendo Account

Next, you‘ll need to input the login credentials for whichever Nintendo Account you have linked up with your Switch console. If you haven‘t yet connected the two, check out Nintendo‘s Account Connect guide here.

Once logged in, hit Next to continue.

Enter your Nintendo Account login information

Step 3: Time for That Code Once Again!

You know the drill now. Carefully enter in the full 16-digit Nintendo eShop card code on the next screen. Group those digits properly with the hyphens to avoid any hiccups.

With the code entered accurately, proceed onward by agreeing to Nintendo‘s Terms of Service.

Input your eShop card code carefully

Step 4: One Last Redeem Click!

You made it! Last step now is to simply re-enter your account password and finalize the redemption process by selecting that big, beautiful orange Redeem button.

Enjoy having immediate access to those new eShop funds straight from Nintendo‘s website!

Agree to Terms and hit Redeem!

See? No finicky joycon keyboard required. Either redemption method works efficiently depending on if you have your Switch on hand or just happen to be browsing the web.

With so many redemption options readily available, there are no more excuses to let those eShop cards sit around collecting dust!

Key Nintendo eShop Card Deets

Now that you know how to redeem your cards, let‘s chat some of the finer details so you can optimize spending that new eShop balance:

Nintendo Switch Online Pricing

If you‘ve been itching to re-up your Nintendo Switch Online membership, eShop credit helps soften that cost blow. Just know the different pricing package options:

  • 1 Month Membership – $3.99
  • 3 Month Membership – $7.99
  • 12 Month Individual Membership – $19.99
  • 12 Month Expansion Pack Membership – $49.99

The Expansion Pack grants access to those nostalgic N64 and Genesis game libraries. Really takes you back!

Zero Hidden Fees

The best things in life are free. Well in this case, free of extra charges! The full dollar amount loaded onto your eShop card goes straight to your funds. Nintendo doesn‘t deduct any activation fees or other nonsense.

Pool All Leftover Balances

Say your eShop card leaves you with $3 leftover after snagging a new game. Rather than leaving dusty cents behind, Nintendo actually lets you accumulate and pool balances across multiple cards into one shareable Nintendo Account wallet. Handy!

No wasting funds here. Every last cent gets put to good use on your next eShop purchase.

Let‘s Clear Up Some Common Confusion

Redeeming eShop cards is generally smooth sailing. But I do still hear some frequent questions arise. Let me see if I can provide a bit more clarity:

Can I redeem eShop cards on older systems?

A: Unfortunately eShop card support for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U shut down in 2022. The funds can now only be loaded to your Nintendo Account wallet for use on the Nintendo Switch.

What if I lose my physical eShop card??

A: Losing the physical card is gonna sting! Think of it like cash flying out of your pocket, never to be seen again. The codes themselves can‘t be restored or retrieved so enter carefully during that initial redemption.

Why do I keep getting errors when entering my code??

A: Nine times out of ten, code entry errors come down to simple typos. I highly suggest going slowly, digit-by-digit, and verifying each group. Also check that your Nintendo Account region matches the eShop card region.

Hope that provides some additional troubleshooting guidance as you move through the redemption process! Don‘t hesitate to drop me any other questions that pop up along the way too.

Let the eShop Card Spending Spree Commence!

Whew, I don‘t know about you but learning all these Nintendo eShop card deets has me itching to put some funds toward a new Switch game!

We covered everything from what you can even buy with the cards to step-by-step redemption on Switch and online. No more mystery or intimidation surrounding eShop prepaid cards.

Now that you know the ins, outs, tips and tricks, I crown you master of Nintendo eShop card redemption! Go get yourself something nice in the Nintendo Store!

As always, drop me a line if any other eShop card questions pop up during your shopping adventures. This is Richard signing off – and happy gaming!

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