We've warned you in the past that getting a free flight from Qantas via Everyday Rewards will require you to spend at least $8,000 in store, and it's not just in travel that bad value "loyalty schemes" abound. Step forward Nintendo.
Blogger Alex Kidman (yep, related to Lifehacker's Oz editor) analysed the Australian version of the Club Nintendo Stars scheme, which lets you accumulate points by purchasing new Nintendo titles and spend them in the Stars catalogue. It turns out you'd need to spend a lot of money on new games (and only new games from Nintendo) to get enough stars to buy anything from the fairly limited range on offer. To score a Mario towel, you'll have to spend $520 on games, while getting a copy of the DS Game & Watch title will require more than $1,000. As Alex points out:
They’re not generous when you consider 3/5ths of the “free” content is very ordinary, 1/5th is a face towel and the final remaining title consists of three classic games that you could certainly buy online in their original format (and probably boxed) for quite a bit less than a thousand bucks.
As ever, if you're happy to buy the goods anyway, you might as well score the bonuses. But don't make the mistake of thinking anything like real saving is going on.