When Nintendo launched Switch Online, it raised more than a few alarm bells over its attitude toward cloud saves. Based on the FAQ, your saved games would vanish from the internet the moment your membership expired. Not much of a safety net, is it? Thankfully, that's not quite how it works. In a statement to IGN, Nintendo said that the cloud saves remain for up to 180 days (about six months) after a subscription lapses. That doesn't mean you can use those saves, but you can get them back even if you wait months to resubscribe.
While this is heartening news for gamers (particularly kids who may have to ask their parents to pay $20 per year), it illustrates the confusion that has dogged Switch Online's cloud save approach. In addition to the question of what happens when you stop paying, Nintendo has acknowledged that even some major titles (such as Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee) won't support cloud saves. It's not clear just how much value you're really getting, and that could vary widely depending on the titles you play.