The UK’s biggest coffee chain Costa will this week launch a points-based reward card for customers to use across food and drink purchases.

In a shift away from coffee-only reward cards commonplace among coffee, sandwich and bakery retailers, the supermarket-style scheme will see customers accumulating points with each purchase of any food, drink or merchandising product sold in its Costa stores nationwide.

Benefits include five points for every £1 spent in store, with every point worth 1 penny; points can be exchanged for any free food or drink in store; and cards registered at will receive 100 bonus points equal to £1 on sign-up plus email points offers each month and entry to prize draws.

The scheme has been on a year-long trial in Scotland where Costa said one-in-three transactions are now using the card. The launch will be backed by in–store advertising, point of sale and PR.

Costa has the biggest number of coffee shop outlets in the UK, doubling from 500 in 2007 to 1,034 this year, according to British Baker’s BB75 annual league table of bakery retailers. It overtook Starbucks on store numbers in 2009.

"We are now confident that the Coffee Club offers customers the best, most flexible rewards programme available," said Kevin Hydes, head of UK marketing at Costa.

The scheme replaces the three-year-old prepay Costa Card. From March 4th all original Costa Cards will automatically become Coffee Club Cards and will no longer need to be topped up with money.

Consumer research commissioned by Costa found that 85% of people believed shops, businesses and brands should give more rewards, with customer loyalty cards viewed as a top-three driver of repeat visits.