Spicy chicken chain Nando's has launched a new electronic loyalty card offering more reward options than the restaurant's past schemes – but you'll need to spend more cash to take a bite out of it.

The new loyalty scheme, which launched last week, lets cardholders collect one 'Chilli' per transaction of £7 or more, per day. Once you've accumulated a certain number of Chillies, these can be traded in for free dishes (see our Restaurant Deals page for the best discounts if you're planning a meal out).

To take part, you just need to pick up a card in a Nando's restaurant. You'll be able to use it straight away.

The electronic card replaces its previous scheme, where a paper card was stamped for each meal costing £6 or more.

If you've got an old loyalty card, you'll no longer be able to earn new stamps, but you'll be able to cash in rewards from them up to 30 June 2014.

But if you've earned an odd number of stamps that don't add up to enough to redeem a reward, you won't be able to transfer these over to the new Chilli scheme.

How do the loyalty cards compare?

Under the new scheme, you'll have more choice over what to spend your Chillies on:

  • Three Chillies: Free 1/4 chicken or any "appeteaser". Previously three stamps got you a free 1/4 chicken or any appeteaser excluding Altogether Now.
  • Six Chillies: Free 1/2 chicken or any single wrap, pitta or burger. Previously six stamps only got you a free 1/2 chicken (or vegetarian alternative).
  • 10 Chillies: Free whole chicken or any single combo meal. Previously 10 stamps only got you a free whole chicken (or vegetarian alternative).

The new electronic card also means your balance will be saved to your online account – providing you register your card on the Nando's website. So if you lose your card, you can report it and get your Chilli tally transferred over to a replacement.

Just as with the old scheme, you can also only earn one Chilli per day, so you can't split your bill into as many £7+ transactions as possible to maximise your Chilli count.

Nando's has been trialling the Chilli scheme in Scotland since May 2012.