For the first coffee shop that did this, it was a great idea. For a relatively small cost (1/10th of a free cup of coffee and however much printing the cards cost), you would get a little bump in customer loyalty. Basically any bump in customer loyalty would justify that small cost, so this was the kind of brilliant plan that could make you Harvard Business School's "Dickwad of the Year," or whatever their award is.
At Yale, the title is "Douche Regent."
But, once one place started doing it, their competitors had to as well. If any of them doesn't print these loyalty cards, they'd be giving an advantage to the other coffee shops (which we know is the only business more cutthroat than dealing smack in Baltimore).
That leads us to our present situation, in which every single f*****g cafe has these loyalty cards. Of course, since every shop has them, none actually inspire any kind of loyalty, because "loyal to all" is exactly equivalent to "loyal to none." So they're more like little frustration cards for people who like carrying around garbage. Because after every business is on the same dumb punch card system, we're back to square one, except that everyone has to go through the hassle of printing and keeping track of these stupid little punch cards.
The only winning move is to not play.