Before you replace the hardware edit /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rule
If the interface uses DHCP then remove knowledge of the DHCP lease by removing /var/lib/dhcp/dhclient.NAME.leases.
Now power down, disconnect the power lead, change the NIC card, and re-power.
If you forget to edit 70-persistent-net.rules beforehand all is not lost, you'll simply need to tidy the file up to combine the old and new NIC device entries. Alternatively, if your care factor is low then echo -n > /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rule
Follow a similar process when using a VM and changing from emulating a NIC card to using the faster virtio adapter. Or when cloning a VM and assigning new random MAC addresses.