I use mine for holiday presents, either as direct gift-card gifts or shopping with them for gifts to give. However, I cash in for a few restaurant gift cards as well whenever I visit my daughter and son-in-law in Phoenix, so we can go out to eat.
I could opt to apply the cash to particularly large bills* but this way is more fun.
I do the same with points from rewards programs like Swagbucks and MyPoints.
*Never carry a balance, but some months the bill is higher than others (especially if I've had medical co-pays) and it might make more sense to apply the cash-back instead of cashing in for gifts. But my way is more fun.