The only reason I don't like using gift cards is then you have to keep track of every meal, and every treat that you buy. Or you have to keep calling to check your card balance. I even tried using gift cards to pay for tips the last time I was on the dining plan, and it confused a couple of my waiters. I guess I am lucky but I ran the numbers for my trip coming up in December, and the free dining came out the better deal, even when compared to a room only discount. But that is not always the case and it really does pay to run the numbers each and every time.