I, for one, have been using the Cash Back program from Discover to make all of my monthly purchases since 2004....that's almost a decade!
Recently, I decided to review their gift card program. Since I am planning a trip, I have found that it is worth the money to cash in my cash back for gift cards instead of cash.
If you dine out often, travel or shop at one of their affiliates often, it is definitely worth your time to investigate the program. You can get gift cards for less cash than the cost of the card. For example: $50 Red Lobster gift card for $45. Same deal with Best Western.
An even better deal thru the Discover card is their Hyatt gift certificate. You can get a $100 Hyatt gift certificate for only $40 cash back dollars. If you are going to be staying at the Hyatt on vacation, why not save $60! What a great deal.
Check with your other credit cards and bank accounts as well. I recently signed up for a bank account that gives 1 point for $2 spent. The points can be cashed in for gift cards, gift items, and more. I received 5000 points for signing up for the program. When I referred someone, I received another 5000 points. I'll end up with about $75 worth of gift cards with just the sign up points.
What an easy way to pay for vacation.