I believe they are only when converting your points or for doing certain things where EF give you a code. Other than that, I think ya have to buy the actual gift card.
Someone else might know something I don't though.
Thank you for your replies! I ended up sending in a support ticket, and it turns out that you do have to be sent an actual gift card. However, the EF staff is being very helpful...they are going to message me my code once the card is activated, so that I don't have to wait on the mail! Thanks EF!!