You can't use them without it costing you money! I am asking because I want to give some of my bitcoins to a friend. It is a gift not a transaction. I don't think it can be useful as a currency if it costs so much to use. Please can someone explain this simple point. I am not familiar with any of the intricacies or concepts of Bitcoin and am just looking at its possibility of use as an actual useful currency.
The fees are supposed to be low. The last year, the transactions-per-second rate increased more than the system could handle. A few months ago, "SegWit", a technical advancement was activated. Currently people can use SegWit addresses and pay less fees, (so use a SegWit compatible wallet if you want to pay less fees!), however it's only a temporary solution. We'll have "side-chains" and other Layer-2 technology in a few months (Search for "Lightning Network") (up to a year) which will make fees drop forever.
TL;DR: The fees are temporarily high. Keep on eye on Bitcoin news.