Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has warned against buying gift cards as Christmas presents as he spoke on an episode of ITV’s This Morning this week to explain why he is not a fan of them.
During his segment, viewers asked what their rights were for using Cineworld giftcards now that the cinema chain had closed, reports MEN.
He said: “The biggest answer I can give you and anyone else is, and I’ve said this many times before but never has it been more pertinent – I am extremely anti gift cards.”
“The simple fact is that first of all some of them date – so someone buys them for you and if you don’t use them in two years they are not worth it. But more importantly, if the company goes bust they are worthless. You just have to claim as a creditor on the administrator.
To find the latest news where you live, enter your postcode below:
“In this time of terrible uncertainty, and retailers won’t like me saying this, the last thing I would be giving anyone for Christmas is a gift card, unless it is from a company I was absolutely rock certain.”
However for those who still want to purchase a gift card, Martin added that companies like Amazon or Selfridges are safer although he did insist “I’m taking a guess I don’t know the strength of these companies”.
Speaking on what people can do with their Cineworld gift cards, he told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: “Cineworld has temporarily closed, we hope. Obviously we live in very uncertain times at the moment on these types of things.
Sign up to our Secret Elves Club newsletter to find out the best festive deals and things to do this Christmas
“My team have been badgering them for an answer of what you can do with it but we haven’t had anything back.”
But the Money Saving Expert’s comments clash with posts that have been circulating on social media recently, encouraging people to buy vouchers for local businesses that may be struggling this Christmas due to Covid restrictions and guidelines.
When the pandemic led to a national lockdown earlier this year, the ‘pay it forward’ movement encouraged people to buy restaurant or shop vouchers to use when businesses were allowed to reopen again.
What do you think? Has Martin Lewis’s comments put you off buying vouchers this year, or would you still give one as a gift? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.