MARTIN Lewis has warned shoppers not to give gift cards as presents this Christmas.
The money saving expert said a gift card was the "last thing" he would give anyone for Christmas because of the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Speaking on ITV's This Morning Martin said: "If the company goes bust, they are worthless."
He was responding to a caller askingwhat they should do with a voucher they have for Cineworld.
The struggling cinema chain, which is also behind Picturehouse cinemas, has been forced to close all of its 127 locations in the UK due to covid.
Blockbuster movie releases including the nest James Bond movie No Time To Die have been pushed back to next year because of coronavirus, prompting the temporary closures.
How to get your voucher extended
WE explain what to do if you’ve missed out on cash by not using a voucher before its expiry date.
Which? is advising anyone who had a voucher that expired during lockdown to contact the company and ask for an extension.
Many retailers have been willing to extend their voucher expiry policies due to the coronavirus crisis, so the date on your gift card isn’t necessarily final.
It may not always work though, as retailers don't have a legal requirement to extend vouchers and can stick with the original expiry date.
But it's worth getting in touch if you haven’t heard from them already.
The caller was told they should wait until they were able to spend them again and hope the chain does reopen.
Gift vouchers are worth only what the company say they are worth, and if it goes bust, that can end up being nothing.
Coronavirus has left many big businesses struggling, including in retail and hospitality where gift vouchers are commonly used.
Another reason Martin said for avoiding gift cards is that many have a limited time to use them.
Martin said "Some of them date, so if someone buys them for you and you don't use them in two years they're not worth anything."
Shoppers lost almost £100million in unused vouchers as stores closed during coronavirus lockdown, according to Which? research.
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