Martin Lewis warns shoppers NOT to buy this popular Christmas gift

Don't send your love with a gift card this year warns the money expert

When you're not sure what to buy someone at Christmas gift cards can be a lifesaver. However, money-saving expert Martin Lewis has warned shoppers to avoid buying gift cards and vouchers this year.

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Speaking on the Martin Lewis Money Show Live on ITV, the finance guru told viewers to skip buying gift cards this year. Or use them quickly if you've already bought them.

Martin Lewis gift card warning

'Gift vouchers are not safe, if a company goes into administration they're worth nothing,' explains Martin Lewis.

martin lewis and lara lewington photoshoot

(Image credit: Future PLC/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment)

If you already have a gift voucher he advised using it quickly. 'If I were you, I'd get it used. I wouldn't though, if you don't want to spend it on something of that value, don't throw bad money away after good.'

'I'd also buy in store,' he advised. 'Because if you deliver now and something were to happen with the administration, you wouldn't get the delivery.'

'As long as it's safe for you to go in-store, I'd go and use my voucher as quickly as possible.'

However, he had one final warning about the popular Christmas present. 'If you're thinking of giving gift vouchers for Christmas let this be a warning to you - don't do it.'

room with white table and gift box

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

'Be careful with gift vouchers this Christmas with so many retailers in trouble. Go and give them money to spend there instead.'

His warning comes in light of many high street giants including Debenhams and Topshop teetering on the brink of collapse.

entrance with merry christmas board

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

While Debenhams is still honouring the full value of gift cards. Arcadia Brands, including Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, recently announced gifts cards can only be used on a sale that is double their value.

'Gift cards remain valid in full across all the Arcadia brands. The full value of a gift card can be put towards up to 50 per cent off a purchase,' said a spokesman for Arcadia's administrators, Deloitte.

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That means you would need to spend £20 in-store to use a £10 voucher.

Heed Martin Lewis' advice and don't get caught out.

Rebecca Knight
Rebecca Knight

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.