For many of us, they are the relapse at Christmas when we are faced with the dilemma of buying a “picky” friend or relative.
If you have no idea what to buy someone, you can just give them a gift card for their favorite store.
But finance guru Martin Lewis has said he won’t be giving anyone a coupon this year and is warning us all to steer clear of them.
The mirror reports how the money expert strongly warned buyers – they might be “worthless” if the recipient comes to spend them.
The founder of MoneySavingExpert.com said he was “not a fan of gift cards” after viewers asked what they could do with the Cineworld cards they have now.
But these weren’t the only gift cards Martin warned people about.
“The biggest answer I can give you and everyone else is, and I’ve said this many times before, but it’s never been more relevant – I’m extremely against gift cards,” he told viewers.
“The simple fact is that some of them are dating first and foremost – so someone is buying them for you and if you don’t use them in two years, they’re not worth it.
“But more importantly, if the company goes bust, they are worthless. You just have to claim the administrator as a creditor.”
But it offered a glimmer of hope to anyone determined to buy a gift card for Christmas.
He said some companies with a “rock-safe” future are still worth buying.
“At this time of terrible uncertainty, and retailers won’t like me saying this. The last thing I would give anyone for Christmas is a gift card, unless it’s from a company I was absolutely sure of “, he said.
Those companies included Amazon and Selfridges, he said – but added, “I assume I don’t know the strength of these companies.”
Another option was the One4All gift card, which could be issued at various retailers – from All Bar One to Argos and Primark – and the money is protected in the event of bankruptcy.