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In the build-up to Christmas, we're all thinking of what we can buy friends and family – and this year there's the added pandemic time pressure to contend with.
With shops closed for another few weeks, for many of us it's a case of the easier, the better.
There's one simple gift you probably think you can't really go wrong with.
Gift cards are a straight-forward way of showing someone you care – while making sure they get exactly what they want.
But according to Manchester Evening News, Martin Lewis says they may be a risk not worth taking.
He has already issued a stark warning to shoppers thinking about buying them for loved ones this Christmas.
He says they must be avoided – especially in this uncertain climate.
He said: "The biggest answer I can give 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 administator."
The MoneySavingExpert.com founder advises they are only purchased from giants who have no chance of going under.
He continued: "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."
But not quite all gift cards are created equal.
If you're looking for something that's prettier than cash, but still safe, the One4All gift card offers extra protection.
The cards can be spent at a variety of retailers – from All Bar One to Argos and Primark – and the money is protected in case of bankruptcies.
- Martin Lewis
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