Money Saving expert Martin Lewis has told people to be careful when buying gift cards this Christmas.

Speaking on ITV's This Morning, the finance expert said he is "not a fan of gift cards", after viewers asked what their rights are in terms of using Cineworld gift cards now the cinema chain has closed.

During the segment he issued a stern warning against buying loved-ones gift cards for Christmas.

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."

Droitwich Advertiser: Martin Lewis speaking on ITV's This MorningMartin Lewis speaking on ITV's This Morning

"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 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.

Martin 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."

Martin added that if you are going to purchase a gift card, companies like Amazon and Selfridges could be safer bets, but said: "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.

"My team have been badgering them for an answer of what you can do with it but we haven't had anything back."

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.