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If you want all of your holiday gifts to arrive on time this year, you’d better finish your shopping soon.
For Christmas gift givers, don’t be fooled into thinking that Dec. 25 means you have a big cushion. Most major retailers—and package shippers—anticipate that online shopping will be off the charts this year and that the volume will place a tremendous strain on package delivery systems this holiday season.
To ensure that your holiday gifts arrive on time, check out the year-end gift-shipping deadline information below for FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service.
And don’t forget about Free Shipping Day. Hundreds of online merchants will participate on Dec. 14, offering items that should arrive by Christmas Eve.
For shipping within the U.S.:
Shipping deadlines vary for packages headed to Puerto Rico and Canada, Mexico, and other international destinations. See FedEx's 2019 Holiday Shipping Schedule page for more information.
For shipping within the U.S.:
UPS warns that some packages and services may require an additional day of transit time. For a more complete assessment of how long it will take for your gift to arrive, check the UPS online shipping time and cost calculator.
For international shipping deadlines and other holiday-related information, such as pickup and delivery schedules, see the Holiday Shipping page on the UPS website.
Amazon has published its Holiday Delivery Calendar, which notes the following suggested deadlines for ordering items to arrive by Christmas:
Amazon will deliver holiday orders to a self-service Hub Locker in over 900 cities and towns, including Whole Foods, for no additional cost.
Customers can also choose to pick up packages in-store at a Hub Counter partner location, which includes staffed pickup areas inside Rite Aid, GNC, and Stage stores, as well as at Health Mart independent pharmacies.
Check Amazon's help page, Shipping Rates & Times, for more information.
You'll find similar ordering and holiday gift-shipping deadline information for most major retailers online. Some examples:
Best Buy offers free next-day shipping on "thousands of items" available on its website, including major appliances and large TVs (51 inches and larger). The $35 minimum order amount is waived for members of its My Best Buy Elite and Elite Plus member programs.
Shoppers also have a one-hour in-store pickup option for online order. Some locations even have curbside pickup, so customers don't even have to get out of their car.
See Best Buy's shipping costs and timing page for more information regarding limitations and exceptions.
The chain offers free two-day shipping on "thousands of in-demand home improvement items" as well as free in-store pickup. See Home Depot's online ordering and shipping page for information about exclusions and limitations.
The home improvement store also offers same-day and next-day deliveries of certain items. Again, check Home Depot's Delivery Services page for costs and other limitations.
Kmart and Sears
Note that Kohl says it's too late now to guarantee deliveries to Alaska, Hawaii, and military bases to arrive by Christmas Eve. For more information, check out Kohl's Holiday Shipping Deadlines page.
Target offers free same-day delivery on orders of at least $35 if new online shoppers sign up for and use Shipt, a membership plan that's free for the first four weeks. (The annual membership cost after the trial period is $99 for unlimited orders of $35 and above. Or members can pay a delivery charge per same-day delivery.)
Target also offers online shoppers in-store and even curbside pickup.
In select markets, the mass retailer offers free NextDay delivery on eligible online orders over $35. (A $6 fee applies to orders that don't meet requirements.)
For the U.S. mainland, Walmart also offers free two-day shipping. Again, orders of eligible items (identified with a "2-Day Shipping" logo) must total over $35 and should be placed by 2 p.m. Orders shipped to Alaska, Hawaii, military mail centers, and other territories may take three days or longer. See Walmart's Free 2-Day shipping page for more information about restrictions.
And like Target, it also offers same-day, in-store pickup of most items ordered on its website Walmart.com. Certain items—such as those weighing 350 pounds and more—aren't eligible for in-store pickup. See Walmart's Store Pickup help page for more information.
We’ll update this information as retailers firm up their holiday plans, so bookmark this article and check back often.
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- Dec. 9: Last day to ship via FedEx SmartPost.
- Dec. 16: Last day to ship via FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery.
- Dec. 19: Last day to ship via FedEx Express Saver.
- Dec. 20: Last day to ship via FedEx 2Day and FedEx 2Day A.M.
- Dec. 21: Last day to ship via FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, and FedEx First Overnight.
- Dec. 25: Last day to ship via FedEx SameDay City Direct, FedEx SameDay City Priority, and FedEx SameDay.
Dec. 13: Last day to ship UPS Ground for delivery Tuesday, Dec. 24.
Dec. 19: Last day to ship UPS 3 Day Select for delivery Tuesday, Dec. 24.
Dec. 20: Last day to ship UPS 2nd Day Air packages for delivery Tuesday, Dec. 24.
- Dec. 23: Last day to ship UPS Next Day Air for delivery on Tuesday, Dec. 24.
- Dec. 14: Last day to order for free standard shipping. Note: On qualified orders over $25 only.
- Dec. 18: Last day to order for standard shipping. Note: Items ship within 3-5 business days.
- Dec. 22: Last day to order for Free Delivery with Prime. Note: Free for Amazon Prime members. No minimum purchase necessary.
- Dec. 23: Last day to order for one-day shipping. Note: Free for Amazon Prime members. No minimum purchase necessary.
- Dec. 24: Last day to order for same-day delivery.
- Dec. 16: Last day of Free Shipping for online orders placed by 4 p.m. CST. (Only qualifying order of $35 or more.)
- Dec. 18: Last day for Standard Shipping for online orders placed by 4 p.m. CST.
- Dec. 20: Last day for Premium Shipping for online orders placed by 4 p.m. CST.
- Dec. 24: Last day for in-store pickup of online orders placed by 3 p.m., local time.
- Dec. 19: Last day for two-day shipping of online orders to arrive by Dec. 24. (Orders must placed by 1 p.m. CST.)
- Dec. 20: Last day for one-day shipping of online orders to arrive by Dec. 24. (Orders must placed by 1 p.m. CST.)
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