Holiday shipping deadlines are approaching fast! Here’s how to get your items delivered by Christmas

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Holiday deliveries illustration. (Credit: MGN)
Holiday deliveries illustration. (Credit: MGN)

Chrismas is in less than 2 weeks away and if you haven’t shipped your Christmas gifts just yet, now is the time. Holiday shipping deadlines are approaching at lightning speed, so if you want to make sure your packages arrive by Christmas view our comprehensive guide below, with information provided by

Ship by the dates below to ensure delivery by Christmas.

Dec. 25 falls on a Wednesday this year, so the dates below are based on delivery of Dec. 24 at the latest. For more information, visit the carriers’ holiday shipping pages (FedEX, UPS, USPS).

Note that UPS tacks on peak-shipping surcharges to some packages mailed in November and December. Also, be sure to check the hours of your apartment or company mailing room, which may be closed on Christmas Eve, and adjust your shipping time accordingly.

Does FedEx SameDay really deliver on Christmas?: Yes, you can ship an item ON Christmas and get it there ON Christmas using this method. FedEx offers this service 365 days a year in all 50 states, and it will get your package to your recipient the day you ship it, even cross-country. It’s pricey, though. Shipments weighing up to 25 lbs cost $235. So, consider this more for emergencies, rather than for gifts. For more info on how to use this service, go here.

Stores That Provide Free Shipping on All Domestic U.S. Orders

The following stores provide free standard shipping (or better) on ALL orders, no minimum. Most of these offer it year-round, but some (including Best Buy and Target) are offering seasonal promos.

More retailers may offer free shipping during the holiday season, and we’ll be updating our list as they announce their plans.

Disclaimer: Check merchant terms. Oversize and orders outside the continental U.S. may be excluded.

2019 Free Shipping Requirements & Shipping Deadlines for Major Online Retailers

Use the following chart to determine what you need to do to get free standard holiday shipping from various major retailers, as well as the absolute last day you can ship (via any method) to get it there by Christmas.

A few things to note:

  • The requirements for free shipping generally apply to “Standard” or “Economy” shipping, unless otherwise indicated. Some retailers, however, have an even lower tier for free shipping, meaning your delivery will take a few more days than even standard shipping would. Check delivery times carefully before placing your order.
  • Our last-day-to-ship dates are based on a Tuesday Dec. 24 delivery. Before ordering, pay close attention to the cut-off time (some retailers may process orders placed after a certain time the next day, meaning your package would be late for Christmas, even if you order on the day listed in the chart).
  • The dates below are based on shipping within the contiguous United States. Shipping to Alaska and Hawaii might take longer. Check with retailer for cut-offs for shipping to those states.
  • Some retailers change their shipping deadlines and free-shipping requirements approaching the holidays. We will keep our chart updated as more retailers announce official (possibly extended) holiday shipping deadlines..
Store Requirements for Free Standard Shipping Last Day for Christmas shipping (free) Last Day for Christmas Shipping (expedited)
Abercrombie & Fitch N/A No Free shipping. Dec. 12 for standard shipping. Dec. 23 by 12 p.m. EST (next-day shipping for $22)
Allen Edmonds $75 or more Dec. 16 at 9 a.m. CST Dec. 20 by 9 a.m. CST (expedited shipping for a fee — depends on order size)
American Girl N/A No free shipping. Ships via Priority Mail. Order by Dec. 20 Dec. 20
Apple Store Free two-day Dec. 20 Dec. 23 (next-day shipping, extra fees apply)
AT&T Wireless Free standard on all orders, free express shipping on certain products Dec. 17 Dec. 19 before 5 p.m. EST (Express shipping, free for some items, extra fee for others)
Banana Republic Over $50 Dec. 17 Dec. 20 before 3 p.m. EST (Next-day shipping for $22)
Barnes and Noble Over $35 Dec. 19 by 11:59 EST Dec. 23 by 11:59 EST for Expedited (additional fee)
Bass Pro Shops Free two-day FedEx shipping over $50 Dec. 18 by 4 p.m. EST Dec. 21 before 4 p.m. EST (Overnight Air Express for $25 above standard)
Bed Bath & Beyond Over $39 Dec. 17 Dec. 20 before 1 p.m. EST (Express shipping, cost based on order amount).
Belk Over $99 free standard Dec. 19 Dec. 23 by 1 p.m. EST (Express overnight for $29.95 extra)
Best Buy Free standard for holidays TBD TBD
Bloomingdale’s Varies by promo Dec. 16 by 5 p.m. EST Dec. 20 by 5 p.m. EST (Express shipping: $20 above standard rate)
Cabela’s Free two-day FedEx shipping over $50 Dec. 18 Dec. 21 before 3 p.m. EST (Overnight Air Express for $25 above standard)
Cole Haan $150 and over get free ground shipping Dec. 13 before 1 p.m. EST Dec. 23 before 1 p.m. EST (UPS Overnight for $25 extra)
Costco Select items Depends on order Depends on order
Crate and Barrel N/A No free shipping. Dec. 16 for Standard Dec. 19 before 12 p.m. EST (Premium shipping, additional fees apply)
Dell Free standard Dec. 16 by 3 p.m. EST Dec. 23 by 3 p.m. (Next-Day delivery, not available for all products, fees apply)
Dick’s Sporting Goods Over $25 Dec. 18 Dec. 20
Dillard’s Over $150 Dec. 20 at 12 p.m. CST Dec. 21
Disney Store Over $75 Dec. 17 Dec. 20 by 10 a.m. PST (Next-Day Express, additional fees apply)
Eddie Bauer $49 and over Dec. 16 Dec. 23 by noon EST (Overnight, extra fees apply)
Fry’s Over $35 Dec. 13 Dec. 21 by 8 p.m. EST (Overnight, fees apply)
GameStop Over $35 Dec. 18 Dec. 19 (Express shipping, fees apply)
Gap Over $50 Dec. 13 Dec. 23 before 3 p.m. EST (Next-Day shipping, fees apply
Guitar Center $25 and over Dec. 15 before 11 a.m. EST Dec. 23 before w p.m. EST (Next day, additional fees apply
H&M Over $40 Dec. 16 Dec. 20 by 4 p.m. EST (Expedited for $24.99)
Harry & David Depends on promo By Dec. 18 for Standard Dec. 21 for 2-Day Express (fees apply)
Home Depot Over $45 Dec. 11 Dec. 20 (Express delivery, fees apply. Not available for all items)
JCPenney Over $99 Dec. 17 Dec. 20 before noon CST (Express, fees apply)
Kmart Over $25 Dec. 18 by 11:59 p.m. CST Dec. 21 by 4 p.m. CST (Premium, extra fees apply)
Kohl’s Free standard over $50 TBD TBD
L.L.Bean $50 or more Dec. 22 by noon EST Dec. 22 by noon EST
Lowe’s $45 and over Dec. 16 Dec. 20 by noon EST (Next-day delivery, fees apply)
Macy’s Over $25 TBD TBD
Microsoft Store Free standard Dec. 14 Dec 20 by noon PST (Express, fees apply)
Modcloth Over $75 Dec. 12 Dec 19 (Express for extra fee)
Neiman Marcus Free standard Dec. 16 before noon CST Dec. 20 before noon CST (Next-day, $25 extra)
Nordstrom Free standard Dec. 16 Dec. 20 by noon EST (2-Day shipping for $12 extra)
Office Depot & OfficeMax Over $35 Dec. 17 Dec. 20 by 5 p.m. (Next-business-day, fees may apply, free for certain items and orders over $45)
Old Navy Over $50 Dec. 12 Dec. 23 before 3 p.m. EST (1-Day shipping, fees apply)
Omaha Steaks Select items Dec. 10 Dec. 23 before 9 a.m. CST (Rush delivery for extra $39.99) Over $45 Dec. 14 (some items have later deadlines) Some items eligible for expedited, with fee. Deadline varies by item.
Petco $49 and over Dec. 20 by noon PST Dec. 20 by noon PST
PetSmart Over $49 Dec. 19 Dec 23 by noon EST (Next-Day, fees apply)
Pottery Barn Select items Dec. 21 by 10 p.m. PST for Standard Dec. 23 by 11 a.m. PST for next-day (additional fees apply)
REEDS Jewelers Over $30 Dec. 14 by 12 p.m. EST Dec. 20 by noon EST if in-stock and no sizing needed (Overnight, fees apply)
REI $50 and over gets free standard Dec. 12 Dec. 20 ( Express, additional fees apply)
Sam’s Club Select items Dec. 11 Dec. 20 (Express, extra fees apply)
Samsung Free standard Dec. 17 for phones and accessories. Dec. 14 for TVs and all other products Dec. 20 (Express, fees apply)
Sears Over $35 Dec. 16 by 11:59 p.m. CST Dec. 20 by 4 p.m. CST (Premium, fees apply)
Shutterfly Varies by promo Dec. 10 Dec. 20 by 4 p.m. PST (Super-Rush delivery, fees apply)
Target Free 2-day (no minimum) Nov. 1 – Dec. 22 Dec. 20 by 12 p.m. local time Dec. 21 (Express, fees apply)
UGG Free standard Dec. 13 Dec. 23 by 11 a.m. local time (Next-business-day, fees apply)
Ulta Over $35 Dec. 18 Dec. 19 (Premium, for extra $16.95)
Verizon Free 2-day shipping on most items Dec. 20 by 8 p.m. EST Dec. 231 by 11 p.m. EST (Overnight, fees apply)
Victoria’s Secret Varies by promo Dec. 16 Dec. 20 by 5 p.m. EST (Express, extra $18 fee)
Walmart Over $35 for free 2-day and free next day (eligible items) TBD TBD
West Elm Select items Dec. 19 by 9 p.m. PST for standard Dec. 21 before 6 p.m. PST for next-day (additional fee applies)
Williams Sonoma N/A No free shipping. Dec. 22 by 1 a.m. EST for Standard Dec. 23 by 2 p.m. EST (Next-Day, fees vary by order size
World Market Varies by promo TBD TBD
Zappos Free standard Dec. 23 by 4 p.m. PST Dec. 23 by 4 p.m. PST

Shipping deadlines for Hanukkah

Hanukkah begins Dec. 22 this year. A few retailers have announced specific shipping deadlines for Hanukkah, and we’ve calculated the postal carrier deadlines for standard shipping. Here’s a quick-reference guide:

Store deadlines

The Disney Store: Dec. 13 for standard; Dec. 17 for 2-Day Express

Harry & David: Dec. 13 for Standard; Dec. 18 for 2-Day Express

Pottery Barn: Dec. 21 by 10 p.m. PST for Standard shipping

West Elm: Dec. 21 by 10 p.m. PST

Williams Sonoma: Dec. 22 by 1 a.m. EST for Standard shipping

Carrier deadlines

FedEX: Dec. 13 for ground; Dec. 19 (by 10:30 a.m.) for Standard Overnight

UPS: Dec. 13 for UPS Ground; Dec. 19 for Next-Day Air Saver

USPS: Dec. 10 for Retail Ground

Kwanzaa shipping deadlines

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration that begins Dec. 26. Because Dec. 25 is a holiday, you won’t be able to receive packages on that day. We also suggest you don’t plan for a Dec. 26 delivery for Kwanzaa. Thanks to the Christmas rush, your package may be delayed, or arrive too late in the day. So, we recommend planning for a delivery of Dec. 24 at the latest.

That means you can use our Christmas shipping deadlines above to ensure your gifts arrive on time for your Kwanzaa celebrations.

Backup Plans for Procrastinators

If you’re reading this and realizing that many of the dates above have already passed and you don’t want to shell out for expedited shipping, these tips are for you:

Utilize GiftNow: This service (offered by Target, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and plenty of other retailers) seems almost custom-made for procrastinators, but makes you look extra thoughtful. Instead of having the gift mailed to you to wrap, or mailed to the recipient, the retailer will send the recipient an email that displays the gift you picked out. The recipient can then choose their preferred color and size or exchange it for something else. See a full list of retailers that allow you to give with GiftNow.

Because the GiftNow email can be sent instantly, your gift “technically” arrived by Christmas — even if you ordered it on Christmas.

Take advantage of ShopRunner, offered by some credit cards: Look at the credit cards in your wallet. If you have a card from American Express, you may have access to a freebie benefit that many don’t know about — free Shoprunner membership. Shoprunner provides free two-day shipping with retailers including Bloomingdales, MacMall, Chico’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and more. If you have the benefit (and are shopping at these retailers), you can get faster shipping without having to shell out extra for it. You’ll just need to register a Shoprunner account via your card.

Try free in-store pickup: Many major retailers will allow you to place an order online and pick it up for free in store (some will even bring it out to your car). If the item is in stock, you can often pick it up the same day. If it’s not in stock, it still may be faster to ship it to the store and pick it up than wait for the package to make its way to your home. Walmart even offers a pickup discount on certain orders picked up in store. While it creates an extra errand to run, utilizing store pickup may get you your order faster and help you avoid shipping charges.

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