Online shopping sure makes life easier around the holidays, and more Americans plan to order gifts online this year than ever before, according to the National Retail Federation. Of course, an increase in online holiday shopping equals an increase in holiday shipping. So if you want your gifts in time to do a bang-up wrapping job, pay extra attention to shipping dates. We can help with that.
Use our holiday shipping guide below to save time and money this year! These times are estimates, so it’s always best to shop early. Not only can shopping early save you the embarrassment of a late gift, it can also save you money on those expedited shipping costs. ‘Tis the season for savings, right?
One-Stop Online Shopping
Amazon Prime members receive free 1-day or 2-day shipping in the U.S., same-day delivery on qualifying orders in certain cities that are over $35 or $2.99 per order, and free standard shipping on Prime orders. No minimum order amount required!
For shoppers who don’t have Amazon Prime or for purchases that aren’t eligible for Prime shipping, Amazon’s shipping times and rates can vary based on the individual seller and item. But, in general, Amazon shipping times in the contiguous United States are as follows:
- Standard Shipping: 4–5 business days
- 2-Day Shipping: Within 2 business days
- 1-Day Shipping: Within 1 business day
Amazon offers free shipping to non-Prime members who spend at least $25 on eligible purchases. With free shipping, your order will be delivered 5–8 business days after all your items are available to ship.
Walmart is extending delivery hours by two hours, meaning drivers will be making deliveries from stores to doors until 10 p.m. local time. This allows customers to place orders up to 6 p.m. for same-day or next-day deliveries.
As always, customers can pay $7.95 – $9.95 for a one-time delivery and an additional $10 fee to get their order in two hours or less with Express delivery. Walmart+ members will continue to have access to unlimited free deliveries all season long. For Express delivery, Walmart+ members simply pay the Express fee.
- Next-day Shipping: Free for orders on eligible items $35+, without a membership fee. Note that this is only available in qualifying zip codes
- 2-day Shipping: Free for orders on eligible items $35+, without a membership fee
Shoppers with a Target RedCard™ save 5% on their purchases and receive free 2-day shipping. Times are based on business days and apply only within the contiguous United States.
For shoppers without a RedCard™, Target offers free 2-day delivery on orders of at least $35. Target also offers free same-day delivery on orders of at least $35 for online shoppers who sign up for and use Shipt. Shipt is free for the first four weeks. After that, an annual Shipt plan is $99 for unlimited orders of $35 or more. Or, you can pay per same-day delivery order.
- Standard Shipping (3-5 business days): Order by December 17th
- 2-day Shipping: Order by December 21st
- Express Shipping: Order by December 23rd
QVC’s holiday shipping deadlines are based primarily on their TV air dates, but you can also shop for gifts online.
Order any receipt currently airing on QVC® plus a limited selection of online items between Dec. 15–20 for guaranteed delivery on or before Dec. 24 in the contiguous United States.
Order all plastic gift cards by Dec. 10 and all perishable food items by Dec. 15 for guaranteed delivery on or before Dec. 24 in the contiguous United States.
Last day for Guaranteed Shipping is December 15th.
*Standard shipping and handling fees apply.
Macy’s Star Rewards Platinum & Gold members get free shipping when you use your Macy’s card.
- Standard Shipping: December 22nd
- Express Shipping: December 23rd
- Same Day Delivery: Place an order for $25+ by noon and it’ll arrive that day for a shipping fee of $15. For orders under $25 the fee is $26.
*Standard shipping and handling fees apply.
Don’t want to worry about things arriving at your home at all? There are several stores that are offering the ability to order what you’d like online and then pick up curbside or in-store. Plus, many stores offer cash back when you start with Ibotta! Here’s a list of stores offering curbside or in-store pickup:
|Advance Auto Parts|
|Banana Republic Factory|
|Bass Pro Shops|
|Bed Bath and Beyond|
|Buy Buy Baby|
|Cost Plus World Market|
|Dick’s Sporting Goods|
|New York & Co|
|Oritz – Activities|
|Saks Off 5th|
Sending gifts yourself? Use the guidelines below from the United States Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx to make sure you get everything in the mail with time to spare (and without a penny wasted). All deadlines are for shipping within the contiguous United States for delivery by Dec. 24.
- December 15: USPS retail ground service
- December 17: First-class mail service (including holiday greeting cards)
- December 17: First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
- December 18: Priority mail service
- December 23: Priority mail express service
- Ground shipping, check the website for a quote
- December 21: second-day air services
- December 23: next-day air services
- December 25: no pickup service, UPS holiday
- Note: UPS service guarantee still suspended for most services due to COVID-19
- December 9: Ground Economy
- December 9: Freight Economy
- December 15: Ground
- December 15: Freight Priority
- December 21: Express Saver
- December 21: 3-Day Freight
- December 22: 2-Day
- December 22: 2-Day a.m.
- December 22: 2-Day Freight
- December 23: 1-Day Freight
- December 23: Extra Hours
- December 23: Standard Overnight
- December 23: Priority Overnight
- December 23: First Overnight
- December 24: Same-Day