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All the holiday shipping deadlines you need to know

Keep these dates in mind if you want your packages to arrive before Christmas Day.

Claudia Cruz/CNET

The holiday shipping season is upon us. Whether you're sending gifts direct from Amazon or another online retailer or shipping boxes of presents yourself, you've got some important deadlines fast approaching. 

Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year -- it's two weeks tomorrow -- which means your packages will need to reach their destination by Monday, Dec. 24. We've rounded up cutoff dates for guaranteed Christmas delivery from mail services such as USPS, UPS and FedEx, and retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and Target. Note if you're in Alaska or Hawaii, dates will likely be earlier and you should click through to each company's website for more information.

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USPS

If you're shipping via USPS, you'll need to send your packages by the following dates in order to ensure they arrive before Dec. 25. USPS will deliver mail as usual on Monday, Dec. 24, but no mail will be delivered on Tuesday, Dec. 25.

  • Friday, Dec. 14: USPS Retail Ground
  • Thursday, Dec. 20: First-Class Mail and Priority Mail
  • Saturday, Dec. 22: Priority Mail Express Service

FedEx

If you're shipping via FedEx, you will need to send your packages by the following dates in order to ensure they arrive in time. Some FedEx services (FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight and FedEx 2Day) will deliver on Saturday for an extra $16 Saturday delivery fee per package. Some FedEx services (FedEx SameDay, FedEx SameDay City (Priority)) will deliver on Christmas day.

  • Monday, Dec. 17: Ground
  • Wednesday, Dec. 19: Express Saver
  • Thursday, Dec. 20: Two-day
  • Friday, Dec. 21: Overnight

UPS

If you're shipping via UPS, you will need to send your packages by the following dates in order to ensure they arrive before Dec. 25. Some UPS services (UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS Next Day Air) will deliver on Saturday, Dec. 22. No UPS packages are delivered on Christmas day.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 18: UPS 3 Day Select
  • Thursday, Dec. 20: 2nd Day Air
  • Friday, Dec. 21: Next Day Air

Major retailers

Ordering gifts online? Here are the shipping deadlines you'll need to meet for some popular online retailers. Order by these dates to ensure you'll get your packages by Monday, Dec. 24.

Amazon

Amazon has yet to announce its holiday shipping deadlines for 2018, but if past years are any indication, these are your deadlines for this year:

  • Friday, Dec. 14: Standard shipping
  • Thursday, Dec. 20: Two-day shipping (free with Prime)
  • Friday, Dec. 21: One-day shipping 

Apple

  • Thursday, Dec. 20, 5 p.m. local time: Free, two-day shipping on in-stock Apple products
  • Friday, Dec. 21, 5 p.m. local time: Free one-day shipping of in-stock iPhones ($1,199 at Amazon) or Next Day shipping on other products
  • Monday, Dec. 24: In-store pickup

More info here.

Best Buy

Best Buy has yet to announce its holiday shipping deadlines, but, again, if past years are any indication, these are your deadlines for 2018:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 18: Large home delivery items (appliances and TV larger than 51 inches)
  • Thursday, Dec. 20, 10:30 a.m. CT: Most items via two-day shipping
  • Monday, Dec. 24, 12 p.m. local time: Same-day shipping (select areas and products)
  • Monday, Dec. 24, before 4 p.m. local time: Store Pickup (most stores close at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24)

Dell

The following shipping deadlines are for order placed and approved by 3 p.m. ET:

  • Monday, Dec. 17: Standard shipping
  • Wednesday, Dec. 19: Expedited shipping
  • Thursday, Dec. 20: Express shipping

More info here.

Jet.com

Jet offers free two- to five-day shipping on orders over $35 and free two-day shipping on many items. 

  • Monday, Dec. 17, 2 p.m. local time: Five-day shipping
  • Thursday, Dec. 20, 2 p.m. local time: Two-day shipping

Target

Target offers free two-day shipping select items to select ZIP codes on orders over $35. If your order doesn't qualify for two-day shipping, you'll get free standard shipping that will arrive in three to five business days.

  • Monday, Dec. 17, 12 p.m. local time: Five-day shipping
  • Thursday, Dec. 20, 12 p.m. local time: Two-day shipping

More info here.

Walmart

Like Jet.com and Target, Walmart offers free two-day shipping on orders over $35 and standard, three- to five-day shipping for the rest.

  • Monday, Dec. 17Five-day shipping
  • Thursday, Dec. 20: Two-day shipping

More info here.

Originally published on Dec. 5, 2016.
Update, Dec. 10, 2018: Updated with this year's dates.

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