Advertiser Disclosure

Online Holiday Shipping Deadlines of 5 Favorite Retailers

Dec. 11, 2014
Holiday Tips & News, Shopping
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

For a fuller selection of stores’ holiday shipping deadlines, check out this list.

If you’re doing any online shopping this holiday season, you’ll have more to consider than just what gifts to purchase. Forget which wrapping paper to choose or how many bows to use. You’ll need to be focus on something entirely different instead: if your packages will even get to you or your loved ones before Christmas.

In the weeks before Christmas, the mail service becomes swamped with deliveries. Don’t let your purchases become lost in the seasonal snowstorm of orders and miss the holiday entirely. If you want your gifts to arrive on time, you’ll need to make a plan.

To help you out, we’ve compiled the holiday shipping deadlines from five of your favorite retailers. As you finish any last-minute online Christmas shopping, keep these dates in mind:


Order-by dates for Macy’s vary depending on product category. Here are the deadlines for in-stock merchandise (excluding lamps, lighting, furniture, mattresses, area rugs, custom-sized rings, gift cards, e-gift cards and certain shipping destinations):

  • Standard shipping (free with $99 purchase): Order before 5 p.m. Eastern time Dec. 22
  • Premium shipping: Order before 5 p.m. Eastern Dec. 22
  • Express shipping: Order before noon Eastern Dec. 23
  • Buy online, pick up in-store: Order before noon local time Dec. 24

Macy’s is adding a touch of Christmas spirit this year, too. According to the department store’s website, “For qualifying in-stock orders placed prior to the applicable deadline that are not delivered by Christmas Day 2014 (12/25/14), will issue you a Gift Card for the value of the order up to $100.”

This does not include delays because of unforeseen circumstances beyond the store’s reasonable control. Macy’s also notes it cannot guarantee Christmas Day delivery for items shipped directly from vendors. For more information, read the full policy online.


JCPenney has also provided guidelines its customers can use to ensure their orders get there before Christmas. Here are some dates to remember for deliveries within the continental United States:

  • Standard delivery: Order by Dec. 20 for in-stock items delivered within the continental United States
  • Express 2-day delivery: Order on or before Dec. 21
  • Expedited 1-day delivery: Order before 2 p.m. Central time Dec. 23 (possible on most orders)
  • Ship to store: Order by Dec. 17 for in-stock items delivered to a JCPenney store

JCPenney states that it is not responsible for delivery delays because of unforeseen circumstances outside of the store’s reasonable control. It also cannot control arrival time of items shipped directly from vendors. Check the store’s website for full holiday delivery information and exceptions.

Toys R Us

You definitely don’t want the little ones in your life to be left without toys on Christmas. Do your best to stop this from happening by following the Toys R Us shipping guidelines. These dates apply to destinations within the continental United States and items that leave the retailer’s warehouse within one to two full business days.

  • Economy or standard shipping: Order by 3 p.m. Eastern time Dec. 19
  • Expedited or ShopRunner 2-day shipping: Order by 3 p.m. Eastern Dec. 22
  • Express shipping: Order by noon Eastern Dec. 23
  • Free store pickup: Order online by 4 p.m. Eastern Dec. 24

For further details and exceptions, check out the full Toys R Us Christmas Shipping Calendar.


If you’ll be ordering from online giant Amazon, and your package is being shipped within the contiguous United States, we’ve got some dates for you to remember. Keep in mind that Amazon notes these ordering deadlines apply to items marked “in stock.” Additionally, shipping options apply to items shipped to physical addresses within the specified area and marked “ships from and sold by” or “fulfilled by”

  • Free shipping (non-Prime): Ordering cutoff date Dec. 16
  • Standard shipping: Ordering cutoff date Dec. 19
  • Two-day shipping: Ordering cutoff date Dec. 22
  • One-day shipping: Ordering cutoff date Dec. 23
  • Local express delivery: Ordering cutoff date Dec. 24

For more information as well as ordering deadlines for Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, read Amazon’s Christmas Ordering Deadlines and Holiday Returns Policy.

Victoria’s Secret

Finally, if it’s Victoria’s Secret you’ll be shopping at this season, stick to the following dates to ensure your perfume, pajamas and other items don’t show up late. These dates apply to U.S. destinations for in-stock items only.

  • Standard delivery: Order by 5 p.m. Eastern time Dec. 16
  • Next business day express: Order by 5 p.m. Eastern Dec. 23 (allow one additional day for Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories)
  • 2nd business day express: Order by 5 p.m. Eastern Dec. 22
  • 3rd business day express: Order by 5 p.m. Eastern Dec. 19
  • Saturday delivery: Order by 5 p.m. Eastern Dec. 19
  • Priority mail: For Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories, order by 5 p.m. Eastern Dec. 15

It’s important to know that next business day express and Saturday delivery are not available for all locations in Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories. For more information and deadlines for shipping outside of the country, check the store’s Christmas Delivery Guaranteed webpage.

If the store you’ll be buying from didn’t make our list, search for holiday shipping deadlines on the website of the retailer of your choice. Also, remember, as a general rule – no matter where you shop – the faster the delivery method you select, the larger the price tag you’ll be paying for shipping costs.




Conveyer belt gifts image via Shutterstock