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2017 Holiday Shipping deadlines: dates you NEED to know!

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U.S. Postal Service holiday shipping deadlines.

If you’re sending cards, letters or packages, and you want them to arrive by Christmas, the Postal Service says you need to have them in the mail by:

  • Dec. 14 for USPS Retail Ground, an economical choice for oversized packages and “less-than-urgent” delivery. Rates start at $6.65
  • Dec. 19 for First-Class Mail for holiday cards and lightweight packages (only weighing up to 13 ounces). Rates start at 49 cents.
  • Dec. 20 if you’re shipping via Priority Mail, which promises delivery in 1-3 days depending on where your package is headed. Rates start at $6.65
  • Dec. 22 via Priority Mail Express Service, which guarantees overnight delivery to most locations. Rates start at $23.75.

There are different deadlines if you’re shipping to Alaska or Hawaii or if you’re shipping items overseas, so check out the Postal Service website for more details.


FedEx holiday shipping deadlines

If you’re shipping with FedEx, you’ll want to have packages ready to go by:

  • Dec. 11 with FedEx SmartPost. This option may be more economical but it does not provide “day-definite” delivery; shipping usually takes between two and seven business days)
  • Dec. 15 with FedEx Ground
  • Dec. 18 with FedEx Home Delivery
  • Dec. 19 with FedEx Express Saver
  • Dec. 20 for both FedEx 2Day and FedEx 2Day A.M.
  • Dec 21. with FedEx Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight and First Overnight.

Packages delivered on Dec. 23 will incur a $16 per-package Saturday delivery fee.

You can view more details about shipping options and deadlines for international shipping on the FedEx website.


UPS holiday shipping deadlines

The last day to ship to make sure your package gets to its destination on time is:

  • Dec. 18 with UPS 3 Day Select
  • Dec. 20 with UPS 2nd Day Air (without Saturday delivery)
  • Dec. 21 with UPS 2nd Day Air (with Saturday delivery; Saturday delivery is not available in all ZIP codes)
  • Dec. 22 with UPS Next Day Air (with Saturday delivery)
  • Dec. 24 with UPS Express Critical
  • Dec. 25 with UPS Express Critical

View more details about holiday shipping options on the UPS website.

To make sure your package gets to its destination on time, UPS recommends you use its website to calculate time and cost.


Amazon has also released its 2017 holiday ordering deadlines. If you want your packages to arrive in time for Christmas, you’ll need to order by:

  • Dec. 15, with free shipping
  • Dec. 18, with standard shipping (which is free for Amazon Prime members)
  • Dec. 22 with for two-day shipping (which is free for Amazon Prime members)
  • Dec. 23 with one-day shipping (only available in certain cities but is free for Prime members)
  • Dec. 24 with same-day delivery (only available in certain cities but free for Prime members)
  • Dec. 24. These deadlines are for within the contiguous U.S. only.

Check out more details about ordering deadlines on Amazon’s website.

Mary Friona

Mary Friona

Following my heart with my husband and four daughters. An Emmy Award winning journalist lucky enough to work in television & radio for 20 years - seeing wonderful places, meeting great people and telling their stories.