Amazon Just Expanded Its Free Shipping to Help Your Holiday Shopping

But how does the e-commerce retailer's deal compare to its competitors' holiday shipping promotions?
A man delivers packages.

Santa Claus may not be real but millions of shoppers every Christmas try to live up to the jolly fella’s kind-hearted spirit by making sure nobody's left disappointed by what they find under the tree or in the stocking. While everyone else enjoys their eggnog and the billionth viewing of A Christmas Story in the run-up to the big day, last-minute shoppers spam the "refresh" button on their browser to see if the packages filled with Yuletide joy will arrive by the 25th. Now retailers—most recently e-commerce giant Amazon—have started offering free shipping policies to help procrastinators get their gifts on-time without emptying their bank accounts or overcharging their credit cards.

Details of Amazon’s holiday shipping deal

Outside of the holiday season, Amazon offers free shipping on orders of $25 or more, or to anyone with an Amazon Prime account (which costs $119 a year or $12.99 every month). The retailer has given a gift of its own to all Amazon customers by waiving that $25 minimum for free shipping on hundreds of millions of products across all of its store's categories. However, those who really drag their heels when it comes to holiday shopping should know that this free shipping only applies to the standard delivery speed of 5 to 8 days.

Prime members, who already enjoy free two-day shipping, have free same-day delivery to look forward to during this holiday promotion, which runs from Nov. 5 until when Amazon can no longer guarantee packages sent via standard shipping will arrive in time for Christmas (likely 5 to 8 days before the 25th).

Who else is giving the gift of free shipping?

Amazon's decision to expand its free shipping policy comes at a time of year when other major e-commerce retailers are deploying similar tactics in a bid to attract holiday shoppers. Here's the current lay of the land for those planning on having Christmas delivered to their doorsteps.

RetailerShipping Deal
AmazonFree 5-8 day shipping on hundreds of millions of qualifying items
WalmartFree 2 day shipping on orders of $35 or more; items by third-party merchants now qualify.
TargetFree 2 day shipping on all orders until Dec. 21
Best BuyFree 2 day shipping on all orders until Dec. 25
James Ellis

James Ellis is a Staff Writer for ValuePenguin, covering credit, banking, travel and other personal finance topics. He previously wrote for Newsweek, Men's Health, and other nationally-published magazines.

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