Christmas is still a few days away, but there is still time to buy last minute Christmas gifts online is narrowing. We would recommend ordering at least 5-6 days ahead of Christmas if you’re able to, to avoid delays caused by Covid restrictions and delivery demands.
If that’s no longer an option for you, you can rely on next day delivery, but that will cost you a few pounds, unless you’re signed up for services like Amazon Prime, which offers free next day delivery and even same-day delivery in certain areas.
For many, Amazon will the the go-to Christmas shop anyway, which is why we’ve gone through last days to order both with and without Prime. We’re also looking at Christmas delivery cut-off dates for other major retailers, as well as last-minute gifts that don’t require delivery at all.
If you’re still stuck for what to buy, you might find our round-up of the best Christmas tech deals of the year useful.
Last days to order from Amazon
The last days to order from Amazon will depend on whether or not you have Prime, or how much you’re willing to pay to get your items on time. Many popular items are already flagged to arrive after Christmas, so be sure to check the delivery status before heading to check out.
If you haven’t already used your Amazon Prime 30 day free trial (you can use it once a year) we’d highly recommend doing so in order to save money on your deliveries this Christmas. You can sign up to the 30-day free trial here.
Amazon hasn’t yet confirmed its last order dates, but based on past years we would suggest the following dates below – again, most items have a note that tells you whether or not it will arrive before Christmas. We will update these dates and time as soon as Amazon confirms.
Free delivery: Order by Sunday 20 December, at 11:59pm
Standard delivery: Order by Tuesday 22 December
One-day delivery (£5.99 per delivery for non-Prime members): Order by Wednesday 23 December, by last order time (as listed on the product page) to receive the item by Christmas Day. This also depends on the item and your location.
Same-day delivery (evening delivery): Order by Thursday 24 December at midday if you’re in Greater London or in one of the other eligible cities.
Prime Members receive free One-Day delivery as the default option (that is, if the product you buy is eligible for One-Day delivery).
One-day delivery: Order by Wednseday 23 December, last order time depends on the item and your location. The item should arrive by 24 December.
Same-day delivery: Order by Thursday 24 December at midday if you live in one of the 14 eligible cities.
Prime Now: Order by Thursday 24 December (Christmas Eve)
Typically with Prime Now, you should get free 2-hour delivery by midnight on Christmas Eve for order values over £40 if you order by 9:15pm (7:15pm in Glasgow). However, given the demands on delivery services due to the ongoing pandemic, delivery slots may be limited.
One-hour delivery will cost £7.99 and orders must be made by 10:59pm for delivery by midnight. Prime Now operates in one of the nine eligible cities: Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Portsmouth, and Sheffield. Read more about Prime Now.
Christmas Day – No deliveries made
Last order dates for other major UK retailers
There are still plenty of other retailers to choose from other than Amazon of course. Like Amazon, however, many of these retailers still haven’t confirmed cut-off dates in time for Christmas. We’ve noted last year’s dates as a guide but would recommend not waiting too long if you can. We’ll add more retailers to this list as they’re confirmed
Last date for standard delivery (free or low-cost)
Last Day for Next-Day Delivery before Christmas
Click and Collect
TBC, Last Year: 23 December
24 December, order by 1pm for delivery by 6pm with Fast Track option (£3.95) but depends on availability
24 December noon
TBC, Last Year: Deliveries carry on as usual until 24 December, so 22 December is the cut off for standard two-day delivery (from £5)
23 December, before 5pm for Next Day Delivery (from £10)
No Next Day service on the 24-26 December. Delivery resumes on 27 December (subject to availability) but stops again between 31 December to 1 January.
Depending on availability, can be ready for next day collection by 9pm before 24 December
Currys PC World
19 December, free for small items
16 December, free for large items (£5 for Saturday delivery)
16 December, for Next-Day delivery on large items (from £20)
22 December, 9pm for Next-Day delivery on small items (£5)
24 December, 3pm (for items in stock)
21 December (for items that have to be delivered to store for collection)
TBC, last year: 20 December, by 7pm
TBC, Last year: 23 December for Next-Day or Nominated-Day before 7pm
TBC, Last year: 22 December before 10pm for Next Evening or Nominated Evening
TBC, Last year: 23 December, before 7pm
18 December, 7pm (free on £50 or over)
22 December, 8pm for Next Day delivery on small items (£6.95)
Free for orders over £30, order by 4pm 22 December
OR use Collect+ (£3.50) for pre-Christmas delivery
M&S (Expect 1-3 day delays via Royal Mail)
Dates vary by type of item.
Earliest date on hampers: 17 December, 5pm
23 December, 12pm
23 December (in-store pick up), order by 6pm for clothing only
22 December, midnight for Next Day Delivery
22 December, midnight for Next Day Delivery (£2 for nominated next-day delivery)
23 December for in-store collection
20 December, 9pm, arrives in 3-5 days (£1.99)
22 December, 9pm for Next Day Delivery (£5.99)
Last Royal Mail Posting Dates
If you’re sending gifts or cards by mail from the UK, the Royal Mail has recommended its last dates to ensure delivery by Christmas. We recommending sending gifts before these dates however – especially for international deliveries – due to the impact of Covid restrictions and delivery demands.
2nd Class and 2nd Class Signed For – Friday 18 December
1st Class and 1st Class Signed For and Royal Mail Tracked 48 – Monday 21 December
Royal Mail Tracked 24 – Tuesday 22 December
Special Delivery Guaranteed – Wednesday 23 December
Keep in mind that the Royal Mail Tracked 48 and Tracked 24 options (which offer 2-day or 1-day express delivery) are unavailable at Post Office branches and will have to be purchased online from Parcel Force. You can get a price quote using Royal Mail’s tool here. See Royal Mail’s recommended dates for international delivery.
Last-minute Christmas Gift Cards
If you’re shopping on Christmas Eve and can’t find anything to buy from Currys PC World, you might like to buy a digital gift that can be sent via email or printed at home. Go to Currys to get one.
Amazon offers digital gift cards too which are available here.
You’ll also find lots of e-gift cards online, including ones for retailers like Debenhams, Starbucks and lots more.
Next gift cards are available to buy digitally here.
One4All is another gift card option which works in over 55,000 stores on the High Street and online. Standard shipping costs 99p though is free for orders over £50 and arrives in 2 to 3 days. Special Delivery costs £6.50 and takes 1-2 business days to arrive.