Holiday Central

A procrastinator's guide to last-minute holiday shopping

How to get that last minute gift delivered on time

Attention, last-minute shoppers: It's not too late to order those holiday gifts you've been putting off — even if you get them online.

Thursday is the final day Amazon Prime members will receive free two-day shipping on qualifying items, and get them by Christmas. In the dozens of cities that offer one-day, same-day or two-hour shipping, subscribers have until as late as 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Christmas Eve, to have their gifts delivered on time for free.

But Amazon isn't the only retailer that's still promising free on-time delivery for digital orders. Apple customers who make a purchase by 5 p.m. local time Thursday still qualify for free two-day shipping, according to Stella Service. The tech company also offers free next-day shipping of the iPhone.

Shoppers at Saks Fifth Avenue can push the limit too, and get free delivery on orders placed as late as 12 p.m. Friday. For gift-givers on a tighter budget, Target is giving shoppers until 4 p.m. Eastern on Thursday to get in orders eligible for complimentary shipping.

Amazon employees load boxes with orders at the company's fulfillment center ahead of Cyber Monday in Tracy, Calif.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Of course, shoppers who are willing to leave their couch have even more flexibility. Though Wal-Mart's standard shipping delivery has passed, the retailer will allow orders to be placed as late at 6 p.m. local time on Friday if they're picked up in store. And because Christmas falls on a Sunday, true procrastinators can take their chances at the mall on Christmas Eve. Just keep in mind that most stores will have limited hours that day.

There's even an option for people who wait until the very last second: virtual gifts. A more clever take on online gifting is available at retailers including Macy's, Neiman Marcus and Coach, through a service powered by Loop Commerce.

That company's technology allows shoppers to choose a product, and send it as an electronic gift. When the recipient receives an email from the retailer notifying them of the present, they can choose the size and color they prefer, or exchange it for something else.

Of course, with all of these options, the longer you wait, the fewer options you'll have. But who knows — as airports across the U.S. bring in better stores and dining, you may even find something during that two-hour layover.