Amazon releases holiday shipping deadlines

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Amazon is giving the gift of more time to procrastinating holiday shoppers.

The company said Tuesday that customers will be able to order as late as 11:59 p.m. ET on December 19 and still receive their packages in time for Christmas, with free shipping.

The deadline for free shipping last year was December 18.

Need even more time? Amazon is offering its Prime members, who pay $99 a year, until December 22 for their last minute gifts.

The decision is rather bold for Amazon, which last year faced the wrath of customers after failing to deliver many gifts on time.

In a dozen major cities, including New York, San Francisco, Baltimore and Indianapolis, prime members will be able to order certain items as late as 10 a.m. on Dec. 24, the day before Christmas, and receive them the same day for $5.99.

Last year, Amazon offered a similar extension. It gave Prime members until midnight on December 22 to receive free shipping and same-day deliveries on Christmas Eve in some cities, for a fee.

However, many of those customers did not get their gifts on time. Amazon refunded shipping charges and handed out gift cards to customers who didn’t receive their packages on time after UPS failed to deliver because of a major holiday backlog caused by bad weather in the days leading to Christmas.

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