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Amazon vs. Best Buy vs. Target vs. Walmart: Which has the best shipping?

Amazon vs. Best Buy vs. Target vs. Walmart: Which has the best shipping?
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You love to save money, especially when you're Christmas shopping. You have to watch your budget when you're spending hundreds of dollars on gifts for everyone on your shopping list.

You scour online shopping sites for great values and big discounts. You use web browser extensions like Honey and Amazon Assistant that help you save even more money.

You go to stores looking for great deals and you spend hours picking through merchandise with rock-bottom prices on the clearance racks. Yet, it's always a thrill to find even one more discount on top of all those.

That's why FREE shipping has captivated millions of shoppers. It has been popularized by Amazon with its free two-day shipping for Prime members over the past several years. Other retailers have followed its lead. In fact, free shipping is so popular that "shipping is free" is part of the online store Wayfair's theme song.

Here's the deal. You don't want to pay for shipping this Christmas because you don't have to.

We took a look at Amazon, Walmart, Target and Best Buy to compare their free shipping deals. Keep reading for some pretty surprising findings.

Amazon is offering free shipping for everyone

Amazon is the leader in free shipping. The online shopping giant sets the bar for other retailers.

Case in point: free shipping this Christmas. Amazon is offering free shipping to everyone, even if you're not an Amazon Prime member. There is a catch, so keep reading.

Amazon is using this limited-time promotion to tout Prime membership's free 2-day shipping. There are other perks to being an Amazon Prime member - click or tap here for more details.

Now, Amazon is offering free shipping to everyone, no matter how much you spend. Shipping is free for the holidays on items that are clearly marked with "free shipping." You select those items, then go to checkout. There, you select the option that says "group my items into as few shipments as possible." You then select Free shipping.

Here's the catch, although it's a relatively small one. Your items will arrive in about 5-8 days after the last of your free shipping items is available to be delivered.

Walmart shipping is always free, but there's a catch

There's good news and bad news when it comes to Walmart's free shipping offer this Christmas. The good news is, shipping is free all year long on selected items if you spend over $35.

Although that price threshold is easy to surpass, it's still $35 more than some online shopping sites require for free shipping. Another bit of goods news is that, unlike Amazon, you don't have to pay a membership fee outside the holiday season to get free shipping.

The bad news is that their $35 minimum is still in place during the holidays. Walmart has expanded the number of eligible items, though.

Just make sure to look for items with the words "2 Day Shipping." Plus, spend more than $35 and shipping is free.

Target is dropping shipping fees for the holidays

Target is ditching its shipping fees for the holidays. It's offering free, standard or two-day shipping with no minimum purchase on many items from Nov. 1 through Dec. 22.

Usually, Target offers free shipping if you spend more than $35. You can also get free shipping all yearlong on many items if you use a Target-branded credit card or debit card.

Best Buy offers some free shipping

Best Buy is offering free shipping on many items up to Christmas day. There are some restrictions on specific items and shipping methods.

Here's how it works. Select the products you want to buy, then select a free shipping date at checkout.

Best Buy is working hard this holiday season to bump up sales with its free shipping for everyone. In fact, it's free shipping deal is one of the best out there.

The verdict

Despite Best Buy's new shipping deals, Target and Amazon stand above the pack this Christmas. Amazon isn't playing it safe, like Walmart is by slightly improving their everyday shipping fees.

Amazon is a game-changer in online shopping. This season isn't an exception with its free shipping for everyone.

But Amazon isn't shipping every order for free. Target is shipping almost everything for free and often in two days - for that, we say it leads the pack on free shipping for Christmas 2018.

As always, it depends on what you want, and when you want it! Shop around and watch for the deals and shipping times.

Best smart watch to buy this Christmas and holiday season

You want to buy smart watches for your family this Christmas. Heck, you want one for yourself.

Don't bust your Christmas budget when you don't have to! Check out these five smart watches that have many of the features you expect from one, like message alerts and fitness tracking, with prices that fit in most budgets.

Click or tap here for 5 gift ideas that your family will love!

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