Amazon is amping up holiday deliveries with fast, free, and discrete options

(Image credit: Windows Central)

What sort of gift buyer are you? Do you build a list, cross off the names, get everything done early and do your best to hide the presents until the big day? Or are you a last minute shopper, growing more panicky and anxious with each passing week just to fill in the last few presents with gift cards? Either way, you've got issues this time of year because you're either praying the last-minute gifts you ordered ship on time or you're worried the ones you bought might get sniffed out by the curious before you can hide them.

Luckily for you, you've got options. Amazon is expanding its holiday delivery services to do more than just get to you fast. It does start there, though. Amazon Prime members not only get access to free next-day shipping, that Same-Day Service is available to millions more than it was last year. You might not even realize you've achieved this level of Prime-hood if you didn't have it before!

Even if you're not a Prime member, you can get free shipping on everything over $25. That's one of the lowest shipping thresholds around, with most major online retailers requiring a minimum around $35 or more. Last year, Amazon actually dropped the threshold altogether. They haven't done that yet, but you should keep an eye out if it's important to you.

Free, fast, same-day delivers aren't enough during the holidays, though. You need to have more control over where your packages go and when they arrive. Amazon has really expanded those services, too. For example, you could find an Amazon Hub Locker near you. There are lockers in more than 900 cities across the U.S., and if you live near a Whole Foods that's the most likely spot to find one. Other locations include Rite Aid, GNC, Stage, and more. Get your packages shipped to one of these because it's secure and private.

Sign up for Amazon Key for another secure option. Key has been constantly expanding since its original debut. A normal package delivery just leaves your stuff sitting exposed on your front door. Key gives delivery drivers a way to place your deliveries right inside your front door or in your garage or even the trunk of your car. No more perishables ruined by rain or electronics stolen by neighbors.

And last, but not least, is Amazon Day. This is one of Amazon's newest services for a more convenient shipping option. You can actually pick the exact day you want your packages to be delivered. Get all of them all at once. That lowers the chance of your family members randomly encountering their Christmas presents on the front step. Plus, it's good for the environment. Go to Amazon Day and select your personalized day. It's free to Prime members.

Remember that Amazon Fresh is now free to Prime members, too. You can get 2-hour grocery delivery if you're eligible. Is there ever a better time for grocery delivery service than holiday meal preparation?

John Levite
Deals Editor

J.D. Levite has been in the deals game since 2012. He has posted daily deals at Gizmodo, The Wirecutter, The Sweethome, and now covers deals for Android Central, iMore, and Windows Central. He was there for the first Prime Day and has braved the full force of Black Friday. If you cut him, he bleeds savings. But don't try it for real. That's a metaphor.