The Royal Mail has released its Christmas cut-off dates for sending cards

The Royal Mail has announced its Christmas cut-off dates for both in-land UK mail and international cards and parcels. The dates are put in place so that senders can ensure their post is delivered by 25 December.

‘Given that our mail bag triples at Christmas, the posting dates are to ensure that customers’ cards are delivered in time for Christmas day so they can be enjoyed,’ Royal Mail spokesperson Henry Perry told Country Living.

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So, when do you have to post that special card by? Luckily, if you’re sending within the UK, you still have until Tuesday 18 December for 2nd class delivery, or Thursday 20 December for 1st class delivery. If you’re really cutting it fine, you can also send up until the 22nd via Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed, but we’re betting it’ll cost you.

As far as international deliveries go, you’re a little tighter on time. While the deadline for some destinations has already passed (including Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean), you can still send to the majority of European countries and the USA in the lead up to Christmas day. If you’re planning on sending a Christmas card to loved ones in Greece, Turkey, New Zealand or Australia, today is your last day, so run to the post office pronto!

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Here are all of the dates you need to know ahead of the Christmas rush:

UK service

  • Tuesday 18 December for 2nd Class delivery and Royal Mail Signed For 2nd Class
  • Thursday 20 December for 1st Class, Royal Mail Signed For 1st Class and Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed
  • Friday 21 December for Royal Mail Tracked 24
  • Saturday 22 December for Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed

International Standard & Tracking (airmail)

  • Tuesday 4 December – Africa, Middle East
  • Friday 7 December – Cyprus, Malta, Asia, Far East, Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia)
  • Saturday 8 December – Caribbean, Central and South America
  • Monday 10 December – Greece, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand
  • Friday 14 December – Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and USA
  • Saturday 15 December – Finland, Sweden
  • Monday 17 December – Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
  • Tuesday 18 December – Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg