Category Archives: postage rates

New Postage Rates for USPS in 2012

Well, the USPS will raise postage rates in 2012.

For first class mail, the new USPS postcard rate is 32 cents  (up 3 cents) and the new USPS letter rate is 45 cents for 1st ounce (up 1 cent).

For discounted USPS bulk mail, new rates are also going up an average of 2% or so.

The new rates take effect January 22, 2012.

None of the increase should be a surprise, considering rising fuel costs and some very high (multi billion dollar) payments demanded by Congress.

The rate increases are capped by law — they cannot exceed the rate of inflation.   The last time prices went up was May 2009.

So what will the impact be on the postage costs for our postcard magnets at magnetbyMail.com ?   Our rate for First Class Bulk mail will be 43 cents, Standard Third Class Bulk at 28 cents, and Non Profit Bulk at 20 cents.  (Note- our postcard magnets are not considered automation compatible mail.)


What Is the Size of a Postcard in USA?

The size of a postcard is 4-1/4 inches high by 6 inches wide, maximum, to be eligible for First Class Mail postcard rate by the USPS.

what is the size of a postcardAny larger, and the USPS will call your mail a letter or flat, and charge a higher rate.

For the USPS, minimum postcard size is:  3-1/2″H  x 5″W.

Also, the USPS requires that postcards be a thickness of 0.007 inches, minimum; and 0.016 inches maximum.

Lastly, the mailing piece needs to be rectangular.

It makes sense to design your postcard to meet the USPS standards.  The First Class Mail postcard is given a very low rate by the USPS, and receives all the benefits of First Class mail, including mail forwarding and return if addressee not found.

A footnote — please note that our Postcard Magnets at magnetbyMail.com are not mailed using US First Class postcard postage.  Instead we mail most using rates based on bulk mail.  For more info about direct mail campaigns with magnet mailers, check us out at magnetbyMail.com  .  Or drop us a postcard!


The USPS Flatrate Envelope Rate

[Updated 7/2014]  The USPS flatrate envelope rate for 2014 is $5.60 , providing Priority Mail service from and to any US postal address.  (The rate is just $5.05 if you buy postage through the USPS Click n Ship web service.)

Priority Mail is a USPS service that delivers most mail in up to 3 business days, and within 2 business days in most cases.  Any US postal address means any address with a US Zip Code.

This rate is good for mail using a special envelope from the United States Post Office, marked “Flat Rate Mailing Envelope.” USPS Flat Rate EnvelopeActually, the USPS offers six styles of special Flat Rate Envelopes to choose from — the padded envelope and legal envelope do cost extra to mail.

  • regular (paperboard) flat rate envelope (12-1/2″ x 9-1/2″)  [*]
  • padded flat rate envelope (12-1/2″ x 9-1/2″) [$5.95]
  • legal size flat rate envelope (15″ x 9-1/2″) [$5.75]
  • giftcard flat rate envelope (10″ x 7″)
  • small flat rate envelope (10″ x 6″)
  • window flat rate envelope (10″ x 5″)

Also included with this Priority Mail service is:  free pickup, free mail forwarding, if the recipient has an active forwarding address;  and free returned mail, if the mail can’t be delivered and you have provided a Return Address. Other optional services can be added to your Priority Mail package for an extra charge.  These services include: Delivery Confirmation, Signature Confirmation and Insurance.  Details are at USPS.com .

Go International

*For $20.55, you can also use the regular 15″ x 9-1/2″ flatrate envelope for International Priority Mail from a US address to Canada or Mexico, for mailing up to 4 lbs .  For other countries, the rate is  $24.75.  Source: USPS Postal Store

Where to Find USPS Flatrate Envelopes

Envelopes are available from many US Post Office Locations, or you can order them online at the USPS Postal Store   .    Did we mention they’re available at no extra charge?

Go Priority Mail Flat Rate

The Flat Rate Envelope is a great way to ship anywhere in the US at one reasonable rate, and in a reasonable time.  Be sure to double check with your postmaster as rates and rules do change from time to time. And when you have a moment, check out how to promote your organization with our magnet mailers at magnetbyMail.com .


The Cost of Postcard Postage

Or

What Do You Get for 35 Cents?

[Update 05/31/2015]   The cost of US First Class postcard postage recently went up to $.35  .

There was, of course, the standard outrage about the “pain that we all feel”, how postcard writing has become unaffordable,  and my favorite, “I remember when you could mail a postcard for a penny.”

So, having been a fan of the postcard for quite some time, I thought it was a good opportunity for us to take a deep breath and look at the value of this wonderful little postage class.

For (just) 35 cents, we get:

[1]  delivery of our card from most any US address – to most any US address.
This could be down the street or 3000 miles across the country.

“Any US address,” by the way,  includes plenty of locations beyond the Fifty states which have been assigned a Zip Code.   The trip from New York (10010) to Guam (96910) , for example, is 7959 miles.

[2]  Delivery of most First Class mail is between 1- 5 working days.  And the typical item is delivered in 1- 3 days.  (OK, not sure if this includes Guam…)

Did We Mention Free Pick Up?

[3]  Pick-up of you postcard is pretty flexible.  You can drop it in your own mailbox, a blue collection box nearby, or bring it to one of over 36,000 post offices throughout the USA.  Who else offers free pickup?

[4] Does your postcard become undeliverable if you’re missing a character in the the address?  Probably not.  The post office accepts plenty of mail, with all sorts of hand writing, mis-spellings, missing Zip Codes, and even wrong addresses.

Let’s look a bit more at addresses:

[5]  When somebody changes addresses in the US, they can have their mail forwarded to any other US address (yes, for free) for up to one year.

So technically, the same postcard postage that gets the card mailed from NY to Guam, also gets the postcard forwarded to Miami, for instance.  That’s a 16,000 mile trip, by the way.

But wait, there’s more!

As if you haven’t already received a hundred times your postcard postage value, consider the Post Office’s free return service:

[6]  if your recipient just can’t be found, or their forwarding instructions are past their prime, is your postcard mail discarded? No.  First Class mail will be returned to you if a return address is provided, and often with an explanation for the return.  This benefit may seem bittersweet, yet there’s a lot of value in knowing if your card found its target.

So when we’re done whining about the rising US postage for postcards, think of how reasonable it really is for one of our favorite ways to communicate.

Oh, and if you remember postcard postage was a penny, you’re definitely revealing your age.  Postcard postage was 1 cent when the postcard rate was first established in 1898.  And it remained that way for over fifty years, until January 1952 when it was doubled.

Now that must have been an outrage.

—-

OK,  with all that said, I need to mention that our Postcard Magnets are not mailed using US First Class postcard postage.  Instead we mail most using rates based on bulk mail.  For more info about direct mail campaigns with magnet mailers, check us out at magnetbyMail.com  .  Or drop us a postcard!


What is the Size of a Postcard?

Postcard Size, Please…

If  you’d like the USPS First Class Postcard Rate for your postcard, you’ll need to keep the size of your card within the size range specified by the US Postal Service.

Use this template (please click it to see full size) to be within USPS regulations:

postcard size usps

USPS Postcard Template: the Min and the Max(Click Image for Full Size View)

Cards that are larger will be charged at Letter Rate or Large Envelope Rate.

If you’re going to use our Magnet Mailers , note that our items require the 2 oz letter rate (not the postcard rate).  This is because only postcards that are considered Machinable and Automated can earn the USPS First Class postcard rate.  The good news is that we can achieve big postage discounts by mailing in bulk.

Check out our magnet mailers at magnetbyMail.com .


USPS Postcard Rates

[Updated 01/2013]  Here’s the basic, first class USPS postcard postage rate as of January 27, 2013:

$.33 ea

For this rate, your card needs to be:

  • at least Minimum size: 3-1/2″H x 5″W x  0.007″ thick
  • no bigger than Maximum size: 4-1/4″H x 6″W x  0.016″ thick
  • and mailed from any U.S. address  to any U.S. address — that’s any address with a Zip Code.

Larger cards are considered oversize and are charged at the Letter or Large Envelope Rate.

Source:  USPS

Organizations promoting themselves with our Magnet Mailers need to be aware that our items need to be mailed at the 1 oz letter rate (not the postcard rate), plus a $.20 surcharge.  Why?  Because our postcard magnets are not considered automated mail.  The good news is that we can achieve big postage discounts by mailing in bulk.

Check out our magnet mailers at magnetbyMail.com .


Postcard Postage from US to Canada

To mail a standard postcard from the US to Canada, as of January 27, 2013 the rate is:

US$1.10 ea

Yes, that’s the same as mailing a regular 1 oz. letter to Canada.

For this rate, your card needs to be mailed from any U.S. address  (that is, any address with a Zip Code) to any Canadian address.

Source:  USPS

Tip: Use the abbreviation for the Canadian Province you’re sending to:

  • AB : Alberta
  • BC :  British Columbia
  • MB :  Manitoba
  • NB :  New Brunswick
  • NL :  Newfoundland and Labrador
  • NS :  Nova Scotia
  • NT :  Northwest Territories
  • NU :  Nunavut
  • ON :  Ontario
  • PE :  Prince Edward Island
  • QC :  Quebec
  • SK :  Saskatchewan
  • YT :  Yukon

Organizations promoting themselves with our Magnet Mailers need to be aware that our items need to be mailed at the 2 oz letter rate (not the postcard rate).  Why?  Because our postcard magnets are considered Machinable / non-Automated.  We can achieve big postage discounts by mailing in bulk for US addresses, although not for Canadian addresses.

Check out our magnet mailers at magnetbyMail.com .