How Many Forever Stamps to Mail Something to Canada

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March 17, 2024

Even now that almost everyone communicates digitally, sending physical mail retains its charm.

People continue to communicate through direct mail when writing personal well-wishes, exchanging information, or requesting signatures on official documents.

If you’ve used USPS (United States Postal Service) services, you likely know stamps are necessary to send mail.

This requirement applies even when mailing letters, postcards, or envelopes to foreign locations, including Canada.

One widely bought USPS stamp is Forever Stamps, a unique postage stamp for one-ounce First Class letters. 

You can use these stamps regardless of when you bought them or no matter how much the postage rate changes.

Suppose you want to mail a letter to Canada. In that case, you might ask, “How many Forever Stamps do I need to buy and use?” Also, “Are there any other international stamps I can purchase?” 

You might also wonder about the features and pricing of various USPS international services and stamps. 

FindPostOffice.org is your free, all-in-one resource for relevant info regarding post offices in the U.S. 

This article explains how many stamps you need to mail a letter to Canada, particularly whether you can use Forever Stamps. 

Learn more about sending letters to Canada.

How Many Stamps Do I Need to Buy to Send a Letter to Canada?

If you plan to send a letter to Canada and are unsure of how many stamps to purchase and use, the following sections can help you.

International Letter Shipping: USA to Canada

Using a Global Forever stamp is an economical way to send a letter to Canada. As of 2023, this stamp costs $1.50. 

Here are the postage rates and delivery times for various USPS mail classes:

Mail ClassDelivery TimeRatesTracking
Priority Mail International6 to 10 business daysBegins at $37.47Included
First Class Package International Service11 to 20 business daysBegins at $14.11Included for some countries
Priority Mail Express International Flat Rate (Envelopes)Three to five business daysBegins at $44.95Included with date-specific shipping available
Priority Mail Express InternationalThree to five business daysBegins at $44.95Included with date-specific shipping available

How Many Stamps Do I Need per Ounce?

You can send a one-ounce (1oz) letter (four sheets of typical printer paper and a business-sized envelope) or a postcard worldwide for one First-Class Mail Global Forever stamp. 

You can also use other stamps, provided their rates add up to $1.50.

Domestic Letter Shipping: Price per Ounce

The table below shows the possible number of stamps you need to ship domestic mail according to the letters’ weight.

The Weight of Your LetterThe Number and Type of Stamp

1oz or less
One domestic Forever Stamp (63 cents per piece as of 2023)

2oz
1 domestic Forever Stamp plus 1 24-cent additional ounce stamp. This option might cost you 87 cents.

How Many Stamps Do I Need for a 9 by 12 Envelope?

The postage cost for 9 by 12 envelopes depends on the destination and the shipment’s weight. 

Say your envelope weighs under one ounce. You can add two Forever Stamps (which cost 66 cents or 66¢ per piece in 2023).

How Many Stamps Do I Need To Send a Parcel?

The U.S. Postal Service offers a postage calculator to determine how many stamps to buy before heading to the post office.

Here’s how to use this online tool:

  • Choose the destination country.
  • Enter your and your recipient’s ZIP codes.
  • Select the mailing time and date.
  • Choose the mailing option you want.
  • Click “Display All Options”. This step allows you to compare the pricing of each shipping service.
  • Purchase extra features, such as additional insurance, Registered Mail, or Certified Mail.
  • Afterward, you will see the estimated final cost.
  • Buy the appropriate type and number of stamps and use them to cover your shipping cost. 

How Many Stamps Do I Need to Buy for a Postcard?

The answer to this question depends on the item you want to send and the stamp type you plan to use.

When sending a postcard to Canada, you can buy and use one Global Forever Stamp for $1.50.

More Canada Mailing Options You Can Use

USPS offers several international mailing services that ship to Canada.

You can compare these options by their retail prices and shipping time. Most USPS services automatically include USPS Tracking. However, you can add insurance and extra services.

Domestic Letter and Postcard Shipping

You use envelopes for sending flat, flexible items, including cards, letters, checks, forms, and other paper goods.

USPS offers First-Class Mail Forever stamps for domestic shipments. You can use this stamp to send items weighing one ounce anywhere in the U.S. As of 2023, a First-Class Mail Forever stamp costs $0.66.

Meanwhile, you use postcards for sending short messages that you don’t need to enclose in an envelope. 

Save money by sending a $0.51 standard-sized postcard anywhere in the U.S.

Can I Mail a Letter to the U.S. With Forever Stamps?

Forever Stamps are suitable for mailing standard-sized, one-ounce letters within the U.S. 

Weigh your letter before affixing a Forever Stamp to ensure it doesn’t exceed one ounce. USPS will return heavier letters due to lack of postage.

You should include additional postage to your Forever Stamp for any domestic mail piece weighing more than one ounce.

Can I Use Three Forever Stamps for International Mail?

Yes. You can use three Forever Stamps for sending mail internationally.

If your letter is one ounce or below, you can buy and use one Global Forever stamp or three Forever Stamps.

What About Posting Flats?

USPS uses “flats” to refer to large envelopes, magazines, and newsletters. 

Flats must meet the following size and shape requirements:

  • Have one dimension greater than 6 1/8 inches high,  11 ½ inches long, or 1/4 inch thick
  • Be no more than 15 inches long, 12 inches high, and 3/4 inch thick.

How Many Forever Stamps Do I Need To Send a Letter to Canada (Flats)?

The answer to this question depends on the weight of your item. Suppose the item weighs over 3.5oz. In that case, you can send it as a flat and attach the correct number of postal stamps.

You need at least two Global Forever stamps to send a card or letter weighing over 3.5oz. 

How Many Stamps Do I Need for a Large Envelope (Flats) to Canada?

The number of stamps you’ll need to send a flat to Canada depends on the weight of your mailpiece. 

Consider weighing your large envelope at home using your scale before you bring it to the post office. The weight will give you an idea of how many stamps you’ll have to buy and use.

International Letter Shipping: USA to U.K.

As mentioned, people use First-Class Mail International when shipping letters and large envelopes. This service lets you send 1-oz letters or postcards for only $1.50.

This table shows how much you might have to pay in 2023 for shipping to the U.K. (United Kingdom):

Mail ClassRate
Global Express GuaranteedStarts at $82.70
Priority Mail Express International Flat RateStarts at $65.95
Priority Mail International Flat RateStarts at $39.19
First‑Class Package International ServiceStarts at $16.96
Priority Mail InternationalStarts at $57

Postage to Canada

While you can use First-Class Mail International for sending 1-oz letters and postcards abroad, you can use FCPIS (First Class Package International Service) to ship mailpieces weighing over 1oz internationally.

As of 2023, the starting rate for FCPIS is $14.11. As such, this service is the lowest-cost option among all couriers for parcels weighing up to 4 pounds (lbs).

FCPIS delivery generally takes 11 to 20 business days. This option also offers tracking services for select countries, including Canada.

COVID-19 or Coronavirus Status: Delivering Normally

USPS may temporarily suspend global mail acceptance for particular locations due to problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other unexpected service disruptions. 

As of October 2023, avoid addressing mail to the places listed below until further notice:

  • Afghanistan
  • Russia 
  • Sudan
  • Belarus
  • Brunei
  • Syria 
  • Yemen

Envelope Requirements

Below are the requirements for sending large envelopes internationally:

  • Minimum: 11 1/2 inches (length) and 6 1/8 inches (height)
  • Thickness: Maximum thickness 3/4 inch
  • Maximum: 15 inches (length) and 12 inches (height)

How To Weigh Your Envelope

The Postal Service rounds up your parcel’s weight during postage price calculations. It will round the weight to the next available ounce rate for some lightweight parcels and the next pound for many heavier ones.

This policy applies to all mail classes, including domestic and international services. For instance, if your package weighs 3lbs and 4oz, USPS will charge at the 4-lb rate.

Where To Buy Stamps

You can buy stamps from the following sources:

  • Post offices: You can purchase new stamps from these sites.
  • Vacationers: Ask your friends or relatives on vacation to mail you a postcard.
  • Stamp dealers: You can buy vintage stamps from these people.
  • Online: Some websites (other than USPS) sell stamps and stamp-collecting materials.
  • USPS.com: You can search and order stamps through USPS’ online store
  • Pen pals: Find a fellow stamp collector and become pen pals.
  • Mailboxes: Some individuals get stamps daily. You can ask these people to save them for you.
  • Trading: If you have two or more copies of the same stamp, you can exchange them with a friend.
  • Grandparents and other relatives: Write to your relatives about stamp collecting. This effort might make them happy, and they might reply using unique stamps.

Accuracy Notes

When sending packages and mail to Canada, understanding USPS rates is crucial for accuracy and cutting costs. 

Here are additional details regarding USPS’ latest postage rates and price changes.

New Prices Effective July 9, 2023

Below are the price increases for USPS mailing stamps and supplies from 2022 to 2023:

  • Forever Stamp: Increased from $0.63 to $0.66
  • Postcards: Increased from $0.44 to $0.48
  • International Forever Stamp: Increased from $1.45 to $1.50

Previous Price Increases

Here’s how much the cost of a First-Class stamp has changed since 2019:

  • January 2019: $0.55 
  • August 2021: $0.58
  • July 2022: $0.60
  • January 2023: $0.63
  • July 2023: $0.66 

Where To Apply Stamps on a Letter

You must apply postage stamps and postage-paid impressions to the address side of the mail. You can find this side in the upper-right corner of the mail.

Meanwhile, when you use plastic wrap, you can affix the following on the mailpiece or the wrapper:

  • Postage meter stamp
  • Postage validation imprinter label (the postage you purchase from the USPS retail counter)

Delivery Times for Letters to Canada

Here are the delivery times for various international services to give you an idea of how long it will take for your shipment to arrive in Canada:

  • Priority Mail Express International: Three to five business days
  • Global Express Guaranteed: One to three business days
  • Priority Mail International: 6 to 10 business days
  • First-Class Mail International: Varies by destination

How Much Do the Stamps Cost for Mailing to Canada?

The answer to this question depends on which mailing option you choose.

For example, the shipping rates for Priority Mail Express to Canada depend on the mailpiece’s weight.

With an expedited parcel delivery of three to five business days, flat-rate envelopes’ costs start at $44.95.

How Much Does It Cost To Post a Letter in the U.S.?

You can use a $0.66 First-Class Mail Forever stamp to send a letter domestically. You can also use any combination of stamps, provided it covers the current postage rate ($0.66).

Sending Mail to Canada: What You Need To Know

Mailing to Canada isn’t that complicated once you know the process. The following sections explain what sending mail to Canada involves, including delivery time and the parcel’s journey.

How Long Does It Take for Mail To Get to an Address in Canada?

As mentioned, the time it takes to deliver international mail depends on the service you bought. 

Aside from pricing and requirements, you should know how quickly mail arrives in Canada and whether you can track them en route to their destinations.

Can I Track My Mail in Canada?

Priority Mail Express International, Global Express Guaranteed, and Priority Mail International services offer international tracking information and insurance. You can track your item if you buy any of these products.

Does Mail to Canada Have To Go Through Customs?

Yes. Any mail sent via USPS goes through U.S. Customs and the CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency).

These agencies are responsible for imposing taxes on imported and exported goods.

How To Send Mail Letters to Canada: A Step-by-Step Guide

You’re probably new to direct mail since you’re reading this article regarding mail letters to Canada. The sections below list and explain the steps to send mail to Canada.

How To Send Direct Mail to Canada

As shown above, manually sending physical mail can be time-consuming and delay your mail distribution.

Determining your letter or package’s ideal postage and proper-sized containers can take time and effort.

Some service providers offer solutions to help people automate the entire mailing process. 

How To Ship to Canada With USPS

That said, you still might want to drop off your mail or package at the local post office yourself.

USPS offers six shipping methods for sending international letters and packages. Choose from these options and follow the specific instructions for sending them. 

The steps for mailing items abroad are similar:

  1. Verify if you can send your mailpiece to the intended recipient.

Some services are only available to particular countries or for a specific content type or amount. Check the USPS’ Individual Country Listings for information on eligible countries.

Identify the available services based on what you want to send and the package’s destination. Then, refine your decision based on delivery time, price, and product features.

  1. Choose your postcard or envelope.
  2. Address your mail using the format suggested by USPS.
  3. Calculate and apply postage.
  4. Send your mail by placing it in your mailbox, dropping it off at a post office counter, or putting it in a USPS blue collection box.

How To Address Mail to Canada

Countries use different address formats. For instance, some might write the city after the postal code. These sections will help you address your mail to Canada correctly:

Write Sender Address

While the international address templates for each country differ, the recipient’s address must always be in English.

Write your address in the U.S. (your “return address”) at the top-left corner. Put these details on separate lines:

  • Your company name or complete name
  • Suite or apartment number
  • Full street address
  • City, state, and ZIP+4 code
  • USA

Note: ZIP+4 codes are extended versions of the standard five-digit ZIP codes. This more detailed code helps locate addresses within a ZIP code area.

Write Delivery Address

Write the receiver’s address on the envelope’s bottom center.

Put the following info on separate lines:

  • Receiver’s complete name or company name
  • Street address
  • City, subdivision (like county, state, or province), and postal code
  • Country

Example of Canada Address Format

Below is an example of a Canadian address format:

  • MR JUSTIN SMITH
    1522 Adelaide Street
    Toronto ON  M5H 1P6

Put two spaces between the postal or ZIP code and province abbreviation, as shown above, between “ON” and “M5H 1P6.”

Use these two–character abbreviations for Canadian regions:

Canadian Territories or ProvincesPostal Service Abbreviation
AlbertaAB
British ColumbiaBC
ManitobaMB
New BrunswickNB
Newfoundland and LabradorNL
Northwest TerritoriesNT
Nova ScotiaNS
Nunavut TerritoryNU
OntarioON
Prince Edward IslandPE
QuebecQC
SaskatchewanSK
Yukon TerritoryYT

H0H 0H0

Many children write letters to Santa Claus during Christmas to let him know how good they’ve been throughout the year. These young people also write Santa to tell him what they want for Christmas. 

The problem is that they do not know where to mail these letters. Canada addressed this issue by establishing an official postal code for Santa Claus: H0H 0H0.

What if Mail to Canada Is Incorrectly Addressed?

Suppose the mailpiece has an incorrect address and no return address. In that case, the local post office will handle the mailpiece, or a USPS representative will send it to the Mail Recovery Center.

U.S. Postage Rates

Postage costs vary depending on the mail class, your item’s weight, size, shape, and delivery distance.

As of 2023, here are the postage costs for some domestic USPS services:

ServicePrices

Priority Mail Express
Start at $28.75 (at the post office)
Start at $24.90 (commercial pricing)
First Class MailStart at $0.66 (at the Post Office)
Start at $0.498 (commercial pricing)
Priority MailStart at $9.35 (at the Post Office)
Start at $7.64 (commercial pricing)
USPS Ground AdvantageStart at $4.75 (at the Post Office)
Start at $3.59 (commercial pricing)

How Many Stamps Do You Need To Mail a Letter to the U.S.? Costs, Best Options, and More

As you know, USPS offers several mailing options for sending letters and packages to Canada and other countries. 

However, the postage rate for these shipments varies depending on your chosen product and delivery distance. The number or type of postage you buy and use depends on these factors. 

Letter and Postcard Mail to Canada

You can use First-Class Mail International to send 1-oz letters or postcards to select countries, including Canada.

You typically use one Global Forever stamp to mail items using this service. This stamp costs $1.50 as of 2023.

Sending a Letter to Canada: Postage Prices

First-Class Mail International is an economical mailing option for mailing an envelope of documents weighing under one pound (15.994oz). The cost for this service starts at $3. 

Sending a Postcard to Canada: Postage to U.S. Prices

A Global Forever stamp is one of the most cost-effective ways to send a postcard to Canada. As of 2023, this stamp’s cost is $1.50.

First Class Mail International Postage to Canada

As mentioned, FCMI (First-Class Mail International) is the most affordable international service USPS offers. 

You can use this option to mail letters and flats (large envelopes) to over 180 countries, including Canada and Great Britain.

Affordable International Mailing

Shipping a First-Class Mail International (FCMI) item only costs $1.50  when you use a Global Forever stamp. This pricing means FCMI is an economical way to mail certain items internationally.

Features and Pricing

Here are additional features of this shipping option:

  • Suitable for letters weighing up to 3.5 ounces (oz), postcards, and large envelopes (flats) weighing up to 15.994oz
  • Can be combined with the Registered Mail service in select countries
  • Global Forever stamp available
  • Delivery time or speed varies by destination
  • Costs depend on weight and destination

Stamp Prices for Letters and Postcards

Stamp prices for letters and postcards with standard sizes and weighing up to 1oz start at $1.50 for all countries.

Meanwhile, the costs of irregularly shaped or oversized envelopes depend on the destination country’s price group.

Weight, Size, and Shape Requirements

Postcards, letters, and flats must be rectangular. You may have to pay extra for non-rectangular items. Additional size restriction also applies depending on the type of mailpiece you send.

Additional Charges for Larger Mailpieces and Envelopes

Suppose your item exceeds its rate’s maximum length, thickness, or height. In that case, USPS will charge you at the next higher rate.

Large envelopes exceeding the maximum dimensions will be charged package rates.

Additional Information

Whether for a standard letter or parcel, it’s always best to gather as much info as possible when sending something internationally.  

Consider the following reminders when addressing mail to countries like Canada.

Mailing Restrictions and Prohibitions

USPS sets specific guidelines for mailing prohibited, restricted, and hazardous materials.

You cannot ship any of these items from the U.S. to any country:

  • Air Bags
  • Dry Ice
  • Hemp-based products (including CBD or cannabidiol)
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Gasoline
  • Aerosols
  • Marijuana
  • Explosives

Note: Letters and large envelopes should only contain documents.

Shipping Mail or Package to a Military Post Office: APO, FPO, or DPO

You will pay domestic rates for mailpieces shipped to a military post office, such as the following:

  • FPO (Fleet Post Office)
  • DPO (Diplomatic Post Office)
  • APO (Army or Air Force Post Office)

However, these locations require customs forms and are subject to specific restrictions.

For Businesses

USPS offers cost-effective solutions so businesses can grow their reach and thrive in the ever-growing global market.

For example, USPS’ free global shipping software can generate a data file with shipment processing details and tracking data.

Sending Items Weighing More Than 3.5 Ounces or Large Envelopes to Canada

A standard letter’s maximum weight limit is 3.5oz, so you might have to use a large envelope when sending items weighing more than 3.5oz.

The Benefits of Writing Letters

Letter writing can be a helpful technique for processing challenging situations. Sharing your problems with a trustworthy person can be an effective way to relieve pent-up emotions. 

Sharing thoughts with friends and family via a letter can help you cope when experiencing stress.

Research conducted by Royal Mail showed that nearly 75% of British citizens felt that writing letters and cards had positive mental health benefits.

Writing Letter Tips

Here are some tips to remember when writing a letter:

  • Start with the primary message: Present your main message first. Research shows readers always look for the bottom line. Burying the main message will only make things more difficult for your readers.
  • A sympathetic opening may be necessary for some letters: Research indicates that the tone of a letter affects its readability. A cold, mechanical letter can discourage readers before they even start.

However, this consideration doesn’t mean you write a customer like how you write a relative. It means it helps to use compassion and common sense when writing letters.

An Alternative to Receiving Packages and Mail

Traditionally, you would receive packages or mail in your residential mailbox or from your P.O. box at your local post office.

Some companies offer virtual mailboxes as an alternative to these conventional methods.

Virtual mailboxes allow you to receive a virtual address where all your mail and packages can be directed. 

You can view your digital images by logging into your virtual mailbox account. You can also request a mail scan, allowing the documents to be scanned and uploaded to your account.

Want To Know More About Postage and USPS?

USPS began with Benjamin Franklin and the Second Continental Congress in 1775. 

The institution continued when the U.S. Constitution enabled Congress to build post offices and roads in 1787. 

Congress exercised its powers by enacting the Post Office Act of 1792, making postal services an official part of the federal government.

As of 2023, the Postal Service manages and distributes 44% of the world’s mail.

References

1. USPS Shipping to Canada from the US
https://www.stamps.com/usps/shipping-to-canada/
2. How to Send a Letter or Postcard: International
https://www.usps.com/international/letters.htm
3. U.S. Postal Service Announces New Prices for 2023
https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2022/1007-usps-announces-new-prices-for-2023.htm
4. International Mail & Shipping Services
https://www.usps.com/international/mail-shipping-services.htm
5. How to Send a Letter or Postcard: Domestic
https://www.usps.com/ship/letters.htm
6. USPS Forever Stamps, First Class Stamp
https://www.stamps.com/usps/forever-stamps/
7. Sizes for Large Envelopes and Flats
https://pe.usps.com/businessmail101?ViewName=Flats
8. USPS International Shipping Rates
https://www.stamps.com/usps/usps-international-shipping-rates/
9. USPS Shipping to Canada from the US
https://www.stamps.com/usps/shipping-to-canada/
10. International service disruptions
https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm
11. What Are You Mailing? International
https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm100/mailing-international.htm
12. Automated Package Verification
https://www.usps.com/business/verify-postage.htm
13. Where to Get Stamps
https://about.usps.com/publications/pub192/pub192_004.htm
14. 153 Placement of Postage
https://pe.usps.com/text/imm/immc1_023.htm
15. A32 Canada Only
https://pe.usps.com/text/pub28/28apa_005.htm
16. How is Undeliverable and Misdelivered Mail Handled?
https://faq.usps.com/s/article/How-is-Undeliverable-and-Misdelivered-Mail-Handled
17. First-Class Mail International
https://www.usps.com/international/first-class-mail-international.htm
18. Writing Effective Letters
https://www.plainlanguage.gov/resources/content-types/writing-effective-letters
19. About the United States Postal Service
https://about.usps.com/who/profile/
20. Top Facts
https://facts.usps.com/top-facts/