How Much Is an International Stamp?

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May 30, 2023

Are you sending a letter to a friend abroad but need to know how much an international stamp costs and how many stamps you need?  

One of the go-to shipping services in the country is the United States Postal Service. It remains one of the country’s cornerstones of mail and package deliveries.

Read on and get a step-by-step guide for sending international packages through USPS, including helpful information about Global Forever stamps. Knowing international stamp prices can help you manage your budget for sending packages abroad.

Reach out to your local post office for the correct international stamps to use and their prices. You can search for local post offices through FindPostOffice.org, which provides information on any of the 31,330 post offices that manage 161.4 million addresses in the U.S.

Features and Pricing

U.S. Postal Service offers affordable international shipping services to people in the United States. You can mail up to 180 countries worldwide with postage rates that are relatively cheaper than other shipping companies. 

Suppose you’re someone who regularly sends packages to addresses abroad. Or maybe you’re a small business owner looking for affordable shipping and mail services for small packages. In either case, USPS must definitely be on your list of choices. 

The Postal Service bases international mail prices on weight, size, and destination. Additional charges come from postage stamps and other miscellaneous expenses linked to the USPS service you use.  

Stamp Prices for Letters and Postcards: How Much Is a Postage Stamp?

Postage stamp prices vary from $0.01 to $25.00. The most common stamps used to add postage for older stamps are the one-cent and three-cent stamps.  

For example, if you want to send via Priority Mail Express, you’ll determine the cost and then combine postage stamps to reach that amount. You can see the stamp’s price printed on its face. You use postage stamps to pay the postage fee for your mail or package. 

How Much Is an International Stamp?

International mail stamps cost higher than standard postage. For standard-sized postcards weighing up to 1oz, the price is $1.40 for all countries. Starting January 22, 2023, prices will go up to $1.45 per ounce.

The cost depends on the destination country’s price group for mail and packages heavier than 1oz, unusually shaped, or oversized. Price hikes can also determine the postage fee rates.

How Much Will a Forever Stamp Cost You?

Forever stamps are your option if you want a mailing experience with less hassle. You can purchase these stamps at the USPS store or your local post office. 

After purchase, the value of Forever stamps will always be on par with the current cost of First-Class Mail at the time of use, even if the price increases after. You may use Forever stamps to send 1oz letters domestically. 

For international mail, it’s advisable to use Global Forever stamps. Like domestic Forever stamps, its value is linked to how much a First-Class Mail international costs. 

Info on the USPS Postage Rate Increase

As prices of essential commodities have increased over the past few years, so will the postage rate for USPS mail. Starting January 22, 2023, the new rates for the following USPS mail services are the following:

  • Letters (1oz.): $0.63
  • Letters (metered 1oz.): $0.60
  • Domestic Postcards: $0.48
  • International Postcards: $1.45
  • International Letter (1oz.): $1.45

Forever stamp prices will increase to $0.63, while for Global Forever stamps, the price will increase to $1.45.

Despite the changes in prices, Forever stamps and Global Forever stamps never expire, even if postage prices go up or down in the future. 

USPS Plans International Mail, Priority Mail Rate Hikes

USPS issued a notice that by January 22, 2023, prices for almost all mail services provided by the Postal Service undergo a price increase. 

This price hike is a response to rising operational costs. It aims to help the Post Office become financially stable in 10 years as part of the Delivering for America (DFA) transformation plan.

Holiday Shipping Rate Increase Information

As of Oct 2, 2022, USPS has implemented a holiday shipping rate increase that will continue until January 22, 2023. The holiday price increase was temporary, but USPS announced a price increase on all services starting the same month. 

Additional Charges for Larger Mailpieces and Envelopes

When your package exceeds the maximum dimensions for one rate, USPS charges it at the next higher rate. 

Also, USPS charges package rates for large envelopes that exceed the maximum dimensions (12 x 15 inches). 

You can use the online calculators provided by USPS to determine the expected shipping shipping cost of your package.

Summary of the Postage Rate Increase

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) is the body that oversees the Postal Service. This independent Federal agency approves the increases in domestic and international prices for all USPS shipping services. 

According to the latest announcement from the PRC, the price increase would take effect starting January 22, 2023. 

Here is a list of services and the expected new prices after the price hike:

Priority Mail and Priority Mail ExpressWhen sending mail, USPS reminds their customers

Commercial:

  • $0.75 increase for Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes
  • $0.25 increase for Zones 1 to 4, 0 to 10lbs
  • $0.80 increase for Zones 5 to 9, 0 to 10lbs
  • $0.75 increase for Zones 1 to 4, 11 to 25lbs
  • $2.80 increase for Zones 5 to 9, 11 to 25lbs
  • $3.00 increase for Zones 1 to 4, 26 to 70lbs
  • $6.50 increase for Zones 5 to 9, 26 to 70lbs

Retail:

  • $0.95 increase for Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes
  • $0.30 increase for Zones 1 to 4, 0 to 10lbs
  • $1.00 increase for Zones 5 to 9, 0 to 10lbs
  • $0.95 increase for Zones 1 to 4, 11 to 25lbs
  • $3.20 increase for Zones 5 to 9, 11 to 25lbs
  • $3.25 increase for Zones 1 to 4, 26 to 70lbs
  • $6.45 increase for Zones 5 to 9, 26 to 70lbs

First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground:

Commercial:

  • $0.25 increase for Zones 1 to 4, 0 to 10lbs
  • $0.40 increase for Zones 5 to 9, 0 to 10lbs
  • $0.75 increase for Zones 1 to 4, 11 to 25lbs
  • $1.60 increase for Zones 5 to 9, 11 to 25lbs
  • $3.00 increase for Zones 1 to 4, 26 to 70lbs
  • $5.50 increase for Zones 5 to 9, 26 to 70lbs

Retail:

  • $0.30 increase for Zones 1 to 4, 0 to 10lbs
  • $0.60 increase for Zones 5 to 9, 0 to 10lbs
  • $0.95 increase for Zones 1 to 4, 11 to 25lbs
  • $2.70 increase for Zones 5 to 9, 11 to 25lbs
  • $3.25 increase for Zones 1 to 4, 26 to 70lbs
  • $5.85 increase for Zones 5 to 9, 26 to 70lbs

Note: Zones refer to the distance between the shipment’s origin and the destination. Zone 1 is the closest to the post office, while zone 9 is the farthest possible domestic destination.

Weight, Size, and Shape Requirements

You can send First-Class Mail up to 15.994oz. Also, flats (postcards, letters, and large envelopes) must be rectangular. 

Any irregularly shaped package will have an additional charge. Other size restrictions may also apply depending on the type of package or mailpiece you’re sending. 

Other mail services have different weight, size, and shape requirements::

  • Global Express Guaranteed: Max. of 70lbs
  • Priority Mail Express International: Max of 4lbs for Flat Rate Envelopes
  • Priority Mail International: Max of 4lbs (Flat Rate Envelopes and Small Flat Rate Boxes)

Max of 20lbs (Medium and Large Priority Mail International Flat Rate Boxes)

Max of 70lbs (Price by weight)

  • First-Class Mail International: Up to 15.994oz for large envelopes (flats)
  • Airmail M-bags: Up to 66lbs of printed material

Where to Buy Stamps Online

There are two ways to buy stamps online. The first is to visit the USPS online store and buy from there. You can purchase as many or as few as you want. Another option is to buy from online retailers like Stamps.com. 

If buying online is not an option, you can purchase stamps from your local post office by going there personally or by calling on the phone. Also, you can find stamps for sale at grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. 

How Many Stamps Do You Need?

The number of stamps you need depends on your mail’s weight, size, shape, and destination. Standard letters (3.5oz or less) usually need one stamp. Letters and packages larger than 3.5oz may need more. 

How Many Stamps Do You Need to Send a Letter?

Here is a simple guide regarding the number of stamps you need to send a letter. Remember that a standard letter only needs one stamp. 

  • For large envelopes (9 x 12, legal sizes and manila envelopes): Two stamps for the first ounce
  • For international mail: Three Forever stamps or one Global Forever stamp for letters weighing up to one ounce 
  • For packages: The required number of stamps depends on weight and size. You’ll pay a minimum of $3.80 for the first four ounces. The cost increases with additional ounces. 

How Many Forever Stamps Do You Need?

You can use one Global Forever stamp to send a 1oz. First-Class Mail letter anywhere in the world. You can use Forever stamps for international mail, but you’ll need three to cover the postage price. 

Note that USPS delivers to more than 180 countries worldwide. You can get a complete list of these countries by visiting their website.

Can You Use a Normal Stamp for an International Letter?

According to USPS, customers can use Forever stamps for international mail. However, you’ll have to add additional postage because international prices can be higher than domestic rates. 

Usually, you’ll need three Forever stamps to cover international mail deliveries. 

Can You Use 2 Forever Stamps for International Postage?

According to USPS, the value of a Forever stamp is the price of a domestic First-Class Mail letter on the day of use. 

Starting January 22, 2023, USPS will increase Forever and Global Forever stamp prices to $0.60 and $1.45, respectively. 

First-Class Mail International costs one Global Forever stamp. Thus, with the given rate increase mentioned above, you’ll need three Forever stamps to send a standard letter abroad.

How Many Stamps Do You Need for a 9 × 12 Envelope?

According to USPS, a 9 x 12 envelope, assuming it’s rectangular, requires two stamps for the first ounce. 

When you want to send large envelopes abroad, you can use a Global Forever stamp and pay added postage fees for the additional ounces. You may need to pay more for irregularly-shaped envelopes. 

How Many Stamps Do You Need to Send a Parcel?

The number of stamps needed depends on your package’s weight, size, shape, and destination. 

You can go to an online calculator provided by USPS to calculate the shipping cost of your package. Once you have the price, you need to attach the number of stamps covering the postage or shipping cost. 

How Many Stamps Are There in a Book?

Usually, you’ll get 20 postage stamps in a book. You can purchase these books online at USPS.com or from third-party sellers like Stamps.com. Also, you can buy these stamp books from grocery stores and gas stations. 

How Many Stamps Are Needed per Ounce?

A 1-oz letter sent domestically needs one $0.60-First-Class Mail Forever stamp. On the other hand, you’ll need one $1.40-Global Forever stamp for a 1-oz letter sent through First-Class Mail International. Additional ounces will mean extra postage charges. 

Domestic Letter Shipping — Price per Ounce

The price per ounce for domestic letter shipping is $0.60. However, starting on January 22, 2023, standard mail prices will start at $0.63 per 1oz.

Domestic Letter Shipping

Letters sent to any address within the United States, its territories, and possessions, including military facilities, fall under domestic letter shipping. 

Examples of domestic mail are:

  • Priority Mail
  • Priority Mail Express
  • First-Class Mail
  • USPS Retail Ground

Domestic Postcard Shipping

Postcards are cardboard or stiff paper cards with a picture on one side and the sender’s message and address on the other. 

USPS postcard price for domestic destinations is $0.48, and for international destinations, it’s $1.45. Note that these prices are according to the new rates that will take effect on January 22, 2023.

Send International Mail: Step-by-Step Instructions

You can follow this step-by-step guide when sending mail to countries abroad. 

Can You Send This?

Before sending mail to another country, you should review their rules regarding the items you can send. You should become more familiar with different countries and their rules. 

Note that you’ll also need to deal with Customs when sending packages unless it’s only correspondence and nonnegotiable documents.

Choose Your Envelope or Postcard

Choose envelopes if you’re sending documents, letters, forms, or anything that can fit in a flat, standard-sized envelope. Postcards usually don’t need envelopes when sent by mail. 

As with regular mail, envelopes and postcards must be rectangular and within the standard mail size to qualify for a flat rate. Irregularly-shaped envelopes and postcards mean additional fees.  

Oversized, rigid, and lumpy envelopes or postcards will be treated as a package, and you’ll pay the package price instead of letter prices.  

Address Your Mail

A crucial part of a letter is the address. It directs the Post Office on where it should deliver the mail or package. 

The following are tips on properly addressing your envelope or postcard for domestic or international shipping. 

International Address Format Tips

  • Print addresses neatly in capital letters
  • Use a pen or permanent marker
  • Don’t use commas or periods

Write the Sender’s Address

When you write your address, place it in the top-left corner of the envelope. You should include the following information:

  • Sender’s full name or company name
  • Apartment or suite number
  • Street address
  • City, State, and ZIP code (USA)

Write the Delivery Address

Write the delivery or recipient’s address at the bottom center of the envelope. You have to write the address in English. 

You can write addresses in a different language, but there should be an English translation per line. 

Some countries have different ways of formatting their addresses. Still, generally, addresses have the following information:

  • Recipient’s full name or company name
  • Street address
  • City, subdivision (like country, province, state), and postal code
  • Country of destination

Calculate and Apply Postage

When sending internationally, you’ll need one Global Forever stamp to cover the postage for a standard-size letter. The price currently is $1.40, but starting January 22, 2023, it’ll increase to $1.45.

For large envelopes, the current price is $2.75 per ounce. Prices will adjust accordingly when the rate increase takes effect on the said date. You can use an online calculator provided by USPS on their website. 

Where Can You Buy Postage?

You can buy postage at your local post office or USPS.com. Aside from these places, you can buy postage at approved postal providers like grocery and drug stores. 

Additional Postage

You’ll have to pay additional postage for envelopes or postcards that weigh over 1oz up to 3.5oz. Note that added fees depend on the destination country’s price group. 

USPS.com provides a list of countries and their corresponding price groups. You can refer to this country groups and weight limits list to determine the total cost of your shipment. 

Extra Services

These are the extra services you can add to your shipment: 

  • Insured Mail
  • Priority Mail Express Insurance
  • Certified Mail
  • Collect on Delivery (COD)
  • USPS Tracking
  • Registered Mail
  • Adult Signature Services
  • Certificate of Mailing
  • Return Receipt
  • Signature Confirmation

Furthermore, you can also visit, FindPostOffice.org and check out different articles about these services in detail. You can visit our site and search our list of informative blogs about extra mailing services. 

Send Your Mail

Once you’ve completed everything on this list, recheck your package and place your stamps to avoid wasting one if you make a mistake. If everything is correct, you can drop your item in the mailbox or at your nearest post office. 

International Letter Shipping — U.S.A. to the U.K.

You can use First-Class Mail International when sending mail weighing 1oz or below. You’ll only need one Global Forever stamp to cover the postage fee. 

International Letter Shipping — U.S.A. to Canada

Like shipping to the United Kingdom, you can send letters to Canada using one Global Forever stamp (currently $1.40 but will increase to $1.45 on Jan. 22, 2023). Additional weight requires additional postage. 

An Alternative to Receiving Packages and Mail

USPS provides its customers with alternative ways of receiving packages and mail. Examples of these alternative options are the following:

  • P.O. Bo:
  • Virtual Mailbox
  • Co-working spaces
  • Work address

Virtual Mailbox: A Modern Way of Managing Your Mail

A virtual mailbox is one of the modern ways to manage your mail. This service allows you to have all your mail and packages directed to a virtual address and check each online. 

You can register with U.S Global Mail for a virtual mailbox account. 

Additional Information

Here is some additional information that might be useful when sending your next international mail. 

Mailing Restrictions and Prohibitions

USPS reminds their customers of mailing restrictions and prohibitions that they implement. The following are items that you can’t send from the United States regardless if you are from a major state such as California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, or smaller states like, Alaska and Hawaii:

  • Aerosols
  • Airbags
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Ammunition
  • Cigarettes
  • Dry ice
  • Explosives
  • Gasoline
  • Hemp-based products (including cannabidiol or CBD)
  • Marijuana (medical or otherwise)
  • Nail polish
  • Perfumes (containing alcohol)
  • Poisons

Shipping to a Military Post Office (APO, FPO, DPO)

You can send care packages to military facilities at domestic prices, even if it’s overseas. USPS provides free military shipping kits to help military personnel and their loved ones easily send mail and packages. 

Furthermore, when you ship to an APO (Army Post Office), FPO (Fleet Post Office), or DPO (Diplomatic Post Office), you should remember the following tips:

  • Always include the recipient’s name, rank, and unit
  • Include the APO, FPO, or DPO address
  • Add the 9-digit ZIP code
  • Always include a return address

Note that addressing “any service member” is no longer allowed. Also, avoid adding foreign cities or country names in your address to prevent your mail from entering foreign mail networks. 

For Businesses

USPS offers affordable services for businesses to expand their network and compete in ever-growing global markets.

Here are the export services provided by USPS:

  • Global Shipping Software: Free USPS software that aims to guide businesses through international shipping
  • Commercial ePacket: USPS offers a speedy, safe, and secure way to send lightweight packages internationally intended for businesses

Other services include providing information regarding the following areas of international shipping:

  • International bulk and package services
  • Export laws and rules
  • Pricing and export agreements
  • Customs forms for international mail

For its importing services, USPS offers its Global Direct Entry wholesaler program. It helps businesses create relationships with certain wholesalers for easier transactions.