USPS Postage Calculator
November 9, 2023
In 1639, a tavern in Boston once served as a place to buy “stronge water” and a pickup point for overseas mail. Little did we know that this unofficial “post office” would give birth to the second-oldest federal department in the country, the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Today, USPS has one of the largest retail networks in the country, larger than McDonald’s and Starbucks combined, with over 31,000 facilities, offering various mail delivery services to suit every American’s needs.
With these tidbits in mind, it makes sense that you visit a local post office when you want to send letters and packages. However, the question is, “How much would shipping with USPS cost?”
Understanding the various postage rates for different USPS shipping options can be overwhelming. Fortunately, with its centuries-long history and expertise, USPS offers a handy solution- a postage calculator.
This article discusses how you can use the USPS postage price calculator and the ins and outs of its shipping services. For more information on USPS services and postage rates, you can visit your local post office, which you find using FindPostOffice.org’s facility locator tool.
Why Should You Use the USPS Postage Calculator?
While USPS’ various shipping options give you the appropriate solution for your mailing needs and preferences, comparing postages between these services can be challenging. That’s where the USPS postage calculator comes in handy.
Here are some compelling reasons why you should use the USPS shipping calculator:
- Eliminates guesswork: The USPS postage rate calculator lets you input variables, like destination, ZIP codes, dates, service level, and weight, to help give you accurate postage prices and estimated delivery times for the various shipping options.
- Allows you to compare shipping options: If you’re cost-conscious, choosing the most economical service is crucial. The USPS postage calculator can help you compare prices and find the most economical and practical solution that aligns perfectly with your budget.
- Easy to use: Manually calculating postage rates can introduce errors. On the other hand, the USPS postage calculator’s intuitive interface makes it incredibly easy to use. Moreover, it provides quick and accurate postage calculations, streamlining your shipping process.
- Free and accessible: The best part about USPS’ postage calculator tool is its free use. You can access it conveniently on the USPS website, letting you calculate postage costs and compare shipping options from the comfort of your home.
How Do You Calculate Postage Savings?
USPS determines the postage cost depending on various factors, such as the weight of the package, the destination, and the specific mail delivery service. To calculate your postage savings, you can compare the costs of various USPS services using the postage calculator tool.
How Do I Figure Out How Much Postage I Need?
Figuring out how much postage you need for your mail or package is a straightforward process you can easily accomplish using the USPS postage calculator.
Here’s what you must do to determine how much postage you need:
- Visit the USPS Postage Price Calculator page: First, open the USPS website and find the Postage Price Calculator page. This user-friendly tool allows you to calculate shipping rates for both domestic and international shipments.
- Enter your shipment details: On the calculator page, fill out your parcel details. Provide your shipment destination by selecting it from the drop-down menu, enter the origin and destination ZIP codes, and specify the mailing date and time.
- Describe your package: When sending non-traditional mail items, such as cremated remains, live animals, or hazardous materials, you must tick the checkboxes that match your shipment. You can also indicate whether your mail requires retail ground transportation.
- Select your preferred shipment type: After entering your shipping details, you must decide how to send your item. The USPS shipping calculator offers various options, including flat-rate choices and shapes like postcards, letters, envelopes, and boxes.
- Flat-rate option: If you select a flat-rate option, such as Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope or Flat Rate Box, you’ll see the expected delivery day and the retail and online postage prices.
- Shape option: If you choose to calculate the postage price based on shape and size, you must enter the weight of your package. After that, you’ll receive the expected delivery day and the retail and online postage prices.
- Compare shipping options: You can review the pricing details for your selected shipment type. If you wish to explore other shipping options to find the service that best suits your needs, check the “Display All Options” box at the top.
- Add extra services: The postage calculator tool will allow you to include additional services such as a Certificate of Mailing, insurance, or signature confirmation. However, these extra services will generally come with surcharges.
How Much Is USPS Postage per Ounce?
The cost of USPS postage per ounce (oz) varies depending on your chosen service. For instance, domestic First-Class Mail costs $0.66 for a 1-oz letter, while a 1-oz large envelope costs $1.35.
Fortunately, the calculation for additional ounces is simple: you only need to add $0.24. For example, if you’re sending a 3-oz letter through First-Class Mail, expect to pay $1.14 ($0.66 + $0.24 for the second ounce + $0.24 for the third ounce).
Cost of First-Class™ Stamps
First-Class or Forever stamps are postage whose cost remains the same and valid regardless of future rate changes, making them ideal for avoiding shipping price fluctuations.
As of July 29, 2023, a single First-Class stamp costs $0.66. A book of 20 First-Class stamps costs $13.20.For up-to-date information on the price of the book of stamps, visit the official USPS website.
Alternatively, you can inquire about and purchase your First-Class postage stamps at your local post office, which you can easily find using FindPostOffice.org’s facility locator tool.
Competitive USPS Shipping Rates
With a commitment to making mail and package delivery accessible and budget-friendly to individuals and businesses within the U.S. and worldwide, USPS offers competitive shipping rates that cater to diverse needs.
Here are the starting domestic and international USPS mailing and shipping prices:
|Service||Post Office Price||Commercial Price|
|Priority Mail Express||$28.75||$24.90|
|Priority Mail Express Flat-Rate Envelope||$28.75||$24.90|
|Priority Mail Express Return||$24.90||–|
|Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope||$9.65||$8.05|
|Priority Mail Return||$7.65||–|
|USPS Ground Advantage||$4.75||$3.59|
|USPS Ground Advantage Return||$4.75||$3.59|
|USPS Marketing Mail||–||$0.19|
|Parcel Select Lightweight||–||$2.46|
|Service||Post Office Price||Commercial Price|
|Global Express Guaranteed||$71.10||$67.55|
|Priority Mail Express International||$56.00||$53.07|
|Priority Mail Express International Flat-Rate||$54.75||$51.98|
|Priority Mail International||$42.10||$39.53|
|Priority Mail International Flat-Rate Envelope||$30.35||$28.57|
|Priority Mail International Small Flat-Rate Box||$31.45||$29.64|
|Priority Mail International Medium Flat-Rate Box||$60.55||$56.10|
|Priority Mail International LargeFlat-Rate Box||$74.00||$69.10|
|First-Class Package International Service||$15.75||$14.96|
|International Business Reply Service||$2.10||$2.10|
Note that these prices are based on USPS’ July 29, 2023 rates. For up-to-date information, visit the USPS official website or call its customer service hotline at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).
Conversely, you can inquire about USPS’ mailing service postage rates in-person at your local post office. To find your area’s nearest USPS facilities, use FindPostOffice.org’s postal service locator tool.
What Factors Determine the Shipping Costs?
Several factors influence the final price for sending your packages and mail through USPS. Understanding these elements can help tailor your shipping strategy to your mailing preferences and needs.
Here are the critical elements that impact shipping costs:
- Package dimensions and weight: The size and weight of your package are crucial factors in determining shipping costs. However, USPS also considers a package’s dimensional weight (DIM) when setting the postage price.
The DIM refers to your shipment’s cubic size, which you can calculate by multiplying its length by width and height (L x W x H) and dividing that result by 166.
- Shipping zones and distance: The distance between the origin and destination significantly affects shipping costs. Delivery to farther destinations or across different zones may lead to higher shipping charges, as it involves more extensive transportation and handling.
- Shipping service and time: Your chosen USPS shipping option and the desired delivery time can also influence shipping costs. Expedited or express shipping options offering faster delivery may come with higher price tags than standard shipping services.
- Additional fees: Extra services like Signature Confirmation, weekend delivery, and special packaging like the USPS cold chain box may come with surcharges, depending on the USPS mailing service.
USPS Shipping Services
Whether you send letters or documents to a correspondent or an eCommerce business shipping packages to your customers, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) provides various domestic and international shipping options that suit your needs.
USPS Domestic Services
No matter the size or urgency of your shipment, USPS has a domestic service that can reliably and efficiently deliver your mail items at an affordable price.
From the economical First-Class Mail to the lightning-fast Priority Mail Express and the post-office-exclusive Media Mail, USPS has been delivering excellence to millions of Americans for generations.
Here are some USPS domestic mail delivery services to consider:
USPS First-Class Mail
Choose the USPS First-Class Mail service if you want a swift option to send standard-sized letters and envelopes. This service ensures your mail of up to 13oz reaches its destination within 1 to 5 business days at USPS’ best price.
Whether it’s personal correspondence or essential documents, you can rely on USPS First Class Mail for its cost-effectiveness and timely delivery. Prices for this service start at just $0.66 at a post office.
USPS Priority Mail
USPS Priority Mail is a popular choice among shippers, as this service offers speedy delivery times within one to three business days, depending on the package’s origin and destination.
This mail delivery option includes tracking and up to $100 of insurance, giving you peace of mind when shipping valuable items. The best part about Priority Mail is that you can send packages weighing up to 70lbs to anywhere in the U.S., starting at $9.35.
USPS Priority Mail Express
Just when you thought the USPS Priority Mail service couldn’t get any better, it came up with more improved features. With USPS Priority Mail Express’ next- to 2-day guaranteed delivery by 6:00 PM, your packages can reach their destination much quicker or your money back.
The Priority Mail Express service is USPS’ fastest mail delivery option, seven days a week, 365 days a year, with some exceptions. Moreover, this service comes with flat-rate pricing for shipments up to 70lbs, starting at $28.75.
USPS Parcel Select
For medium to high-volume package shippers, including competitors like UPS (United Parcel Service) and FedEx (Federal Express), the Parcel Select service is USPS’ best combination of reliability and affordability.
This option saves you money by mailing sorted parcels closer to all U.S., military, and P.O. box addresses.
The USPS Parcel Select option offers free tracking and won’t charge you additional fees for fuel, residential, and weekend deliveries. It also lets you mail packages up to 70lbs at a starting price of $3.78.
USPS International Services
While the primary purpose of USPS is to provide every American with a reliable and affordable mail delivery service, it also caters to international shippers. Here are some of USPS’ international shipping options:
- Global Express Guaranteed: When you need to expedite your international shipments, the Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) offers a 1- to 3-business-day delivery window.
This USPS option guarantees next-day delivery to select Canadian locations, starting at $71.10, or your money back.
- First-Class Package International Service: If you need an affordable shipping solution for mail items up to 4lbs, the First-Class Package International Service (FCPIS) is worth considering. This option delivers to roughly 180 countries, with prices starting at $15.75.
- Priority Mail International: Like USPS’ domestic Priority Mail service, the international variation gives you fast delivery times of 6 to 10 business days at economical prices. Expect prices to start at $30.35 when shipping packages weighing up to 20lbs to any of the 180 territories.
- Airmail M-Bags: The USPS Airmail M-Bags option offers a cost-effective solution to send significant amounts of printed material, such as books and magazines, to a single recipient internationally. With a starting price of $55, you can ship a package of up to 66lbs.
It’s worth noting, however, that pricing for domestic and international USPS mail delivery services may change periodically. For up-to-date information, visit the USPS website at usps.com or review its price list.
Alternatively, you can talk to a USPS representative by visiting your local post office. To find your area’s most convenient postal service locations, use FindPostOffice.org’s USPS facility locator tool.
USPS First Class Package Service vs. First Class Mail: Are You Sending Packages or Letters?
USPS offers two convenient services for sending mail, and choosing the right one depends on whether you’re sending packages or letters.
As mentioned, the First-Class Mail service is perfect for sending envelopes and postcards up to 13oz. On the other hand, First-Class Package, also known as USPS Ground Advantage, can send mailpieces over 15.99oz and up to 70lbs.
The USPS First-Class Package includes 2- to 5-business-day delivery, automatic $100 and up to $5,000 purchasable insurance coverage, and free mail pick up. It’s also the primary shipping option for sending hazardous materials (HAZMAT).
- Does USPS charge by weight or by size?
While USPS flat-rate mailing options offer fixed prices up to certain weights, package weight is critical in determining the postage cost you pay.
- What is the biggest box that I can ship with USPS?
The maximum size of a mailpiece you can send through USPS is 130” in total length, plus girth.
- How Do I Figure Out How Much Postage I Need?
- A little history plus 16 fun facts about the USPS
- USPS SIZE AND SCOPE
- USPS Retail Postage Price Calculator
- USPS Mail & Shipping Services
- USPS First-Class Mail
- USPS Priority Mail
- USPS Parcel Select
- USPS Price List
- USPS International Mail & Shipping Services
- How to Use the USPS Shipping Calculator
- USPS Ground Advantage
- USPS Mailing & Shipping Prices
- USPS Dimensional Weight
- Priority Mail Express Cold Chain Packaging
- How Weight Affects Prices
- How to Send a Package: Domestic