Cost to Mail a Letter

What is the Cost to Mail a Letter?

What does it cost to mail a letter? Mailing a letter is still relevant in most parts of the world, and even the interior parts of highly developed continents. Before hitting the post office with your letter, you have to find out how much it will cost you to mail the letter in your hand.

Cost to Mail a Letter

There is no doubt that the paper-written letter was in existence years before the invention of the World Wide Web which led to the birth of the electronic mailing system.

Mailing service companies like the USPS still help people to deliver letters in this contemporary world. 

Whether it is a personal letter or a business letter, USPS will help you deliver it to any location within the United States. Let us calculate how much you will spend mailing a letter.

Cost to Mail a Letter

There is no specific mailing rate for your letter. This is because there are different classes of Mail, each of which needs different types of mailing costs accordingly.

To successfully mail your letter or parcel, you might need to budget more or less on mailing costs depending on its shape, size, and weight.

Moreover, the size of a standard envelope which belongs to the First Class Mail, is one of the most common and cheapest mail you can send via the USPS.

USPS First Class Mail will cost you $0.60 per stamp. However, First Class Mail letters need only a single stamp if they weigh less than 3.5 ounces. 

Most times, parcels and huge envelopes sent via the First Class Parcel service can weigh up to 13 ounces when they migrate to USPS Priority Mail.

USPS offers other classes of mail besides the First Class Mail. But these classes of mail are more expensive.

Looking at the below table will give you an insight into the current mailing cost and standard weight limits associated with different categories of USPS Mail:

USPS Mail CategoryLetter/Parcel TypeMailing Cost
USPS First Class MailStamped Letter  1 oz$0.66
Metered Letter 1 oz$0.57
Flat Large Envelope$1.20
USPS Priority MailFlat Rate Envelope (12-½” x 9-½” or less)$8.95
Legal Flat Rate Envelope $9.25
Padded Flat Rate Envelope$9.65
Small Flat Rate Box$9.45
USPS Priority Mail ExpressFlat Rate Envelope$26.95
Legal Flat Rate Envelope$27.10
Padded Flat Rate Envelope$27.50

From the above table, you can see that mailing costs differ widely depending on the USPS Mail category, size, shape, and weight of the letter you want to send.

Also, you have to take note of this mailing cost before you plan on mailing commercially and internationally.

Recent Hikes in USPS Mailing Price 

Around April 2022, the USPS disclosed to the public that it would be increasing the cost of sending letters and parcels across its different mailing service options.

Outstandingly, the price of the USPS First Class Mail Forever Stamp was increased from $0.58 to $0.60.

Here is a complete list of USPS price hikes that became effective in July 2022:

Product TypePrevious PriceCurrent Price
USPS First Class Mail Forever Stamp (1 oz in size)$0.58$0.60
USPS Metered Letter (1 oz in size)$0.53$0.57
USPS Additional Weight Letter$0.20$0.24
USPS Domestic Postcard$0.40$0.44
USPS International Letter (1 oz in size)$1.30$1.40

Although changes in mailing cost prices might be uncomfortable, they are not so surprising. This is in view of the massive hit by high inflation rates throughout 2021 and 2022.

As a fact, this 6.5% increase in mailing cost was actually less than the average national inflation rate, which jumped to 9.1% in mid-July 2022. 

Factors Affecting the Cost of Mailing a Letter

Factors Affecting the Cost of Mailing a Letter

As earlier mentioned, there is no specific mailing for all of your letters or parcels. Instead, many factors often determine the cost of sending letters or parcels via USPS.

The chief factor that determines the cost of mailing a letter or parcel is its Mail category. The USPS organizes its mailing services into categories. 

These categories are based on the properties of the envelope or parcel. Here are the different categories of mailing services offered by the USPS:

1. USPS Priority Mail Express

USPS Priority Mail Express offers both next-day and 2 business-day delivery services. Both delivery services deliver by 6 p.m. These services come with a money-back guarantee.

You get a more affordable mailing cost and fast delivery every day, all year round, and with limited exceptions to most United States addresses and P.O. Boxes.

Priority Mail Express Flat Rate lets you send parcels that weigh up to 70 lbs to any state at the same price. 

For Mail sent from Post Office locations or online from your home or business. Mailing Prices start from $28.75 at a Post Office. 

2. USPS Priority Mail

USPS Priority Mail Service covers tracking and conveyance for 1-3 work days. Check conveyance time gauges on the Need Mail Conveyance Guide. 

Also, the Priority Mail Flat Rate allows you to transport parcels that weigh up to 70 lbs to any state at a similar cost. 

Transport from Post Office areas or from your home or business with Click-N-Ship service. Mailing Costs start from $9.35.

3. USPS First Class Mail

First Class Mail service offers a convenient and affordable mailing solution for sending envelopes and postcards. 

With First Class Mail Forever stamps priced at $0.66 (reflecting the current 1 oz rate), your mailing cost remains valid indefinitely, ensuring no expiration despite price increases.

4. USPS Marketing Mail

USPS Marketing Mail will mail items not expected to be sent as First Class Mail or Periodicals. Lower mailing costs are accessible for USPS Promoting Mail yet require explicit approval.

You can use the USPS Marketing Mail to send the following items:

  • Printed items like flyers, circulars, and other advertising materials.
  • Newsletters, bulletins, and catalogs.
  • Small parcels.

All USPS Showcasing Mail costs are mass costs, and each mailing should meet a base amount of 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail. There is no single-piece USPS Advertising Mail postage. 

In USPS Marketing Mail, there are costs for letters, pads/huge envelopes, bundles, and showcasing Parcel Select Lightweight packages.

5. USPS Periodicals

The USPS Periodical mail is intended for papers, magazines, and other periodic distributions whose primary role is sending data to a laid-out rundown of endorsers or requesters.

Periodicals should be distributed at normal stretches, something like four times each year from a known distribution office, and be shaped of printed sheets.

There are explicit norms for course, record keeping, and promoting limits. There are unique lower postage costs for Not-for-profit, Study agribusiness, and Domestic Periodicals.

6. USPS Retail Ground

USPS designed the Retail Ground shipping service mainly for single-piece shipments that contain any shippable item that is not to be sent as First Class Mail.

Also, this shipping option covers USPS Tracking services without additional service charges.

Clients commonly use this mailing service to send gifts and merchandise. However, there is no bulk mailing price attached to USPS Retail Ground.

The USPS Retail Ground has a general presentation over a USPS mailing service center where you can initiate a USPS Tracking service.

The cost to mail your parcels with USPS Retail Ground depends on the distance you want the parcel to travel, the weight of the parcel, and the zone of the address indicated on the label.

With each USPS mailing category, the cost to mail a letter might also differ based on the size and weight of the envelope you use for the letter. 

If you are sending a USPS First Class Mail Letter that surpasses the weight limit, you will need an additional mailing cost to send it successfully.

Finally, it is necessary to take home the fact that the cost to mail a letter depends on the size and weight of the envelope you are mailing it in and the mailing service option.

For instance, when you choose the USPS Priority Mail Flate Rate Envelope which is 12-½” x 9-½” or less in dimension, it will cost you $8.95 to mail your letter.

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