Postage for postcard in us

Postage for postcard in us DEFAULT

Simple Guidelines for USPS Postcard Rate & Size

Postcards are great examples of direct mail that work well when done well. Compared to other options, they’re usually inexpensive to produce, and they allow you to quickly get your message across.

But is that single-sheet mail piece you’re so set on using for your next campaign really a postcard? Are you sure about that?

To find out, and avoid frustration, please check out this quick review of USPS postcard specifications and postage guidelines.

USPS Postcard Size

To qualify as a postcard, a mail piece must be rectangular and meet these dimensions:

  • At least 3-1/2” high X 5” long X 0.007” thick
  • No more than 4-1/4” high X 6” long X 0.016” thick
  • Have finished corners that do not exceed a radius of 0.125”

By the way, the length is the measurement of the side that’s parallel to the address.

That’s about it … no official postcard size, just a range of allowable sizes for the paper you’re printing on so that your mailer gets through USPS’s equipment more easily.

Many other single-sheet mailings can really stand out in a mailbox and drive response. A jumbo measuring 6” X 11” is a popular size … but to the USPS, it’s not a postcard. And because of that, it has to mail at letter rates.

Need a “big picture” USPS direct mail breakdown? Head over to our USPS Guide to Direct Mail (That’s Useful) and get your questions answered. 

USPS Postcard Rate

On January 21, 2018, the USPS postcard rate for a single postcard under First Class mail went up by one cent to 35 cents. But that’s for the single-piece rate, with a stamp. To mail at commercial rates, your campaign needs at least 500 pieces.

Let’s say that you have that amount and more. Depending on how your mail is printed and prepared, your bulk campaign can qualify for either machinable or automation rates.

Machinable means that you have an accurate address and have met the correct size and weight standards. The single presort price for a postcard is now 28 cents each.

Automation means that you’ve done some of the work for USPS by helping to process the mail with a delivery point or Intelligent Mail barcode. And you’ll have to meet certain design standards. Your postcard’s aspect ratio has to measure between 1.3 and 2.5; take the length of your postcard and divide it by the height to get that figure.

Here’s how you can save money.

USPS uses 3 levels of presort when pricing, 5-Digit, AADC, and Mixed AADC. With the 5-Digit tray preparation (mail with the same 5-digit zip code), the current per piece rate is 25.7 cents, a savings of up to 2 cents per postcard over the other 2 options.


Ideas to Use

  • As long as you meet thickness guidelines, use UV coating on the front side to make your postcard’s color images and graphics pop more.
  • On the address side, set up clear zones for the placement of postage indicia, IMb, and the address on the postcard. Consult the Domestic Mail Manual for more details.
  • If timing is not a big deal for your postcard campaign, you may want to use Marketing Mail instead of First Class. But remember: letters and postcards all mail at the same rates in that class. And you miss out on forwarding and return services that come with First Class.

Fortunately for everybody, USPS has several pre-processing address file tools to supplement commercial list hygiene solutions that are available.

For example, you can use Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) certification to verify and standardize your addresses, and National Change of Address (NCOA) to catch any new movers. And bonus! They’ll also help you be eligible for automation discounts.

Know Your Formats

Mail has to comply with USPS regulations in order to get through its processing equipment. Normally, that isn’t a problem if you’re mailing standard envelope, postcard, and folded self-mailer formats.

But if you want to try a very different kind of mailpiece, talk to your printer first. They’ll know all about the right size, weight, postage, tabbing, and folding requirements to pass muster, or they’ll reach out to the USPS for an OK.

Wrapping it Up

  • A strong relationship with USPS -such as a nearby Business Mail Entry Unit or an in-house verification – will go a long way in preventing any headaches because of design or mailing questions.
  • Using or adding an envelope converting or printing capability rather than outsourcing will likely shave several days from the timeline of your print job and get it to USPS mail delivery time faster.
  • Review USPS regional performance reports each quarter, and raise any issues with local officials as well as Postal Customer Council (PCC) representatives.

How much is a postcard stamp? Postcard postage rates for UK, US and beyond

We often get asked how much are postcard stamps to and from popular destinations such as the UK, Australia and the US. Here is our guide to postcard postage rate.

UK postcard stamp price

Sending a postcard within the UK is good value using the Royal Mail. A standard A6 postcard is treated the same as a small letter and costs 76p for the 1st class service or if you choose 2nd class the postcard stamp cost is 65p.

In the UK, you can purchase postcard stamps at the Post Office or major supermarkets, such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda. Whether buying from the Post Office or a supermarket, the pricing generally stays the same.

UK Postcard Stamps


USPS postcard stamps

Sending a postcard within the US is an affordable way to communicate using the U.S Postal Service. A USPS postcard stamp costs just $0.35.

US Postcard Stamp

Postcard stamp price when sending overseas

If you are sending postcards abroad, the postcard stamps price can increase substantially.

Below you will find the postcard stamp cost for the UK, US and Australia, whether your card is being sent domestically, or internationally.


Postage rates for postcards, showing domestic and international postcard postage.

The postcard stamp rate is based on a standard A6 postcard size. Prices are correct as of 7th October.

PostSnap postcard stamp cost

We often get asked, how much does it cost to send a postcard with PostSnap? The good news is, UK postage is included as standard. Whether you are sending the postcard from the UK or abroad, as long as it is going to a UK address, the cost of the postcard stamp is covered for free.  Sending a little further afield, international postage prices are never more than £0.50 or $0.50.

Sending a personalised photo postcard straight from your phone also removes the hassle of spending any of your precious holiday time in post office queues.

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U.S. Domestic Postcard Rates

What Did it Cost to Mail a Postcard in the Past?

Postal cards were introduced in 1873 and could be mailed at a 1 cent rate (less than the first-class letter rate). Before July 1, 1898, postcards could only be mailed if the first-class letter rate was paid; they were first authorized for use at a rate lower than the letter rate on July 1, 1898. Thereafter, they have taken the same rate and functioned at the same level as postal cards except during the period from April 1, 1925, through June 30, 1928, when the postcard rate was 2 cents, the postal card rate 1 cent. (U.S. Domestic Postal Rates, 1872-1993, by Henry W. Beecher and Anthony S. Wawrukiewicz, p. 12)

From November 2, 1917, to June 30, 1919, the rate for postcards and postal cards was 2 cents.

The 2-cent rate continued from January 1, 1952 to August 1, 1958, when the rate was raised to 3-cents. Thereafter the domestic surface rate changes were:

Effective DateCost

January 7, 1963

4 cents

January 7, 1968

5 cents

May 16, 1971

6 cents

March 2, 1974

8 cents

September 14, 1975

7 cents

December 31,1975

9 cents

May 29, 1978

10 cents

March 22, 1981

12 cents

November 1, 1981

13 cents

February 17, 1985

14 cents

April 3, 1988

15 cents

February 3, 1991

19 cents

January 1, 1995

20 cents

July 1, 2001

21 cents

June 30, 2002

23 cents

January 8, 2006

24 cents

May 14, 2007

26 cents

May 12, 2008

27 cents

May 11, 200928 cents
April 17, 201129 cents
January 22, 201232 cents
January 27, 201333 cents
January 26, 201434 cents
May 31, 201535 cents
April 10, 201634 cents
January 21, 2018 35 cents

As working definitions, a "postcard" is considered to be a privately prepared card, generally with a picture or image on one side and sold by a stationer, while a "postal card" is one issued by, and sold over the counter of a post office.

There was a third category of card known as a "private mailing card", which was a commercial card prepared for a special occasion, or for a special reason. They actually had the legend "Private Mailing Card" imprinted upon them. The domestic postage rate for these cards was the same as the other card rates, except for the period April 15, 1925, to about June, 1928, when the rate was increased to 2-cents, while the postal card and postcard rates remained at 1-cent.

Further Reading

Henry W. Beecher and Anthony S. Wawrukiewicz. U.S. Domestic Postal Rates, 1872-1999 (Shawnee-Mission, KS: Traditions Press, 1999).

Anthony S. Wawrukiewicz and Henry W. Beecher. U.S. International Postal Rates, 1872-1996 (Portland: CAMA Publishing, 1996).

U.S. Envelope and Postcard Stamped Postage Stamps

Get ready to start paying more to send a letter.

Starting Aug. 29, the U.S. Post Office is raising the price of a first-class Forever Stamp from 55 cents to 58 cents per stamp. The change means a book of stamps will cost 60 cents more.

The price of metered 1 oz. first-class letters will go from 51 cents to 53 cents. Domestic postcards will increase from 36 cents to 40 cents while the cost of a first-class single-piece flat mail will go from $ to $1.16.

Certified mail will go from $3.60 to $3.75 and registered mail will increase from $12.90 to $13.75.

This is the second postage rate increase of 2021. The first took place on Jan. 24.

You can see a complete list of charges here.

Mail slowdown

People can also expect a slowdown in some mail services starting in October. About 61% of services will remain on the same schedule but the USPS will slow delivery of some first-class mail by switching from air transportation to ground transportation.

The changes are part of a plan to reduce some $160 billion in losses over the next decade.


Postcard us for postage in

History of United States postage rates

Aspect of history

This article is about postage rates in the USA. For other uses, see Postage rate.

Main article: United States Postal Service

The system for mail delivery in the United States has developed with the nation. Rates were based on the distance between sender and receiver in the early years of the nation. In the middle of the 19th century, rates stabilized to one price regardless of distance. Rates were relatively unchanged until 1968, when the price was increased every few years by a small amount. Comparing the increases with a price index, the price of a first class stamp has been steady. The logo for the Post Office showed a man on a running horse, even as the railroads and then motorized trucks moved mail. In 1970, the Post Office became the Postal Service, with rates set by the Postal Regulatory Commission, and some oversight by the Congress. Air mail became standard in 1975. In the 21st century, prices were segmented to match the sorting machinery in use; letters too large for the machines required slightly higher postage.

Postal rates to 1847[edit]

Initial United States postage rates were set by Congress as part of the Postal Service Act signed into law by President George Washington on February 20, 1792. The postal rate varied according to "distance zone", the distance a letter was to be carried from the post office where it entered the mail to its final destination. Rates were adopted in 1847 for mail to or from the Pacific Coast and in 1848 for mail sent from one place in the west to another place in the west. There were double and triple rates as a letter's size increased. There were ship fees which were also added (i.e. mail to Hawaii). The ship fee, including the ship rate on letters for delivery at the port of entry, were on a per letter basis, rather than weight. The United States issued its first postage stamps in 1847. Before that time, the rates, dates and origin of the letter were written by hand or sometimes in combination with a handstamp device.[1]

US Postal Service[edit]

Since enactment of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, postage rates have been set by the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Historical rates[edit]

Date IntroducedLetters
(for first ounce)
(for first ounce)
(per ounce)
Postcard rate[2]International rate (letters) Comments
March 3, 1863.06
(.03 for 1⁄2 oz)
(.03 per 1⁄2 oz)
.06 .02 per half ounce in drop boxes[3][4]
October 1, 1883.04
(.02 for 1⁄2 oz)
(.02 per 1⁄2 oz)
.04 [4]
July 1, 1885. [4]
July 1, 1898. [5]
November 2, 1917. War Years
July 1, 1919. Dropped back by Congress
April 15, 1925 .02 .02 .02 .01 (stamped cards)
.02 (postcards)
July 1, 1928.
July 6, 1932.
January 1, 1952.
August 1, 1958.
January 7, 1963.
January 7, 1968.
May 16, 1971.
March 2, 1974.
September 14, 1975. Last surface mail rate
December 31, 1975. All domestic first class & postcards by airmail
May 29, 1978. A Stamp Used
March 22, 1981. B Stamp Used
November 1, 1981. C Stamp Used
February 17, 1985. D Stamp Used
April 3, 1988[6]. E Stamp Used
February 3, 1991. F Stamp Used (also 4 cent F makeup rate stamp)
January 1, 1995. G Stamp Used (also 3 cent G makeup rate stamp)
January 10, 1999. H Stamp Used (also 1 cent H makeup rate stamp)
January 7, 2001. Nondenominated Stamps Used
July 1, 2001. Nondenominated Stamps Used
June 30, 2002. Flag and Antique Toy Stamps Used
January 8, 2006. Lady Liberty Flag Stamp Used
May 14, 2007.411.13.17.26 Shape-based postage pricing introduced; Forever stamps introduced; different prices for letters and packages for the first time
May 12, 2008.421.17.17.27 Price change announced February 11, 2008
May 11, 2009.441.22.17.28 Price change announced February 10, 2009
April 17, 2011.441.71 (3 oz).20 (letters)
.17 (packages)
.29 [7]
January 22, 2012.451.95 (3 oz).20 (letters)
.17 (packages)
January 27, 2013.462.07 (3 oz).20 (letters)
.17 (packages)
.33 Price change announced October 11, 2012
January 26, 2014.492.32 (3 oz).21 (letters)
.17 (packages)
.34 Price change announced September 25, 2013[8]
May 31, 2015.492.54 (3 oz).22 (letters)
.20 (packages)
April 10, 2016.47[9]2.54 (3 oz).21 (letters)
.20 (packages)
.34 Price change announced February 25, 2016
January 22, 2017 .49[10]2.67 (3 oz)[11].21 (letters)
.18 (packages)
.34 Price change announced October 12, 2016
January 21, 2018 .50[12]3.50 (4 oz)[11].21 (letters)
.35 (packages)[13]
.35 Price change announced October 6, 2017
January 27, 2019 .55 .15 (letters) .35 1.15 Price change announced October 19, 2018
January 26, 2020[14].55 .15 (letters) .35 1.20[15]
January 24, 2021[16].55 .20 .36 1.20 Price change announced October 9, 2020
August 29, 2021[17].58 .20 .40 1.30

Historical trend[edit]

Actual and inflation-adjusted first-class postage rates in the U.S.

Taking the above data and plotting it yields the graph shown to the right. The dark plot is the actual issued price of the stamp and the light plot is the price adjusted for inflation and is shown in 2019 US cents.

This plot shows that, despite the nominal rise in the cost of a first-class stamp, the adjusted cost of a stamp has stayed relatively stable. Since at least the early 1980s, the price of a stamp has closely followed the consumer price index. The large jumps in the early 1900s are because a change by a single penny was large compared to the cost of the stamp. For example, the price increase from $0.02 to $0.03 on July 6, 1932, was a 50% increase in cost. Additionally, while the cost of the stamp itself remained fixed, the adjusted price in 2019 dollars was not fixed over time which added to larger jumps in adjusted prices.

Historical notes[edit]

Domestic parcel post service was adopted in 1913, 25 years after the Post Office had agreed to deliver international parcel post packages pursuant to the Universal Postal Union treaty and various bilateral agreements with other nations.[18] “The establishment of parcel post in 1913 had a tremendously stimulating effect on the national economy; it opened a world of opportunities for both farmers and merchants alike.”[18] Initially, there were no or few postal regulations governing packages mailed by parcel post. E.g., to construct a bank in Vernal, Utah, in 1916, a Salt Lake City company ascertained that the cheapest way to send 40 tons of bricks to the building was by parcel post.[19]

Bulk postal rates were restructured in 1996:[citation needed]

  • Second Class became Periodicals
  • Third and Fourth Class Mail became Standard Mail (A) and (B)
  • Special Fourth Class Mail was renamed Special Standard Mail

In 2007, First Class Mail was restructured to include variable pricing based on size, not just on weight. Shape-based postage pricing is a form of dimensional weight. Also at that time, International Parcel Post air service was re-branded as Priority Mail International, and Parcel Post surface service was discontinued for international destinations.[20]

Regular Air Mail service began in 1918 and over the years rates varied considerably depending on distance and technology. Domestic Air Mail, as a class of service, officially ended May 1, 1977. By that time all domestic First Class Mail was being dispatched by the most expeditious means, surface or air, whether or not the Air Mail postage had been paid.[citation needed]

Additional charges for Special delivery existed from 1885 to 2001. Today, Express Mail Overnight is the most similar service level.[citation needed]

During the summer of 2010 the USPS requested the Postal Regulatory Commission to raise the price of a first class stamp by 2 cents, from 44 cents to 46 cents, to take effect January 2, 2011. On September 30, 2010, the PRC formally denied the request, but the USPS filed an appeal with the Federal Court of Appeals in Washington DC.[21][22]

On September 25, 2013, the USPS announced a 3 cent increase in the First Class postal rate, to be effective January 26, 2014, increasing the price of a stamp to 49 cents. Bulk mail, periodicals, and package service rates were also increased by 6 percent. A loss of US$5 billion during the 2013 fiscal year was the reason given for the increase.[23]

The legislation which set the price to 49 cents was enacted as a temporary measure and as an "exigent surcharge for mailing products and services".[24] However, this legislation was set to expire in April 2016. As a result, the Post Office retained one cent of the price change as a previously allotted adjustment for inflation, but the price of a first class stamp became 47 cents: for the first time in 97 years (and for the third time in the agency's history[25]), the price of a stamp decreased.

See also[edit]

Unions of the U.S. Postal Service:



  1. ^Smoot, Frederick. "Early United States Domestic Postal Rates". TNGenWeb. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  2. ^"Rates for Stamped Cards and Postcards". HISTORIAN, United States Postal Service. February 2019. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  3. ^Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th ed., Postal Service
  4. ^ abc"Rates for Stamped Cards and Postcards"(PDF). HISTORIAN, United States Postal Service. February 2019. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  5. ^"U.S. Domestic Postcard Rates". Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Washington, D.C. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  6. ^"Postal rates go up today". The Galveston Daily News. Galveston, TX. AP. April 3, 1988. Archived from the original on December 11, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2016 – via access
  7. ^"2011 U.S. postage rate increase". Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  8. ^"U.S. Postal Service Announces New Prices for 2014". United States Postal Service Postal News. September 25, 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  9. ^"Forced Price Reduction to Worsen USPS Financial Condition by $2 Billion Per Year". United States Postal Service Postal News. February 25, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  10. ^"Postal Service announces 2017 mailing services prices". United States Postal Service Postal News. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  11. ^ ab"USPS Website Price List, Notice 123". Archived from the original on 2016-07-07. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  12. ^"U.S. Postal Service Announces New Prices for 2018". United States Postal Service Postal News. October 6, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  13. ^for the 5th through 8th oz, the price is a constant 25 cent increase. The 35 cent increase starts with the 9th oz.
  14. ^"Stamp Price Increases 2020: USPS Stamp, Mail Rates Going Up in January?".
  15. ^"First-Class Mail International | USPS". Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  16. ^"U.S. Postal Service Announces New Prices for 2021".
  17. ^"U.S. Postal Service Announces New Prices for 2021".
  18. ^ ab"Parcel Post: Delivery of Dreams". Smithsonian libraries. Washington, D.C. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  19. ^"Precious Packages—America's Parcel Post Service". National Postal Museum. Retrieved 2014-11-13.
  20. ^2007 Comprehensive Statement on Postal Service Operations
  21. ^Metzler, Natasha (September 30, 2010). "Rate board denies Postal Service price hike plea". Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-11-15.
  22. ^O'Keefe, Ed (October 22, 2010). "Postage rates may still go up". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-11-15.
  23. ^Reilly, Allison (25 December 2013). "Postal Rates Going Up In January". DailyGlobe. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  24. ^Laura Wagner (1 March 2016). "Stamp Prices Set To Drop 2 Cents In April, Putting USPS In Sticky Situation". National Public Radio.
  25. ^Isidore, Chris (April 8, 2016). "Postage prices set to go down, and the USPS isn't happy". CNN Business. Retrieved December 8, 2019.


Further reading[edit]

  • Beecher, Henry W. and Anthony S. Wawrukiewicz. U.S. Domestic Postal Rates, 1872–2011. Bellefonte, Pa.: American Philatelic Society, 2011. ISBN 9780933580787
How to Mail a Postcard

Sending Postcards with USPS

What is a Postcard?

A postcard is a rectangular mailer sent without an envelope. Sending a postcard is an extremely affordable way to communicate when you’re using the U.S Postal Service—regular postcards cost only $0.40 to mail!

To qualify for postcard pricing, your mailer must be at least 3 ½” high, 5” long and 0.007” thick (approximately the thickness of an index card), but no more than 4 ¼” high, 6” long, or 0.016” thick. To qualify for the base rate, postcards cannot be folded. Large postcards can measure up to 6 ⅛” high, 11 ½” long and ¼” thick, but they cost as much as a First-Class Letter ($0.53 and up) to send.

To qualify for postcard pricing, your mailer must be at least 3 ½” high, 5” long and 0.007” thick (approximately the thickness of an index card), but no more than 4 ¼” high, 6” long, or 0.016” thick. To qualify for the base rate, postcards cannot be folded. Large postcards can measure up to 6 ⅛” high, 11 ½” long and ¼” thick, but they cost as much as a First-Class Letter ($0.53 and up) to send.

Business postcards generally have an image or call to action on the front, with space on the back for the delivery address, postage and perhaps a short message. Common examples include appointment reminders, sale or grand opening announcements, and real estate listings. They provide an easy and affordable way to market your products and services to customers, and they are also an inexpensive option when sending out holiday cards.

Sending Postcards with is Easy

When you combine the ease of sending postcards with the convenience of, you’ll reap a wealth of benefits. If you’ve already printed or purchased your postcards, allows you to print $0.40 NetStamps that easily fit on your postcards from the comfort of your own home or office. The ability to print exact postage means you don't have to waste money using excess postage when you don't have the appropriate stamps on hand…or the time to go to the post office to buy them. also offers blank PC Postage postcards (SDC-1400) so that you can create your own postcard campaign using Microsoft Word templates or any other design software. With the MS Word templates, you can customize a message for the front of the card and, in one simple step, print postage, delivery address and return address on the back. The templates are a fast and easy way to send postcards to your customers today!

Free* 5 lb. Digital Scale with Sign-up

5 pound digital scale with envelope on top of it

Every new customer account starts with:

  • Free* 5 lb. Digital Scale with sign-up
  • 4-week trial
  • $5 in USPS postage to use in trial period
  • USPS rate discounts you can’t get at the Post Office
  • No long-term contracts, cancel anytime
  • Only $17.99 per month plus applicable taxes, if any, including the first month if you stay past the 4-week trial
    *pay only S&H fee
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Service Fee and Trial Details

If you stay with past the trial period, you will be charged $17.99 a month plus applicable taxes, if any, for the service, including the first month. You can cancel your services at any time.

FREE 5lb Digital Scale

As a new customer you will receive a FREE 5 lb. Digital Scale. The scale is a $50 value and is yours to keep with no additional obligation. Just pay for shipping and handling (typically $9.99 or less).

$25 Postage Offer

As a new customer you will receive $5 in free postage that you can use during your trial period. After you complete your trial period, you are eligible for an additional $20 in postage. We will give you two $10 postage coupons. You can redeem one coupon per month once you complete your trial.

FREE Supplies Kit

To help you get started we will ship you a free Supplies Kit that includes free postage labels to use with the service (a $5 value). However, you don't need to wait for the Supplies Kit to arrive in order to print postage. You can immediately take advantage of features such as printing shipping labels on plain paper or printing postage directly on envelopes!


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