US postal services are still being offered all over the country. Even with the changing technology and mode of communication, postal services are still functional and are widely used by many people. For instance, sending postcards, letters and other parcels need the services of a postal service. The US postage rates are determined by the shape, weight and mail class of the parcel or letter you’re sending. For clients who buy postage stamps online, sometimes get a discount. US postage rates are classified as first-class mail, express mail, priority mail, media mail, special services, sizes of domestic mails, and the mail-order merchandise rule.
Related: First Class Stamp Cost
Before the enactment of the postal reorganization act of 1970, postage rates were formerly set by the Postal Regulatory Commission. The first United States postage stamp was issued in 1847. Prior to this, the dates, rates, and origin of the letter were drafted by hand or at times in the combination of a hand stamp device. As for the postage rates, they were brought into use in the year 1847, for mail to or from the pacific coast and in 1848, mail was sent from a location in the east to another location in the west.
As you prepare to send your letter, it is good if you know what size will be charged at what cost. Not every letter is charged with the normal price of $0.55. Some odd sizes are charged more. The maximum size of your letter should be around 11 ½ inches by 6 1/8 inches. The maximum thickness of a usual envelope is ¼ inches. Therefore, in case your letter weighs more than one ounce, then its cost will go up. In the situation where your letter is greater than 3.5 ounces, even larger than the maximum size of a normal envelope, then you will be required to use a large envelope pricing. The largest size that an envelope can be is 15 inches by 11 ½ inches.
To know the different postage rates being offered by USPS, read on and check out the table.
The table below shows the current USPS Postage Rates.
|Type of Mail||Postage Rates 2018||Postage Rates 2019||Postage Rates 2020(New Rate)|
|First class mail letter (1 oz.) – Retail/Post office rate||$0.49||$0.55||$0.55|
|First class mail letter (1 oz.) – Metered mail/Stamps.com rate||$0.46||$0.50||$0.50|
|First class mail letter – each additional ounce||$0.21||$0.15||$0.15|
|First class mail flat (1oz.)||$0.98||$1.00||$1.00|
|First class mail flat – each additional ounce||$0.21||$0.15||$0.15|
|First class mail international letter||$1.15||$1.15||$1.15|
|Priority mail express (0.5 lb., zones 1&2)||$21.18 and up||$22.68 and up||$44.00 and up|
|Priority mail (1lb., zones 1&2)||$5.95 and up||$6.95 and up||$6.95 and up|
|First class package service (1-6 oz.)||$2.61 and up||$3.66 and up||$3.80 and up|
|Parcel select ground (1 lb., zones 1&2)||$5.95 and up||$6.85 and up||$6.92 and up|
|Retail ground (1 lb., zones 1&2) – Retail/Post office rate||$6.65 and up||$7.35 and up||$7.50 and up|
|Media mail (1 lb., zones 1&2)||$2.63||$2.75||$2.80|
|Priority mail international (0.5 lb., zone 1)||$32.59 and above||$42.00 and up||$34.53|
|Priority mail international (1 oz.) – Canada||$30.16 and above||$32.59 and up||$34.53|
|Priority mail international (1 oz.) – other countries||$36.81 and above||$39.71 and up||$44.50 and up|
|First class package international service (1oz., group 1)||$14.73 and above||$16.39 and up||$24.50 and up|
|Certificate of mailing||$1.35||$1.45||$1.50|
|Electronic USPS Tracking||Free||Free||Free|
|Notice of non-delivery||No longer present||No longer available||No longer available|
|Registered mailing||$11.70 and above||$12.40 and up||$12.60 and up|
|Return receipt (Electronic)||$1.45||$1.60||$1.70|
|Return receipt (mail)||$2.75||$2.80||$2.85|
|Return Receipt for Merchandise||$4.20||$4.30||$4.30|
|Adult Signature – (Basic)||$5.90||$6.40||$6.65|
|Stamps.com insurance||$1.89 and above||$2.20 and up|
From the table above, you can clearly observe the difference in rates with regard to their class and weight. The cost of sending a letter or parcel abroad is slightly higher than that of sending the same mail within the U.S. Also, depending on where the letter or mail is heading abroad, it is likely that the cost might shoot up. For instance, sending a letter to Canada may turn out to be cheaper than sending a letter to Germany or Singapore. This can be seen from the cost of sending a priority mail international to Canada which roughly costs $30.16 and up compared to that of other countries that cost $39.71 and up.
In addition, the means of sending the first class letter varies which may make the overall cost to be high or low. If your letter is so urgent, it may be referred to as priority and it will end up costing you more, it will take fewer days to reach its destination when compared to a normal first class letter. Over e years, the US postage rates have been changing. This has been impacted by a number of factors that cannot be avoided. Things have changed a lot as e-mail and social media have become the norm of distant people passing down a message to one another. Although sending postcards and letters through postage still exists, a lot has changed over the years.
The US postage rates may as well vary depending on where you buy them. Some retailers sell these stamps at a higher cost than that of USPS. So, the best place to buy a US postage stamp still remains to be the post office. They not only offer a variety of stamps but you will find them at very favorable rates.
After checking the different US postage rates in the above table, you can now go ahead and send your parcel, letter or envelope by knowing what you will pay in advance. Whether it’s within the country or overseas, you will be rest assured that the item you are sending will reach its destination safely.