How Much Does It Cost To Mail A Letter

With the world relying mostly on online messaging platforms and emails, it is easy to dismiss snail mail as already a thing of the past. Or are they really? With formal documents still demanding the use of the posts, this might not entirely be the case. If it is still considered a prime service, how much does it cost to mail a letter nowadays?

Current Domestic Costs of Mailing Letters

The cost of postage set by the United States Postal Service (USPS), the government’s independent agency that provides postal services in the US, starts from $0.36 for a postcard to $98.85 for an international large flat rate box.

Mail that includes personal letters, utility bills, statements of account, matters that are handwritten or typewritten, and sealed letters that are categorically called First-Class Mail. Keep in mind that the following are prices for domestic mail only.

  • Prices start at $0.55 retail/post office rate for an ounce of stamped first-class mail letter. For the additional weight, you pay $0.20 per ounce.
  • Square, oversized, or unusual envelops will be charged starting at $0.75.
  • Metered letters that weigh one ounce have a starting price of $0.51. An increment of $0.20 is charged for the additional ounce.
  • Postcards’ initial cost is $0.36.
  • Flats, which refer to large envelopes, magazines, and newsletters, cost $1 each, with a maximum weight of one ounce. An additional ounce costs $0.20.
  • The Package Service weighing one to six ounces has a minimum charge of $3.01.
Mail letter

For domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate Retail costs, please see the following:

  • Small Flat-Rate Box – $8.45
  • Medium Flat-Rate Box – $15.50
  • Large Flat-Rate Box – $21.90
  • APO/FPO Large Flat-Rate Box – $20.40
  • Regular Flat-Rate Envelope – $7.95
  • Legal Flat-Rate Envelope – $8.25
  • Padded Flat-Rate Envelope – $8.55

If you want your mail delivered at once, you can opt for the express service. This is a guaranteed service, and you’ll get your money back in case of failure to deliver overnight. The various costs of Priority Mail Express are as follows:

Priority Mail Express

  • Post Office – starts at $26.35
  • Commercial Base – starts at $22.75
  • Commercial Plus – starts at $22.75

Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelope

  • Post Office – starts at $26.35
  • Flat Rate Envelope – $26.35
  • Legal Flat Rate Envelope – $26.50
  • Padded Flat Rate Envelope – $26.95
  • Commercial Base – starts at $22.75
  • Commercial Plus – starts at $22.75

Current International Costs of Mailing Letters

If you want to mail letters to other countries, the different costs of First-Class Mail International and Priority Mail International are as follows (starting price):

  • First Class Mail International Letters (1 oz.) – $1.20
  • First Class Mail International Flats- Merchandise (up to 15.994 oz.) – $8.40
  • First Class Package International Service – Canada (1 lb.) – $20.19
  • First Class Package International Service – Mexico (1 lb.) – $20.66
  • First Class Package International Service – Other Countries (1 lb.) – $23.28
  • Priority Mail International (1 lb.)- Canada – $35.71
  • Priority Mail International (1 lb.)- Other Countries – $44.60
  • Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes – Canada – $27.10
  • Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes – Other Countries – $33.70
  • Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Box – Canada – $28.10
  • Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Box – Other Countries – $35.20
  • Priority Mail International Medium Flat Rate Box – Canada – $51.90
  • Priority Mail International Medium Flat Rate Box – Other Countries – $72.75
  • Priority Mail International Large Flat Rate Box – Canada – $67.50
  • Priority Mail International Large Flat Rate Box – Other Countries – $98.85
  • Priority Mail Express International (0.5 lb.) – $42.85
  • Priority Mail Express International Flat Rate Envelopes – Canada – $42.85
  • Global Express Guaranteed (0.5 lb.) – $64.41

Special Services

Beside the different charges for sending mail and letters, you may also need some special services when the need arises. Below is the list of how much you are going to be charged:

  • Returning receipt through mail $2.85
  • Returning Receipt Electronic – $1.75
  • Certified Mail $3.60
  • Certification of Mailing $3.60
  • Restricted Delivery $5.50
  • Returning the receipt for merchandise $4.30
  • Registered Mail costs at least $11.90
  • Signature Confirmation (post office) $3.20
  • Signature Confirmation (electronically) $2.70
  • Basic Adult Signature (Basic) $6.92
  • Basic Adult Signature (Person specific) $7.15
  • Package Intercept $15.25

Factors Affecting the Cost of Mailing A Letter

As presented above, the letter mailing costs vary significantly. The USPS rates are set based on several factors, such as the following:

  • Type of letter or mail class – the cost of mailing a letter depends on whether you are sending ordinary mail, a postcard, or other types of documents.
  • Size and shape of the mail – the price of sending mail also depends on the type of envelope being used. The larger and square envelopes are manually sorted and encoded in the computer since they cannot be processed in the machine used for regular envelopes, hence, the higher cost.
  • Weight – transporting letters and mails are also priced based on their weight, and the heavier they are, the higher the charge would be.
  • Whether regular or express – if you are not in a hurry or your recipient can wait, you can just go with regular mail. Otherwise, express service lets you send your letters as fast as possible. This is a guaranteed type of service and is always available seven days a week, but is charged higher for an obvious reason.
  • Destination – the cost of sending letters can also vary depending on where you are sending them to. Naturally, the farther the destination is, the higher the charges you’ll incur. Also, prepare to spend more on harder-to-reach or remote destinations and those whose mail and shipping transactions are not that numerous.

Where to Mail Letters?

If you have purchased appropriate stamps ahead of time, you can just paste the right ones on the envelope. You can leave your letter in your community mailbox or in your own mailbox at home to be picked up by a mail carrier. Just don’t forget to pull or rotate the red flag out.

If you still need to buy stamps, you can just drop by any post office near you. However, even if you already have stamps, you can still bring your letter to the post office. This is especially if you don’t feel comfortable leaving your very confidential or urgent letter in an unsecured mailbox.

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