How Much Does It Cost To Overnight A Letter

Sending a very urgent letter or document to someone is now possible through overnight mail delivery service by different shipping carriers. But how much does it cost to overnight a letter? This article will compare this kind of service from the three major shipping carriers – USPS, UPS, and FedEx.

USPSOvernight A Letter

U.S. Postal Service leads the Overnight Delivery category with its Priority Mail Express service. It is the lowest-cost option for most weights/zones in which it competes. It also provides free Saturday delivery while UPS and FedEx charge additional fees.

If you are opting for USPS, it is significant to note that their Priority Mail Express Flat Rate envelopes are a good choice for any shipment that will fit into them.

Standard envelopes are priced at $26.35 while padded envelopes cost $26.95. These envelopes have a dimension of 12.5” x 9.5” and with a maximum weight limit of up to 70 lbs.

Legal flat-rate envelopes that measure 15” x 9.5” cost $26.50 with the same weight limit. On the other hand, commercial pricing for the same service starts at $24.25.

USPS declares “Overnight Guaranteed” on its website and this service is available 7 days a week.


Federal Express has been known for its overnight shipping and actually the pioneer in terms of tracking systems that could give you real-time updates about the current whereabouts of your package. It is also one of the top contractors of the government of the United States.

The company has several overnight shipping options, namely:

Overnight, Priority Overnight, and Standard Overnight

FedEx also offers the same service and is called FedEx Overnight. It has an 8:00 a.m. delivery to A1 areas. Delivery is available from Mondays to Fridays.

FedEx Priority Overnight delivers parcels at 10:30 a.m. for AA areas, 12 noon for AM areas, and 4:30 p.m. for PM areas. Delivery is available from Mondays to Saturdays.

FedEx Standard Overnight delivers parcels at 3:00 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays for AA and AM areas and 4:30 p.m. for PM areas.

Below are the different rates for the three services per different zones:

FedEx® Envelope

(8 oz max)

FedEx First Overnight

(Next day by 8 or 8:30 AM)

FedEx Priority Overnight

(Next day by 10:30 AM)

FedEx Standard Overnight

(Next day by 3:00 PM)

Zone 2




Zone 3




Zone 4




Zone 5




Zone 6




Zone 7




Zone 8




Zone 9 & 10




Zone 11 & 12




Zone 13 – 16


$ 34.24


1Next day by 9:00 AM

FedEx International First

The fastest way to ship to select cities in the United States and Europe is through FedEx International First. Basically, it can reach within 1, 2, or 3 business days. Deliveries are at 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., respectively.

FedEx serves more than 220 countries and 5 zones: Zone A, Zone D, Zone E, Zone F, and Zone H. The FedEx overnight costs through this service are as follows:

  • Zone A – $93.75
  • Zone B – $94.75
  • Zone D – $111.00
  • Zone E – $178.50
  • Zone F – $107.50

FedEx Envelop

FedEx Envelope is the solution to packaging for standard-size and legal-size documents. This is under the FedEx One Rate Pricing®. FedEx® Envelope has the capacity of 60 unfolded pages of standard A4 paperwork.

Maximum weight must be 500 grams and these include documentation, contents, and the envelope. Height is 24.1 cm and width is 31.8 cm. The rates are as follows:

FedEx Envelop

Next day

(by 8:00-8:30 AM)

Next day

(by 10:30 AM)

Next day

(by 3:00 PM)

Local (Zone 2)




Regional (Zone 3-4)




National (Zone 5-8)




United Parcel Service (UPS)

This major shipping carrier is known for its central operation for its package delivery. Just like USPS and FedEx, it also provides express services. This includes sameday, overnight, and next day shipping.

UPS boasts of operating one of the world’s largest fleet of aircraft. Thus, it guarantees on-time, more overnight, and guaranteed deliveries in the U.S.

Next Day Air® Early

For domestic delivery, the wise option would be to have UPS Next Day Air Early if you want to have your shipment sent by 8:00 AM (to major cities in 48 contiguous US states),  by 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM, or 9:30 AM (to most US cities that include Anchorage, Alaska) the next business day. The rates for different zones are the following:

  • Zone 102 – $55.60
  • Zone 103 – $60.79
  • Zone 104 – $69.28
  • Zone 105 – $72.02
  • Zone 106 – $72.87
  • Zone 107 – $77.17
  • Zone 108 – $79.32
  • Zone 124 – $87.59

Worldwide Express

UPS also offers guaranteed delivery to 140 countries worldwide, including territories by 10:30 AM, 12:00 PM, or 2:00 PM. Canada is guaranteed next business day delivery, Latin America, and Europe on the second business day, while Asia has guaranteed delivery on either second or third business day. The service includes door-to-door delivery and customs clearance.

Rates for letters for this kind of service are as follows:

  • Zone 81 – $47.27
  • Zone 82 – $48.48
  • Zone 84 – $50.58
  • Zone 901 – $64.58
  • Zone 902 – $58.71
  • Zone 903 – $70.64
  • Zone 904 – $74.96
  • Zone 905 – $73.73
  • Zone 906 – $94.76
  • Zone 907 – $132.50
  • Zone 908 – $141.76
  • Zone 909 – $61.37
  • Zone 911 – $75.11
  • Zone 912 – $71.23
  • Zone 913 – $62.64
  • Zone 920 – $55.01
  • Zone 921 – $66.19

Worldwide Express Plus

This is similar to the Worldwide Express but a few hours earlier guaranteed delivery at 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM, or 11:00 AM and services limited major cities worldwide at 59 countries, including territories. If you want your letter or document to reach its destination more urgently, this should be your service of choice.

The rate is also simplified as you would only need to add $40 on top of the Worldwide Express fee per zone.

Another is UPS Next Day Air wherein you can have your parcel delivered at 3:00 PM the next day.

You can opt for this when you desire to have the next afternoon to meet your need. You can track all of the express service options online.

Express Critical

UPS Express Critical offers a wide range of urgent and same-day express services for lightweight to heavyweight shipments in the U.S. and globally. Air, Charter, Surface, Hand Carry, International, and Specialized services are the same-day delivery express services provided by UPS Express Critical Services.

This is a highly-customized service so you need to call UPS directly at 1-800-714-8779 from the U.S. and Canada or email the company at for price quotations.


Each major shipping carrier has its own advantages. Variable rates apply for shipping parcels, both for domestic and international rates. It is your prerogative on what carrier you opt to choose. Whatever you choose, just make sure that you get the best rate that these services can offer.

It is quite a challenge to compare the three carriers when it comes to on-time deliveries. It appears that there is a similarity when it comes to punctuality in deliveries. Now, it’s just up to you to choose which of them is more affordable and convenient.

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