By: Mahmuda Afreen / Read more about us.

Mailing a letter isn’t possible without attaching a stamp to the envelope. Therefore, spending $0.55 to mail a letter means you are spending the money on the stamp.

But the cost isn’t a constant thing here as it depends largely on the size and weight of the letter. Also, for mailing a letter internationally, you may have to spend $1.20.

Another crucial thing regarding the expenditure is that one must use a properly shaped envelope to meet the cost criteria. Even one inch of mismatch can transfer the envelope to another category and increase the mailing cost.

mail letter usa cost

How much does a 1-ounce letter cost to mail?

It will cost you from $0.55 to $0.58 to mail a 1-ounce letter. It’s pretty easy mailing a thin letter that meets the thickness range of the USA postal service through a forever stamp.

The benefit of using a forever stamp means it won’t lose the value even if there’s an increment in the mailing cost in the upcoming year.

Mailing letter typeMailing cost
1-ounce letter$0.55 – $0.60
1-ounce postcard$0.36 – $0.40
1-once large envelope$1 – $1.05
Non-flat mail$0.75 – $0.80

However, one crucial thing that you need to know before mailing is that each ounce after the first ounce will charge you 20 cents. But the USA postal services do offer one going for 2 ounces or 3-ounce letter.

Meanwhile, what type of letter you are mailing and what the cost will depend on four basic things.

  • Length 
  • Width
  • Thickness
  • Weight

If any of the mailing letters doesn’t meet the basic measurement of any particular category, it is charged accruing to the cost of the next category.

And depending on these criteria, we’ve got three letter types. The following chart tells about these letters’ dimensions.

Small LetterPostcardLarge Envelope
5 to 11.5 inches long5 to 6 inches long11.5 to 15 inches long
3.5 to 6.125 inches wide3.5 to 4.25 inches wide6.125 to 12 inches wide
0.007 to 0.25 inches thick0.007 to 0.016 inches thick0.25 to 0.75 inches thick

However, one more type of letter that you need to become familiar with is the non-flat or non-machine envelope. It is basically the same thing as a large envelope that doesn’t meet the thickness criteria.

Small letter cost

Basically, the smallest type of envelope you can send is the standard size letter. The mailing of this type of letter won’t cost you more than 58 cents using a forever stamp.

However, the cost is only for the first one ounce. After that, each additional ounce will charge you 20 cents.

Postcard cost

Comparing the dimensions of a postcard to a letter tells you the story that the postcard is the smaller one here. Therefore, it charges 36 cents without stamped and 40 cents with stamped.

Large envelope cost

If you want to mail a large letter, it’s better to go for a large envelope. A large envelope with forever stamping is worth 1 dollar for the first ounce. However, each extra ounce added to the envelope will add 20 cents more.

However, a non-machined envelope is another category here that is thicker than usual. In that circumstance, you need to pay 75 cents for that letter.

Cost to mail a first-class letter

Mailing the first-class letter basically charges the same as US postal services. The cost here starts from 0.55 bucks, and it can go up to reach 26 bucks if it’s a priority mail express.

One of the key factors that impact the first-class letter cost is the delivery time. Overnight shipping charges more than double compared to two or three business days shipping.

Meanwhile, first-class letter mailing has a few categories that are worth knowing.

First-class mailingCost
First-class letter$0.55 to $0.90
First-class flat mail$1 to $4.50
Priority mail$7 and up
Priority mail express$23 and up

Apart from the first three mails, the fourth one provides the quickest mailing service. Priority mail express is there to provide an overnight shipping service to the customer.

On the other hand, priority mail service offers mailing service from one to three working days. However, both first-class letter and first-class flat mail services need two to three business days for the shipment.

Cost to mail a letter: Domestic vs. International

Mailing a letter internationally can cost you double the cost of mailing the same letter domestically. The basic rate for mailing a one-ounce letter internationally starts from $1.20.

However, it has the same rate for every increasing amount as a domestically mailed letter. Therefore, one must pay 20 cents per ounce whether the letter is mailed domestically or internationally.

Meanwhile, first-class mail flat service charges $2.40 per one-ounce letter for international mailing.

But you can never estimate the right time for the letter to reach its destination as the time depends largely on the distance between the sender and receiver’s address.

Stamp cost to mail a letter

To mail a letter domestically or internationally, what you need most is attaching a stamp on the envelope. Several types of stamps are available, and these can cost you from $0.36 to $1 per ounce.

However, the number of stamps required for the letter depends on its size, shape, and weight. Now, go through the following chart quickly.

Types of stampsCost
Forever stamp$0.55
Postcard stamp$0.36
Large envelope stamp$1
Non-machinable surcharge stamp$0.75
Semi-postal stamp$0.65
International global forever stamp$1.20
Dollar postage stamp$1 to $10

Among all these stamps, the forever stamp is the best for anyone to mail a letter domestically or internationally as its value remains the same all the time.

You need to use a non-machinable surcharge stamp when the large envelope overlaps the exact thickness criteria. However, a semi-postal stamp is a special type of stamp that is used for charity purposes.

Moreover, a specialized type of stamps containing the dollar rates is also available to use on large envelopes. From 1 dollar stamp, you can get 10 dollars to stamp as well in this category.

Is there any tracking cost of a mailed letter?

Well, not every postal service adds extra charges for tracking the mailed letter. That means the tracking is free of cost. However, even if it has any additional charge, the cost won’t be more than 90 cents.

The least you have to pay to track your mailed letter is 20 cents. It’s all about staying aware of where is your letter situated now. Tracking also means keeping you updated regarding the progress of the delivery.

In case the delivery is late than it was told, the postal service would become subject to answer your queries mentioning the reasons.  

Is the cost of mailing a letter going to increase in the future?

Yes, the cost of mailing a letter may increase in the future. Well, it’s nothing that we’re hoping for something to happen in the future to increase the mail cost. It’s all about the previous records.

Two years back in 2020, the mail charge per ounce used to be 55 cents. But now, it has gone up to 58 cents with an increment of 3 cents.

Again, each ounce counted after the first ounce used to charge 15 cents. But now, the charge has gone up to 20 cents. Therefore, we can expect a significant increment in the cost.

Cost analysis

The cost to mail a letter depends on several things. The cost basically starts from 55 cents and can go up to 1.20 dollars. But what impacts the pricing is important to know in order to get a clear concept about it.

  • The dimension of the package
  • The weight of the package
  • The shape of the package
  • The delivery time
  • Postal service.
  • Type of stamp.

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