what is first class mail

What Is First-Class Mail?


First-Class Mail®…we use it all the time to mail letters, postcards and maybe even large envelopes. But what is it and how much does it cost?

First-Class Mail is the USPS's most popular and economical service. That's not all that makes it great! First-Class Mail delivers anywhere in the United States in 1-3 days, for a low cost. 

You are probably already familiar with sending letters via First-Class Mail, but did you know you can also send postcards and large flat envelopes? You can! Each item has different size and weight specifications outlined in the handy chart below.

These details are important to reference because, if your letter is too big or too heavy, it might not be delivered and it could be returned delaying important communications and costing you more time and money. 

How much is First-Class Postage?

The most common item sent via First-Class Mail is your standard 1-ounce letter which requires one stamp worth 55 cents or 50 cents if you use a postage meter. If you are sending mail that is heavier than 1 oz., like multi-page documents or wedding invitations, you will be charged .15 cents for each additional ounce and need to apply additional postage. 

The last thing you want to do is underpay and have your important letter returned. The best way to avoid this is to take heavier letters to the Post Office™ or use a postage meter to stamp them at home or in the office. Postage meters come equipped with a scale so you can weigh your mail so you never under or overpay for postage.  

Prices also vary depending on your mail item. To see how much each item (postcards, letters, and large envelopes) cost to mail, check out our chart below. 

For a more detailed listing check out the USPS's full list of postal rates. 

Have more questions about USPS First-Class Mail? Send them to us! If you’d like to learn more about Priority Mail® and Priority Mail Express®, two other popular USPS services check out our guide.