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How Many Stamps Do I Need?

If you are sending out a piece of mail, it will help to know how many stamps you will need to add. In this guide, we give you the pricing for domestic & international mailing.

Some of you have probably been pondering a lot of things lately. One of those things may well be, “how many stamps do I need USPS?”. We don’t blame you! It can be quite confusing — especially when you consider just how many services the United States Postal Service provides.

 

This is why we’re here! We’re going to make it incredibly simple so you can spend less time figuring it out, and more time sending and receiving gifts, items, and snail mail letters.

 

Are you ready to get started? Excellent. Let’s begin.

 

a collection of stamps

 

How Many Stamps Do I Need to Send a Letter?

 

We are going to start by debunking the “how many stamps do I need for a letter” myth. It isn’t as confusing as people make it out to be!

 

Domestic Letter Shipping

 

If you are sending from the United States of America to the United States of America, you just have to pay $0.55 for a Domestic Forever Stamp. Your letter will reach the recipient within 1 to 3 working days. How cool is that? Just 55 cents for such quick delivery should be truly cherished.

 

Bear in mind though, that this covers the first ounce. As soon as your envelope goes over that weight, you need to add an extra 15 cents per ounce onto the price. Don’t stress, we’re going to discuss this in more detail in the next section.

 

There are some requirements that your envelope must fit to be eligible for posting this way. These rules are as follows:

 

  • The envelope needs to be at least 5 inches by 3.5 inches but not bigger than 11.5 inches by 6.125 inches, and no thicker than ¼ inches.
  • It needs to have a uniform thickness.
  • It must be rectangular.
  • It must be bendable. If not, you might have to pay an extra 21 cents since it will be classed as “non-machinable”.
  • If your envelope is square, it needs to be at least 5 inches. This will be non-machinable so you’ll have to pay an additional 21 cents like we just mentioned.

 

postcards for the usps

 

Domestic Postcard Shipping

 

If you plan to send a postcard within the United States of America, it is a bit cheaper. You just need to buy a Postcard Stamp for 35 cents and pop it in the mailbox. However, you do have the option of overpaying by purchasing a Domestic Forever Stamp. As you now know, this is 55 cents.

 

To be eligible for this stamp class, your postcard must meet the following requirements:

 

  • It must be rectangular. If it’s not, different rates and stamp rules apply.
  • It must be at least 3.5 inches high by 5 inches long
  • It must be at least 0.007 inches thick.
  • It cannot be bigger than 4.25 inches high by 6 inches long.
  • It cannot be thicker than 0.016 inches.

 

International Letter Shipping — USA to UK

 

Unfortunately, we can’t list every country here otherwise we’d never stop. But we will go through the main ones briefly. Sound like a plan? Great! Let’s get to it then.

 

The easiest way to ship letters from the United States of America to the United Kingdom is with the Global Forever Stamps. These will cost you $1.20 and feature a green succulent. They add a certain element of style to your international mail!

 

If you would rather use the Domestic Forever Stamps, then you need to make sure they add up to $1.20. It’s impossible to do this exactly, so you will end up overpaying by 45 cents this way. For some of you, this might not be a problem, in which case, go for it!

 

Just like shipping domestically, you will pay more if your letter ways over an ounce.

 

a stack of envelopes

 

International Letter Shipping — USA to Canada

 

Again, the simplest way to mail letters from the USA to Canada is with the Global Forever Stamps. However, there is a difference here.

 

We said earlier that this stamp will cover you for up to an ounce. While this is true for shipping to the United Kingdom (and any other international location), it isn’t the same for Canada. Here, this stamp will cover you for up to two ounces. After those two, however, you will need to add extra stamps to make up the price.

 

Right, we are going to move on now to a similar but different question — how many stamps do I need per oz? We covered the basics in this section, but we’ve created some handy-dandy tables in the next part that will help you understand everything much better.

 

How Many Stamps Per Ounce?

 

You won’t just find how many stamps per ounce you need here, we’re going to show you just how many forever stamps you need as well Why? Because they are the easiest way to send mail both domestically and internationally. So, if you’ve ever found yourself wondering “how many forever stamps do I need?”, you’re in the right place to get your question answered.

 

a letter that is addressed

 

Domestic Letter Shipping — Price Per Ounce

 

The Weight of Your Letter The Number and Type of Stamp
1 oz or less 1 x Domestic Forever Stamp. This will cost you 55 cents.
2 oz 1 x Domestic Forever Stamp and 1 x 15 cent Additional Ounce stamps. This will cost you 70 cents in total.

Alternatively, you can overpay by using 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Here, you will pay an extra 40 cents.

3 oz 1 x Domestic Forever Stamp and 2 x 15 cents Additional Ounce stamps. This will cost you 85 cents in total.

Alternatively, you can overpay by using 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Here, you’ll be overpaying by 25 cents.

3.5 oz 1 x Domestic Forever Stamp, 1 x Postcard stamp, and 1 x 10 cent stamp. This will cost you $1 in total.

Alternatively, you can overpay by using 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Here, you’ll be overpaying by 10 cents.

 

If you read this and thought, “great, I only wanted to find out how many stamps for 5 oz” then please bear with us! Once your envelope goes over the 3.5-ounce weight limit, you need to start looking at the rates for flats.

 

What are flats, we hear you ask? Well, they’re a big envelope which must be used for anything that weighs over 3.5 ounces. The maximum weight for flats is 13 ounces. But, as you might have guessed, there are other requirements that flats must meet too. The guidelines are as follows:

 

  • It must be at least 6.125 inches by 11.5 inches.
  • It cannot be bigger than 12 inches by 15 inches.
  • It cannot be thicker than 0.75 inches.
  • You cannot use a bubble packet as they’re usually a lot thicker than the maximum allowance here.

 

Anyway, without further ado, shall we look at the price per ounce for these flats? We think so! Let’s get into the specifics.

 

The Weight of Your Flat The Number and Type of Stamp
1 oz or less 1 x Domestic Forever Stamp, 1 x 10 cents stamp, and 1 x Postcard stamp. This will cost you $1 in total.

Alternatively, you can overpay by using 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Here, you’ll be overpaying by 10 cents.

2 oz 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps plus 1 x 10 cents stamp. This will cost you $1.20 in total.

Alternatively, you can overpay by using 3 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Here, you’ll be paying 45 cents more than necessary.

3 oz 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps plus 2 x 15 cents Additional Ounce stamps. This will cost you $1.40 in total.

Alternatively, you can overpay by using 3 x Domestic Forever Stamps. However, you’ll be paying 25 cents more than you need to.

4 oz 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps, 1 x 15 cents Additional Ounce stamp, plus 1 x Postcard stamp. This will cost you $1.60 in total.

If you’d rather use Domestic Forever Stamps instead, you need to use 3. Just bear in mind that you’ll be overpaying by 5 cents.

5 oz 3 x Domestic Forever Stamps and 1 x 15 cents Additional Ounce stamp. This will cost you $1.80 in total.

Alternatively, you can use 4 x Domestic Forever Stamps instead. Just bear in mind that you’ll be overpaying by 40 cents.

6 oz 3 x Domestic Forever Stamps plus 1 x Postcard stamp. This will cost you $2 in total.

If you want to overpay, use 4 x Domestic Forever Stamps.

7 oz 4 x Domestic Forever Stamps. This will cost you $2.20 in total.
8 oz 4 x Domestic Forever Stamps, 1 x 5 cents stamp, plus 1 x 15 cents Additional Ounce stamp. This will cost you $2.40 in total.

You can also overpay by using 5 x Domestic Forever Stamps. However, you’ll be paying 35 cents more than necessary.

9 oz 4 x Domestic Forever Stamps, 1 x 5 cents stamp, and 1 x Postcard stamp. This will cost you $2.60 in total.

For ease, you can just use 5 x Domestic Forever Stamps. However, you’ll be overpaying by 15 cents.

10 oz 5 x Domestic Forever Stamps plus 1 x 5 cents stamp. This will cost you $2.80 in total.

To make your life easier, just use 6 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Remember though, you’ll be overpaying by 50 cents. This can add up to a fair amount if you’re doing this regularly.

11 oz 5 x Domestic Forever Stamps, 1 x 10 cents stamp, plus 1 x 15 cents Additional Ounce stamp. This will cost you $3 in total.

Alternatively, you can use 6 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Just remember that you’ll be overpaying by 30 cents.

12 oz 5 x Domestic Forever Stamps, 1 x 10 cents stamp, plus 1 x Postcard stamp. This will cost you $3.20 in total.

If you’ve only got Domestic Forever Stamps to hand, use 6. You will, however, be overpaying by 10 cents.

13 oz 6 x Domestic Forever Stamps plus 1 x 10 cents stamp. This will cost you $3.40 in total.

You can use 7 x Domestic Forever Stamps instead, but you’ll be overpaying by 45 cents. This can quickly add up if you’re not careful.

 

person adding a stamp on an envelope

 

How Many Stamps Do I Need For A 9×12 Envelope?

 

Even though we’ve gone through the specifics in great detail, you might still be struggling with the larger 9 inches by 12 inches envelopes. We figured we’d help you out by including an entire section dedicated to this conundrum.

 

In short, you need two Domestic Forever Stamps. This, as you know, equals $1. However, this is just for the first ounce. You have to purchase more stamps for every ounce above that weight.

 

For those of you who don’t want to use the Domestic Forever Stamps for your 9 inches by 12 inches envelopes, you can use any stamp mixture equivalent to the monetary amount needed. However, you might end up overpaying when you do it this way. If that doesn’t bother you, then no need to stress!

 

How Many Stamps Do I Need to Send a Parcel?

 

Unfortunately, working this out is a lot more complicated than calculating how many stamps you need for letters. However, the United States Postal Service has implemented an online postage calculator so you can figure it out before heading to the post office.

 

Here’s how you use it:

 

    1. Select the destination country.
    2. Type in the zip codes (yours and your recipient’s).
    3. Choose the date and time you’ll be mailing it.
    4. Choose the type of postage you want to use.
    5. Click “Display All Options”. This will let you compare the costs of each shipping service.
    6. Add extra options. This includes Insurance, Registered Mail, Certificate of Mailing, and more.
    7. After that, you’ll be shown the final cost.
    8. Grab your stamps and use as many as it takes to cover the shipping cost. Although, if you’ve added any extras, then you have to print the shipping label out and stick it on the parcel. If you don’t have a printer, you can do it at the post office.

 

virtual mailbox platform on desktop and mobile

 

An Alternative To Receiving Packages & Mail

 

When it comes to sending out mail, it can be tedious as is with the process of going to the post office, waiting in line and then sending on the mail itself. Especially with everything that is going on in the world today, from social distancing to technology innovation, you would wonder whether there are better alternatives.

 

The reality is, there are some companies that can in fact send mail on your behalf, virtually. You would create an account with them, and then upload a PDF or letter that you want mailed, select the mail type you want (first class mail, registered mail etc,) and they would mail it out for you. However, these are usually companies that work with businesses that want to advertise through direct mail (your typical junk mail.) So they work with higher volume mailers that they send on for businesses they work with.

 

For consumers (individuals,) there are some better mail receiving options. When you get a piece of mail, traditionally, you would either get it at your mailbox at your home, or at a registered po box at your local post office. However, you would not necessarily get any notifications of new mail, and most importantly; what is that mail that you received. Although the USPS has come up with a digital option to sending notifications and even preview images of your mail (a virtual program called Informed Delivery,) it is still in its earlier stage, only been around for a few years and has several issues with reporting new mail arrival accurately.

 

US Global Mail is the leader in virtual mailboxes, since 1999. The largest company by revenue, it has been managing mail for tens of thousands of customers over the year.

The way it works is: you get a virtual address, to which all mail & packages are sent moving forward. Then, you would log into your virtual mailbox account, which would digitally display the image of your mail or package. From within your digital mailbox, you can even request a mail scan to be completed. So any letters that are inside your envelope, can be scanned and uploaded into your account.

 

This means that all mail can be viewed online, and even for packages, you can know in advance what those packages are prior to requesting they are shipped.

The best part? Shipping comes with up to 80% off what you would typically pay in retail shipping. Due to the volume of shipping US Global Mail handles, we’re able to get great discounts from shipping companies such as UPS, USPS, FedEx etc, which are then passed down to you; the customer.

 

For more information and to get started for free, click here. 

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