Are you trying to work out how much postage to use when sending a letter?
Being able to simply drop letters in the mailbox as you pass by saves a lot of time and trouble. This allows you to skip the line at your local post office branch and send mail in no time at all. However, you may be worried that you don’t have enough stamps for the mail you want to send. If you get the calculation wrong, the letter could be sent back to you, which is always a hassle.
So, let’s find out, How Many Stamps Do I Need Per Oz?
- The Number of Stamps You Need
- One Ounce Letters
- 1.5 Ounce Letters
- Two-Ounce Letters
- Three-Ounce Letters
- Four-Ounce Letters
- The Penalty For Insufficient Postage
- A Few More Facts About USPS
- Final Thoughts
The Number of Stamps You Need
The United States Postal Service has strict rules and regulations regarding postage. For standard-sized envelopes weighing up to an ounce, a single Forever stamp will cover the postage. Let’s now take a closer look at the amount of postage needed for different letter weights.
One Ounce Letters
You need to attach a Forever stamp to letters and other pieces of mail that weigh up to an ounce. These are non-denominational stamps, which means that they will always cover the weight of the mail. Even if the postage rate changes in the future, a Forever Stamp will cover it.
Weight is a big factor. However, your letter also needs to conform to certain dimensions. Otherwise, you are likely to be faced with additional postage fees.
Standard letters must be:
- At least 3½ inches high by 5 inches long by 0.007 inches thick.
- Less than 6⅛ inches high by 11½ inches long by ¼ inch thick.
- Have a uniform thickness without bumps or bulges.
- Be flexible or bendable.
- Be sealed in a paper envelope.
1.5 Ounce Letters
If your letter weighs more than an ounce, the pricing is less flexible. You have to calculate the weight of the next ounce rather than the previous ounce. This is the case even if your letter only weighs 1.1 ounces.
This means that you have to pay the same postage for a letter weighing two ounces. However, the current charge is only $0.20 for each additional ounce. This means that you need to attach a total of $0.78 of postage for letters weighing 1.5 ounces.
The ways of attaching the right postage are:
- One domestic Forever stamp and one extra ounce stamp.
- One domestic Forever stamp and two ten-cent stamps.
- One domestic Forever stamp, one ten-cent stamp, and two five-cent stamps.
If your letter weighs exactly two ounces, you need to pay $0.78 to cover the postage. You can use one of the three methods outlined above to cover this postage fee. However, you will need to pay for three ounces if your letter weighs 2.1 ounces or above.
For letters weighing between 2.1 and three ounces, the postal charge is $0.98. The ways of attaching the right postage are:
- One domestic Forever stamp and two extra ounce stamps.
- One domestic Forever stamp, one-ounce stamp, and two ten-cent stamps.
If your letter weighs more than 3.5 ounces, it will not fall under the category of a First-Class Mail letter. As a result, your letter will fall under the category of a large envelope. The current postal charge for this is $1.76.
The ways of attaching the right postage are:
- Three domestic Forever stamps and one two-cent stamp.
- Two domestic Forever stamps and three extra-ounce stamps.
- Two domestic Forever stamps, two ten-cent stamps, and two-ounce stamps.
It’s best to head to the post office
The heavier your letter is, the more stamps you will have to attach to cover the postal fee. This can get quite confusing when sending a letter weighing four ounces or more. Therefore, it is best to go to a post office branch and have the postage printed for you.
If you regularly send letters of the same weight, take note of the postage used. This will make the calculation easier in the future. You can also use the postage calculator on the United States Postal Service website.
The Penalty For Insufficient Postage
If your letter doesn’t meet the postage and size requirements, it will be hand-sorted instead of machine-sorted. Because this takes extra time and trouble, you will have to pay a non-machinable surcharge. The current fee for this surcharge is thirty cents.
This fee can be paid using a special non-machinable stamp instead of a Forever stamp. You can also pay the fee through a combination of one domestic Forever Stamp, one ten-cent stamp, and an ounce stamp.
A Few More Facts About USPS
Before you post off your parcel, you might want to take a look at Do USPS Stamps Expire, Does USPS Print Labels, and Where Can I Drop off USPS Packages, as well as Can I Use Poly Mailers For USPS, Does USPS Forward IRS And Other Government Mail, and Does USPS Notarize Documents, if you’re sending official paperwork.
Next, you might be wondering How Much Is A PO Box At USPS, What Is USPS Liteblue, and what is the difference between USPS Priority Mail vs First Class, followed by How Fast IS USPS First Class in 2023?
If you’re awaiting delivery, then find out When Do USPS Trucks Go Out For Delivery, along with Does USPS Deliver On Saturdays, What Does Available For Pickup Mean USPS, what to do when USPS Out For Delivery Never Came, and What Is USPS Informed Delivery?
Adding photos and other materials to your letters can make them much heavier. The overall size and shape of the envelope can also have an impact. It’s important to make sure you attach enough postage before sending a letter to a loved one.
If you are sending a standard-size letter weighing less than one ounce, a single Forever Stamp will cover the postage. You can also purchase additional one-ounce stamps to make up the distance. If you have trouble working out the right postage, it’s best to get a postal clerk to print the postage.
Good luck, and I hope your letter arrives safely!