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How Much Is A PO Box At USPS? (Size, Cost, Benefits and Downsides)

how much is a po box at usps

If you have ever needed to mail something and did not have a mailbox, you might have gone to the post office to get a PO box. 

But have you ever wondered How Much Is A PO Box At USPS? Wonder no more! I’ve decided to break down the cost of having one. Spoiler alert: it is not cheap! But it is worth it if you need a secure place to store your mail.

So, let’s get straight to it…

What Is A PO Box?

A PO box is a small, locked box that is located inside a post office. You can rent one for a monthly fee and have your mail delivered there instead of to your home address. This can be useful if you do not have a mailbox at your residence or if you are concerned about mail theft.

What Is USPS?

What Is USPS

It stands for the United States Postal Service. It is a government-run postal system that delivers mail to residences and businesses across the country. You can also use USPS to send packages and letters internationally.

How Much Is A PO Box At USPS?

You may think that one cost would cover all PO boxes, but this is not the case! The cost of one varies depending on the size and location of the box. Here I will break it down for you. 

Size Of The PO Box

Size Of The PO Box

There are five different sizes of PO boxes: extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large. 

  1. First up is the smallest of the boxes, the extra small. This size can hold items like a checkbook, some envelopes, and a few pens and is 3″x5.5″ in size. The monthly fee for this size starts at $4.67 per month.
  2. The next size up is small. This can store a few things, for example, a stack of bills, some magazines, and a couple of small packages. The price increases with size, so this size starts from $6.34 per month for a cozy 5″x5.5″ box.
  3. If you need a little more room, the medium box might be the right size for you. It can fit items such as a couple of textbooks, a small stack of papers, or a medium-sized package. The monthly fee starts at $9.67 for a box that is 5.5″x11″.
  4. The large size can hold items like a laptop, a large stack of papers, or a few small packages. This 11″x11″ box starts at $13.67 per month.
  5. The final and largest size is the extra-large PO box. This can accommodate items like a hockey stick, a large stack of papers, or several small to medium-sized packages. This size is 12″x22″. This is the most expensive option, costing $24 per month, but if you get a lot of parcels, you might need it!


It seems strange that the location of your PO box would affect the price, but it does. If you live in a rural area, it will cost less than if you live in a city. The reason for this is that cities are competitive markets for postal services. This means that more people are competing for the same service, driving up the price.

Rental Length

The final factor that impacts the cost is how long you plan on renting it. The USPS offers discounts for those who pre-pay for 6 or 12 months in advance. For example, a small PO box in a rural area that is rented for six months costs approximately $30. However, if you were to pay for the same box for 12 months, the cost would be discounted to $50. 

What Are The Benefits Of A PO Box?

What Are The Benefits Of A PO Box?

There are several benefits of getting one, despite the cost. The first advantage is that it provides a physical address for businesses or people who do not have one. This can be useful if you are selling items online and need to provide an address for shipping. Or if you want people to send you items without giving away your actual address.

Another is that it gives you a secure place to store your mail. If you are worried about theft, a PO box can give you some peace of mind. 

Depending on your mail quantity…

It can also be useful if you have a lot of mail coming in and do not want it cluttering up your home. You can go to the post office to collect it when it is convenient for you. It can be an effective way to manage your bills and other important mail. If you are forgetful, you can set up your PO box to forward your mail to another address. This way, you will never miss an important letter!

Finally, if you work away from your home a lot or travel frequently, it can be a lifesaver. It means that you can forward it, and you will always have access to your mail, no matter where you are in the world.

Are There Downsides To Owning A PO box?

Other than the cost, there are a few negatives to consider before renting one out, however! First of all, is that you will need to collect your mail regularly. The USPS will not forward your mail to another address unless you have specifically requested this, as mentioned, so if you are away for an extended period, your mail will stack up in your PO box. This could lead to fees being charged or even your box being closed.

Another downside is that you will need to provide proof of identification when renting one. This can be difficult if you do not have a physical address or if you are using it for business purposes. Lastly, there is always the risk that your mail could be lost or stolen from your PO box. The USPS does have insurance for lost or stolen mail, but it is not always dependable.

How To Get A PO Box At USPS

How To Get A PO Box At USPS

If you are interested in renting a PO box, the process is quite simple. You can either go to your local USPS and fill out a form, or you can apply online. 

If you apply in person, you will need to bring two forms of identification with you. These can be a driver’s license, passport, or even a utility bill. You will also need to pay the rental fee for it, as well as a deposit for the key. The amount of the deposit varies depending on the size of your box, but it is typically around $20. 

Apply online if you want…

If you apply online, you will need to provide similar information as you would if you applied in person. However, you will also need to set up an account with the USPS. Once your application is processed, you will be given a box number and a key to your PO box. You can then start using it right away!

Tracking Your Package With USPS

Getting ready to post an important parcel? Then check out my Does USPS Have First Class Tracking, and Can You Track A USPS Package Without A Tracking Number, as well as Does USPS Deliver At Night, and What Does Delivered To An Agent Mean USPS, or if you shop on Amazon, then my Does Amazon Prime Deliver On Sunday could be helpful.

Or perhaps, you’re looking to work at USPS, then take a look at our UPS Application Online Jobs Career Info to get you started, as well as our USPS Application and USPS Mail Processing Clerk Job Description, or maybe you’d like to know more about the company with our UPS Mission And Vision Statement Analysis.

When it comes to your postal exams, we recommend using the Postal Exam Book: for Test 473 and 473-C, and Post Office Jobs: The Ultimate 473 Postal Exam Study Guide, along with McGraw-Hill’s Postal Exams 473/473C, and the Postal Exam Secrets Study Guide: Review and Practice Tests for the USPS Virtual Entry Assessment 474, 475, 476, and 477, all available online in 2023.

How Much Is A PO Box At USPS? – Final Thoughts?

So, that’s everything you need to know about the cost of a PO Box At USPS. As mentioned, the cost depends on several factors, such as the size of the box, the location, and how long you plan to rent it.

 There are also many benefits to having one, such as security and convenience. However, there are also some downsides to consider before renting a PO box. But all in all, the cost is worth it for the benefits that it provides.

Happy posting, and enjoy your PO Box at USPS!

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About Linda Shepard

Linda is employed by one of the biggest employment agencies in San Francisco and has over 15 years of experience in finding her clients their dream job. She prides herself on being able to match the right person to the right position, which inevitably creates a great working relationship for the employee and the company moving forward.

When she isn't writing articles or working, she enjoys gardening, socializing, and going for long walks on the beach and in nature.

She lives with her boyfriend Carl and their cat, Fluffy.

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