USPS First Class Mail – Cost, Features, How to Ship, Restrictions

Posted by

United States Postal Service offers many useful services such as priority mail express, priority mail, media mail, certified mail etc. USPS First Class mail is one such affordable service which is used by people to send their envelopes & lightweight packages. First Class Mail offers the most affordable way to send letters, envelopes, postcards, and lightweight packages.

Usually, it takes 1 to 3 business days to deliver a first class mail package.

Following topics are covered here;

  • What is USPS First Class Mail
  • Cost of First Class Mail
  • How to Buy Stamps/ Supplies/ Cards/ Envelopes
  • First Class Mai for Businesses
  • Features of First Class Mail
  • Restrictions on First Class Mail

USPS First Class Mail, USPS First Class Mail Cost, USPS First Class Mail Features, USPS First Class Mail Restrictions, USPS First Class Mail Shipment

What is USPS First Class Mail?

A first-class mail is the most affordable service offered by the USPS. People use first class mail to send their letter, envelopes, gifts, postcards etc. This service is the economical way to send envelopes and lightweight packages up to 15.99 ounces.

  • First Class mail services offer cost savings for sending lightweight packages as compared to Priority Mail and Parcel Select Ground.
  • The price of first-class mail services is based on the ounces, includes one flat rate for the first eight ounces.
  • Usually, a first class mail takes 1 to 3 business days to reach the destination addressed in the U.S.

Internation Users can check USPS First Class Mail International

USPS First Class Mail Cost/ Pricing

The price of first-class mail is based on the shape, size, and weight.

Check First Class Mail, First Class Package Service Price in details here:

Type of Envelopes

Following are the types of envelopes;

Non-Machineable Envelopes

Non- Machineable Envelopes are charged with a non-machineable surcharge even if they weigh less than 1 oz. Non- Machineable Envelopes are the ones like lumpy envelopes, a square or vertical envelopes, rigid envelopes, and mail with string, clasps, buttons, must be hand-canceled.

Larger Envelopes

Large envelopes are those which exceeds the maximum dimensions. If a mailpiece exceeds the maximum length or height or thickness, it will be charged at the next higher price or mailpiece category.

How to Calculate Price?

Use the USPS Price Calculator below to calculate the domestic postage cost and to know how to measure an envelope.

Calculate Price Here


Check out the Stamp Prices from below:


  • Standard-sized, rectangular envelope stamps start at $0.50.
  • Square, oversized, or unusually shaped envelope stamps start at $0.71.


  • Standard-sized, rectangular postcard stamps start at $0.35.
  • Oversized postcards need letter stamps, which start at $0.50.

How to Prepare First Class Mail Shipment?

1) Post Cards: Make sure the Postcards are rectangular in order to qualify for First-Class Mail prices. Oversized postcards will be charged as a letter or large envelope.

Size Requirement:

Height: 3 1/2″ Minimum & 4 1/4″ Maximum

Weight: 5″ Minimum & 6″ Maximum

Thickness: 0.007″ Minimum & 0.016″ Maximum

2) Envelopes: Make sure that the Envelopes are rectangular in order to qualify for letter prices.

Size Requirement:

Height: 3 1/2″ Minimum & 6 1/8″ Maximum

Weight: 5″ Minimum & 11 1/2″ Maximum

Thickness: 0.007″ Minimum & 1/4″ Maximum

3) Large Envelopes:  The Large envelopes should be in rectangular in order to qualify for flat pricing. Large envelopes that exceed size requirements of a letter will be charged package prices.

Size Requirement:

Height: 12″ Maximum

Weight: 15″ Maximum

Thickness: 3/4″ Maximum

4) Packages:  Packages can be sent as a first-class package service retail. Contents must not weigh more than 70 lbs. Lower weight limits may apply. In most cases, the maximum combined length and girth is 108 inches.

Features of First Class Mail

Following are the features of first class mail service.

  • Affordable mail service for mail up to 13 oz
  • The delivery period is 1 to 3 business days
  • Insurance is available for loss or damage up to $5,000 (merchandise only)
  • Add-ons or extra services can be combined to confirm delivery
  • Get up to 3.5 ounces free with commercial priced letters and cards

Restrictions on First Class Mail

There are few restrictions on first class mail. Keep these restrictions into consideration while preparing a first-class mail shipment.

  • The Maximum weight for First-Class Mail letters is 3.5 oz; for large First-Class Mail envelopes and parcels, the maximum weight is 13 oz.
  • Make sure that all the postcards and envelopes are rectangular to avoid the additional charges.
  • There are restrictions on sending prohibited, and hazardous materials, including cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.

Prohibited Domestic Items

  • Airbags
  • Ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Gasoline
  • Marijuana (medical or otherwise)

Following Add-ons are Available/ Quick Overview of First Class Mail

Following extra services can be added with first class mail.

Shipping Time: 1-3 business days

Insurance: Available

Registered Mail: Available

USPS Tracking: Included (Packages Only)

Signature Confirmation: Available (Packages Only)

Return Receipt for Merchandise: Not Available

Certified Mail: Available

Hold for Pickup: Not Available

Collect on Delivery: Available

Special Handling: Available

Adult Signature Restricted Delivery: Available

The add-ons or extra services which are available can be added by paying an extra fee.

Final Thoughts:

First Class is the best affordable or economical way to send lightweight packages, letters, envelopes etc. Use this service to send gifts & letters to the U.S addressed people.

If you’ve nay question or query related to USPS First Class Mail, then use the comment section provided below. We will respond back at the earliest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *