Compare USPS - Priority Mail Express vs Priority Mail | Overview

Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express represent the best in USPS shipping.

There is truth in the old adage "you get what you pay for". That is definitely the case with Priority Mail Express! It delivers on its promise to get there fast.

All the same, Priority Mail is a tremendous value and fair trade-off of cost vs speed.

Summary of USPS Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express

Priority Mail

Priority Mail is the United States Postal Service's standard air service. Packages usually arrive at their domestic destination within 1-3 business days. Transit times vary depending on how far the package has to be delivered from its origin. However, it is important to keep in mind that this is not a guaranteed service. So there is no recourse if packages are delayed.

Priority Mail is the less costly option of the two. There are also more rate and package options, including several Flat Rate box and envelope sizes, Regional Rate, weight-based rates, and dimensional-based rates.

Priority Mail Express

Formerly known as Express Mail, Priority Mail Express is USPS's fastest shipping service. Depending on the distance a shipment must travel, USPS will make a service commitment of 1 to 3 business days for domestic shipments. Learn more about USPS Delivery Date and Service Commitment.

Overnight scheduled delivery by 10:30 am is also available to most U.S. addresses, including PO Boxes. As of 2020, the fee for this service is $5.00 per parcel.

TIP: add 10:30 am delivery in ShippingEasy from the Delivery Confirmation menu.

Most importantly, this is a guaranteed service. If the package is delivered after the guaranteed delivery date, you can apply for a refund of the postage paid. Refunds claims must be filed at the Post Office where you dropped off the package. Learn more about USPS Delivery Date and Service Commitment.

Guaranteed delivery to select international locations is available directly from a Post Office location. (Additional restrictions apply)

Priority Mail Express is limited to a few Flat Rate envelope options and weight-based rates.

Detailed Comparison of USPS Priority Mail vs Priority Mail Express

  Priority Mail Priority Mail Express
Destinations Served Domestic and International
Delivery Timeline

Domestic: 1-3 business days

International: 6-10 business days
(depending on destination)

Domestic: 1-3 business days,
Overnight by 10:30 am ($5.00 per parcel)

International: 3-5 business days

Guaranteed on-time delivery No Yes
Included carrier insurance

Domestic: up to $100

International: up to $200

Domestic: up to $100

International: up to $200

Delivery confirmation included at no cost
Signature confirmation add for fee add for no cost
Adult signature confirmation add for fee
Discounted postage ShippingEasy Starter Rates and Commercial Plus (CPP) Pricing available
Rate options Domestic:


Domestic and International: 
Maximum dimensions up to 70 lbs and 108" girth (some exceptions apply for international shipments)

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This page should be updated, because on another support page it clarifies Express won't necessarily 'get your package anywhere in 1 day.'

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Hi Deal Rack - thanks so much for the feedback! That's an excellent catch. I've updated and elaborated on this article. I'd love to know if there's any other points about these services that you think folks are curious about.

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 What is the point of saying you deliver priority mail on Presidents' Day when my local office is closed so obviously y'all don't or I would have got mine today and I thought priority mail takes 1-3 days especially when it is only one state away

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Hello Joshua, and thank you for posting to our knowledge base.

While we would certainly like to take credit for the delivery of your priority mail, that actually falls to the United States Postal Service.

We have provided this article for information purposes only, and would recommend always checking with your local post office or for their actual holiday and deliver schedules.

Typically those are posted here:

It looks like President's Day, Feb 20 2017, was a USPS postal holiday so all of their services were suspended.

Unfortunately Priority Mail is not a USPS guaranteed service, but can often take 1-3 business days. USPS has a great tool on their site to verify expected delivery dates here:

When using ShippingEasy, we'll also provide an estimated delivery date, however, only the USPS Priority Mail Express service is guaranteed to be delivered by a specific date (for money back option if delayed). You can learn more USPS estimated delivery dates in our knowledge base article here:

I hope that information helps clear up any confusion.

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So how could you get it same day?

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Hi there,

Thanks for writing in. ShippingEasy does not support any same-day delivery services. If you contact your nearest FedEx or UPS store they would be able to assist you. These services have cut off times you would need to ask about. 

For more information on these services check out these external links.

FedEx services

UPS same-day service


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Is it possible that someone would have to pay $40 upon delivery? I wasn't aware that if used the express box my customer would have to pay a shipping fee upon delivery.

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Hello Sarah,

Thank you for posting on our community forums! The only time that someone would pay upon delivery would be if the label did not have a built-in tracking barcode.

Because this sounds like it was shipped via USPS Priority Express box, APV (Automated Package Verification) should have adjusted it on your account. Since that is not the case, I recommend reaching out to to let them know that the customer was charged upon delivery as all USPS Post Office locations should be following APV. I have also included an article that goes over that for your reference.
I hope this helps!
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