USPS Priority Mail vs USPS Priority Express Mail: Differences Between Each Service

Created:   |   Updated:

This question is much more common than people think. On some online stores, the option for shipping Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express will exist, giving no information about what the difference is, except for the huge jump in price.

Priority Mail:

Priority Mail is the United States Postal Service's standard air service. Packages usually arrive to their domestic destination within 1-3 business days, depending on how far the package has to be delivered from its origin. However, it's important to keep in mind that this is not a guaranteed service, so packages may be delayed. 

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

Learn more about Priority Mail


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.

Most importantly, this is a guaranteed service. If the package is delivered after the guaranteed delivery date, you can apply for a refund of postage paid. Learn more.

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

Learn more about Priority Mail Express.


USPS Priority vs USPS Priority 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

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 Commercial Base (CBP) 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)
* The amount of insurance included depends on the discounted rate (ie: retail, CBP, CPP) and shipment contents. Learn more.


Related articles:

What is Priority Mail Express?
What is Priority Mail?
What is Priority Mail Regional Rate shipping?
What mail classes are available through ShippingEasy?
ShippingEasy's USPS Rate Tables


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  • Avatar
    The Deal Rack

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

  • Avatar
    Jennifer R. [ShippingEasy]

    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.

  • Avatar
    Joshua Gamberella

     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

  • Avatar
    Jacen P. [ShippingEasy]

    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.

    Edited by Jacen P. [ShippingEasy]

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