USPS Greeting Card Guide

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When you are shipping greeting cards through USPS, it is important to be aware of the different types of greeting cards available. This can prepare you for the potential non-machinable surcharge and “rigid” letter-size pricing. 

What is a non-machinable surcharge?

The non-machinable surcharge applies to letter-sized greeting cards that cannot be processed automatically. Typically, this describes greeting cards weighing more than 1 ounce, up to the 3.5–ounce maximum weight.

The non-machinable surcharge criteria applies to all First-Class Mail letters. 

Learn more about purchasing First Class Mail letter postage with ShippingEasy.

NOTE: as of January 22nd, 2017, USPS non-machinable surcharge for First Class Mail is $0.21. Cards sent as "large envelope/flat" are not subject to the non-machinable surcharge. Learn more.

How are “rigid” letter-size greeting cards priced?

Greeting cards can be classified as “rigid” if it cannot bend and is less than:

  • 11-1/2" x 6-1/8" x 1/4" thick 
  • 3.5 ounces

If they meet these conditions, they will be charged the standard postage rate, plus a non-machinable surcharge.

If they exceed these dimensions, they will be priced as a "large envelope/flat". Learn more.

Can I send an oversized greeting card as a standard letter?

When your greeting card is too large, you may choose to fold it gently and seal it with a wafer glue, sealing glue, or tape. To avoid mailing issues, be sure the adhesive doesn’t interfere with with the barcode or mailing address. Also be sure that the card weight and dimensions are within the limits of USPS letters. Learn more about letter dimensions.


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Related articles:

Holiday Shipping Resources
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Letters, envelopes, and postcard size guide for USPS
What do I need to know about shipment dimensions?
What is considered to be a Regular Package for each carrier?


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