USPS Greeting Card Guide

Created:   |   Updated:

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 nonmachinable surcharge and “rigid” letter-size pricing. 

Nonmachinable surcharge:

The nonmachinable 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 cost of this charge is $.17. The nonmachinable surcharge criteria applies to all First-Class Mail letters. Learn more about First-Class rates with ShippingEasy's USPS Rate Tables.

NOTE: greeting cards priced and classified as flat are not subject to the nonmachinable surcharge.

“Rigid” letter-size price:

Greeting cards can be classified as “rigid” if they are less than:

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

If they exceed these dimensions, they’ll be considered and charged as a nonmachinable letter. This means that applicable First-Class Mail postage plus the $.17 non-machinable surcharge apply to the greeting card. Keep track of your letter sizes with ShippingEasy's custom package settings.

Folded greeting cards:

When your greeting card is too large, you may want to consider folding it gently and sealing it with a wafer or sealing glue. Be sure the wafer, tape, or glue doesn’t interfere with with the barcode or mailing address to avoid any mailing issues.


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Related articles:

How to: Print letter stamps from DYMO Stamps
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?
What do I do if a package is returned due to not enough postage?


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