There are several different types of mail services offered by USPS, but two of the most common are First Class and Priority Mail. So, what is the difference between these two services?
In this article, we will cover this in detail, including:
What is USPS first class mail? and “What is USPS priority mail?”
USPS first class mail is a type of mail service that is offered by the United States Postal Service. It is one of the most affordable mailing options that the USPS offers and it is also one of the most popular. First class mail is designed for lightweight items that weigh less than 13 ounces. These items can include letters, cards, and small packages. First class mail is typically delivered within 1 to 3 business days.
USPS priority mail is a type of mail service that is offered by the United States Postal Service. Priority mail is faster than first class mail and it is typically delivered within 1 to 3 business days. Priority mail is also more expensive than first class mail. Priority mail is typically used for heavier items that weigh more than 13 ounces. These items can include letters, cards, and packages.
What is the difference between USPS First Class and Priority Mail?
- USPS First Class offers a weight limit of 13 ounces, while Priority Mail has a weight limit of 70 pounds.
- USPS First Class allows for a maximum length of 24 inches, while Priority Mail can accommodate packages up to 108 inches long.
- The delivery time for USPS First Class is typically 1-3 days, while Priority Mail is typically 2-3 days.
- First Class mail is not necessarily delivered on a Saturday, but Priority Mail always is.
- The cost of USPS First Class stamps is currently $0.50, while the cost of a Priority Mail stamp is $0.70.
- First Class packages can be sent using recycled materials, while Priority Mail packages must have new packaging.
- Insurance is not available for First Class packages but is included with Priority Mail at no additional charge.
- Delivery confirmation is available for First Class packages at an additional cost but is included free of charge with Priority Mail.
- Signature confirmation can be added to First Class packages for an additional fee, but is not available for Priority Mail.
- First Class mail can be sent using standard envelopes, while Priority Mail must be sent in special Priority Mail envelopes.
- First Class packages can be sent to PO Boxes, while Priority Mail cannot.
- First Class mail can be forwarded at no additional charge, while there is a fee for forwarding Priority Mail.
- First Class mail can be returned at no additional charge, while there is a fee for returning Priority Mail.
- Hold for pickup is not available for First Class packages but can be used for Priority Mail.
- Registered Mail service is not available for First Class packages but can be used for Priority Mail.
- COD is not available for First Class packages but can be used for Priority Mail.
- Saturday delivery is not available for First Class packages but can be used for Priority Mail.
- Delivery to Alaska and Hawaii is not available for First Class packages but can be used for Priority Mail.
- Military addresses can be used for First Class packages but not for Priority Mail.
- First Class packages can be sent to APO/FPO addresses but Priority Mail cannot.
Between USPS first class vs priority mail Which service is faster?
When it comes to choosing a shipping option, many people are unsure of which is faster: USPS First Class or Priority Mail. While both services offer fast shipping times, some key differences can help you make the best decision for your needs.
- USPS First Class is ideal for shipments weighing 13 ounces or less. For these packages, First Class is often the cheapest shipping option and delivers packages in 1-3 business days.
- Priority Mail is best for shipments that are time-sensitive or heavier than 13 ounces. Unlike First Class, Priority Mail has a guaranteed delivery time of 1-3 business days. Priority Mail also offers free insurance up to $50 and can accommodate packages weighing up to 70 pounds.
When choosing between USPS First Class and Priority Mail, consider the weight and delivery time of your shipment. If you need your package to arrive quickly and it weighs more than 13 ounces, Priority Mail is the best option. However, if you are shipping a lighter package and are not concerned with an exact delivery date, First Class may be the better choice.
First class and priority Mail: How do the prices compare?
The price of a First-Class Mail Forever® stamp is $0.55 (the current 1 oz price) and will never increase, even if the First-Class™ postage rate does. So, if you buy a book of 20 stamps today, they will always be valid for 1 oz First-Class Mail no matter how prices change in the future.
The current (2019) retail price for a 1 oz First-Class Mail stamp is $0.55, while the retail price of a 1 oz Priority Mail stamp is $7.15. So, if you were to send a 1 oz letter via First-Class Mail, it would cost you $0.55 in postage. If you were to send that same 1 oz letter via Priority Mail, it would cost you $7.15 in postage.
In terms of price, First-Class Mail is the cheaper option for sending letters and other lightweight items. However, Priority Mail is generally faster, with most packages arriving within 1-3 days (compared to 2-5 days for First-Class Mail). Priority Mail is also a more reliable service, with a delivery guarantee of 1-3 days.
So, if you need your item to arrive quickly and reliably, Priority Mail is the better option. However, if speed and reliability are not as important to you, First-Class Mail will be the more cost-effective choice.
How do I prepare my packages for First Class or Priority Mail shipping?
Packages for First Class or Priority Mail shipping must be prepared in a specific way to ensure that they are received by the intended recipient promptly. The following tips will help you get your packages ready for First Class or Priority Mail shipping:
- Choose the right size box. Your package should be no larger than 12x12x6 inches. If your package is larger than this, it will need to be shipped via Priority Mail.
- Weigh your package. First Class packages can weigh up to 13 ounces, while Priority Mail packages can weigh up to 70 pounds.
- Choose the right shipping label. You will need to affix a First Class or Priority Mail shipping label to your package. These labels can be obtained from your local post office or online.
- Include insurance. First Class and Priority Mail packages are automatically insured for up to $50. If you would like to insure your package for more than this amount, you will need to purchase additional insurance.
- Include a return address. All First Class and Priority Mail packages must include a return address. This will ensure that your package can be returned to you if it is undeliverable.
By following these tips, you can be sure that your First Class or Priority Mail package will arrive at its destination safely and on time.