How long does First-Class Mail take?

Earth Class Mail Team

Earth Class Mail Team

December 7, 2021

How long does First-Class Mail take?

Waiting for an important piece of mail? If so, you are probably wondering how long it will take until you get it. As the world becomes more and more digital, we are used to getting most services instantly.  How long should USPS First-Class Mail take? It depends on several factors. 

What is First-Class Mail?

USPS First-Class Mail is one of the most popular and affordable ways to send items through USPS. People use it to send letters, thick envelopes, light-weighted packages, and padded envelopes. Packages and bulkier items require different types of postage. 

The name of the service may suggest that First-Class Mail is the top-tier service, which it is. Other types of shipments, such as bulk mail, get delivered slowly. However, it is not fast in comparison to Priority Mail.

First Class Mail means that the items sent are in the top tier of mailed materials in comparison to Second-Class Mail (magazines, newspapers, periodicals), Third-Class Mail (flyers, marketing mail), and Fourth-Class Mail (vinyl records, CDs, books, DVDs etc.). 

First-Class Mail is more expensive than standard mail. However, it is faster and comes with some extra features like returns and other services. USPS First-Class Mail is usually used for both personal and business communication. 

The rate for First-Class Mail is decided based on the weight and size of the letter, package, or parcel. Any letter that weighs less than 3.5 ounces and any shipment that weighs less than 13 ounces are available to be sent in this class. Maximum dimensions for First-Class Mail are 108” in combined length and girth.

 If you want to send an item that is over a pound and/or of higher value, it is better to send it with Priority Mail.

How does First-Class Mail work?

Once you have your letter of package prepared, meaning the envelope is sealed and properly addressed, make sure the dimensions are within the restrictions. 

It’s also important to put the First-Class stamp on the envelope/parcel. Once that is done, you just put the shipment into the nearest mailbox or drop it directly at the nearest post office station. It then goes to a sorting facility to be sorted alongside all the other mail. 1 to 5 days later, it arrives at the United States destination. 

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Why is First-Class Mail chosen so often?

First-Class Mail is a very affordable and convenient solution, especially when you compare it to other bulk mailing services that are provided by USPS. There is not a minimum number of pieces required to use the service. 

If undeliverable, the shipment is forwarded automatically or returned to the sender. Moreover, First-Class Mail gets prioritized over Standard Mail during peak times so it’s a perfect option if you have something urgent to send. 

Last but not least, First-Class Mail is very often considered to be of higher importance to the recipient. Thus, it is more likely to be opened by them.

How long does First-Class Mail take to deliver?

Often, you can see letters and packages that are sent within one state arriving sooner than those sent across the country. 

First-Class Mail, regardless of where you are in the US, is delivered faster than the USPS Standard or Bulk mail. Currently, shipping time is 1 – 3 business days. However, delivery times have recently been longer

This is due to several reasons. Restrictions instituted now prevent letter carriers from working overtime to make final deliveries at the end of their duties. New regulations have also contributed to an increase in USPS package delivery timeframes and not just First-Class Mail.

USPS recommends allowing a delivery time of 5-7 business days. It is quite normal for mail to arrive a day or two later than expected. This is especially the case when you send mail around Friday or Saturday. Keep in mind that USPS doesn’t deliver First-Class Mail on Sundays. 

How long does it take for First-Class Mail? The delays are usually caused by adverse weather conditions (USPS delivers even when bad weather hits, though), incorrect addresses, backlogs at the sorting facility or post office (especially during holiday periods), and federal holidays.

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How much does First-Class Mail cost?

Prices of First-Class Mail are based on shape and weight. First-Class Mail stamps cost $0.58 (1 oz, standard-sized, rectangular envelope). They never expire, even if the First-Class postage rates go up. Letters that are oversized, square, or unusually shaped cost $0.88 or more.

Postcard stamp prices start at $0.40 and large envelopes’ – at $1.16. For packages, prices start at $4.30. You can purchase some extra services for your First-Class Mail item. For small packages, USPS Tracking and Signature Confirmation are available. If you are sending a postcard, the following services: COD, Return Receipt, Insurance, Registered Mail, and restricted delivery are not available. 

Looking for an alternative solution?

Even if sending First-Class Mail is affordable and convenient, sometimes you just need a totally hassle-free solution. Here an online solution comes in: a business mailbox. This is everything that you benefit from a traditional mailbox combined with 24/7 access, from any place in the world. Sounds interesting? See available plans!


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