USPS first class vs priority mail service

Usually, the United States Postal Service is very easy to understand; most of their services classes are quite clear. Nevertheless, many users have reported some confusion regarding two of those classes: USPS first class vs priority mail services.

Basically, you can use both of them for documents or packages that are under 13 ounces, but every correspondence over that weight will be considered “Priority mail” and can’t be sent by “first class mail”. But that’s just the basic, there’re several specific cases where these two services differ, and that’s exactly what we’ll be explaining right away.

usps first class vs priority

So, if you’re not sure which one is the mail service you need, keep reading and compare USPS first class vs priority.

Mail dimensions

As we said, first-class mail is intended to very light correspondence and packages, being the maximum weight 13 ounces These include greeting and postcards, letters, etc. for both business and personal motives, and can be delivered by first class mail or priority mail. If the package gets heavier than 13 ounces and under 70 ounces, then it can only be delivered by Priority mail. Also, this class includes envelopes larger than 15×12 inches and tubes.

USPS first class vs priority Mail features

Both mail services include purchased delivery confirmation, protection against loss or damage and proof of mailing. But, even though Priority mail is a bit more expensive than first class, it includes some convenient features:

  • Flat rate envelopes and boxes from 6×10 inches envelopes to 14 inches boxes.
  • Free tracking
  • Free pickup
  • Free insurance for a maximum of $50
  • Free forwarding and returning
  • Free special priority mail boxes and envelopes at any post office that can be also sent for free to your home or office by ordering them online on the USPS website.

The services available for First Class mail must be purchased and include forwarding, address correction and tracking, etc.

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Mail charges

First class is without a doubt considerably cheaper than priority mail. This occurs because Priority fees are based in distance and also include the features we’ve mentioned before. While First class rates could round the $3.5-$5.5 for around 200km distance for 13 ounces packages or envelopes. On the other hand, the same package and distance can vary on Priority class (two-day delivery) from $6.7-$7.2 depending on whether you use your own packaging or a flat rate package.

Mail delivery times

With both options, you have a range from one to three days delivery possibilities for domestic addresses. In priority class, the range is determined by the post zones traveled, while in first class, the range can be chosen.

When it comes to international delivery, first-class varies according to the destination, while priority mail will always be 6-10 business days for any of the 180 countries. But anyway, neither of the services has a specific delivery time frame or delivery date guaranteed.

Now you’re ready to send any small package with the USPS as you know the differences between first class vs. priority mail.


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