How Much Does Certified Mail Postage Cost?

Sometimes in life, it's the simplest things that matter and can bring us the most joy. Like knowing that your post has arrived safe and sound at its intended location. Of course, you could track your parcel or letter to ensure you know where it is at all times but that can be very expensive. 

Certified mail postage is a much cheaper alternative from USPS. It simply ensures your letter or package is handed over correctly. This is because the recipient or somebody at that address on their behalf has signed for it. 

Many people argue that USPS is being undercut and damaged by big corporations like Amazon. Indeed, they might one day run the whole company. However, certified mail is one example of a cheap and reliable service that USPS offers to its customers that is still popular.

So how do you go about getting certified mail and how much is it going to set you back? 

Certified Mail Postage Costs

The flat rate cost of certified mail from January 2019 is just $3.50, up from $3.44 in 2018. You can, of course, just pay for certified mail on its own. However, there are a number of other extra services that most people pay for in conjunction with certified mail. 

These include: 

  • Electronic Delivery Confirmation Receipts are the way many people get confirmation that the package or letter has been signed for. It is quick and you open it in PDF format. It is sent by email to any address and is available for up to 10 years. The receipt contains the address the letter or parcel was delivered to, a barcode and a breakdown of every time the parcel was scanned on its journey from point-to-point as well as the postage paid. It costs $0.80, no increase from 2018 but, combined with certified mail, it costs $4.80.
  • Return Receipt Green Cards offer the same service as electronic delivery confirmation receipts only they are physical cards. They are sent back to the sender once the delivery is complete. They take days to arrive back in the post and you must fill them in and include them with the parcel or letter itself when you send them. On their own, they cost $2.80, up from $2.75 in 2018.
  • Return Receipt Electronic Option serves the same function as the return receipt green cards and the electronic delivery confirmation receipts. The only difference is a return receipt electronic option is an exact PDF scan of the green card which you can email to yourself. But you get to see exactly who has signed for the package whereas the electronic delivery confirmation receipts are just an itemized list typed on a computer. These cost $1.60, up from $1.50 in 2018.
  • All-in-One If you want the complete service of certified mail, electronic delivery confirmation, and a return receipt emailed to you then you can get this all for $6.40. 
  • Certified Mail, Return Receipt and Restricted Delivery provide you with an extra layer of protection that none of the other services do. With restricted delivery, the letter or package is only delivered either to the person it is addressed to or someone else specified by you: the recipient's ‘authorized agent.’ The combined cost of this is $11.80. It is important to note that restricted delivery can only be used in conjunction with certified mail, post that is insured over the value of $200 or registered mail.

Many people think that first class post is doomed but services like certified mail for even small letters show that USPS still feels there is a demand for reliable yet affordable postage service, not a private courier service. 

Certified Mail Labels 

One way to save money on certified mail is to use certified mail labels. You can print these from your home computer and can save you the hassle of having to even go to the Post Office. 

Certified mail labels have the barcode and Q-code from the green card already printed on the front of the letter. It is scanned as it goes on its journey. You’ll have many of the features listed as extras such as electronic delivery confirmation but at a reduced price of $4.80, a savings of $2.

All you have to do is create an account with USPS certified mail labels on your computer. Then you can print a range of labels for USPS postal products and there are no fees and no extra equipment needed.

If you yourself don’t have a working desktop printer remember you could even print off your labels at a public library.  

We’ve created an easy-to-use guide that shows you exactly how to print the labels without making a trip to the Post Office. 

Certified Mail, a First Class Service?

Despite recent negative press stories about its long-term financial viability, USPS is continuously trying to offer its clients a better service. And certified mail is part of that. It’s an affordable way for people to get one of the key benefits of using a private courier service: tracked delivery.

Whilst it doesn’t allow live tracking all the way through the journey, certified mail ensures that the sender knows exactly when his or her package is being delivered in the manner of their choosing. 

The fact that you can combine certified mail postage with other more premium offers from USPS such as restricted delivery shows they meet the demands of even the most discerning customer.

If you’re interested in certified mail be sure to click here to find out how our service can help you.