How Long Does USPS First Class Take To Deliver?

Looking to send a letter or package but not sure which USPS service to use? When it comes to sending mail or packages, there are many different options available. From express services to ground transportation, there are countless ways to get your items from point A to point B.

However, for those looking for a cost-effective and reliable option, USPS First Class Mail is a popular choice.

But what exactly is USPS First Class Mail, and how long does it take to deliver? Whether you’re a seasoned sender or a first-time user, understanding the ins and outs of this popular service can help you make informed decisions about your mailing needs.

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about this mail service, including its features, benefits, and delivery times.

Let’s get right into it!

What is USPS First Class Mail?

What is USPS First Class Mail?

First-Class Mail is a mail service provided by the United States Postal Service (USPS). It is a cost-effective and trustworthy method for sending mail and parcels weighing up to 13 ounces.

Typically, First-Class Mail is used for personal and business correspondence, bills, invoices, and other small products that do not require expedited delivery. This service can be used for shipments within the United States or internationally.

It is a reliable and affordable option for individuals and businesses who want to send lightweight items with delivery within 1-5 business days, and with the added protection of insurance and delivery confirmation services. Some key features of USPS First Class Mail include:

  • Delivery Timeframe: First Class Mail delivers your mail and small packages within 1-5 business days, depending on the distance and destination.
  • Small Packages Delivery: USPS First Class Mail service is also ideal for sending small packages, as it guarantees delivery within 2-5 business days.
  • Pricing: First Class Mail is the most affordable option for items weighing up to 13 oz. It is the best-priced service for mailing lightweight items such as postcards, letters, bills, invoices, and lightweight merchandise.
  • Insurance: USPS First Class Mail offers insurance for loss or damage up to $5,000 for merchandise only. It is ideal for individuals and small businesses who want to send valuable or important items.
  • Delivery Confirmation: The service is eligible for delivery confirmation services such as Certified Mail. This allows you to track and confirm the delivery of your mail and packages, providing peace of mind that your important mail arrives at its destination.
  • Commercially Priced Letters and Cards: With First Class Mail, you can send letters and cards weighing up to 3.5 ounces at one flat rate. This is ideal for businesses that want to send bulk mailings, such as invoices or marketing materials.
  • Pricing based on Shape and Weight: The cost of First Class Mail is based on the weight and shape of the item being mailed. The shipment can be anything from a postcard to a letter to a large envelope to a small parcel, and everything in between.

Benefits of using USPS First Class Mail

Using USPS First-Class Mail as your preferred mail service has various advantages. Following are some of the most important benefits of using USPS First Class Mail:

Cost-effective: First Class Mail from USPS is a low-cost alternative for sending lightweight mail and packages. Shipping costs are determined by the item’s weight and dimensions, making it an economical option for personal and business communications, bills, and other smaller products.

Fast delivery: USPS First-Class Mail provides expedited delivery timeframes, with the majority of domestic mail delivered within one to three business days. International First Class Mail packages typically arrive within 7-21 business days, according to USPS estimates.

Free forwarding and return service: If your mail is returned to you because it was not delivered, USPS will forward it to you at no cost. This means that your mail will either be sent to your new address or sent back to the sender for free.

Tracking and delivery confirmation: Delivery confirmation and tracking information are provided by USPS for packages and big envelopes. This enables you to track the delivery status of your mail and determine when it has been delivered.

Cost of USPS First Class Mail

Cost of USPS First Class Mail

Costs for packages sent via USPS First Class are determined by the dimensions and weight of the item being shipped. Flat pricing is available for up to 3.5 ounces of mail that include letters and cards priced commercially.

  • Postage stamps for rectangular envelopes of standard size begin at $0.63.
  • Stamps for envelopes that are square, large, or otherwise unique in size begin at $1.03.
  • Postcard stamp prices begin at $0.48 for the most commonly-used rectangular size.
  • For standard-sized postcards, first-class shipping starts at $0.63.
  • Big Envelopes and Small Packages:
  • Large envelopes (flats) start at $1.26.
  • Packages of a smaller size begin at $4.75.

If your package exceeds the standard size limits, you will be charged extra for sending it:

  • Lengths of 22-30 inches cost an additional $4.
  • Add $7.00 if the length exceeds 30 inches.
  • For volumes greater than 2 cubic feet (3,456 cubic inches), an additional cost of $15.00 will be incurred.

How long does it take for First-Class mail to arrive by USPS?

How long does it take for First-Class mail to arrive by USPS?

Overall, the USPS is committed to delivering First-Class mail and small packages as quickly and efficiently as possible, and they provide a range of delivery options to meet the needs of both individuals and businesses.

When it comes to First-Class mail delivery through the United States Postal Service (USPS), the delivery time can vary depending on the specific type of mail and the distance it needs to travel. Generally, First-Class mail is delivered within 1-5 business days, with the exact delivery time depending on the origin and destination of the mail.

For small packages, which typically weigh less than 13 ounces, delivery times are usually 2-5 business days. However, it is important to note that these delivery estimates are not guaranteed, and actual delivery times may vary based on a number of factors, such as the volume of mail being processed at any given time or delays caused by inclement weather.

How does First-Class shipping compare to other USPS services?

First-Class shipping is a popular choice among USPS services due to its affordable pricing, fast delivery time, and various features like insurance and delivery confirmation services. However, it may not always be the best option for every shipping scenario. Here’s how First-Class shipping compares to other USPS services:

Priority Mail

Priority Mail is a faster service that guarantees delivery within 1-3 business days. It is more expensive than First-Class Mail but provides features like free package pickup, insurance options, and flat-rate options that may be more cost-effective for heavier items.

Priority Mail Express

Priority Mail Express is the fastest domestic shipping option available from USPS. It offers guaranteed overnight delivery to most locations and insurance coverage options. This service is more expensive than both First-Class and Priority Mail.

Media Mail

Media Mail is a cost-effective option for shipping media items like books, DVDs, and CDs. This service is slower than First-Class Mail and does not include insurance or delivery confirmation services.

Parcel Select Ground

Parcel Select Ground is a cost-effective option for shipping large or heavy packages that do not require fast delivery times. It can take up to 10 business days for delivery, and it offers insurance and tracking services.

How can ReachShip assist with USPS First Class shipping?

How can ReachShip assist with USPS First Class shipping?

The ReachShip shipping calculator is an easy-to-use but powerful tool for estimating shipping costs and transit times given a shipment’s origin, destination, package weight, and dimensions.

This calculator determines the shipping charges for DHL, UPS, USPS, and FedEx based on your specifications.

It will generate a list of all accessible shipping services, from which you can select the most cost-effective option by comparing price and delivery time. You may also use this tool’s Sort function to rapidly find the lowest price. 

ReachShip will not only enable you to activate and offer USPS First Class shipping to your customers, but it will also enable you to add multi-carrier capabilities into your eCommerce store. This way, you do not need to depend on a single carrier for all your shipping needs.

Other than that, ReachShip also enables you to compare the shipping costs and estimated delivery times from all the available carriers, create shipments, print shipping labels, and track your packages, all from one place. 


For smaller shipments that don’t need to be delivered immediately but still need to get there within two to five days, USPS First Class may be the best option because of its low price and high reliability.

While delivery dates can vary based on factors such as geography and mail volume, USPS First Class domestic deliveries typically take one to three business days. Take into account that USPS cannot guarantee delivery schedules and that there may be delays due to circumstances beyond their control.

To ensure delivery on time, it is essential to plan ahead and allow ample time for shipment, particularly during peak months. Because of this, adding a multi-carrier shipping system like ReachShip can be quite advantageous so as not to put all of your eggs (packages) in one basket.

Nevertheless, with its affordable costs and dependable service, USPS First Class can be a perfect alternative for sending products for many individuals and businesses.

If you have any questions regarding USPS First Class shipping, please let us know in the comments section below.

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