Say you have a distant family member, living in the strange land of Canada… how much would it cost you to mail a letter? What about, say, an Xbox One that’s a gift? While many of us don’t think about it, sending mail from one nation to another is a very involved process. Fortunately, by the end of this article, you should have a more realistic idea about how much postage costs to send a letter and a package from the USA to just about anywhere in the world.
How To Mail a Letter From the USA to Canada
Assuming that your envelope is of the normal dimension, which is 4 ⅛ inches by 9 ½ inches, the cost to mail a letter from the United States to quite a few places in the world is almost the same. Thanks to the handy United States Postal Service’s website, we also have a calculator that makes it easy to determine how much your letter or package will cost to ship. Should you have an envelope of the previous dimensions (which is your typical envelope that fits an 8 ½ by 11 ½ inch paper folded into thirds), the flat shipping rate from the USA to Canada is $1.15. This is assuming that your package has less than 1 oz of weight in it, which most letters do. For envelopes, this is rounded up to $1.20 with a $.05 government-authorized tax.
How Many Stamps Does it Take in 2017?
Instead of paying for a postage approved directly in the post office, you can also opt to attach stamps directly to the envelope. As long as the stamps have a value that is equal to or greater than the cost required to send the letter, you can attach as many stamps as you need. Stamps are attached at a rate of 1 stamp for every 1 oz, and the “Forever stamps,” which are government-authorized stamps that always hold the same price, cost $.49 each. This means that 3 stamps are required to be attached to an envelope to ensure delivery from the USA to Canada, or a value of about $1.47. It is cheaper to go through your post office than it is to stamp it yourself then mail a letter.
Another option is available from the USPS, which is a flat rate postcard. These postcards can be found for sale at almost any government post office, and are sent at a flat rate of $1.15. A variety of designs are available, and all are intended to be used for tourist purposes. This is the only option that remains flat at the $1.15 rate. The cost of sending packages to Mexico and Canada are about the same, but to send packages to other nations that require air travel causes the price to shoot up; the same letter sent to Canada would cost about $2.25 to send to Switzerland.
While shipping an Xbox One through the USPS is not a viable option, it is still a fun exercise nevertheless. According to Amazon, an Xbox One and Kinect package measures in a 20 inches tall by 14 inches wide by 7 inches deep and weighs in at 15 pounds. With 16 ounces in a pound, we sit at 240 total ounces, or 240 total stamps. At $.49 per ounce, Johnny’s Christmas present only costs $117.6 to ship by way of the USPS. Happy holidays!
Thankfully, numerous flat rate options are available for those looking to mail a letter and maybe some extra. These flat rate boxes only vary in price based on weight and how far the destination away is – typically, these are a much cheaper purchase option. A flat rate box that could fit our Xbox costs $59.95, and a more realistic flat rate box that can fit some small trinkets costs only $24.95. Typically, a package or letter takes 6 to 10 business days to travel from the United States, pass through customs, and be delivered to the destination in Canada.