Postage Without Additional-Ounce Stamps

Copyright (c) 2017 by David Wincelberg

Stamps 1.5: Android app of this page, Featured shareware product

The postage rate for mailing a regular first-class letter in the United States starting January 22, 2017 is $0.49 for the first ounce and $0.21 for additional ounces up to 3.5 ounces. After that, you must use the rate for large envelopes, called flats, which starts at $0.98 and also adds $0.21 for additional ounces.

Suppose that you only have 49-cent stamps. What should you do? You could affix one such stamp for each ounce. However, two first-ounce stamps covers three ounces for a letter. The first table below shows the costs for up to 13 ounces and the number of first-ounce stamps needed when you don't have additional-ounce stamps. (After 13 ounces, mail with stamps applied must be presented at a post-office counter.) The second table below shows the values when only first-ounce stamps are applied and how many ounces for letters and flats are covered by using only these stamps.

Ounces Letter Rates Stamps Needed Large-Envelope Rates Stamps Needed Package Rates
1 $0.49 1 $0.98 2 $2.67
2 0.70 2 1.19 3 2.67
3 0.91 2 1.40 3 2.67
3.5 1.12 3 ---- --- ---
4 1.61 4 1.61 4 2.67
5 1.82 4 1.82 4 2.85
6 2.03 5 2.03 5 3.03
7 2.24 5 2.24 5 3.21
8 2.45 5 2.45 5 3.39
9 2.66 6 2.66 6 3.57
10 2.87 6 2.87 7 3.75
11 3.08 7 3.08 7 3.93
12 3.29 7 3.29 7 4.11
13 3.50 8 3.50 8 4.29

First-Ounce Stamps Value Covers-Letters (oz) Covers-Flats (oz)
1 $0.49 1 0
2 0.98 3 1
3 1.47 3.5 3
4 1.96 5 5
5 2.45 8 8
6 2.94 10 10
7 3.43 12 12
8 3.92 13 13

Following are the size requirements on letters and large envelopes (flats). If any of the limits on flats are exceeded, then package rates apply. If any of the limits on letters are exceeded without exceeding the corresponding limit for flats, then the rates for flats apply. The minimum requirements must be met for both letters and flats.

Dimension Minimum (in) Limit-Letters (in) Limit-Flats (in)
Length (side to side) 5 11 1/2 15
Height (top to bottom) 3 1/2 6 1/8 12
Thickness (front to back) 0.007 1/4 3/4

Reference 1 contains the following notice about letter requirements:

Letters that meet one or more of the nonmachinable characteristics below are subject to the nonmachinable surcharge.

This surcharge currently is $0.21.

Reference 2 contains the following notice about large-envelope requirements:

Large envelopes that are rigid, nonrectangular, or not uniformly thick pay package prices.


  1. USPS Letter Requirements
  2. USPS Large Envelope Requirements
  3. USPS Price List

Disclaimer: This above information is based on that from Although intended to be accurate, errors may occur. You assume all risks in using the information on this page.

Stamps App

An Android app of this page is now available in the Google Play store and in the Amazon Appstore.

Here is what this app can do that this page doesn't do.

  1. The app is designed to fit on a smartphone screen. This web page doesn't display well on a smartphone.
  2. This app can show you how much extra you would be paying if you use only first-ounce stamps.
  3. This app can handle when a letter or large envelope does not meet requirements.
  4. This app allows you to adjust postage costs up to 50 cents more.

Click here for more information about the Stamps app.

Featured Shareware Product

CopyFolder (Filtered Folder Copier) 1.8
CopyFolder 1.8 is a filtered backup program that copies your files in their original formats. As a result, you can access your copied files without using this program. After using the preview feature to generate a list of files to copy and making any adjustments to this list, you can press the Copy button and then do something else while this program runs. Unless you tell it otherwise, CopyFolder will run unattended after initial validation until it copies all the files it can and presents a summary report.

CopyFolder provides many options for copying the contents of one folder to another. Subfolders can be filtered by paths, names or patterns and may or may not include their subfolders. File names can be filtered by patterns. Files can be filtered by paths, dates, sizes or attributes and may optionally include typos. It has various overwrite and dispose options, including file versions. With an external compare program, text files can be compared before copying to see differences. Files can be compared after copying to verify accurate copying. It can delete destination files that are not in the source folder. It can detect files that may have been moved or renamed. It can copy a folder tree without copying files. It includes a preview feature. It allows defining queues of profiles, which are sets of settings. It uses an adaptive memory area for faster copying of large files. Under certain circumstances, it can copy file-security settings.

CopyFolder requires Windows 98 or NT 4.0, or later. Copying file-security settings requires Windows XP or NT 4.0, or later, and administrator privileges. This shareware program does not contain any adware or spyware. (Trial period: 15 days-of-use or 30 copy-operations within 60 days. Initial fee: $9.99. Upgrade fee: $5. Fee with all upgrades included: $19.99. Released on 10-Jan-2017.)

Major new features: moved the preview list into a separate resizable window; added Open Folder to various text field's context menu; added drag-and-dropping from this program; made various windows resizable; added an Expand button to the Copy Statistics and Messages window; added detecting possible file moves

Updates: I plan to announce updates on Twitter (@dwincelberg) and Facebook.


david dot wincelberg at gmail dot com
(In the above line, change "at" and "dot" to their symbols and remove the spaces to produce my e-mail address.)

Return to main page
Last updated: 9-Feb-2017