Postage / Mail to Puerto Rico

By | October 2, 2020
mail to puerto rico
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Mailing a postcard or letter within the United States is fairly simple: in most cases, you can affix a single stamp to the top left corner and send it on its way. However, when you start sending mail beyond the confines of the continental United States, the postage requirements become much more complex.

One of the locations that causes the most confusion is Puerto Rico. A territory of the United States (surrounded by ocean), Puerto Rico is a blend of domestic and international shipping policies. This article outlines the best carriers for shipments to Puerto Rico, the shipping requirements for Puerto Rico mail, and the postage required for standard postcards, envelopes, and parcels.

Best Carriers for Mail to Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States that comprises 143 islands, cays, islets, and atolls. It is located 2,191 miles southwest of the continental United States, which makes shipping between the two locations slightly more complicated than standard domestic shipments.

The United States Postal Service (USPS), Federal Express (FedEx), and the United Parcel Service (UPS) all ship to Puerto Rico. USPS is the best option for most shipments to Puerto Rico because USPS considers Puerto Rico a domestic shipping zone. This means that you can use domestic prices and delivery times.

FedEx and UPS both use international rates for shipments to Puerto Rico. This means that it takes longer for packages to arrive and is typically more expensive. However, there are certain scenarios in which FedEx and UPS are still the better option.

USPS only allows a maximum weight of 70 pounds per package. If you are shipping something that weighs more than 70 pounds, UPS will be your cheapest option. Likewise, if you need your package to arrive as quickly as possible, FedEx is the best option for emergency overnight deliveries.

Given that USPS is the best option for most shipments to Puerto Rico, the postage rates in this article reflect USPS prices.

Postage to Send Postcards to Puerto Rico

Postcards can be shipped via USPS using domestic postage rates. To send a postcard to Puerto Rico, you will need $0.35 in postage. You can use either one postcard stamp ($0.35) or one First Class Forever stamp ($0.55).

USPS defines postcards as rectangular cards that have dimensions between 3.5x5x0.007 inches and 4.24x6x0.016 inches. Cards that are outside of these dimensions (or are not rectangular) require additional postage.

Postage to Send Standard Envelopes to Puerto Rico

Envelopes can be sent to Puerto Rico using domestic postage rates with USPS. To ship an envelope weighing less than one ounce to Puerto Rico, you will need $0.55 in postage. You can also use one First Class Forever stamp ($0.55).

If your envelope weighs more than one ounce, you will need an additional $0.15 in postage for every extra ounce.

USPS defines standard envelopes as envelopes that have dimensions between 3.5x5x0.25 inches and 6.125×11.5×0.25 inches. If your envelope is not rectangular or doesn’t bend, your envelope will be considered non-machinable, meaning that it will need to be hand-sorted. Non-machinable envelopes require an additional $0.21 in postage.

Postage to Send Large Envelopes to Puerto Rico

Large envelopes can be sent to Puerto Rico using domestic postage rates with USPS. USPS considers large envelopes to have dimensions between 6.125×11.5×0.75 inches and 12x15x0.75 inches.

The postage required to mail large envelopes is dependent on the weight of your envelope:

Weight

Postage Required

Stamps Required

1.0 ounce

$1.00

1 Global Forever Stamp ($1.20) or 2 First Class Forever Stamps ($1.10)

2.0 ounces

$1.20

1 Global Forever Stamp ($1.20) or 3 First Class Forever Stamps ($1.65)

3.0 ounces

$1.40

2 Global Forever Stamp ($2.40) or 3 First Class Forever Stamps ($1.65)

4.0 ounces

$1.60

2 Global Forever Stamp ($2.40) or 3 First Class Forever Stamps ($1.65)

5.0 ounces

$1.80

2 Global Forever Stamp ($2.40) or 4 First Class Forever Stamps ($2.20)

6.0 ounces

$2.00

2 Global Forever Stamp ($2.40) or 4 First Class Forever Stamps ($2.20)

7.0 ounces

$2.20

2 Global Forever Stamp ($2.40) or 4 First Class Forever Stamps ($2.20)

8.0 ounces

$2.40

2 Global Forever Stamp ($2.40) or 5 First Class Forever Stamps ($2.75)

9.0 ounces

$2.60

3 Global Forever Stamp ($3.60) or 5 First Class Forever Stamps ($2.75)

10.0 ounces

$2.80

3 Global Forever Stamp ($3.60) or 6 First Class Forever Stamps ($3.30)

11.0 ounces

$3.00

3 Global Forever Stamp ($3.60) or 6 First Class Forever Stamps ($3.30)

12.0 ounces

$3.20

3 Global Forever Stamp ($3.60) or 6 First Class Forever Stamps ($3.30)
13.0 ounces

$3.40

3 Global Forever Stamp ($3.60) or 7 First Class Forever Stamps ($3.85)

Large envelopes weighing over 13 ounces are considered parcels by USPS and therefore reflect the pricing in the next section.

Visit Where to Buy Stamps to find out where to buy stamps near you.

Postage to Send Packages to Puerto Rico

The postage required to send packages to Puerto Rico is based on the size and weight of the parcel. You can calculate the cost of postage for your parcel using the USPS Postage Price Calculator.

To use the USPS Postage Price Calculator, follow these steps:

  1. Follow the link to the USPS Postage Price Calculator.
  2. Under the “What’s the destination country” dropdown menu, select “Puerto Rico.”
  3. Enter the zip codes for your shipping location and destination.
  4. Enter the date and time for when you plan to ship your parcel.
  5. Select the type of parcel you wish to send.
  6. A new page will appear with the price of various shipping options in your area.

You can choose the shipping method of your choice based on your desired delivery date. Once you have determined the shipping method you wish to use, you can print a label using the USPS Click-N-Ship.

Delivery Times to Puerto Rico

The average delivery time for postcards and First Rate envelopes mailed with USPS is 1-3 days. The average delivery time for postcards and envelopes mailed with FedEx and UPS is typically closer to 3-7 days.

Package delivery times are dependent on the carrier and the shipping method selected. It should be noted that while most USPS parcel deliveries to Puerto Rico reflect domestic prices and times, certain delivery services will require additional postage to maintain domestic times. These delivery services include Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, USPS Retail Ground, and Bound Printed Matter.

Customs Forms for Shipments to Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, so customs forms are not required.

Addressing Mail to Puerto Rico

Addresses in Puerto Rico are similar to those of the continental United States. Addresses should be completed in the following way:

Name
Urbanization (if needed)
Street Address
City, State ZIP Code

Example:

John Smith
URB Maple Valley
111 Calle 123
Bayamon, Puerto Rico 00959

Additional information regarding each line of the address is discussed below:

Line 1: Name

This line should reflect the name of the person or company to whom you are shipping.

Line 2: Urbanization (if needed)

In Puerto Rico, it is possible to have duplicates of street names and addresses within the same ZIP code. To differentiate between these addresses, Puerto Rico uses urbanizations. Urbanizations are written with the “URB” identifier, followed by the urbanization name.

Line 3: Street Address

When writing the street address, you will want to pay close attention to the order of the elements within the address. In many Puerto Rico addresses, the street type or suffix will come before the street name. For example, instead of writing 111 123rd Street, you will write 111 Street 123.

Additionally, most street names use Spanish street suffixes. For example, you will see “Calle” instead of “Street” or “Avenida” instead of Avenue. It’s essential to use the appropriate language for these suffixes. If you translate the suffix into another language, it may make your mail undeliverable.

Line 4: City, State ZIP Code

The city, state, and ZIP code will follow the same format as addresses in the continental United States. When completing this line, you will want to list “Puerto Rico” as your state.

For additional information regarding shipments within the United States and internationally, check out postage and shipping information on mystampguide.com.

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