How Long Does it Take to Mail a Card?

This is the time of year where people tend to shop more for others than for themselves. You spend your days running store to store trying to score the latest holiday shopping deal, and before you know it, it's only 10 days until Christmas. Just then you realize that although your shopping list is done, you forgot to send out your yearly Christmas cards. Now what? You cant forget to send the Christmas card to Grandma down in Florida who looks forward to this card every year. So to make your life easier, we have calculated the total time and cost for shipping a letter through the USPS, FedEx and UPS to find out just how long it takes to mail a card. We chose the greatest distance, from NJ to CA, for maximum pricing to give you the best results to chose from.

UPS, USPS, FedEx logos


Standard Post

This is the typical mail delivery method where you would just drop a letter in your mailbox, put up the little flag, and let the mail carrier handle the rest. Time: Can vary between 2 to 8 days. Cost: 1 stamp is typically all you need at $0.46 for a letter under 1 oz.

First Class Mail 

  • Secure delivery within 3 days in most cases
  • Can be combined with extra services to confirm delivery
Time: Typically 96% First-Class Mail arrives within one day when it is sent locally. If mail is sent nation wide, it can take up to 3 days. 94% arrives within 3 days. Cost: This will only cost you the price of a stamp $0.46.

Priority Mail

  • Delivery within 1, 2, or 3 days
  • Saturday delivery and residential delivery at no extra charge
  • Flat Rate pricing available
Time: Typically takes 2 days for delivery. Cost: For local delivery the cost for a 1 oz letter was around $5.60 for 1 Day delivery. For cross country shipping of the same letter was around $6.95 . You can purchase a Priority Mail 2-Day™ Flat Rate Envelope Priority Mail Express 1-Day™ Flat Rate Envelope (12-1/2" x 9-1/2") for a flat fee of $5.60. This is good whether you are mailing in the same town or cross country to California. [caption id="attachment_4439" align="alignnone" width="600"]Priority mail opitions Priority Mail Rates Across Country - NJ to CA[/caption]

Priority Mail Express

  • Overnight delivery to most U.S. locations
  • Flat Rate pricing available
  • Sunday and holiday delivery service available for a small fee
Time: 1 day delivery. Cost: For local delivery the cost for a 1 oz letter was around $14.10 for 1 Day delivery. To ship across country was around $30.60 with the option to purchase online for $27.68 . You can also purchase a Priority Mail Express 1-Day™ Flat Rate Envelope (12-1/2" x 9-1/2") for a flat fee of $19.95 and online for $18.11. For shipping across country the flat rate envelope is your best bet.

Priority mail options


FedEx is another mailing option many people choose. Although you can use this service for mailing Christmas cards, it's typically used more for packages that weigh more than 1 oz. Features: FedEx offers 7 different mailing options. We calculated pricing and transit times for one 1 oz letter from NJ to CA.
  • FedEx Same Day®
  • FedEx First Overnight®
  • FedEx Priority Overnight®
  • FedEx Standard Overnight®
  • FedEx 2Day AM®
  • FedEx 2Day®
  • FedEx Express Saver
Cost: Cost varies from the fastest and most expensive $74.15 to the cheapest of $20.83. [caption id="attachment_4458" align="alignnone" width="585"]FedEx shipping pricing FedEx Shipping Rates Across Country - NJ to CA[/caption]


The last, most common shipping method in the US is UPS. Features:
  • UPS Next Day Air Early A.M.®
  • UPS Next Day Air®
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver®
  • UPS 2nd Day Air®
Cost: The most expensive shipping cost is the next day morning delivery at $72.92 and your cheapest option s the 2 day shipping at $28.75. [caption id="attachment_4462" align="alignnone" width="600"]UPS Shipping prices UPS Shipping Rates Across Country - NJ to CA[/caption]


To ship your letter the fastest and cheapest way, we suggest the USPS Priority Mail. It will take up to 2 days and the most it will cost is around $7.00. That's a small price to pay to ensure granny doesn't think you forgot about her on this most festive of seasons. P.S - Stop by JAM Paper to pick up your holiday greeting card box set.


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