Despite being able to send most things via email, we still need to ship items via “snail mail,” or the United States Postal Service.
Still, despite the “snail” moniker, USPS offers some quicker-than-usual services, like Priority Mail, with shortened delivery windows.
So, how fast is USPS Priority Mail? The answer might surprise you. Read on for the answer!
How Fast Is USPS Priority Mail In 2023?
The United States Postal Service’s Priority Mail option is slated to deliver between 1 – 3 business days from the date of shipping. This service, which includes packages up to 70 lbs., envelopes and Flat-Rate boxes, is not guaranteed, and does not include Sunday delivery, but it’s nonetheless affordable and reliable.
To learn more about whether Priority Mail is guaranteed, if Priority Mail is faster than First-Class, how reliable it is, and whether or not the service is worth it, you can find your full guide below!
Is USPS Priority Mail Guaranteed To Arrive Within Three Days?
USPS Priority Mail is the agency’s most popular mail service, but it is not guaranteed to reach its destination by any specific date.
Instead, customers trust the reliability of the Postal Service, which is highly likely to get their package or envelope to its recipient within three days, if not sooner.
While Priority Mail might not be guaranteed, there are several security nets in place for both the shipper and recipient’s peace of mind.
Namely, Priority Mail includes both USPS Tracking, as well as insurance, up to $50 (with the option to add more for pricier items) – totally free as part of the service.
You can also add Signature Confirmation for $3.45 or Adult Signature Required for $6.90.
So while you can’t know if the package will reach its destination within three days, you can at least know where it is during the journey and then when it arrived.
If, however, you are looking for a guaranteed delivery service, your next best choice is Priority Express.
Unfortunately, Priority Express does not ship boxes – only envelopes (legal and large-size).
Does USPS Priority Mail Arrive Faster Than Regular Mail?
Priority Mail is slated to arrive faster than regular mail, according to ShippingEasy.com.
My guess is that if a letter would normally take two days to arrive via First-Class (or “regular”) mail, it would very likely only take one day via Priority Mail.
A good way to double-check the estimated arrival is to use the USPS.com Priority Mail Delivery Map.
You enter your zip code and the map updates to show you which regions will deliver within one, two, and three days.
The map isn’t foolproof, and you must take into account weather, current events (like a major traffic accident on a busy highway), and even the time of year.
But on the whole, the map is a good source for estimating when the package will arrive into the hands of your recipient.
Is USPS Priority Mail 2-Day The Same As Priority Express?
Priority Mail and Priority Express are two totally different services from the Postal Service.
Unlike Priority Mail, Priority Express is guaranteed; so if your shipment doesn’t arrive by 6 p.m. on the intended day, the mailer is entitled to a refund.
Priority Express also has Flat-Rate shipping, but not boxes – only envelopes (though some are large enough to fit clothing, books or jewelry).
Where Priority Mail insures up to $50, Priority Express goes up to $100 (but again, with the option to swap that out for a larger insurance amount).
Finally, and perhaps most significantly, Priority Express is even faster than Priority Mail. If your destination qualifies, Priority Express will have it there in either one or two days.
Of course, you will pay for the convenience; Priority Express starts at $26.60, whereas Priority Mail starts at only $7.95.
If you’re sending something smaller or document-sized and you’re really in a rush, consider bypassing Priority Mail for Priority Express.
It’s like taking a service that is already pretty top-notch and elevating it right up to the heights.
How Reliable Is USPS Priority Mail?
Except in cases of extreme upheaval – pandemics, major holidays, weather disasters – you can count on USPS Priority Mail to reach its destination when it should.
My own personal experience with Priority Mail has been excellent, and that was actually during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I tracked multiple packages in Priority envelopes to many different zip codes around the country, and they all arrived when they said they would.
What Is The Longest USPS Priority Mail Can Take?
While USPS Priority Mail is very reliable, sometimes things happen that can cause delays.
Because it is not guaranteed, Priority Mail can take beyond three days to arrive, and the Post Office is not held to be at fault.
In terms of how long you should wait before filing a missing mail claim, USPS.com says to give it 15 days.
If your Priority Mail item hasn’t arrived within 15 days of shipping out, you can file a claim.
I know waiting over two weeks for something titled “Priority” doesn’t sound like a particularly good use of $8, but these cases are rare.
And the reason you’ll hear more about the ones that went missing is because it’s rare.
You’ll almost never hear someone tell you a shocking story about the time their Priority package arrived just as it should!
Is Priority Shipping Worth It?
In my opinion, Priority Mail is worth it. I have found it to be super reliable and quite affordable for what it says it will deliver on.
The added bonus of built-in USPS Tracking and $50 insurance are a boon for individuals sending important shipments and small businesses who want to deliver quickly.
USPS Priority Mail delivers within one to three days, depending on the destination, and customers can estimate the shipping time at USPS.com.
While the delivery date is not guaranteed, the service comes with USPS Tracking and Insurance included, so both shipper and recipient can follow the parcel’s journey with reassurance.