If you are running a business that mails a lot of First-Class letters and envelopes, then you are probably acutely aware that postage is getting expensive.
But what if you could save on domestic and international mailings, and save yourself trips to the Post Office? You can do that with Metered Mail. But what is Metered Mail at USPS, and how does it work? I’ve got the answer you seek just below, so keep reading!
What Is Metered Mail at USPS in 2024?
Metered Mail is a service offered by the United States Postal Service which allows businesses and individuals with high volumes of outgoing letters and/or packages to print postage directly onto their mailpieces in 2024. This is achieved with a Postage meter, which can be leased only with the permission of the city of mailing.
To learn more about what is meant by Metered Mail, if anyone can use Metered Mail, and even if you can put Metered Mail into a mailbox like stamped mail, plus much more, keep going!
What Is Meant by Metered Mail?
Metered Mail is the United States Postal Service’s term for mail that has had its postage applied by a Postage Meter.
It can be used for all mail classes, except periodicals.
This includes First-Class (which receives a discount rated) and First-Class Package, Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Retail Ground, and Media Mail.
It also includes a number of International mailing services, which can be purchased at a discount from retail prices using Metered Mail.
To use this method, you load a predetermined amount onto your Metered Mail account, and every time you print new postage, it deducts from your total.
Postage Meters are leased, and they can only be obtained from one of five locations, including Pitney Bowes Inc. in Stamford, CT, and FP Mailing Solutions in Addison, IL.
(And remember: you will need a permit from the city from which you are mailing your letters and packages before you begin printing postage.)
The vendors set the leasing price, so you are encouraged to shop around for the best rate for the best machine for your purposes.
One example is the SendPro Mailstation by Pitney Bowes, which leases for $24.99 per month.
That said, there are a variety of Postage Meters, from ones that can handle up to two pounds of weight to ones that can handle 25 lbs.
Can Anyone Use Metered Mail?
As it happens, not everyone can use Metered Mail; in fact, it is fairly restricted to businesses and individuals who mail a lot of letters and/or packages.
First, you have to obtain a Postage Meter, the machine used to print the postage. These can only be leased from five different companies:
- Data-Pac Mailing System Corp, in Webster, NY
- FP Mailing Solutions, in Addison, IL
- Hasler, Inc., in Milford, CT
- Quadient, In Milford, CT
- Pitney Bowes Inc., in Stamford, CT
(Note that USPS doesn’t provide Postage Meters, but only approves of the vendors.)
Prices for leasing the Postage Meters vary, and they are set by the individual vendors.
Then, you have to get a permit to use the Postage Meter, which you obtain from the city from which you are mailing out your letters and packages.
Basically, you can visit your local Post Office and request PS Form 3615, Mailing Permit Application, and Customer Profile.
There is no application fee, but you do have to pay the annual mailing permit fee.
So, as you can see, there are a lot of hoops to jump through to use Metered Mail, and it’s not suitable for everyone.
What Is the Difference Between Metered Mail and Stamped?
The difference between Metered Mail and stamped mail is that Metered Mail has the postage printed onto the envelope.
However, stamped mail involves postage being applied manually, in the form of adhesive stamps.
Further, Metered Mail costs nine percent (or five cents) less than mail that requires one Forever stamp, thanks to a discount from USPS.
Can You Put Metered Mail in a Regular Mailbox?
Most Metered Mail can be put in a regular mailbox or dropped in a collection box, but it must be done the day it was printed.
This is to ensure that the proper postage is affixed, and if it’s not, that the correct amount of postage is paid for.
What Is an Advantage of Metered Mail?
Metered Mail offers many benefits to its users, most of whom are businesses or those with a home office.
Some benefits include the following:
- Discounted rates on Letter mail (53 cents for letters not over 1 ounce, compared to the retail price of 58 cents)
- Access to Commercial Base rates on International mailings
- Fewer trips to the Post Office, because you are printing your postage from your office or home
- Scales are built into the Postage Meters, so you always have the exact weight and thus, the exact amount of postage
- A clean, uniform, and professional appearance on letters and parcels
- Faster postage application than doing it by hand/manually
The USPS’s Metered Mail is a specialty service for business owners and individuals who deal in a lot of letter mail, as it enables them to print postage directly onto the envelopes.
Postage Meters are the machines used to accomplish this. They can only be leased from one of five companies, and you will need a permit from the city of mailing to operate them.