Stamp collectors, or anyone who has ever mailed anything, should know about the different types of U.S. postage stamps. The most common is the first-class stamp used for everyday mail and packages.
First-class stamps are used to send letters or small packages up to 369gr. As of November 2009, first-class postage was 44 cents per ounce.
Postcards can be mailed a little cheaper with a postcard stamp (currently 28 cents). The maximum postcard size allowed for postcard postage is 6 by 4 1/4 inches.
Airmail stamps, specially priced for international mail, have been popular with collectors since they were first issued in 1918. A first-class stamp can also be used for international mail, but the stamp value (priced for domestic use) makes it a less practical choice than an airmal stamp.
Pre-cancelled stamps are preferred for bulk mailing and are cheaper than first-class stamps. Prices vary according to what is being mailed, but most pre-cancelled first-class stamps were 25 cents in late 2009.
Priority mail stamps cost more than first class stamps but should get letters and packages to their destination faster. The price depends on the size and address of the package. In 2009 the minimum price was $4.95.
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