Whether you're shipping a time-sensitive document to a client in Canada or mailing a regular business letter, the United States Postal Service has a variety of shipping services along with add-ons to insure, restrict and verify your package's delivery. Postage prices to Canada are lowest for the slowest First-Class International Service and highest for the fastest Global Express Guaranteed option.
As long as you know the shipment's type, size and weight, you can calculate the postage cost using the shipping estimator that USPS provides. You can also browse the postal rate charts manually.
Exploring International Postage Rates
When you need to purchase postage to Canada from California or any other state, USPS has four international shipping services from which you can choose. They vary by both cost and shipping speed:
- First-Class Mail International: If what you need to send to Canada weighs less than 4 pounds, this cost-efficient shipping method can get your item there in one to three weeks. You can send a letter weighing an ounce or less for $1.20 with a Global Forever stamp. You can mail a one-pound package for $20.75.
- Priority Mail International: When you need your item to reach Canada within six to 10 business days, you can use this more expensive shipping method that includes between $100 to $200 of insurance coverage. A large 1-pound envelope would cost between $36.35 and $44.00 at the retail pricing depending on the destination in Canada. This service also has numerous flat-rate envelope and box options that range from $26.90 to $67.05 and have weight limits of either 4 or 20 pounds.
- Priority Mail Express International: In situations where you need the item shipped to Canada within a week, this guaranteed express option takes just three to five business days and comes with the insurance benefits of regular Priority Mail International. Shipping a 1-pound box or large envelope would cost you $50.30 with this method. You can also use a flat-rate envelope and pay $45.95 for up to 4 pounds.
- Global Express Guaranteed: Used for critical shipments that need to arrive within three business days, this expensive yet guaranteed option can often offer overnight delivery when you're mailing to Canada. You'd pay $81.10 for a 1-pound box or envelope.
Using the USPS Shipping Calculator
The easiest way to calculate postage from the U.S. to Canada is to use the USPS postage price calculator available through the "Mail & Shop" menu on the service's website. This tool will show you available postage methods along with costs for when you buy online versus in person. To find the postage to Canada cost with the calculator, do the following:
- Choose Canada as the destination country.
- Enter the package's value.
- Select the planned mailing date and time.
- Confirm if you're mailing just nonnegotiable documents.
- Select the type of item you're calculating (such as a postcard, flat-rate envelope or box or custom packaging).
- Answer any additional questions asked about your item (such as size, weight, number of letters, zip codes, etc.) depending on the option you chose.
After getting your results, you'll have an idea of the base postage cost for one or more shipping methods and can decide on which offers the right speed and price for your business needs. You'll need to manually add the cost of any added services such as Registered Mail, a certificate of mailing or extra insurance to get the final postage price.
Using USPS Postage Rate Charts
If you're looking for a visual way to see how international postage rates to Canada vary by service type and item weight, you can use the USPS Postal Explorer website. It has links to tables with international prices on the right side of the page and covers both retail and commercial pricing. The tables are grouped by service type and list Canada as the first pricing column for your convenience.
For example, consider that you're sending a large envelope that weighs 15 ounces. Currently, the regular retail prices would be $81.10 with Global Express Guaranteed, $50.30 with Priority Mail Express International, $39.30 with Priority Mail International and $6.12 with First-Class International. Like when you are using the shipping calculator, you'll add the cost of any desired extra services to these prices.
Ashley Donohoe started writing professionally about business topics in 2010. Having experience running all aspects of her small business, she is knowledgeable about the daily issues and decisions that business owners face. She also has earned a Master of Business Administration degree with a leadership and strategy concentration from Western Governors University along with a bookkeeping certification. Some other places featuring her business writing include JobHero, LoveToKnow, PocketSense, Chron and Study.com.