If you just need to mail some documents quickly and securely, you can take advantage of the UPS Express Envelope options that work with the domestic UPS 2nd Day and Next Day Air options and UPS Worldwide. All delivery dates for envelopes sent with these mailing services are guaranteed, and your drop-off time and destination will determine the exact delivery dates. The UPS website lets you calculate the exact postage and print a shipping label for a UPS envelope, but you can also take it to a retail location to buy postage.

Understanding UPS Envelope Options

There are multiple types of UPS envelopes that you can order from the UPS website or pick up at a local UPS Store. These include the following:

  • UPS Express Envelope: This envelope measures 12.5 inches by 9.5 inches and has a 0.5-pound weight limit. There's also a reusable version that is useful for having documents sent back to your business.

  • UPS Window Envelope: This has the same measurements and weight limit of the UPS Express Envelope but comes with a built-in pouch for the shipping label.

  • UPS Legal Express Reusable Envelope: Made for mailing legal documents back and forth, this one measures 15 inches by 9.5 inches and has a 0.5-pound weight limit.

  • UPS Legal Window Envelope: This includes a pouch for your shipping label and has the same characteristics and requirements as the reusable version.

Exploring UPS Envelope Mailing Services

The domestic UPS 2nd Day option delivers by the end of the second business day. However, you can pay more for the UPS 2nd Day Air A.M. option to have it delivered by 10:30 a.m. that day.

The domestic UPS Next Day Air option delivers by 10:30 a.m. on the next business day. You can choose options to pay more and have it delivered by 8:30 a.m. or pay less and have it delivered later at 3:00 p.m.

If you're sending the envelope internationally, delivery times can vary or even be the same among different UPS Worldwide service levels. For example, shipments to Canada and Mexico can arrive in one or two days, while you'll usually wait at least three days for other countries. The economy option is UPS Worldwide Saver, and more expensive options include UPS Worldwide Express, Express Plus and Expedited options.

Determining UPS Shipping Rates

UPS shipping rates for letters vary depending on the weight, destination and rate for which you qualify. Businesses that don't use a UPS payment account or buy postage from a UPS location pay the higher retail rates. On the other hand, you qualify for lower daily rates if you have regular UPS pickups, set up an agreement for your business or have a payment account made within the last few years.

UPS has a shipping page with rate tables for both daily and retail options, but this requires work to find the postal zones and browse many columns of information. So, the easiest way to know how much your UPS envelope will cost to mail is to use the shipping calculator. You'll find this tool through the UPS website's "Quick Start" menu, where you'll select "Quote".

Fill in the form on the left to include the shipping from and shipping to locations, shipping date and destination type. Since you're mailing an envelope and not a package, turn off the UPS Simple Rate option if it shows. Select "UPS Letter" as your packaging, enter the dimensions and weight and select any value-added services you need. After selecting how you plan to pay, click "Update" to see a table of shipping methods with pricing and delivery dates.

Shipping Your UPS Envelope

If you have a UPS shipping account, you can simply log in to buy the envelope's shipping label through the UPS website, charge it to your payment account or credit card and then print the label. After sealing the envelope, put the shipping label inside one of your UPS pouches if possible or else cover the whole label with packaging tape. You can then drop the envelope in a UPS drop box, request a pickup or visit any authorized shipping location.

If you want to buy postage in person, head to a UPS Store or other shipping location selling UPS postage. An attendant will calculate the postage for your chosen delivery speed, put the label on and ship your envelope for you.