[HELP] Does the USPS send shaped cards?

Hello! I was wondering if anyone knows whether the USPS in the USA is able to send shaped cards, aka non-rectangular cards? I know they can send square cards with a nonmachinable surcharge, but what about cards that don’t even have straight sides or four sides at all? Would they get sent if I stamped them and sent them without an envelope? I know that the “official” USPS rules say that they only accept cards with four straight sides, but have they ever made exceptions? If anyone has experience or knowledge of this, I’d greatly appreciate hearing it!

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:

Happy Postcrossing!

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I have send smaller shaped cards and most of them arrived, but with the regular/larger shaped ones I think technically you may have to use non-machinable postage.

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Yes, I’ve sent shaped cards without envelopes, adding the non-machinable postage surcharge and taking them to the post office counter just to be sure they’ve been sent on their way. I’ve only done this twice, but both times they reached their destinations.


I’ve sent shaped cards, stamped and mailed, that arrived just fine. I always put a return address on, just in case — and plenty of postage including a non-machinable surcharge stamp. Sometimes I take it to the counter for a hand cancel (if they are willing; some aren’t). Sometimes I chuck it in the blue box. Here’s one of my favorites:


I received this shaped card from US last year, sent without envelope



Yup, just make sure you do the non-machineable price.

Honestly, I often just stick it in an envelope if the recipient doesn’t mind. It’s less likely to get lost AND the postage is cheaper.

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I never knew we had to pay non-machine price…I’ve just done regular postage and dropped in the box, think they all arrived ok

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In the U.S., there’s a long history, maybe even a tradition, of people sending unpackaged things through the mail just to see if they’ll arrive at their destinations, and usually, in fact, they do arrive. I don’t think the postal service would mind if they had to handle an irregularly shaped postcard.


The short answer is YES.
If you have a card that’s basically square, just using the normal postage rate is fine.
If you have a card that’s a bizarre shape (like a circle), you have to pay the normal postage rate plus the nonmachinable surcharge (currently 30 cents)
If you have a card that’s REALLY bizarre (like the Poland-shaped cards sold by Postallove) you should just send it in an envelope.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions please!


Do you mean basically rectangular?

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Yes- basically rectangular.
A square postcard would also require the nonmachinable surcharge (currently 30c) in addition to the regular rate.


I sent this one without an envelope, but I put a global forever stamp + a non-machinable butterfly stamp (assuming I overpaid, but I just didn’t want to put too little postage). It arrived!

I also sent this one with just a global forever stamp, no envelope, and it arrived:

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