Insufficient postage still deliver? (USPS)

I’ve participated in postcrossing for almost 6 months. I’m very careful with the postage amount and normally add extra. However, I realized I sent a postcard with .04 less than required. Has anyone found the postal service forgiving for small amount or should I think this postcard is history? I guess I learned my lesson to triple check.

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I moved this topic to North America, since it is a country (postal system) specific question.

How to handle insufficient postage depends on the postal system of each country (as mentioned in the topic syaffolee has introduced).

the machines merely look for the presence of a stamp, so some cards will make it thru to the recipient with very little proper postage. If it is a postcard with no SENDER information and a letter carrier realizes that it is missing postage…they can either let it go or make the recipient pay (it takes less time and effort to just let it go plus the recipient is not the one that made the error). Can they destroy the postcard and send it to the depths of the dead letter office over a few missing cents?! just ask my missing 40 postcards that I sent thru the United Nations when postage went up 5c but I didn’t realize it…not one has ever shown up (the UN in NYC uses their own stamps but it goes thru the US postal system in NYC…I even sent more money to have the 5c added to any of my easily identifiable postcards should they be returned to the UN as they told me they have a dead letter bin for rejected items)

I speak from my own experience and as a carrier in a very small rural post office-- our policy is that we do not try to collect postage due for anything under $1 (not worth our time and costs more in gas etc to take a really long rural driveway or put ourselves at risk to dogs being out etc–but that is not necessarily the policy elsewhere in a less rural setting). If I were to pickup the cards and notice that the postage is wrong I would simply put them back in the box and write how much is due (we are supposed to make a brief check, but if you place a huge pile in the box we aren’t going to take a long time to sort thru and add up 10 stamps on foreign cards etc)

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I’ve had a postage due stamp on an envelope for as little as 3 cents. I had to put the pennies in my mailbox for the carrier.

It just depends if it gets there or not, no guarantee.


So I put the right amount of money in for my postcard. I just received my envelope back with change so I called the post office to tell the the mistake they told me the the postcard will get to the people but they will charge the person getting the postcard I don’t know what to do do I write the person getting the postcard even when it’s supposed to be a surprise?

I grew up in rural Iowa and we kept a tea cup in the mailbox with coins in it in case postage was due. Recently I received a parcel of Covid masks from Etsy with postage due…went to the post office to pay but the clerk had no idea what to do about it. Guess it’s rare for someone to come in and settle the debt.


Is it a card within the US or does it go abroad?

@anon40479065 - I have paid the postage due by making a copy of the card (address side with postage amount due) and put the change in a bag, taped to the paper and put it in my outgoing mail. The next day, the same paper copy will return to my mailbox with a receipt of debt paid.
They won’t track you down to pay it, but I believe it comes out of the carrier’s wallet so it’s covered if you don’t pay and it’s on an honor system.
I’ve always paid mine off, no matter how small the amount.
I have had a few postcards arrive without sufficient postage and no postage due. I’d wait and see.


@reisegern from the USA going overseas

@ellistrations thanks I won’t ruin it I just pray they don’t have to pay.


I will send you a PM.


Can someone tell me if this stamp is enough for sending outside the USA ?

As you can see, the card arrived with a “Postage due” stamp. I wasn’t asked to pay anything though, but it took eight months to arrive.

There is not enough postage for international. It requires $1.45; the current value of a forever stamp is 63 cents.

Thank you. :slightly_smiling_face:

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