Opinion regarding envelopes

I have requested my second swap partner today, I’m currently wondering if someone could share their experience and opinion regarding envelopes. From what I discern, you could potentially send a postcard in an envelop if you find one that fits…But wouldn’t this make it a letter? Luckily I was happy to also read on their profile they welcome any card.


You can ask them. Some people like cards in envelopes because that protects them. Some like the added character of going through the system without protection. Some people like the stamps on the card. Others are fine with you saving postage and putting several cards in one envelope. Some people like the card with no writing on it so they can add it to their collection.

So with all these differences, feel free to ask them what they want. They will probably be happy to tell you.

Cheers and happy swapping,


I think there is a term confusion in your post. You mentioned swap, but it seems you are talking about an recipient you requested on the official site. Nancy’s post above is about swaps - an arranged postcard exchange where you can discuss with the person you are swapping with whether to send the postcard stamped/written/in envelope etc.

Personally, I don’t think a postcard in an envelope is a letter. When there is a request for envelope in the recipients profile, I use envelope if I have it at hand. Otherwise, I’m sending postcards without envelopes.


Yes this is what I meant, thank you for your explanation.
Note to self. Word swap refers to direct swap, it’s recipient.

There are already topics about this:

And yes, a swap is something people arrange between themselves. When you request an address and get an ID, you send a card to a random person and will receive from a different random person, it is not a swap. We tend to refer to those as “officials” :slight_smile:


Most people don’t want their postcards in an envelope - they like it to have the marks of cancellation & other wear & tear of going through the postal system.

People may ask for a postcard in an envelope so they can save & collect the stamps (on the envelope), to keep the card in better shape if travelling long distances or for privacy reasons. Or if you were doing a swap on the Forum & you were sending multiple cards for example.

If you see or get a request like that and you can do it without any major additional cost (for Canada it would be just the cost of the envelope as the postage is the same) then it’s nice to do it, but it’s not required. All that’s required is that you send a postcard as is.

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Hello, I write several postcards to put in one envelope to many of my post pricing penpals. They are surprised, I had sent just a normal postcard, but the price to send one postcard overseas in the United States is the same is an envelope with eight postcards. Most people love giving many postcards, I always write on all my postcards. Sincerely, Frederick


I only use an envelope if I need to send a second card for any reason or if I am sending something extra. If they specifically request one on their profile that is another reason

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A postcard in an envelope is still a postcard. It just happens to be in an envelope. Traditional letters on the other hand, cannot be sent without an envelope because they’re just sheets of regular paper.

The original intent of a postcard is to be sent without an envelope so that’s what I do unless someone specifically asks for an envelope.


I respectfully disagree with syaffolee. Traditional letters can be sent without an envelope, as they can be the envelope! When my uncle was deployed overseas, he frequently sent me “aerograms” which were letters that consisted of one sheet of paper that folded up and sealed themselves to become an envelope as well as the letter itself. They looked like this:

There are lots of ways to correspond, and all of these definitions can become a bit slippery. For me, I guess it is a matter of intent and design. Postcards are designed to include both the address and message on the back and that is how they are intended to be sent. For me, a postcard exchange, whether direct swap, official postcrossing card or round-robin is an exchange of cards sent in this manner.

I do send groups of postcards in envelopes on occasion, pretty much solely to provide attendees of virtual postcrossing meetups the cards from the meetup as a thank you for attending and participating. This has been more of a function of the pandemic than by choice. Otherwise, I don’t send postcards in envelopes. Just can’t bring myself to do it.


I would argue that there’s still an envelope involved because you’re calling the letter also the envelope. When you send a postcard by itself, you don’t call the postcard the envelope.

But this is all semantics. If you’re going to be someone who puts a postcard in an envelope and tells the recipient that you’re sending a letter, you need to let them know exactly what you mean by a letter because everyone assumes different things when it’s mentioned and they’re going to be disappointed that it’s not what they assumed. (Unless you say you’re sending a surprise. Then you can do whatever you want.)

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@ Syafffolee:

You are absolutely correct, it is very much about expectations management!

Envelop, in english means: to enclose or enfold completely with or as if with a covering. A transitive verb. The noun form, “envelope” is most often used to refer to a flat paper container (as for a letter) but really can refer to any wrapper, for example the atmosphere is an envelope of air around the earth.

What I liked about the aerograms was that the letter became the envelope by enveloping the content! I liked their transformative capability!

Postcards, of course, by their very nature, cannot envelop themselves. Which, for me, is part of their appeal.


I ask people not to send in an envelope because I collect my postcards written and stamped. I put all written and stamped postcards in an album. The ones without stamps not. I also don’t put them in my online album so I have the chance of receiving that one written and stamped some time in the future.

However on the official postcrossing side you decide. What you must do is to send a postcard. You can send the card in an envelope if you like it is your choice. People have different reasons for asking to receive a card in an evelope or to send a card in an evenlope. Mostely it is because they have bad experience with damaged cards.

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I’ve had requests before to put the postcard in the envelope because certain countries put the barcode or the stamps are so big that it blocks out some text like the Postcard ID, so I happily do it. It’s not much trouble though on my end since I usually have a set of envelopes at home.

I don’t really consider the addition of an envelope as a letter. What makes it a postcard is you send an A6 or so paper with a photo on it. The envelope is just an additional casing. I guess also since I usually buy my stamps prior to mailing I pay about the same amount regardless if it’s a postcard or letter.