Postal cost from the UK

I have been using £1.42 stamps to post my cards all over the world for the last few years and they are all being received .( except a few to Russia) I thought that was the correct price. I have just found out that the correct postage went up to £1.70 a card over a year ago. This has made me wonder does the postal services abroad know what the cost should be? should I continue to send with the cheaper stamp as it does not seem to be causing an issue?

Infact you are not far off the International Economy price of £1.45 (for outside Europe only).

Yes indeed 1st Jan 2021 it went up to £1.70 making it easier for most to just use two 1st class stamps.

Most of your cards where probably held back by the revenue teams but with no return address they would be forwarded with just a delay.

The recipient countries should really pick up the tab from the recipient, but only do it in extreme cases.



You should check the prices with Royal Mail.
There are different rates depending on the destination.

They might also put a nice label to let the receiver know about not playing proper postage (for air mail, in this case) :grin:


That’s a really nice label :new_moon_with_face:

I personally like the verb choice “divert” and the cozy peaceful view in the card, maybe depicting the alternative service (path) this was diverted. :upside_down_face:


The £1.45 international economy rate is only valid outside Europe. So for outside Europe you can either choose the £1.45 or the £1.70 rate, depending on how quickly you want your postcard to get there.

For Europe, only the standard rate is valid at £1.70 per postcard.


That is a very big label :flushed:!! Although it somehow destroys the picture side of the card, I would love to receive such a label on one of my cards and keep it as a postal curiosity. I have become such a postal nerd since starting postcrossing, looking forward to receiving nice stamps and special cancellations as much as the postcards themselves.

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£ 1.70 covers everywhere, the lower price is Economy in Europe only.

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@McSon No, it’s the other way round! Cards to Europe cost £1.70, cards to the rest of world either £1.70 (airmail) or £1.45 (economy).
Have a look at Maddymail’s post further up, he’s included a Royal Mail price list.


There’s also a wiki which has all the postage prices from each country!

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Sorry, my mistake, you’re right. I always feel the economy should be for Uk to Europe because it’s nearer ! ! I don’t actually use it because I like my cards to arrive as quickly as possible.

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Thank you everybody I am now clear as to what I need to do. I still cant get over the fact that I have been getting away for over a year with using a less costly stamp. I have had thank you messages form almost all my cards, no long delays and no one has mentioned they have been asked to pay extra postage or had stickers on their cards. Still better do the right thing from now on !!

PS: @sherbert - just to let you know, the prices are due to increase again on 4th April 2022.

More info on this topic: [Stamps] UK stamps, prices, Royal Mail & Post Office matters

I only just realised it went up from £1.70 to £1.85, do you think there’s a grace period where they ‘let you away’ with the 15p? As far as I know my cards have been delivered.

It’s getting so expensive. If it goes over £2 I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue. Have Royal Mail ever reduced the costs?? ha

It is all very confusing, I knew the price had gone up but discovered that international economy was only £1.60 , surprise, surprise royal mail do not do a stamp at that price!!! As a result I have been putting a first and second class stamp on my cards (cost £1.63 ) and writing underneath international economy ( I have been doing this to make sure it is understood because the people in the post office don’t seem to know about it) I have now discovered that the international economy rates only apply to outside europe !!! I am aware that the economy price means the card should take longer to reach its destination.
However despite all of this all my cards seem to reach their destination and those in Europe appear in general to take only a few days.
I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t seem to matter what stamps you stick on, no one seems to know what it should be any way !!!


I do the same with a 2nd and 1st class stamp outside Europe. I have also had a few £1.60 stamps though from older Royal Mail releases which I tend to use when I send cards for handstamping.

I also sometimes use smaller denominations to make up 68p instead of using a second class stamp within the UK.

I’ve noticed that when I use one stamp with the full value, it tends to travel at the predicted pace (2-3 days with UK for second class and a looong time to places like China and Australia with International Economy). However, when I use more than one stamp, the cards travel at the faster rate and arrive a lot quicker. My theory is that the stamps, especially NVI combinations, confuse the machines and the workers don’t work the value out, and they put it in the same pile as most other cards.

There are a few exceptions to this… Cards to the USA and Japan seem to travel equally as quickly either way. But I always try and use multiple stamps where I can to try and speed up the delivery time :smile:


Worth noting these need using up too apparently

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It seems that everything that size has got to go. I think I read somewhere (possibly here!) that small, definitive sized Christmas stamps must be used. Fortunately, I don’t have many left. (Though that’s a tempting deal from Philatelink.)

No I think we are ok with Christmas stamps…