Stamp etiquette

From what I read people like when you use more than just a regular international stamp on the postcard. Is it ok to put the postcard in an envelope and place different stamps on that to have more room for writing on the postcard placed inside? What do people usually like/do as far as stamps?

1 Like

From the Postcrossing F.A.Q.:

"Postcards are usually mailed without an envelope. So, by default, if you’re sending a postcard to another member, mail it without an envelope. Most members prefer to receive their postcards this way.

However, in some countries, postal services may require postcards to travel in envelopes, or there might be clear advantages to that method of sending them (protection from likely damage or curious eyes, etc.). Some members indicate this on their profile. If you can, try to follow the recipient’s recommendations.

Keep in mind that in many countries, the postage is more expensive to send a postcard with an envelope than without it (plus the cost of the envelope). Both methods are acceptable, so it’s up to you to decide how to send your postcards."

I prefer my cards “naked”, without an envelope.


Hi and welcome to postcrossing! I hope you’re having a great time! It’s very nice of you to wonder about etiquette so early on - I remember some faux pas of my own when joining some 7 years ago :blush:. The “standard” postcard is supposed to be written and stamped, and mailed as-is. When you draw an address, this is what is expected of you to send. Now, some people may prefer unwritten cards, or written and sent in envelopes, or may ask for coins or teabags or subway tickets or whatever else they collect - in which case they will state it explicitly on their profile. If you feel generous and they ask nicely and you are comfortable with it, by all means, follow your heart - but you are in no way obliged :slight_smile:

You can find some more helpful info Over here - especially in the how to send postcards section.


That’s my operating model: no envelope unless the profile specifically asks for one.

I’ve only encountered one profile where they asked for one international stamp (and no envelope) to keep the writing area as uncluttered as possible. Most users prefer more or different stamps. U.S. stamps are small anyway, so it’s easy to accommodate two Forevers + 10 cent without going too far past the address side.


I usually send my postcards without envelopes! Postage costs twice here to send in envelopes so I would choose not to.

The only reason why I will send my postcard in an envelope is because…

There is a cancelled stamp with a special postmark on the postcard (for example, when I am sending a maxi-card and I do not want the postal officers to cancel my special stamp twice, or in even worse-case scenarios… PEN-cancel my stamps ugh).

If I am mailing a maxi-card, yes I will enclose it in an envelope — on the card, I will write the address so that the recipient will receive the card in the same manner he/she will do if the card were to be sent “naked”.

I personally do not have a preference. Postcards are supposed to be sent without the envelope! I have received extremely damaged cards over the years but I have accepted it as part of the Postcrossing/ postcard-exchange journey!

1 Like

On my profile I mentioned that I don’t mind envelopes if that seems better to the sender. Honestly I don’t care that much about envelopes or no. For penpal stuff I normally send it in an envelope (so I can add stickers, tea or something). I like to put one cent stamps next to International stamps to add interest or for people who collect them


I prefer postcard without envelopes, because I like how there is the whole “package” in one item; message, stamp, my address, image, postal markings.

Yesterday I received a postcard from USA and Russia, both with one stamp, and very nice message. Nothing extra. And I love that look. Looks elegant :slight_smile: still, sometimes I like the decorations or the looks of many stamps as well. Therefore, I hope each sender would send the card how they like to send it. So I get a card from them, their style.

For example, I don’t ask for tea or anything, but still I just emptied some envelopes, and I have 14 bags of different teas :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: so of course then it’s wise to use envelope, and then you can use more stamps.


If the recipient wants “erotic/nude”, I will choose not to shock my own or the other country’s postal workers and put the card in an envelope.


I do have a question about sending a postcard internationally: What kind of stamp do you use? I’m new to this postcard crossing thing.

1 Like

Welcome to Postcrossing @anon48700294 :slight_smile:

You are from the USA, so for you it would be the easiest to use a Global forever stamp on your international cards.

1 Like

True. It’s probably the easiest ways to not having to calculate whether you’ve franked the right amount of stamps + it adapt with years which you don’t have worry when postage rate changes.

However, to collector and philately wise, these stamps bring no collection value what so ever and it does get boring if every mail came in with one of these.



I prefer in envelope and write it in my Profile. I wrote that after I Got too Many “dirty” and even in Bad shape cards. I find that very sad for The Card picked with Love. I do know There is a price difference in a Lot of countries Postcard or envelope and i understand i get a Postcard without envelope.

Stamp etiquette - i Like when they are next to each Other. Some Put Them a Bit over each Other… and some but Them facing different directions. That i find “wrong” too… I Like they are all one direction. Best The way The address is written. I am Not Sure If i describe that Well…


For sending a postcard internationally you need to apply $1,20 in stamps on your card. The easiest way is to use one Global Forever stamp. A lot of people also use two “normal” Forever stamps (worth $0,55 each) and one additional $0,10 stamp for more variety.


But since this is not a philately website, having collectible/not boring stamps is an extra and not something of importance. I understand it is important to some people, but if I had come across this as a newbie it would have made me very stressed about having to look for stamps that not only will pay for the service to carry my mail across the world, but that will also please collectors.


I’ve been sending postcards without envelope, but I’m starting to wonder if cards in envelopes get more “respect” from the mail services. In the US, it’s $1.20 for either way. I always send in envelopes if requested, and I have noticed since New Year’s that the receipt rate seems better.

1 Like

Welcome to Postcrossing!

The simplest answer is use this stamp for normal-sized postcards and envelopes:

If you want to go down the rabbit hole, here are some helpful threads:

for many years I had a monthly subscription from a stamp dealer. He sent a nice variety of themes and values but they piled up so I finally cancelled my subscription. But I now have lots to choose from so I place a mixture, adding up to the $1.20
Once a recipient complained that I used too many stamps. Happily others have said they like the variety. Most of the time my cards have 3-5 stamps depending on the mix.


There’s no such thing as too many stamps! You’re doing great! :smiley:


I really like putting the 1c stamps on mine. You are right adds to the interest.

1 Like