Using old Aussie Maxicards?

Hello Aussie Postcrossers,

Some newbie questions for you…

Are Australia Post Maxicards valid forever? I’ve seen a 1988 Maxicard with only a 37 cent stamp on it, that I’d like to send O/S. Can I still use it (assuming it’s never been used before of course)? Or do they have a use-by date?

Also, as a separate issue - for postcards requiring postage stamps, do you know if I can use the Nov/Dec Christmas card rate on a standard postcard (without an envelope)? I’m trying to be prepared for a change :yum:.

Thank you so much for your help!


Hi Sam - welcome to Postcrossing!

You can use them as long as they say postage paid on the address side. I believe they started making them like this from 1990 on (I asked on, where people seem to know a hell of a lot about stamps).

I’ve bought a couple of earlier ones and they don’t have the ‘postage paid’ mark.

I’ve never been sure about the Christmas stamp question - the post office website implies not, but leaves a little room for doubt. It would be very mean if they excluded postcard, but then, that’s our post office…


This prompted me to go check if the latest stamp bulletin was out - it is, and they have some pre-paid postcards for Christmas (in addition to the maxicards).


Thank you so much @helent. I did not know that pre-1990 Maxicards did not have the prepaid stamp. That’s great to know!

I saw the new stamp bulletin while I was thinking what I would send for the Christmas 2021 RR I’ve just signed up for. I really like some of those new prepaid postcards But I’ve accidently bought some other Oz Post prepaid postcards and not yet used them because so many people say they want pretty stamps etc on their profile so I’m worried they’ll be disappointed in the boring prepaid mark. Do you think it’s ok? Or do you just slap on some small denomination coloured stamps to the left to fulfil this request?

I’ve also been trying to navigate the international versus domestic stamp issue. An LPO I visited told me I couldn’t use domestic stamps on international cards because of GST issues. But then I read an official Oz Post document that stated that I could use domestic stamps on international mail if I added 10% more postage. Convoluted…but possible. And imagine if I use some international AND some domestic on the same card. :exploding_head: Has anyone done this? Do they arrive at their destination ok?

Thanks for all your help!


I send postcards during Nov and Dec with only a Christmas stamp, it’s fine. I think technically you’re meant to write ‘card only’ next to the stamp, but it’s kind of stating the obvious… And I’ve combined domestic and international stamps too, I just make sure to add extra international postage to cover the GST (and I wish they’d come out with a 1¢ international stamp :joy:).

I hand in nearly all of my cards at the counter for hand cancellation, sometimes I get some looks as they have to add up the small denomination stamps but :woman_shrugging:

I also have wondered the same thing about prepaids vs stamps. Most people seem pleased to be getting a card from Aus at all, stamps are a bonus. Maybe forum swaps might be treated a little differently if stamps are mentioned as part of the deal, but if it’s just someone’s profile preference, I wouldn’t think twice about using a prepaid.


Re. pre-paid cards without stamps, I wondered about this too, so I asked the forum a while back. Turns out, for some people, a pre-paid card is a collectible philatelic item in itself! But I suspect most people just like pretty stamps, and so I do often just add some small value or old stamps (you can buy old stamps on ebay very cheap).

I don’t tend to mix up the international and national stamps, but mostly because I’m too lazy to bother working it out…


Thank you both, @ahmandah and @helent for your replies! I really appreciate the feedback! :slightly_smiling_face:


Old prepaid maxicards can be used as can old prepaid envelopes, however I believe with prepaid envelopes (not that you’ll need to use them here) you need to make up the face value. Maxicards aren’t priced at exactly stamp value so the overall cost covers the shipping both domestically and internationally (as with prepaid postcards)
AusPost says on the stamp prices page that postcards are included in the xmas pricing (currently $2.40 everywhere overseas) as long as it doesn’t go over the weight restriction of 20g.
About the stamp pricing, some post offices are more particular about the 10% gst on domestic stamps than others but I make it up the best I can. I asked at my post office about this and if you use a mix of domestic and international stamps then only the domestic portion needs the added gst.
With the pre-paid postcards, I often send these to people who don’t specifically request stamps but decorating with old cancelled stamps is a good idea as long as the pre-paid box isn’t covered. I also find that maxicards can be a cheaper option for sending to some places.

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Thanks so much @lynley! That’s all great to know (especially the $2.40 Nov/Dec price info…it makes a difference). I agree though, the Maxicards appear to be the cheapest way for us to send postcards to far-flung places.

For my first couple of cards, the total cost was HUGE! $3 for an Etsy card, postage of Etsy card to me, and then $3.50 for postage….$7!!! That was not going to be sustainable for long. I was so surprised. I’m pretty sure the last time I sent a postcard overseas…it cost $1.20…must have been back in the Ice Age :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:.

Postcards can be so expensive! There’s so many I love on Etsy but yes, a $5+ postcard can be prohibitive. What I do to balance it out is hunt for postcards in opshops- I’ve found some really lovely ones and they’re usually really cheap. I’m in Perth and found a heap of old 80s Perth ones that I’m still deciding whether to keep or send… lol… Also, if you’re in or near a city check out the tourist shops. There’s one here that’s practically giving away postcards simply because there are no tourists. 10 for $1 :slight_smile: so I have enough to keep me going for a while. Another option is the box sets. There’s absolutely no Aussie ones it seems but if that doesn’t bother you there’s a gazillion themes to choose from. I get mine from BookDepository. They often work out to be around 50c a card which helps to even out the crazy stamp prices.

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Thanks Lynley. I had wondered if we had any Australian box sets. That’s a real shame we don’t.

Once the stores are properly open here again, I’ll go look in a touristy shop. There aren’t all that many in Canberra. I’ll find more in the museum gift shops…but I’m not expecting them to be cheap.

I should probably be thankful that my travelling cards are taking so long to arrive. It helps put a cap on the expense! Postcrossing is a lot of fun though!! :tada:

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Oh wait, the WA museum did have some little tins of them that weren’t too much so there’s hope yet!
Traveling time is soooo long. Germany is the quickest at 2-3 weeks for me, China and Russia and Finland take forever if they ever actually arrive :slight_smile:


I’m simply tearing my hair out with impatience here :grimacing::rofl:.

I have five travelling cards right now:
Russia - 34 days
Taiwan - 30 days
France - 29 days (literally holding my breath for this one it should arrive any second :rofl:)
Netherlands - 14 days
New Zealand - 7 days

Oz Post announced a suspension to Taiwan a matter of days after I posted the card to Taiwan. They said mail on its way would still be delivered…but I’m assuming carrier pigeons might need to be involved :woman_shrugging:t2:.

The suspense is killing me! Such big problems in my life hey? :yum:

I also have only received one card at my end, and that was a direct swap from a lovely fellow Aussie! I’ve arranged a number of other direct swaps and even won and hosted some lotteries myself. But I imagine those cards are still swimming their way to/from Australia. This hobby really is an excellent lesson in patience.

That’s great to know there might be some Aussie boxed sets available. I will go and check out all the gallery/museum shops as soon as it is safe to do so, and they are open again!


So many mail restrictions atm due to Covid! It is indeed a lesson in patience. In the year I’ve been a member I’ve racked up about 90 - and that’s sending one out as soon as another is available. I waited for World Postcard Day on Oct 1 and sent the 9 I had available (the other 54 days so far to Russia…) so now I’m twiddling my thumbs.
I did do direct swaps but I had a rather demanding Russian who kept asking for expensive Post Office collectables so I turned it off. If you’d like a postcard from Perth however feel free to send me an email on my profile and I’ll pop one in the post :slight_smile:

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I saw your sent/received numbers and I am very impressed! That is a lot of mail. At my current rate of send/receive…I could not achieve this number. Not even close. I’ve sent you a message/email through the main site. Thanks so much :slightly_smiling_face:!

As for mixing up domestic and international stamps, at present, I’m using 3 x $1.10 ($3) and making up the rest with small value international stamps for Europe/USA. I buy a set of 3 gummed stamps online as I’m told people like a complete set. If its Asia then I put on 2 x $1.10 perhaps from a set of 4. I buy the gummed stamps as some people like to take them off the card and the self adhesive are almost impossible to get off! The online shop sells small values of international 5, 10, 20, 25, 30, 50 I think all gummed. I just order some when buying maxis or prepaids.

Having said that, I’m not a stamp collector, so I mainly only send maxi and prepaids officially but on the forum where I do swaps with quite a few people more often then I do fiddle with stamps and send regular cards. Some from places like NGV cost $2-2.50 but most I buy cost about $1.

I have a limited budget and choose quantity over beautiful stamps. I find lots of people have maxicards in their wishlist/faves and have only come across one profile who said they didn’t like them. I always get a giggle when I see people say I don’t like ad/free cards as it would cost so much more to send those cards! If people ask for them I’d send a few in an envelope. There are also stamp RR’s and stamp sites for people who want special stamps :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi Azzi!

Thanks so much for the detailed feedback. I hadn’t realised that the sticker stamps were impossible to get off. Although if I’d thought about it for half a second…since they have lots of little cuts in them specifically to stop them being re-used I’d have realised they were no good for collectors! So that’s another thing to think of when I’m trying to cater to the stamp collector profiles.

Sets of gummed stamps is a great idea! I have added a bunch of small denomination international stamps to my last Oz Post order…so when that comes I’ll have some latitude to play with stamps. But I don’t have any sets yet. Next time :yum:!

I haven’t seen any profiles that specifically asked for no Maxicards. And yes…that ups the cost significantly.
I was looking at some round robins but it indicated that the players could ask for their cards to be sent in an envelope. As I was looking at sending Maxicards…it’s like paying for postage twice. So now I’m carefully looking for round robins where you can’t specify that they must be in an envelope.

It’s been a very, very steep learning curve! It’s why I especially appreciate all the informed answers here. You’ve all been there and done that. So it’s a great help to me to try and avoid the pitfalls.

I was not so worried about very occasionally spending $3.95+ on a beautiful postcard and then the extra $$$ on postage O/S until I read a thread where people were saying they just threw their postcards out. :flushed: There will be very few $3.95 cards in my future purchases now :grimacing:.

I was also getting a little enthusiastic about buying old Maxicards on eBay too. But even they are quite a bit more expensive than I really want…to be just chucked in the bin at the other end :frowning:. So I’ll be looking for the cheaper stuff now I think.

Still no new registered cards for me. :tired_face:

Have a lovely weekend!

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Reading the Aust Post website I think you will find that most of the postcards (classified as ‘standard mail’) are going by sea.
To PT, NL, UK, RU says Air: suspended Sea: 2-3 months DE says: Air: 26 business days Sea: 2-3 months US says Air 20+ business days Sea: 2-3 months.

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Ok, apparently not any more. In previous years I used Christmas postage on postcards on the recommendation of PO staff. But today I was told that postcards can’t be sent with only $2.40 in stamps, standard postage rates apply.

I found this in the fine print about Christmas postage on the website, I’ve never noticed before:

Perhaps AusPost want to to become the single source of postcards in Australia? Sure, they make some great ones, but it seems rather arbitrary that they can charge so much extra to send any other kind of postcard.


Thank you for the heads-up. I feared this was the case based on what I’ve read too.

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