Updated for the January 27, 2019 USPS postage increases.

Periodical Class bulk mail (formerly "second class") is used for mailing newspapers, magazines and other regularly-scheduled publications, including college course catalogs, bus schedules, and legal reporting services. To qualify, a publication must be published at specified intervals, at least four times per year, to continue indefinitely, and must be sent to people who either paid for a subscription or requested the publication.

A product catalog is not eligible for Periodical Class, but would usually qualify for Marketing Mail or Bound Printed Matter bulk mail rates.

Postage Saver software makes postal bulk mailing easy Here's what this page covers:
red dotWhat are the postage rates?
red dotHow many pieces do I need?
red dotWhat are the size and weight limits?
red dotHow do I pay the postage?
red dotHow do I get started?

Periodical Class mailers must keep accurate records for each issue published, including the number of copies printed, how the copies were distributed, and lists of subscribers and/or requesters.

What are the postage rates for Periodical Class bulk mail?

How much will I save?

Make sure you know whether your mail piece is a letter or a flat. That is determined by the size of the piece, not by what it contains.

For example, a 9 x 12 envelope containing a letter is considered a "flat" because of its size, while a 5 x 8 card is considered a "letter", even though most of us would call it a postcard. For full information on the categories, see Letters vs. Flats.

Periodical Class postage is the most complicated of all USPS rates to calculate. The only way to really know what a particular mailing might cost is to run the circulation list through software like Postage $aver. But our postage calculator below will at least give you an idea of the pricing.

The postage rate for Periodical Class bulk mail depends on the size and weight of the mail piece, the distance tit travels, how much of the publication is advertising, and whether the recipient is in the same county as the sender. There are also discounts for taking your mailing to a major sorting facility.

There's a pretty good chance that you'll pay several different postage rates on different pieces in the same mailing, depending on where the pieces are going.

Nonprofits get additional discounts off of the commercial Periodical Class rates, and there are also discounts for publications for classroom use and for certain publications related to agriculture.

After calculating the postage for each piece, there are also charges for each "bundle" of mail, and for each tray or sack. For mailings that are large enough to require pallets, there is a charge for each pallet. You can use our Periodical Class bulk mail postage rate calculator to find the postage rates available for your mailing.

Periodical Class Bulk Mail Postage Rate Calculator

Rates updated for USPS changes effective January 27, 2019.

Make the following selections to find the rates available for your Bound Printed Matter mailing. Sorry to ask so many questions, but the postage calculation for Periodical Class is really complicated.

Publication is:
science of agriculture

Percentage of the publication that is advertising (0-100):  

Select Mail Size:
letter - up to 6⅛" x 11½" x ¼", whether in an envelope or not.
flat - up to 12" x 15" x 1¼", whether in an envelope or not.

For flats, is the publication mailed in a box, or otherwise not flexible, or more than ¾" thick?
yes  no 

Enter Weight in Ounces:  
 Weight must be 20 ounces or less for barcoded pieces,
 or 70.4 ounces (4.4 pounds) or less for nonbarcoded pieces.

Your 5-digit zip code:

How many total pieces are there in the mailing?
fewer than 10,000
10,000 or more

How many pieces are addressed to locations in the same county as the county where they will be mailed?
half, or fewer than half, of the entire mailing
more than half of the entire mailing

How many pieces are addressed to locations in a different county from the county where they will be mailed?
fewer than 5000
5000 or more

... told you these rates are complicated.

If you already have the list you want to mail to, we recommend you download a free trial copy of our Postage Saver bulk mail software, and run your list through it. It will figure out the exact postage you'd pay for mailing that specific list, and let you try various options.

There are additional discounts for mail sent to every address in an area, and for mail sent from USPS Area Distribution Centers. Please contact us for more information if these situations apply to your mailing.
Postage Saver software makes Periodical mailing easy

How many pieces do I need for Periodical Class bulk mail rates?

There is no minimum quantity for Periodical Class bulk mail rates, but that doesn't mean you can just start mailing a few dozen pieces. USPS must confirm that your publication is actually a periodical before you can use Periodical Class rates.

What are the size and weight limits for Periodical Class bulk mail?

The weight limit for Periodical Class bulk mail depends on whether the piece is barcoded or not.
  • Periodical Class bulk mail may not weigh more than 20 ounces if it is barcoded.

  • Periodical Class bulk mail may not weigh more than 70.4 ounces (4.4 pounds) if it is not barcoded.
The longer side of each piece must be no more than 15 inches long. The shorter side must be no more than 12 inches long. Barcoded pieces can be no more than ¾" thick. Nonbarcoded pieces can be up to 1¼" thick.

How do I pay the postage?

The only way to pay your postage for Periodical Class bulk mail is to maintain a deposit account at the post office. You do not use any payment method, such as a permit imprint or stamps, on the mail itself.

How do I get started with Periodical Class bulk mail?

To learn how to get started and to prepare your first mailing with Periodical Class bulk mail, see our Getting Started with Postal Bulk Mail page.

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