Everything You Need to Know About the Butterfly Stamp

When you’re sending a rather heavy envelope that contains a greeting card, you want to make sure that your envelope won’t be returned.

The USPS and the Greeting Card Association or GCA collaborated together to create a special stamp that works for all your greeting cards; the Butterfly Stamp.

Keep on reading to learn more about it. 

What is a Butterfly Stamp?

In 2010, the USPS and GCA decided to design a new series of stamps that work specifically for greeting cards.

a butterfly stamp

Customers usually struggled when they wanted to send their greeting cards because they didn’t know how much postage should be added and how many stamps should be used to make sure that their greeting cards will reach their destination successfully. 

Nowadays, greeting cards come in all shapes and sizes, and Butterfly Stamps are specifically designed to suit these oddly shaped cards and envelopes, guaranteeing that they will cover the postage, so your card won’t be returned. 

When Should I Use a Butterfly Stamp?

In some cases, a simple-looking envelope or greeting card might not need a Butterfly Stamp.

However, in some cases, the greeting card involves the usage of the Butterfly Stamp to make sure that it will reach its destination and won’t be returned to the sender. 

You can tell that your greeting card requires a Butterfly Stamp if there’s a printed butterfly silhouette. There will also be a text that reads “Butterfly Stamp or Equivalent Postage Required.”

This way, knowing that your greeting card requires a Butterfly Stamp. This Butterfly Stamp covers the 1-ounce First-Class Mail letter postage and the non-machinable surcharge. 

You can use the Butterfly Stamp in the following cases:

  • Your envelope is too hard and doesn’t bend easily. 
  • Your envelope is square.
  • The size of the envelope doesn’t meet the aspect ratio of the standard envelope. 
  • The envelope or the greeting card contains a few items that make it a little bit less even. These include clips, clasps, ribbons, and flowers. 
  • The envelope contains an address that is parallel to the shorter dimension of the letter. 

What if I Don’t Have a Butterfly Stamp?

If you can’t find a Butterfly Stamp, you can still send your greeting card, and it will successfully reach its destination.

You can add multiple stamps to your envelope to make sure that you’re paying adequate postage.

However, adding a Butterfly Stamp guarantees that you won’t pay extra charges. 

How Much is a Butterfly Stamp?

Currently, a Butterfly Stamp currently costs $0.70 and will always be honored at the rate posted on the stamp.

Stamps will be issued in panes of 20, and the stamp is considered to be a Forever Stamp

What is a Non-Machinable Surcharge?

If you have an oddly-shaped envelope or a letter that looks unique, you might have to pay the Non-Machinable Surcharge, which is currently estimated at $0.15.

This charge applies to letters and envelopes that can’t be machine processed due to their odd shape.

Because they have to be hand-handled by the USPS staff, you’ll pay this extra charge to cover their handling. 

Due to the large volume of letters handled by the USPS, regular-shaped letters are usually processed and handled by machines.

If the letter or envelope has some or all of these features, it will require a non-machinable surcharge:

  • The aspect ratio doesn’t meet the standard aspect ratio of machinable letters, which should be 1.3 or more, but less than 2.5.
  • If the letter is poly-wrapped or is enclosed in plastic material.
  • If the envelope closes by strings or buttons for decorations. 
  • If the letter can’t bend easily or contains contents that might break. 
  • If the letter is uneven because it contains items like pins, buttons, keys, or any other object that add uneven thickness. 

What is the Current Butterfly Stamp?

The current Butterfly Stamp was issued in 2019, and this is the seventh issue of Butterfly Stamps.

The new issue features the famous California Dogface butterfly, which is the national insect of California.

The stamp shows a male insect with distinctive marks on the wings that resemble the profile of a poodle.

Wrap Up

If you have a unique greeting card or envelope that you want to send, you probably need to use a Butterfly Stamp.

This stamp has been designed explicitly for mailing oddly-shaped envelopes that contain greeting cards that might be too hard, too thick, or might contain several items that make the thickness uneven. 

In most cases, you will see the silhouette of a butterfly on the envelope, indicating that you must use a Butterfly Stamp to guarantee that your envelope will arrive at its destination safely.

Although you can use regular stamps, a Butterfly Stamp guarantees that you won’t overpay postage for your mail. 

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