If you want to send a heavy envelope that contains a greeting card, make sure you have a proper greeting card stamp; otherwise, your envelope will be returned to you. The United States Postal Service (USPS) and the Greetings Card Association (GCA) have the solution to your problem.
They both collaborated to form a special stamp that works on all greetings cards, the name of that special stamp is Butterfly stamp. Continue reading to learn more about a butterfly stamp.
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What is a Butterfly Stamp?
Customers most often struggled to send their greetings cards because they did not know how many stamps they should use and how much postage they should add to make sure that their greetings cards would reach their destination successfully.
In 2010, the United States Postal Service and Greetings Card Association introduced a special form of the stamp (i.e., Butterfly stamp) that works specifically on greeting cards. These stamps were designed for cards that have an irregular shape and require additional postage.
Today, greeting cards come in different sizes and shapes; Butterfly stamps are designed especially for these oddly shaped envelopes and cards. Butterfly stamps guarantee that they will cover the postage so that your envelope or card will not be returned to you.
The postage on a Butterfly stamp will cover a non-machinable surcharge as well as a 1-ounce First-Class mail letter postage that is equivalent to a standard Forever stamp.
What is a Non-Machinable Surcharge?
A non-machinable surcharge is extra postage that the United States Postal Service might charge on First-Class mail letters that looks unique or on an oddly-shaped envelope. This surcharge applies to oddly envelopes or letters because they cannot be machine processed due to their odd shape.
As these oddly shaped envelopes or letters can’t be machine processed, they have to be handled by hand by the USPS staff, so you have to pay this extra charge to them to cover their handling. The non-machinable surcharge in the US is currently $0.15.
An envelope or letter requires a non-machinable surcharge if:
- If the envelope or letter is wrapped in poly or is enclosed in plastic material.
- If the envelope is closed by buttons or strings for decorations.
- If the letter contains content that might break or cannot be bend easily.
- If a letter is uneven because it contains items like keys, pins, buttons, or any other related product.
- If the letter or envelope does not meet the standard aspect ratio of machinable letters, which should be 1.3, or more than 1.3, but less than 2.5.
How much is a Butterfly Stamp?
The cost of a Butterfly stamp is the same as a Forever stamp, which is currently $0.70. The Butterfly stamp will always be honored at the rate of the postage printed on them. Butterfly stamps are issued in panes of 20, and a Butterfly stamp is considered as a Forever stamp.
What is the Current Butterfly Stamp?
In 2019, the United States Postal Service issued the current Butterfly stamp, and this was the seventh series of butterfly stamps. The new issue Butterfly stamp features the famous California Dogface butterfly.
The stamp shows a male Dogface butterfly (Zerene Eurydice) with distinctive marks on the wings that resemble a poodle’s profile. The Dogface butterfly is the national insect of California.
The male Dogface butterfly was designed by Art Director Derry Noyed and digitally created by nationally renowned artist Tom Engeman.
When Should I Use a Butterfly Stamp?
The GCA, in collaboration with greeting card manufacturers, makes butterfly stamps. Greeting card manufacturers have printed a silhouette image of a butterfly on their envelopes. There’ll be a text on the envelope that reads, “Butterfly Stamp or Equivalent Postage Required.”
Sometimes, a Butterfly stamp is not needed for a simple greeting card or envelope. However, in some cases, the envelope or greeting card needs a Butterfly stamp so that it will reach its destination and won’t return to the sender.
A Butterfly stamp can be used instead of a standard Forever Stamp on First-Class mail. You can use the Butterfly stamp on a letter or greeting card in the following cases:
- If your envelope is more than the standard aspect ratio of machinable letters, i.e., if its length dividend by height is more than 2.5.
- If the letter or envelope is rigid or doesn’t bend easily.
- If your envelope or letter is square.
- If an envelope or letter contains items like keys, pins, buttons, or any other related product that add uneven thickness.
- If the envelope has an address that is parallel to the shorter dimensions of the letter.
If you do not have a Butterfly stamp on hand, some other stamps of equivalent postage are accepted, but they may cost a bit high. However, using a Butterfly stamp makes sure that you are not paying more than postage.
Butterfly stamps are specially designed for greeting cards or envelopes that have an irregular shape. If you want to send oddly-shaped envelopes or greeting cards that are too hard or too thick, you have to use a Butterfly stamp so that your card or envelope will not return to you.
A Butterfly stamp guarantees that your envelope or card will successfully reach your destination. If you don’t have a Butterfly stamp on hand, you can still send your greeting card by adding multiple stamps to your envelope, but it may cost a bit high. However, you don’t need a Butterfly stamp for a simple greeting card or envelope in some cases.