The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers various payment methods for purchasing postage, shipping labels, and other products and services both in-store at Post Offices and online. With the prevalence of credit cards in everyday transactions, many customers wonder if they can use their Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover card to pay the United States Postal Service.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) accepts credit cards both in-store and online. Accepted cards include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Customers can use credit cards for various services such as purchasing postage, shipping labels, PO box rentals, passport services and more. However, foreign-issued credit cards are generally not accepted.
This article will explore the payment methods accepted by the USPS, with a focus on their credit card acceptance policies both online and in brick-and-mortar Post Office locations. We’ll also look at the types of credit cards accepted, any fees or restrictions, and alternative payment options for customers.
What Are the Payment Methods Accepted by USPS?
The United States Postal Service accepts a variety of payment types depending on what you are purchasing and where you are making the purchase.
In Post Office locations, acceptable tenders include:
- Personal checks
- Money orders
- Debit cards
- Traveler’s checks
- Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover)
When paying for products and services on USPS.com or the USPS mobile app, you can pay with:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- USPS digital wallets
The USPS also allows payment using prepaid gift cards purchased directly from the Post Office.
So in summary, the most universally accepted payment methods at the United States Postal Service are cash, checks, money orders, debit cards, and major credit cards.
Does USPS Accept Credit Cards In-Store?
Yes, you can pay with a credit card at United States Postal Service retail locations and Post Office counters. The USPS accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover branded credit cards.
When paying in person at the Post Office, simply swipe or insert your credit card into the point-of-sale terminal when prompted by the postal clerk. You can also tap to pay if you have a contactless or mobile wallet enabled credit card.
Using a credit card to purchase products and services at the Post Office provides convenience and allows you to earn rewards points or cash back on your purchases. It also avoids the need to carry large amounts of cash when mailing packages or buying stamps.
As long as your credit card is in good standing, it will be accepted the same as any other payment method at the United States Postal Service.
Does USPS Accept Credit Cards Online?
The United States Postal Service website, USPS.com, accepts major credit cards for online purchases and services. You can enter your Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover credit card details when checking out online to pay for:
- Postage and shipping labels
- USPS tracking services
- Package pickups
- PO box rentals
- Passport services
- Customized packaging like Priority Mail boxes
- Online merchandise like stamps and collectibles
The USPS Click-N-Ship service also allows you to use a credit card to print shipping labels from your home printer to then drop off or schedule a package pickup.
When paying on the USPS website or app, make sure your credit card billing address matches the address used during account creation. This helps cut down on fraud and verifies your identity.
So you can securely pay for almost any USPS service using your credit cardonline just as you would at your local Post Office branch.
What Types of Credit Cards Does USPS Accept?
The United States Postal Service accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover branded consumer credit cards and small business credit cards.
- American Express
As long as the credit card has one of these logos and is issued by a major bank in the United States, it should be accepted by the USPS both online and at retail locations.
The United States Postal Service does not accept department store, gas station, or other branded credit cards that operate on a closed-loop network.
However, if you have added one of the four major credit cards like Visa or Mastercard to a mobile wallet app such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, you can use contactless payment where available. The USPS accepts tap-to-pay credit card mobile transactions for ease of payment.
Can You Use a Foreign Credit Card at USPS?
In most cases, foreign-issued credit cards are not accepted by the United States Postal Service either online or at Post Office locations. This includes cards from banks based outside the United States.
There are two exceptions:
The first is that Canadian-issued Visa and Mastercard credit cards can sometimes be used to make purchases, especially in border Post Office branches. However, acceptance may be inconsistent.
The second exception is that certain mobile wallet apps like Apple Pay may work with foreign credit cards to make contactless payments where available. This is because the card details stay with the mobile device rather than being transmitted directly.
But in general, the safest option for foreign postal customers is to pay with cash, international money order, or a USD prepaid debit card when using USPS services.
Can You Pay for Postage with a Credit Card at USPS Self-Service Kiosks?
Many Post Office locations have self-service kiosks that allow you to weigh packages, calculate shipping costs, print labels, and purchase postage. These automated kiosks accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover credit cards as payment options.
To pay with a credit card at a USPS self-service kiosk:
- Select the kiosk option to purchase postage or shipping labels.
- Enter the destination address and details for your package or letter.
- Choose your delivery options like mail class and extra services.
- When prompted to enter payment, select “Credit Card” as the tender type.
- Insert or swipe your credit card and enter the security code when required.
- Your postage will be printed and charged to the credit card on file.
Using a credit card at a self-service kiosk allows you to quickly pay for and print postage without waiting in line. The USPS accepts the same major credit card brands at kiosks as the staffed counters.
Is There a Fee for Using a Credit Card at USPS?
The United States Postal Service does not charge any additional fees or penalties for paying with a credit card instead of cash, check, or debit card. You will only be charged the standard published rates for the postage, product, or service purchased.
This makes credit cards a convenient option for USPS customers without any extra costs tacked on. However, your individual credit card issuer may charge cash advance fees or higher interest rates depending on their policies, so check your cardholder agreement. Cash and debit transactions avoid these additional fees.
How to Pay with a Credit Card at USPS
Paying with a credit card at the United States Postal Service is easy whether in person or online:
- When making a purchase at the Post Office, wait for the clerk to calculate your total and prompt for payment.
- Insert or swipe your Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card in the chip reader or magnetic stripe slot.
- For chip cards, leave the card inserted until the transaction processes. The terminal will prompt you for a signature or PIN.
- For online purchases, select Credit Card as the payment method during checkout and enter your card number, expiration date, and security code (CVV).
- Ensure the billing address for your credit card matches the address on your USPS account for fraud prevention.
- Confirm payment details and postage amount before submitting the transaction.
- Keep your receipt as proof of purchase. Check your credit cardstatement to verify the charge.
- Contact USPS customer service if there are any issues with rejected charges.
Following these basic steps allows quick and easy credit card transactions for mail services and avoids hassles or delays in the shipping process.
Are There Any Limitations or Restrictions When Using a Credit Card at USPS?
The United States Postal Service places a few common sense restrictions on credit card payments:
- Credit cards cannot be used to purchase money orders or Sure Money prepaid debit cards issued by the USPS.
- Cash advances from credit cards are not allowed.
- Personal checks cannot be cashed with a credit card at the Post Office.
- Prepaid gift cards sold at the USPS must be purchased with cash or debit.
- Certain business services like Every Door Direct mail require enrollment online before paying at a retail location.
These minor limitations reduce the risk of financial fraud but overall, credit cards can be used quite flexibly with few restrictions at the United States Postal Service.
What If Your Credit Card is Declined at USPS?
If your credit card is declined when attempting to pay the United States Postal Service, first check with your card provider to see if the issue can be resolved quickly.
Common reasons for a declined credit card include:
- Card expired or previous renewal date not updated
- Exceeded credit limit
- Suspected fraudulent purchase
- Billing address does not match account
- Cards from foreign or unfamiliar banks
If there is no fraud alert, ask the clerk if you can pay by an alternate method like another card, cash, or check. You may also have to complete the transaction online later once your credit card issue is resolved if mailing an urgent package.
A declined credit card at USPS can be inconvenient but contacting your provider immediately can usually get it straightened out or allow you to use another payment option. Keep card details up to date and report lost or stolen cards to prevent problems.
How Safe Is It to Use Your Credit Card at USPS?
It is very safe to use your credit card to purchase products and services with the United States Postal Service in-store, online, or at self-service kiosks.
The USPS never stores complete credit card numbers or CVV codes on file. Only reference transaction numbers are kept for record-keeping.
Retail Post Office locations require signature or PIN verification for chip credit cards and also obtain a photocopy of your ID for some services like passport applications or money orders.
Online payments utilize secure encryption and require your account password to access payment options.
You have the same zero fraud liability protection from your credit cardprovider making purchases with USPS as with any other merchant. Report unauthorized charges promptly.
The United States Postal Service also trains employees to spot potential fraud schemes like stolen cards or fake IDs to keep your transaction secure.
Overall, you can feel completely safe using your Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover credit card to pay for postal products and services. Just take basic precautions as you would with any transaction.
What Are Other Alternatives to Paying with a Credit Card at USPS?
Although quite convenient, credit cards are not the only way to pay the United States Postal Service. You can also purchase postage, shipping labels, PO boxes, passport services, and other items using:
- Cash – Accepted at all Post Office locations and self-service kiosks.
- Personal checks – Cheaper alternative to credit at USPS with proper ID.
- Debit cards – Deducts directly from your linked bank account.
- Money orders – Guaranteed funds when purchasing from USPS window clerks.
- Mobile wallets – Like Apple Pay and Google Pay linked to your debit/credit cards.
- PayPal – For online purchases and services through USPS.com.
- Prepaid gift cards – Can be used if purchased separately at the Post Office.
- Prepaid debit cards – Reloadable option that avoids needing cash.
So while credit cards provide a quick and easy way to pay the USPS, you have plenty of alternative tender types accepted as well. Choose the option that best fits your situation and financial preferences.
In summary, the United States Postal Service widely accepts major credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover for both in-person and online transactions. This provides convenience for paying for postage, shipping, PO boxes, passport services, online merchandise, and other USPS offerings.
While there are minor restrictions, in most cases you can use your standard consumer or business credit card with no extra fees. Just be aware of potential issues if your card is declined or expired. And as with any purchase, take basic precautions around card security.
But overall, paying with a credit card is a quick, easy, and secure way to pay the United States Postal Service that allows you to track expenses and earn rewards. When combined with other payment options like debit and cash, it provides the flexibility that consumers expect from the US Post Office.