Image: Butterfly stamp
AP
While regular first-class postage is 44-cents, some unusually sized cards need an extra 20 cents.
updated 5/18/2010 2:23:03 PM ET 2010-05-18T18:23:03

Mailing an odd-shaped greeting card that requires extra postage? The post office has a special stamp to use, and greeting card makers will soon be able to let you know when that stamp is needed.

While regular first-class postage is 44-cents, some unusually sized cards need an extra 20 cents.

So the U.S. Postal Service has launched a new series of 64-cent stamps, the first one features a colorful Monarch butterfly.

And to help folks know when to use these stamps the Greeting Card Association is arranging for its members to print a butterfly silhouette on the envelope of cards that need the extra postage starting this summer.

That doesn't mean only that stamp will work, any combination of stamps totaling 64 cents will do, but it's a handy way to let people know. In the past, some envelopes have been marked "extra postage required."

If stamp prices go up in the future, new stamps will be issued to cover the rate for items that the post office calls nonmachinable — meaning the odd size or shape of the envelope means it cannot be sorted on the agency's automated equipment. They will continue to use butterflies as art on the stamps.

If, on the other hand, your letter is just heavy, the butterfly stamp is overdoing it. The two-ounce rate is 61 cents. The 64-cent butterfly stamp would work, but it would be overpaying by 3 cents.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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