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How To Mail Keys | The Best Way

There are a number of reasons someone might need to mail keys. It could be keys to a rental home or you have relocated and now need to send the keys to your house in your former city to a new tenant. Since you cannot deliver the keys in person, you need to ship them somehow.

You can mail keys in an envelope or a box and ship them via carriers like USPS, FedEx, or UPS. These carriers offer expedited shipping options like overnight and next-day delivery and standard 1-3 days delivery. You can also mail keys via courier service providers.

In this article, I will explain how you can mail a key so that it does not tear the envelope and get lost during transit. I will also give you an estimate of what it costs to send a key via USPS, FedEx, and UPS using the various shipping options and the cheapest way to do so.

Hand Holding Multiple Keys Above a USPS Bubble Mailer

Can I Mail a Key in an Envelope?

You can mail a key or a bunch of keys in an envelope, but you must use one that is not flimsy. Also, make sure to secure the key to a piece of thick cardboard to prevent it from jiggling around inside the envelope. 

Here’s how you should mail a key in an envelope:

  1. Use an envelope that the key can’t tear through. The standard envelope used to send letters, bills, or greeting cards might be too thin for a key or a bunch of keys. Use a padded or a thick cardboard envelope or a jiffy bag, like this one found on Amazon. You can buy these thick envelopes at your local post office.
  2. Wrap the key in a small plastic bag. You can skip this step if you are sending a flat key. If you are mailing a chunky key, a bunch of keys, or a key fob, wrap it up in a small plastic bag to ensure it doesn’t tear the envelope.
  3. Fix the key to a piece of cardboard. Attach the key to a piece of thick cardboard with masking tape to prevent it from rattling around inside the envelope.
  4. Don’t put your home address on the envelope. If you are mailing your house key or car key, don’t use your home address as the return address. If the envelope is stolen, whoever gets it will have your house keys and your address. You can use your friend’s home address or your work address instead.  
A Keyring With Multiple Keys Inside a USPS Bubble Mailer
These bubble mailers from the Post Office could work nicely.

You can mail your keys in a small box as well. The shipping costs increase as the dimensions of the package and its weight increase. So, mailing your keys in a package makes financial sense if you have to send a bunch of keys or several keys.

Here are some pointers on how to pack your keys if you are mailing them in a package:

  • If you are shipping personal belongings like clothes or books, you can send your keys together with these items. 
  • If you are sending several keys in a cardboard box, pack in cushioning material like crumpled paper to fill the empty spaces. This will prevent the keys from jiggling around inside the box.
  • Use a box where the keys just fit in. A larger box will cost you more in shipping costs, and you will have to use more cushioning material.

Related How To Ship a CD or DVD | The Cheapest Safe Way.

How Many Stamps Do I Need To Mail Keys?

Your local post office can tell you how many stamps you need to mail keys. The charges vary based on the package weight and dimensions, delivery time frame, and distance between the point of origin of the package and its destination.

You can also calculate the postage cost using online calculators provided by USPS, FedEx, and UPS on their websites. You have to enter the following information to calculate the cost of postage:

  • Destination country
  • The ZIP code you are mailing from
  • The ZIP code you are shipping to
  • The date on which you intend to mail
  • The approximate time when you will mail
  • The kind of item you are mailing

After entering the information listed above, you have to specify whether you want to know the postage rates for envelopes or boxes. 

Can I Send Keys Through USPS, UPS, and FedEx?

A Fedex UPS and USPS Box Next to Each Other

You can send keys via USPS, UPS, and FedEx. All carriers have special shipping rates for small packages, whether they weigh less than a pound or up to 10 pounds. The charges vary depending on whether you choose overnight or next-day delivery.

UPS offers the following three overnight delivery options within the US:

  • UPS Next Day Air Early guarantees delivery usually by 8 am the next business day.
  • UPS Next Day Air guarantees delivery usually by 10:30 am the next business day.
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver generally guarantees delivery by 3 pm the next business day.

Online tracking is available for all overnight delivery options from UPS.

FedEx offers the following overnight shipping options within the US:

  • FedEx First Overnight is the quickest and the most expensive option that guarantees delivery by 8 am the next business day to most US locations.
  • FedEx Priority Overnight guarantees delivery usually by 10:30 am the next business day to most ZIP codes.
  • FedEx Next Standard Overnight guarantees delivery usually by 3 pm the next business day to most US locations.

FedEx, too, offers online tracking for its overnight delivery options. However, FedEx states that delivery to remote locations in Alaska and Hawaii may be delayed by a couple of hours. 

How Much Would It Cost To Mail a Key?

The cost of mailing a key can be between $0.39 and $65.56. The cost varies across carriers and depends on the dimensions and weight of your package, the distance the package has to be shipped, and shipping agreements with third-party providers. The costs increase for expedited shipping options.

For instance, overnight delivery of an envelope costs $26.35 with USPS Priority Mail Express, $65.56 with FedEx First Overnight, and $67.73 with UPS Next Day Air Early. 

What Is the Cheapest Way To Send Keys?

If your package weighs less than two pounds, USPS will usually be the cheapest overnight shipping option among all the three major US carriers. That’s because USPS operates local routes every day, so they don’t have to go out of their way to deliver your package to the final customer. 

The cheapest way to send small, light items like a key is to use the USPS First-Class Mail, which will deliver your package within 1-3 days and starts at $0.39. You can also send a key overnight for $26.35 if you ship by USPS Priority Mail Express.

The cheapest way to send small, heavy items like many keys is to use USPS flat-rate pricing. 

The UPS SurePost is a cost-efficient shipping option for packages that weigh between 2 lbs. and 10 lbs. 

You can avail of discounts on the shipping rates if you ship through third-party logistics (3PL) providers. 

FedEx shipping options are usually the most expensive among the three major US carriers. However, you can reduce shipping costs with FedEx using any of the following ways:

  • Open a FedEx account and get up to a 30% discount.
  • Ship with FedEx Express.
  • Use FedEx One Rate for envelopes that weigh less than 10 lbs. and packages that weigh less than 50 lbs.

Can I Send Keys by Courier?

You can send keys by courier through service providers like FedEx, USPS, UPS, Aramex, DHL, and ShipBob. These companies ship domestically and internationally and also work with third-party logistics providers to offer shipping discounts to customers.

DHL ships small items to most destinations worldwide in 10-16 days. DHL’s Express 12 service ships small items overseas within 1-2 days.


Although you can mail keys to any domestic or international destination via mail or courier, it is not prudent to send your house keys halfway around the world. If you are sending your house keys and it is the only key you own, ensure that you choose a shipping provider that offers tracking services.

For more, check out In Transit vs. Out for Delivery | What Do They Mean?