Want to know what’s in the mail before it arrives? USPS Informed Delivery now available nationwide

If you ever travel for an extended period of time, you’ve probably wondered how to handle your mail. And if you’re juggling multiple credit cards and bank accounts, that can cause some anxiety — What if I miss something important in the mail? Should I have someone open everything for me? Do I just let it pile up and deal with it when I get home? Did my significant other throw away something important while I was gone? Thankfully, there is a free service from the US Postal Service that I believe has now rolled out nearly nationwideUSPS Informed Delivery. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks and I’m pleasantly surprised at this innovative and useful service — so I thought some readers may be interested also.

As it says, this has rolled almost nationwide as of 4/14/17 – only the pockets in white, like around Yellowstone are excluded

How it works

Once you sign up, you receive an email each morning (mine come in around 7am) with scans of the mail scheduled for delivery that day. Here are some examples:

If you’ve ever gotten a new Chase card in the mail, you probably recognize the return address on this one.

What’s more surprising — the fact that someone still gets paper statements, or the fact that it’s from Capital One?

Here’s the winner for “I bet this got thrown out”. I’m glad I have a scan – this is a notice that some magazine we originally got for free is about to get charged to our CC. The postcard is probably in the trash, but I can call and cancel thanks to having a scan in my email.

 

What it doesn’t scan

The post office doesn’t scan things other than letters and postcards. For instance, we get The Wall Street Journal delivered — we don’t get a scan of the front page. Magazines and packages don’t get scanned, either.

How to sign up

Click the picture below to go to the USPS site and start the sign up process:

Click “View My Mail” and it will prompt you to sign in to your USPS account. If you do not have a USPS.com account, you can sign up for one. I believe there is some sort of process for verifying your physical address if you have not previously had a USPS.com account — so you may not be able to sign up for informed delivery immediately if you need to do some sort of verification. I’ve had a USPS.com account for years as I occasionally buy postage or order boxes (Priority Mail boxes are free and don’t cost anything to deliver — it’s convenient to have some lying around).

Once you log in to your account, you will chose “Informed Delivery” as you see here under the “Account Management” section of “My Preferences”.

That brings you to the following page where you confirm opt-in and your address. This whole process took me less than 90 seconds.

Will it work if I have a mail hold?

According to a commenter at Reddit, you will continue to receive the daily scans even if you have a hold on your mail:

That’s very convenient. As straver says in that post, the proof of date could also be useful — have you ever received a mail offer that expired before you received it? This could come in handy.

Bottom Line

This service doesn’t open your mail and scan what’s inside — it only provides scans of the outside (and only the side with your address — you won’t get the back and front of a postcard). I have read about services like open your mail and scan what’s inside, but have been wary for privacy concerns. This service is a great innovation from the USPS — it takes a process they are surely already doing (scanning the mail to sort it) and makes it useful for customers.  If you manage multiple credit card / bank accounts, this service could be particularly useful for keeping track of the mail when you’re not at home. And the cost of admission (free) makes this very worthwhile in my opinion.

Have you signed up for USPS Informed Delivery? Are you happy with the service? Let us know in the comments.

H/T: Reddit

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Pingbacks

  1. […] I guess good things come to those wait. Last week, we wrote about an increased 50K-point offer on the Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard. In that post, I mentioned that my wife intended to sign up for the card based on the previous 40K bonus but had been procrastinating. The new 50K sign-up offer came out at just the right time. After that card, my wife next intended to go after a Citi AA card as both the Citi personal and business AAdvantage Platinum cards are featuring limited-time 60K sign-up offers. Then, over the weekend, I got a picture of the following envelope (addressed to my wife) thanks to my USPS Informed Delivery: […]

Comments

  1. The USPS app for my iPad updated to Informed. I havent done the setup on the website yet and just briefing running though the apps I see no way to start the viewing in the app. Possibly once setup on the website you’ll be able to view it in your app as well. Ill report back when I know.

    • I was happy with informed delivery until they stopped putting the month and date. When I first signed up on July 28/17 it showed the day of the week, the month and the date which was convenient. I’m having mail issues with my post office so I believe they stopped putting the month and the date because I had proof of how they are messing over my mail so they removed the month and date, so it jus have Monday Tuesday etc. Can someone confirm if this is something new that changed with the inform delivery or is this just something that I’m experiencing due to my issues with the post office please!

  2. It only scans a few items. I was getting up to 60 envelopes for a few days but it informed delivery email was showing only a few of them – maybe ten max. So while useful in small quantities, it doesn’t scan all. It also doesn’t work for UPS mailboxes addresses

  3. I’ve been using it. The email comes usually around 7:30am. Nice to know what is waiting for me in my mailbox later that day.

  4. This is really cool, but many times I receive letters that are not in the daily email. And I’ve also had items show up a day or two after I get the daily email. So it’s not perfect, but it is such a step up above nothing at all.

  5. i have this since it was first offered. What it has shown is that the postal delivery person has made numerous errors and have placed my mail in the wrong place. ITs great that i can tell this for example a check was coming in (could tell by the envelope) but did not show up with the rest of the mail. It did show up 3 days later because whoever got my mail in error put it in the outgoing box and it got reprocessed. The service does let you report missing mail but that is for postal inspectors for theft, but it may help show how some of the workers are making errors and hold them accountable since its a government job thats doubtful, but may at least make them act more carefully.

  6. Have i signed up…. no. But the old owner of the house (3 years ago) just let us know that usps is sending imagies of our mail to them, which i believe is a total invation of my privacy.

  7. I have opened my informed delivery every morning since I signed up, yet this morning I can not sign in and it says error 500. Why can’t I sign in?

  8. I did signed this service up at the beginning of July. It has been almost one month so far. However, I don’t get ALL piece of mails coming everyday, especially commercial mail. It happens almost 2 or 3 times per week. It is really annoying and I talked to local USPS manager to figure out but he is not helping. The only sentence he says is there is nothing they can do. They deliver what they get everyday. So, that’s very weird I still can’t receive all mails supposed to be delivered based on this service. I almost submit the missing mail claim everyday but no any response. USPS always is the worst quality all over the world as usual, no doubt. No any employees will care and help even if they don’t deliver any mail. Does anyone know how to solve this terrible issue? I appreciate anyone’s help. I was so mad but know nothing to avoid this situation happening again.

  9. Somehow this isn’t available in my zip code in Southern Indiana, near Louisville, KY. I’m not sure why, and the PO apparently can’t tell me either. 🙁

  10. APPARENTLY THEY STEAL WHAT THE WANT AND SCAN THE REST. I HAVE HAD NOT ONE BUT 3 CREDIT CARDS STOLEN. OF COURSE I HAVE NO HELP FROM THE POST OFFICE. ONE OF THE CARDS WAS USED AND RACKED UP $4000. WHO IS TAKING THE PHOTOS TO SCAN? WHO GETS TO PICK AND CHOOSE WHAT TO SCAN? THIS IS BEYOND FRUSTRATING.

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