PenPal FAQ
About PenPal
What is Penpal?

To put it simply, PenPal is all about creating a physical connection with new people from all over the world - by postcard.

Basically, for every postcard you send, you’ll receive one from another PenPal. The more you send… the more you receive.

Other cultures, strange languages and new friendships are just a postcard away.

How does it work?
  1. Create your free account and fill out your profile.
  2. Request a PenPal. You’ll have access to your new randomly-selected PenPal’s public profile. This does NOT include their address. Your personal address in never shared and is securely hidden behind a username.
  3. Write your postcard, upload a photo and click send. (PenPal prints and mails your postcard.)
  4. Your PenPal receives your postcard! 🎊 They mark it as received to check out your profile.
  5. And now it’s your turn. Better keep an eye on that mailbox!
Is Penpal free

Yep. Sign up for free, get randomly matched for free, make use of free support … you get the picture.
The only thing you pay for are your postcards, which start at $1.99. And even they’re shipped for free.

Can I invite friends?

Sure! Use your personal friend sharing link to get friends to join the PenPal community. And get $3 free credit for you and your friend in the process.

My security
Is my data safe?

Couldn't be safer! Your home address will NEVER be shared and remains hidden behind the username you pick. Personal information is shared at YOUR discretion. Here are some specifics:

  • Addresses are stored exclusively for the purpose of exchanging postcards on PenPal.
  • Personal addresses and full names cannot be obtained through PenPal.
  • Location maps are approximate, not precise and do not share information on your exact location. They are based on your nearest city.
  • Private data shared with PenPal is never sold or traded with third parties, and is only shared discreetly where absolutely necessary for participation in PenPal. Find out more info in our Private Policy.
  • Personal details shared with PenPal are encrypted and are security protected.

Note: Anything you choose to share in your public profile is visible to members.

Is my address displayed on my profile?

No, never! Your address remains hidden at all times behind your chosen username.

Is my address shown on my location map?

Nope. Your location map is based on your nearest city, and is not precise at all in order to protect your privacy.

Is my full name shared with my PenPal?

No, only your username will be shared and you can change this at any time.

Being a good PenPal
What should I write about?

You have up to 450 characters to form your message. But… you’re struggling to find the words?

Here are two very good options:

  • One - take a look at your new PenPal’s profile and talk about any shared interests you have.
  • Two - talk about the person you know the best (yourself!). What you like doing, where you’re from and what you’re doing with your life right now.

Need more help? Find a wealth of tips and ideas on writing your postcard right here.

What language should I use?

The languages your PenPal speaks or is learning can be found on their profile. But if you’re not sure, English is your best bet.

I received a postcard! What now?

Yay, you’re officially a PenPal! 🎉 Head online and mark it as received to find out who your mystery PenPal is. 👤→👨🏽‍🎤

I want to know more about my PenPal, how can I reach them?

Unless you share contact details via the post with your PenPal, you won’t be able to reach them over the platform. However, once you receive your postcard, you can mark it as received to check out their profile!

Postcards and the post
Payment queries
How much does a postcard cost?

Postcards start at $1.99. To anywhere… In the word. (Yep, including postage)
XXL cards cost an additional $5 and XL an additional $3

What payment methods do you accept?

All the usual suspects: PayPal, credit card (including Visa, Mastercard, American Express), instant bank transfer and credit balance.
By topping up your credit balance, you can buy lots of cards before you have to enter payment details again. (Plus you might be able to save by using a bulk credit deal)

How do I top up my account balance?

Head to 'Buy Credits' under your account. You’ll be able to choose how much you'd like to top up by and have a clear view of how many postcards you can send with it. You might even get a few cheeky free postcard credits thrown in...

Technical queries
How big is a postcard?

Standard postcards are printed in the traditional 4 x 6 inches format.

But feel free to upgrade to an XL or an XXL postcard (8.5 x 11 inches). These come in a free envelope.

What resolution and size should my photos be?

Your photos should be a resolution of at least one megapixel and under 10MB. The size of your photo will be automatically resized and can be cropped, adjusted or zoomed as desired.

3:2 proportions or square photos from your instagram are absolutely fine.

Pro tip: Avoid using compressed photos sent by WhatsApp etc. to ensure a high quality print.

What postcard options and extras do I have?

Get fancy and add a protective envelope to your postcard for $1 extra.
Upgrade to an XL postcard for $3 or an XXL postcard for $5.

How long can my postcard message be?

You can write a message using up to 450 characters. Bear in mind that the size and the font selected will affect the number of characters available.

The post
When will my penpal receive their postcard?

All postcards are printed and handed over to the post from one of our four international printers within 24 hours of you clicking send (excluding weekends)
Postal systems across the world vary a LOT. Here are some approximate delivery expectations:

  • USA: 3-5 business days
  • UK: 2-5 business days
  • Germany: 1-2 business days
  • Rest of Europe: 3-5 business days
  • Australia: 5-7 business days
  • Rest of the World: up to 14 business days

What if my postcard doesn't arrive?

If your postcard hasn’t arrived for one month or longer after you received a notification saying it was on its way, get in contact with:, who will resolve the issue or have the card reprinted and resent (free). Postal systems aren’t perfect 😉

How many postcards can I send?

You can have up to 10 new PenPals everyday.

What can I send on PenPal?

Sometimes it’s the smaller things in life, and sometimes it’s… not. If you want to make an even bigger impression, consider upgrading your postcard to XXL (8.5” x 11”), adding an envelope or sending it premium.

Should I send my card in an envelope?

If you like, you can add this on during the checkout process. Envelopes prevent cards getting mucky on their journey to you and keep the contents private, however they are not necessary.

Why haven't I got any postcards yet?

Are you a PenPal newbie (under two months)? Then you might not have been paired with someone yet or your postcard may still be on its way. Hold tight!

Have you double checked your address? Is it correct?

Have you already received as many postcards as you have sent? Then it’s time for you to make a new PenPal!

(If your question still hasn’t been answered, contact

How come I’m getting way more postcards from a particular country?

Probably just because it’s a PenPal hotspot. If you want to put your country on the (PenPal) map, how about inviting some of your friends? 👫

My account and profile
How do I use my profile?

Your profile is your space to write all about your lovely self. This is what your PenPals will use for inspiration when they write to you, so consider adding some talking points. You’ll find spaces to add the languages you speak or are learning, your hobbies, your interests and so on.

Everything that's public is marked clearly as visible.

My account and profile
Can I change my profile picture, text, address and username?

Yep, you can change anything at any point. To change your profile picture or profile text, click edit on the appropriate profile subsection. To change your username or address, head to account settings.

How can I delete my account?

If you want to pause your account temporarily, you can deactivate your account in Account Settings.

But if you’re really sure you want to leave your PenPals behind, then head to your account settings, where you’ll find the option to permanently close your account.

Note that we will not be able to recover your account once deleted.

I want to give feedback to PenPal. Where can I contact you?

We love hearing your feedback, questions and (our personal favourite) compliments. Get in touch with us here: