I'm having little issues understanding what S.A.S.E and S.A.E. mean exactly. The description on Wikipedia is a little bit confusing because it says that it's literally the same. But from the context on some qrz.com pages I get an impression that there is a difference.

As I understand, S.A.S.E means a filled envelope where I'm a receiver and the OP I had QSO with is a sender, also the envelope has the postage stamps that would be accepted by the postal service in OP's country. The obvious issue here is that it's unlikely that Russian postage stamps will be accepted by US postal service, not mentioning that service prices differ. I asked this question in a local post office - there is no other way (at least in Russia) to pay for a reply mail except postage stamps, and they can't promise that Russian postage stamps will be accepted worldwide or even specifically in US. In other words, if OP accepts only S.A.S.E there is no way for me to receive his QSL card.

S.A.E, as I understand it, is the same but without postage stamps. In other words, OP asks only to include a filled envelope. To put a few "green stamps" (US dollars) might be a good idea, but it's not strictly necessary unless it's mentioned explicitly.

Here are a few examples from qrz.com:

If you want a paper QSL it will be necessary for you to send me your card via Direct Mail with either a S.A.S.E. or a S.A.E.

My understanding is that just to include a S.A.E will be OK. OP doesn't ask for any "green stamps" but to include 1 or 2 GS might be a good idea nevertheless. (Is there any chance that including green stamps in this case may offence him or her?)

For direct QSLs, send SASE or SAE w/green stamps.

OP asks for S.A.E. and green stamps, in plural. Thus I have to send S.A.E and at least two green stamps.

Is my understanding of S.A.S.E and S.A.E. right or there is something I got not exactly right?


2 Answers 2


In my opinion, wikipedia is wrong on their definition of SAE, despite their reference in the footnote. In fact, even that reference gives two definitions of SAE. Perhaps their are regional differences which I'm not aware.

Since my childhood SAE has always meant "self addressed envelope". You put your own address on an envelope, in the recipient's portion of the envelope (the center). You might also but your address as the return address as well. It was the expectation the person or company you were sending the SAE would attach the proper postage. In my experience, you sent an SAE usually to a company, as they had the financial resources to pay the postage. And the returned item might require odd postage you might not know about.

A SASE was then a SAE with a stamp attached: self addressed stamped envelope.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In the UK the term SAE refers to a Stamped Addressed Envelope, as the ‘self’ is implied anyway, and the world prefers a TLA to an ETLA. $\endgroup$
    – Scott Earle
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to ham.stackexchange.com! $\endgroup$
    – rclocher3
    Commented Mar 5, 2020 at 17:26

"Green stamps" originally meant something else. In this context, it's slang.

Since International Reply Coupons are no longer sold or accepted, it could mean postage stamps or money.

In some countries it is illegal to possess foreign currency etc., and you'll have to find out whether that is the case in your country.


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