What Is the Difference Between a Shipping and Billing Address?

When you order something online, you will see two different spots where you need to confirm your address. One is the shipping address, while the other is the billing address. People often wonder why there are two different places; for many, they will be the same.

The shipping address is the address where the item should be delivered, while the billing address should match your statement for your billing method. If your credit card statement is mailed to your office, that will be your billing address. You might also want to ship your item to a family member or even a vacation spot.

It is important to understand both types of addresses so that you have no trouble getting your items delivered accurately. Continue reading to learn what you need to know about billing and shipping addresses.

This article is part of the Homeowner’s Guide to Navigating the US Postal Service.

What Is the Difference Between a Shipping and Billing Address?

When you purchase items online, they will ask you for both a shipping address and a billing address.

Sometimes there will be a box you can check if both are the same, and then you only need to enter one address. However, there are times when you will have to type in both addresses even if they are the same.

Your shipping address is always the address where you want the items to be sent. This can be your home, work, a vacation home, or someone else’s house.

If you are sending a gift, you will put the recipient’s address in the shipping address spot.

Your billing address must match the address where you receive your statement for your method of payment.

Some people receive their billing statements at work, in which case this would be the billing address.

Many people receive their statements at home, so they will use the same address for both spots if they are sending the item to themselves.

Where Can I Ship My Items?

You can often ship the items you purchase anywhere you like. However, some stores require that you ship to your billing address.

This often applies to more expensive items because they are concerned about credit card fraud. They need to be careful because fraudulent purchases can cost them a lot of money.

As an example Walmart notes the following in its website regarding shipping to a non-billing address:

If your order is shipping to an address other than the billing address associated with your credit card, we may contact you to list the alternate address with your credit card company. To prevent fraudulent use of your card, your order won’t be processed until your payment is confirmed.

Other stores will let you ship your items to anyone at any address. You can send gifts to friends and family, and you can send yourself items when you are out of town.

The important thing is to know what the store where you are shopping allows. Many stores are often flexible and allow you to ship your items where you want them to go.

Why Is it Important to Make Sure Both Addresses Are Right?

The billing address must match the address on your credit card statement. If it doesn’t, the charge might be denied.

Most stores use software that flags the transaction if the address is incorrect. You might be given a chance to correct it if this happens.

The billing address is how stores confirm that you are authorized to use the credit card.

The shipping address is a little trickier because the store has no idea where you want to ship your item.

If you make a mistake, they will not catch it. The items could get lost in the mail or delivered to someone else.

It is important to check and double-check your shipping address before you confirm payment.

What Are Some Typical Address Errors?

There are a few different address errors that are more common than others. They can include a small typo or the completely wrong zip code.

The zip code is the most important part of the address because this is the destination post office.

If you misspell a street name, the post office and other delivery companies often know where to deliver it.

Another common mistake is the street number. If you have a typo here, the item will probably be returned to the sender, but it could be delivered to the wrong address.

The best way to prevent issues is to make sure that you type your billing and shipping addresses accurately.


The main difference between a shipping address and a mailing address is that your billing address must match the address on your credit card statement.

The shipping address is where you want your items delivered. It is important to make sure that you enter both correctly so that you will receive your items in a timely fashion.

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