Jan 19, 2024 - Business

Price of postage stamps, USPS rates increase again Sunday

Forever postage stamp on yellow envelope

The United States Postal Service has offered Forever stamps since 2007. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Postage stamp prices are on the rise and will increase by another 2 cents starting Sunday.

Why it matters: The U.S. Postal Service's third rate hike in 12 months will push the price of a first-class stamp up to 68 cents.

  • The Postal Service said in a statement that the price adjustments are needed as "inflationary pressures on operating expenses continue."

The big picture: This is the 18th stamp rate change since 2000 and comes as Americans continue to reduce what they send via snail mail.

  • Rates last went up in July 2023. Before that, they rose in January 2023 and July 2022.
  • Between the 1970s and 2000, rates increased three to four times a decade, USPS data shows.

Zoom in: The number of pieces of mail handled by the post office has been on the decline in recent years as more people pay bills online and fewer send physical thank you cards.

When stamp prices go up

Sunday, Jan. 21, is the first day of the increase. Postage for a 1-ounce letter increases to 68 cents, up from 66 cents.

Other increases are:

  • Metered 1-ounce letters move to 64 cents, up from 63 cents.
  • Postcards sent domestically are 53 cents, up from 51 cents.
  • International postcards and 1-ounce letters will be $1.55, a 5-cent increase.
  • Costs to send a letter by certified mail and insure packages will also increase.

Forever stamps price increase 2024

Flashback: The Postal Service first started selling Forever stamps in 2007, when they cost 41 cents.

  • Since 2011, all first-class commemorative stamps have been issued as Forever stamps.

Be smart: Before the July increase, many Axios readers shared that they planned to stock up on Forever stamps to save money by locking in current prices.

More USPS price increases expected

More stamp price increases are expected as part of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's 10-year Delivering for America plan "to achieve financial sustainability."

  • Kevin Yoder, executive director of the advocacy group Keep US Posted, told Axios if the twice-a-year rate increases continue, he estimates a first-class stamp by 2030 could be as high as $1.20.
  • "Services are going down, costs are going up, and prices are now going up quicker and more often than any time in American history," said Yoder, a former Republican congressman from Kansas.

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