Time to buy forever stamps again



Stamp Prices Are Going Up. Here’s How to Avoid the Increase

Dan Avery

Oct. 18, 2022 9:00 a.m. PT

US postage stamps

Getty Images

What’s happening

The Post Office intends to increase the price of first-class stamps from 60 cents to 63 cents starting in late January 2023.

Why it matters

The rate hike reflects the agency’s attempts to stem staggering debt: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy estimates the USPS will fall $1 billion short by the end of 2022.

The US Postal Service is planning on raising the price of first-class stamps next year to account for ongoing inflation and climb out of debt, the agency announced this month.

Pending approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission, first-class Forever stamps will increase by three cents, from 60 cents to 63 cents, starting in late January 2023.

The USPS has been facing massive cost overruns: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has said that, by the end of 2022, it will exceed its planned budget by more than $1 billion. But even with the new rates, “the prices of the U.S. Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world,” the USPS said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know about new stamp prices, including what the new rates will be, when they will go into effect and what you can do to delay paying more.

How much is the price of stamps increasing?

The price changes have already been approved by the governors of the US Postal Service. If the Postal Regulatory Commission approves them, as expected, first-class mail will go up 4.2%, according to the USPS.

First-class stamps would increase from 60 cents to 63 cents, while international letters and postcards would cost $1.45, up from $1.40.

ProductCurrent PricePlanned 2023 Price
Letters (1 oz.)60 cents63 cents
Letters (metered 1 oz.)57 cents60 cents
Domestic Postcards44 cents48 cents
International Postcards$1.40$1.45
International Letter (1 oz.)$1.40$1.45

When will the stamp price increase go into effect?

The price of Forever stamps and other postage will go up on Jan. 22, 2023.

How can I save money on stamps before the price hike?

Forever stamps are always valid, regardless of when you purchased them or the price you paid. So buying Forever stamps in bulk before Jan. 22, 2023, means you’ll avoid the price increase for as long as your supply holds.

Will the Post Office raise prices again?

The latest rate hike is part of DeJoy’s 10-year Delivering for America plan, intended to chip away at the USPS’ massive debt. (The Postal Service had $188 billion in debts and unfunded liabilities at the end of fiscal year 2020, the Government Accountability Office reported, mostly from underfunding of workers’ pensions and retiree health care benefits.

Mailbox in New York
The Post Office has also requested permission to increase the price of certified mail and raise fees for post office boxes and money orders.John Smith/VIEWpress via Getty Images

DeJoy’s plans include increasing postage rates, lengthening delivery times and reducing post office hours. 

In October 2021, the USPS started new service standards for first-class mail, lengthening delivery times for about a third of its volume. That means that letters, parcels and magazines now take up to five days to arrive, instead of just two or three.

The price of a first-class stamp increased from 58 cents to 60 cents in July 2022, just six months before this next increase would take effect.  

The Postal Service said it is also requesting price adjustments for special services, “including certified mail, fees on post office boxes and money orders and the cost to purchase insurance when mailing an item,” but did not include specifics.

For more on the USPS, find out about the Delivering for America plan and learn how to see what’s coming before it lands in your mailbox.

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