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

What’s happening

The Post intends to increase the price of first-class stamps from 60 cents to 63 cents from the end of January 2023.

Why it matters

The rate hike reflects the agency’s attempts to rein in its massive debt: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy estimates the USPS will be $1 billion short by the end of 2022.

The US Postal Service plans to raise the price of first-class stamps next year to accommodate persistent inflation and get out of debt, the agency announced this month.

Subject to postal regulator approval, premium forever stamps will increase by three cents from 60 cents to 63 cents from the end of January 2023.

The USPS has faced massive cost overruns: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said it will exceed its projected budget by more than $1 billion by the end of 2022. But even with the new rates, the US Postal Service’s rates “remain among the cheapest in the world,” the USPS said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know about the new stamp prices, including the new rates, when they take effect and what you can do to delay making a higher payment.

How much are stamp prices going up?

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

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First-rate stamps would rise from 60 cents to 63 cents, while international letters and postcards would cost $1.45 instead of $1.40.

product

current price

Planned price 2023

letters (1 ounce)

60 cents

63 cents

Letters (measured 1 ounce)

57 cents

60 cents

Domestic postcards

44 cents

48 cents

International postcards

$1.40

$1.45

International Letter (1 ounce)

$1.40

$1.45

When will the stamp price increase come into effect?

The price of Forever stamps and other postage will increase on January 22, 2023.

How can I save on stamps before the price increase?

Forever stamps are always valid, regardless of when you bought them or what price you paid. So if you buy Forever stamps in bulk before January 22, 2023, avoid the price hike while supplies last.

Will Swiss Post raise prices again?

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

Mailbox in New York

The Post Office has also asked permission to increase the price of registered mail and charge for PO Boxes and money orders.

John Smith/VIEWpress via Getty Images

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

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

The price of a first-class stamp rose from 58 cents to 60 cents in July 2022, just six months before that next increase went into effect.

The Postal Service said it also requires price adjustments for special services, “including registered mail, PO box and money order fees, and the cost of purchasing insurance when shipping an item,” but gave no details.

For more information on the USPS, see Learn about the Delivering for America plan and learn how to see what’s coming before it hits your inbox.

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