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Stock Up on Stamps Before the Price Goes Up Again

What’s happening

The Post Office intends to increase the price of first-class stamps to 63 cents in January.

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.

Sending a letter is about to get pricier: The US Postal Service plans to raise the cost of first-class stamps in 2023.

Pending approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission, the price of stamps will increase from 60 cents to 63 cents on Jan. 22. Prices for international mail and metered letters are also going up. 

Even with the new rates, the “prices of the U.S. Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world,” USPS said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know about new stamp prices, including what you can do to delay paying more for postage.

How much is the price of stamps increasing?

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

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

Product

Current Price

Planned 2023 Price

Letters (1 oz.)

60 cents

63 cents

Letters (metered 1 oz.)

57 cents

60 cents

Domestic Postcards

44 cents

48 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. This follows the July 2022 increase of the price of a first-class stamp from 58 cents to 60 cents.

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.

While you can buy stamps at online retailers like Amazon, they’re generally marked up beyond the current price, so you’ll usually pay a premium — often a big one. Your better bet online is to buy directly from the US Postal Service, which ships stamps for free and adds a $1.50 handling fee. 

Will the Post Office raise prices again?

The latest rate hike is part of Postmaster General Louis 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. The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, relying on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

In October 2021, it started new service standards for first-class mail by 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 two or three.

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 financial tips, learn the cheapest day to fly and the pitfalls of money advice on TikTok.

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