You might want to stock up on Forever stamps by Saturday — if you still use stamps, that is. Come Sunday, they will be about 5% more expensive.
The price of a first-class stamp — the postage needed to mail a 1-ounce letter — will jump from 63 cents to 66 cents.
This price change is among those that the U.S. Postal Service requested in April.
The Postal Regulatory Commission, the federal agency that oversees the USPS, has since put its stamp of approval on the request, with the changes effective July 9.
So, you have one more day to stock up on postage at the current rates.
Other increases for first-class mail prices that take effect July 9 include:
- Metered letters (1 ounce): 63 cents (up from 60 cents)
- Domestic postcards: 51 cents (up from 48 cents)
- International postcards: $1.50 (up from $1.45)
- International letters (1 ounce): $1.50 (up from $1.45)
If this feels like deja vu, it’s because these prices also increased in January 2023. The cost of a first-class stamp, for example, went from 60 cents to 63 cents at that time.
Not all prices are rising on July 9, however. Those that will remain the same include the additional cost to mail letters weighing more than 1 ounce, which remains 24 cents per additional ounce.
A list of all prices that will be in effect as of July 9 is available on the Postal Service’s Postal Explorer website.
The increases that take effect Sunday are part of the Postal Service’s 10-year plan, it said in April, also citing inflation:
“As operating expenses fueled by inflation continue to rise and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan.”
The Postal Service relies on sales of postage and other products and services to fund its operations. It generally does not receive tax dollars for operating expenses.
Beware of phony stamps
If you can’t make it to a post office by Saturday, you might be tempted to order stamps online. Just be aware that counterfeit stamps are a thing — an increasingly common thing, according to the U.S. Postal Inspector Service, which enforces federal laws regarding crimes that involve the postal system.
So if you see a discount on Forever stamps on social media or an online marketplace, for example, the deal is probably too good to be true. After all, if the Postal Service could afford to cut you a deal, it probably wouldn’t be hiking prices.
To avoid becoming a victim of fraud — that is, losing money and getting stuck with worthless stamps — the Postal Inspector Service advises that you:
- Don’t buy stamps in bulk, especially if they are steeply discounted. “Counterfeit stamps are often sold in bulk quantities at a significant discount — anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of their face value. That’s a tell-tale sign they’re bogus,” the Postal Inspector Service says.
- Buy stamps from an Approved Postal Provider. For instructions on how to search for one, visit the USPS’ “What is an Approved Postal Provider?” webpage.
Another alternative to driving to the post office to buy stamps is ordering them online directly from the Postal Service. To do so, visit USPS.com.