The Cost of Stamps: A Complete Guide to the Price of Stamps and US Postage

Learn about the reasoning behind why the US Postal Service raises the cost of postage stamps every so often
why is the price of stamps going up
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Need to send a letter? USPS raised the price of Forever stamps to 58 cents each in 2021…and since Forever stamps last—well, forever—a lot of people find themselves wondering why the price of stamps ever goes up in the first place. Now, the US Postal Service has announced yet another price increase to the cost of stamps beginning in July 2022.

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USPS is Raising the Cost of Stamps to 60 Cents Each in July of 2022

Earlier this month (April of 2022), USPS filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission to increase the price of Forever Stamps for a single piece of First-Class Mail to 60 cents each. This represents a 2-cent increase from their current price of 58 cents each. USPS has also proposed price increases to its other mailing products, including metered letters, domestic postcards, and international letters. We have listed the planned price increases for the Postal Service’s mailing products below:

  • Letters (1 oz) – Up to 60 cents from 58 cents
  • Metered Letters (1 oz) – Up to 57 cents from 53 cents
  • Letters Additional Ounce(s) – Up to 24 cents from 20 cents
  • Domestic Postcards – Up to 44 cents from 40 cents
  • International Letters – Up to $1.40 from $1.30

How Often Does USPS Raise the Price of Stamps?

USPS doesn’t raise the price of First-Class stamps every year; in fact, these cost increases actually occur much less often than USPS raises rates for its shipping services like First Class Package and Priority Mail. In fact, during the same year that USPS announced it would increase the price of stamps, USPS increased the prices of its shipping services a total of three times. The cost of First-Class stamps, on the other hand, tends to stay around the same level for a couple of years or so before USPS announces a price change.

Pro Tip: Mailing and shipping describe two different beasts altogether; in a nutshell, mailing refers to sending letters and documents, while shipping refers to sending goods inside of packages. If you’re looking for some shipping help, feel free to check out our Shipping Basics archives and run a search for what you’re looking for!

The Price of Stamps Goes Up to Account for Rising Costs and Inflation

USPS raises the price of stamps to account for rising costs for fuel, transportation, and general operations. They also raise prices in small increments to hedge against normal inflation levels (although, at the time of publishing this article, inflation levels are the highest they’ve been been in decades).

While an increase of a couple of cents or per stamp so may not move the needle much for someone sending a letter, it goes a long way for the Postal Service to offset those costs, considering that USPS processes and delivers over 425 million pieces of mail per day! When you do the math with that figure, increasing the cost of First-Class stamps by 2 cents each amounts to a total increase in daily First-Class Mail revenue of about $8,500,000.

Forever Stamps Don’t Expire

Even though rising costs of stamps is inevitable, you can do something about it! If rising mailing costs are a concern, the best way to hedge against it is to purchase rolls of Forever Stamps and keep them handy. Like their name suggests, Forever Stamps don’t ever expire. As long as the US Postal Service is around, you can keep your Forever stamps and use them whenever you need to send letters…no matter how much they costed when you purchased them.

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