The Cost of Stamps: A Complete Guide to the Price of Stamps & 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 or a postcard? In July 2023, USPS raised the price of Forever Stamps for First-Class Mail, along with its other mailing products like metered letters, as well as domestic and international postcards. Here’s everything you need to know

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USPS Raised the Cost of Forever Stamps to 66 Cents Each in July 2023

In April of 2023, USPS filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission to increase the price of Forever Stamps for a single piece of First-Class Mail to 66 cents each. This represents a 3-cent increase from their previous price of 63 cents each. USPS has instituted price increases for its other mailing products, including metered letters, domestic postcards, and international letters. We have listed the price increases for the Postal Service’s mailing products below:

  • Letters (1 oz) – Up to 66 cents from 63 cents
  • Metered Letters (1 oz) – Up to 63 cents from 60 cents
  • Letters Additional Ounce(s) – No change at 24 cents
  • Domestic Postcards – Up to 51 cents from 48 cents
  • International Letters & Postcards – Up to $1.50 from $1.45

How Often Does USPS Raise the Price of Stamps?

The Postal Service typically doesn’t raise the price of First-Class stamps every year; in fact, these cost increases actually occur less often than USPS raises rates for its shipping services like Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express. During one year that USPS announced it would increase the price of stamps, USPS increased the prices of its shipping services a total of three times (in 2021). 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.

In recent years, however, USPS has implemented more price increases than it had during its entire history, beginning in 1775. In fact, since the start of the 21st century, USPS has raised the cost of stamps for First-Class Mail 16 times, compared to just 17 times for the entire previous 100 years. To see how much a First-Class Mail stamp has cost since the year 1885, check out this article from Fast Company.

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, in several of the months of 2022 and 2023, inflation levels in the U.S. reached their highest point in decades).

While an increase of a couple of cents 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 3 cents each amounts to a total increase in daily First-Class Mail revenue of about $12,750,000.

Forever Stamps Don’t Expire

Even though the rising costs of stamps are 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. As 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 cost when you purchased them!

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  1. Joyce Garrity

    can i still use my for ever stamps to mail out bills or etc.or do i need to buy new stamps since the price went up?to mail out things.

    • Kevin Crosby

      “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 [sic] when you purchased them.”


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