Buy Stamps Now Before the Price Goes Up: What You Need to Know

What’s happening

The Post Office intends to increase the price of first-class stamps from 60 cents to 63 cents starting in late January 2023.

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.

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The cost of sending a letter is about to get a little more expensive. The US Postal Service plans to raise the price of first-class stamps in early 2023 to account for inflation and the agency’s large budget deficit.

According to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, by the end of 2022, the USPS will exceed its planned budget by over $1 billion.

Pending approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission, first-class Forever stamps will increase from 60 cents to 63 cents on January 22, 2023. First-class stamps previously increased in July, from 58 cents to 60 cents.

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

Here’s what you need to know about new stamp prices, including what you can do to delay paying more for postage. For more Money Tips, learn the cheapest day to fly and the truth about financial advice on TikTok.

How much is the price of stamps increasing?

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

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

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.

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 just a modest $1.50 handling fee. 

Will the Post Office raise prices again?

The latest rate hike is part of 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. 

In October 2021, the USPS started new service standards for first-class mail, 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 just two or three.

The price of a first-class stamp increased from 58 cents to 60 cents in July 2022, just six months before this next increase would take effect.

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 on the USPS, find out about the Delivering for America plan and learn how to see what’s coming before it lands in your mailbox.

Updated Nov. 4 to note pricing at USPS and Amazon.

source: cnet.com