Stamp prices will rise to 68 cents in January — the fifth hike in less than three years. This probably won't be the only stamp price increase in 2024, either.
It's part of a course correction by the U.S. Postal Service, which has been aggressively raising stamp prices since August 2021. In an announcement, officials attributed the price increases to “inflationary pressures on operating expenses and the effects of a previously defective pricing model.”
The USPS is supposed to sustain itself financially rather than rely on taxpayer dollars, but the agency has been losing money for more than 15 years, according to an August report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The USPS’s expenses continue to grow faster than revenues, according to the GAO report, which also notes that mail volumes are falling for some of the agency’s most profitable products.
The latest round of rate changes, including the increase from 66 cents to 68 cents for a "Forever" stamp, is scheduled for Jan. 21.
If you send a lot of mail, you can consider stocking up on these stamps now before the 2-cent price increase takes effect as they will work indefinitely.
How much stamps will cost in 2024
The price increases this January probably won’t be the only round of changes in 2024. The USPS has been raising prices twice per year, each January and July, and that pacing will likely continue, according to the GAO report.
When the newest rate hikes take effect, the price of a Forever stamp will be 24% higher than the January-2019-to-August-2021 price of 55 cents.
Forever stamps can be used for sending all regular-letter mail weighing less than 1 ounce. As the name suggests, Forever stamps can be used at any time after purchase, regardless of whether the postage rate goes up in the future.
Beyond Forever stamps, the USPS is increasing prices in January for most of its other products and services, too. The price of a domestic postcard will increase from 51 cents to 53 cents, while the price of mailing an international letter will go up from $1.50 to $1.55. Metered mail postage will rise from 63 cents to 64 cents.
In its announcement, the USPS said its prices will continue to be "among the most affordable in the world." More information about the USPS's price changes can be found on the agency's website.
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