Facebook Twitter

Postage prices just went up. Odds are you didn’t notice

The cost of a first-class stamp is 60 cents, a 2 cent increase since last year but a 76% increase in cost since 2001

SHARE Postage prices just went up. Odds are you didn’t notice
merlin_2931264.jpg

A stamp display sits in front of Betsy Tate while she works at a U.S. Postal Service office in Tooele on Thursday, July 14, 2022.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

The cost of a first-class “forever” stamp postage just went up to 60 cents, a 2 cent increase over 2021 rates.

The U.S. Postal Service says inflation and increased operating costs necessitated the price hike, an increase of 3.45% since last year. The cost of first-class stamps has climbed 76% since 2001 and 20% since 2018.

“As inflation and increased operating expenses continue, these price adjustments will help with the implementation of the Delivering for America plan,” the Postal Service said in a statement, referring to its plan to invest $40 billion in upgrading its infrastructure.

Even with the new rates, the Postal Service will continue to provide the lowest letter-mail postage rates in the industrialized world, according to the statement.

While no one wants to pay more for anything, rising postage rates pale in comparison to sharp price increases fuel, food and housing.

Unlike fuel and food, which are regularly consumed, Americans have found other ways to communicate and pay their bills.

merlin_2931292.jpg

A customer walks into a U.S. Postal Service office in Tooele on Thursday, July 14, 2022.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

Last year, 13.5 billion letters were mailed out, which is roughly two pieces of mail per U.S household per week, according to a new CNN report.

The number of individual letters mailed last year fell 8.4% from the prior year prior, and is down 45% from a decade ago, CNN reported.

Another factor contributing to Americans’ oblivion to rising postal rates is “forever” stamps. People who still have “forever” stamps likely won’t feel the pinch of the price increase until they need to buy more stamps.

If a consumer still has “forever” stamps purchased 11 years ago, when the U.S. Postal Service started selling first-class stamps as “forever” stamps, no additional postage will be needed.

Other postage increases that went into effect on July 10:

  • Metered letters — 57 cents from 53 cents.
  • Domestic postcards — 44 cents from 40 cents.
  • Outbound international letters — $1.40 from $1.30.

First-class mail comprised less than a third of the Postal Service’s revenue last year, with individual letters tallying less than 10%. The Postal Service makes most of its money from parcels and packages.