Why You’ll Want to Stock Up on Forever Stamps Before January

What’s happening

The US Post Office is raising the price of first-class stamps, packages and other services in late January.

Why it matters

The rate hike on stamps is due partly to the Post Office’s massive debt: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says the USPS will fall $1 billion short by the end of 2022.

The US Postal Service is about to increase the price of postage. The Postal Regulatory Commission has approved the USPS’s request for a postage price hike next month, the second increase in just six months. Starting Jan. 22, 2023, first-class stamps will increase from 60 cents to 63 cents. 

Prices for international mail, metered letters and some shipping services will also go up, the USPS confirmed in November. 

Critics have faulted the Post Office for the increases: The National Postal Policy Council, a trade association for large businesses that use letter mail, said in submitted comments on the proposal that “two substantial increases in six months imposes unwelcome burdens.”

But the UPSP calls the new rates “competitive” and maintained “prices of the U.S. Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world,” the agency said in an October statement.

Here’s what you need to know about new stamp prices, including what you can do to delay paying more for postage. 

Read on: What’s the Cheapest Way to Ship a Package: UPS, FedEx or USPS?

How much is the price of stamps increasing?

With the Postal Regulatory Commission approving the price hike in November, the cost of first-class mail will go up 4.2%, according to the USPS.

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


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



International Letter (1 oz.)



How much are shipping rates increasing?

The price increase does impact packages, as well. Priority Mail commercial rates will increase by 3.6%, “well below the rate of inflation,” the USPS said. 

Overall, though, the agency said Priority Mail service prices will increase about 5.5%, with Priority Mail Express increasing by 6.6% and First-Class Package Service by 7.8%.

There is no price increase for Parcel Select Ground or USPS Connect Local, which allows businesses to offer same-day and next-day delivery for local customers. In addition, some Priority Mail flat-rate mail will be cheaper compared with the temporary rate adjustments in place amid the pandemic and the busy holiday season.

More details on the new prices can be found on the Postal Service’s Postal Explorer website.

Domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate changes

Product Current New
Small flat-rate box $10.40 $10.20
Medium flat-rate box $17.05 $17.10
Large flat-rate box $22.45 $22.80
APO/FPO large flat-rate box $20.95 $21.20
Regular flat-rate envelope $9.90 $9.65
Legal flat-rate envelope $10.20 $9.95
Padded flat-rate envelope $10.60 $10.40

When will the stamp price increase go into effect?

The price change for Forever stamps, postcards and other postage and shipping will go into effect on Jan. 22, 2023.

The last increase was in July 2022, when a first-class stamp went from 58 cents to 60 cents.

Forever stamps from Rankin-Bass' Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Holiday 2022 Forever stamps from Rankin-Bass’ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


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.

You can buy stamps at online retailers like Amazon or directly at the US Postal Service website.

Will the Post Office raise prices again?

It’s possible. The rate hikes are part of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year Delivering for America plan, intended to chip away at the USPS’ mammoth debt. The agency 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.

The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, relying on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

DeJoy’s plans include increasing postage rates, lengthening delivery times and reducing post office hours. In October 2021, the USPS started lengthening delivery times for about a third of its volume, meaning that letters, parcels and magazines that took two or three days can now take up to five to arrive.

The Postal Service is also reportedly looking to up fees for special services, including certified mail, post office boxes, money orders and postal insurance.

While the nonprofit NPCC urged the Postal Regulatory Commission to consider whether it could discourage the Postal Service from filing multiple rate changes in a twelve-month period, but the Commission said “nothing in the statute or regulations dictates the frequency of price adjustments or the timing of when they are to occur.”

It did encourage the Post Office to set a schedule for price adjustments “that minimizes costs and disruptions.”


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