Stamps for first-class mail now hitting the shelves

Stamps for first-class mail now hitting the shelves

Anyone who needs stamps might want to head outside and grab them before the U.S. Postal Service's latest price hikes go into effect this weekend.

The cost of a lifetime stamp for first-class mail is now up from 63 cents Sunday to 66 cents, part of the increased mailing prices approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission earlier this year. The USPS said it needed more money in part because of high inflation.

As operating expenses fueled by inflation continue to rise and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan, the USPS said in a press release in April.

Under the price changes, the value of sending a metered letter will rise from 60 to 63 cents, and sending postcards will also set customers back a little more. The cost of sending a domestic postcard is up from 48 cents to 51 cents, and the cost of sending international postcards and letters is up from $1.45 a piece to $1.50.

The USPS has raised stamp prices by 32% since early 2019 in an effort to boost its revenue as mail volume decreases. Last year, the first-class mail volume fell to its lowest level in 50 years, and it is down by more than 50% since 2006.

In April 2022, President Biden signed a bill that gave USPS about $50 billion in financial relief over a decade. Since 2007, USPS has reported a net loss of more than $90 billion.

Congress also forgave a $110 billion COVID-19 U.S. Treasury loan made to AmericanPS in 2020 and awarded USPS $3 billion last year to finance electric vehicle purchases and charging infrastructure.