U.S. Postal Service Eyes Price Hike, Posts Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Forever stamps will cost you 2 cents more if the Postal Service increases are approved.

mailbox with cash in it
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The price of a Forever stamp could cost you 2 cents more next year if the U.S. Postal Service's proposed 2% price increase is approved.

That would amount to an increase on the first-class-mail stamp's current price of 66 cents, to 68 cents, said the agency, which also announced its 2023 holiday shipping schedule.

“The prices of the Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world,” the agency said in a statement about the proposed price increases.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

The planned increases, which have been approved by the governors of the Postal Service, are awaiting approval by the Postal Regulatory Commission.

If approved, they would become effective January 21, 2024 and include:

  • Letters (1 ounce): A 2 cent increase to 68 cents
  • Letters (metered 1 ounce): A 1 cent increase to 64 cents
  • Domestic Postcards: A 2-cent increase to 53 cents
  • International Postcards: A 5-cent increase to $1.55
  • International Letter (1 ounce): A 5-cent increase to $1.55

The additional-ounce price would remain the same at 24 cents.

The Postal Service said it is also seeking price adjustments for its Special Services products, which include certified mail, box rental fees, money order fees and the cost of purchasing insurance for mail.

Keeping up with inflation

The action would be the Postal Service's fifth increase since 2019, according to its website. The agency raised rates once in August 2021 and July 2022 and twice so far this year, in January and July.

The agency cites ongoing inflationary pressures on operating expenses as well as "the effects of a previously defective pricing model" that are still being felt. It said that the increases are needed to provide "much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan."

2023 holiday shipping deadlines

The Postal Service also announced that it will not have a peak, or demand, surcharge this holiday season. The agency has also introduced a new shipping option, USPS Ground Advantage, to ship packages with day-certain delivery of 2 to 5 business days based on distance.

To get your package to its destination by December 25 this year, these are the Postal Service's deadlines for destinations within the Lower 48 states:

  • USPS Ground Advantage — Dec. 16
  • First-Class Mail (including greeting cards) — Dec. 16
  • Priority Mail — Dec. 18
  • Priority Mail Express — Dec. 20

For more destinations and information on international and other shipping services, visit the Postal Services Holiday Newsroom.

Related Content

Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.