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Currently, the price of a USPS Forever Postage Stamp is $0.50.

On January 29, 2019 it will increase to $0.55.

 Rates manually verified by site administrator on December 6, 2018.


The largest-ever increase in the price of a First Class stamp will go into effect on January 29, 2019. The cost of a forever stamp will increase 5 cents to be $0.55. The Post Office requested the increase on October 10, 2018, and it was approved on November 20, 2018.

If you want to be reminded in January to buy stamps before the rates increase, sign up for my notification list in the blue box below.

Several Other Key Rates:

  • Additional ounce rate: currently $0.21, will change to $0.15.
  • Global Forever Stamp: $1.15
  • Scroll down the page for some additional rates.

An Alternative

There’s a reason why first class mail volume is down. It’s much more affordable to send email. When possible, instead of buying stamps, I recommend you try sending an email newsletter using the same service I use.

You also help support this site when you sign up for a free 30-day trial at iContact:

There is a lot more info on this page if you keep scrolling!

Additional information about the January 29, 2019 Postage Rate Increase

The October 10, 2018 Postal Service notification about the proposed upcoming 10% price increase puts the the price of a Forever Stamp up to 55 cents, a 10% increase in the price of a stamp. Historically the Post Office has been limited to raising the cost for stamps according to the official inflation rates. Approximately one year ago (at the end of 2018) the Post Office received regulatory approval to raise the price of postage “inflation + 2%”. Well, that didn’t last long! The current official rate of inflation for 2018 is 2.3%, and an increase of 2.3% + 2% would have instead increased the the price of a stamp to only $0.52, not $0.55.

The January 29, 2019 price changes include other adjustments to postage rates. For example:

  • Priority Mail will increase 5.9%
  • Priority Mail Express will increase 3.9%
  • Mailing Services will increase approximately 2.5%
  • First class mail “additional ounce” prices will decrease from $0.21 to $0.15. Which means that sending a two-ounce letter, even with the $0.05 increase in price for the first ounce, will actually cost $0.01 less (currently two ounce letter is $0.71, under new rates will be $0.70).

The rate increase must still be approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, and will then take effect January 29, 2019.

If you want to be reminded, in January, to purchase stamps before the prices increase, sign up for my notification list immediately below.

Print Your Own Postage with Discounted Rates

Help support this site when you sign up for an account at Receive discounted Priority Mail rates and more. If you like, an ongoing account costs only $15.99 per month.

USPS Forever Stamp Historical Prices

January 29, 2019$0.55 (proposed)
January 21, 2018$0.50
January 22, 2017$0.49
April 10, 2016$0.47
January 26, 2014$0.49
January 27, 2013$0.46
January 22, 2012$0.45
May 11, 2009$0.44
May 12, 2008$0.42
April 12, 2007$0.41

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Visit the United States Post Office web site for additional rules, regulations, and mailing options.

Quick Reference: First Class STANDARD SIZE Rates for over One Ounce*

Weight:Postage:Translates To:
3 oz.$0.921x Forever stamp + $0.42, or, simply 2x Forever Stamps (which results in a $.08 donation to the Post Office)
2 oz.$0.711x Forever stamp + $0.21
*Note: must be rectangular, cannot be square, rigid, or an odd shape.

Quick Reference: First Class OVERSIZED Letter Rates**

Weight:Postage:Translates To:
1 oz.$1.00Two Forever Stamps
2 oz.$1.21Two Forever Stamps + $0.21
3 oz.$1.42Two Forever Stamp + $0.42 or, three Forever Stamps (which results in an $.08 donation to the Post Office)
4 oz.$1.63Three Forever Stamps + $0.13
**Note: must be rectangular or square, and must not be rigid or contain items that cause more than 1/4″ variation in thickness.

Additional Questions and Answers about Postage Stamps and Rates

How much do additional ounces cost when mailing a letter?

In 2018 the cost for each additional ounce of postage is 21 cents ($0.21).

What is a Forever Stamp?

Forever Stamps are a special type of stamp created by the United States Post Office that will always be worth one First Class stamp. When they were initially created in 2007 a Forever Stamp cost only $0.41. Their value has increased since then and they are now worth significantly more. Remember how you used to have buy $0.01 or $0.02 stamps to cover postage cost increases? That is a thing of the past with Forever Stamps!

How much is a First Class Stamp?

The cost of a first class stamp varies, with the price being adjusted (typically once every year or so) by the Post Office. The current rate is $0.50 (careful, Google often displays outdated info, my site is always-up-to-date and has a manually verified rate). By purchasing a “Forever Stamp”, the stamp’s value will adjust to match whatever the then-current postage rate is for a one ounce stamp.

Does the Post Office Have an Online Postage Calculator?

Yes, they do. It’s available here: USPS Postage Price Calculator. Around May of 2017 the calculator was updated to try and make it easier to use, but, WOW, for calculating postage for letters/envelopes it became MUCH more difficult to use. For example, every person using the calculator sees two checkbox option about shipping live animals or day-old poultry. I wonder how many people that message applies to? But, yes, what do you expect: it’s a government-created web site 🙂 All kidding aside, other than being a bit complex, once you’ve been through it a few times it works quite well for Priority mail and packages. If you are looking up the price for a letter, on the first screen, make sure you select the icon titlted “Calculate price based on Shape and Size”.

How much does it cost to mail a postcard?

In 2018 the cost to mail a standard size postcard is 35 cents ($0.35). The postcard can be no larger than 6 inches by 4.25 inches.

Do Forever Stamps Expire?

Forever Stamps never expire and will always be the equivalent value of a one-ounce First Class stamp.

Was the United States the first to issue Forever Stamps?

Forever Stamps are a type of “non-denominated postage”. While I do not know for sure which country was first, I do know that the United Kingdom began issuing non-denominated postage stamps back in 1989. The United States Postal Service launched “Forever Stamps” in 2007. In addition, the USPS had been issuing generic stamps close to rate changes that could be used before and after the rate change starting back in the 1970’s. The practice continued in more recent years with stamps that began with a letter: A, B, or C, and continued up through the letter H.

How are postage price increases handled?

Prior to 2017, the Post Office was only allowed to increase the price of stamps according to official inflation rates – unless special approval was requested and provided. At the end of 2017 the Post Office received regulatory approval to for increases that would be “inflation + 2%”. The January 2018 increase was already planned at “inflation”, and was left as such. The 2019 first class postage increase was proposed at 10%! As to specifics, the Postal Service first receives approval from theri internal “Governors of the Postal Service” and then must receive approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission.  

Where is the best place to buy postage?

You have quite a few options for puchasing postage online. The obvious option is to buy stamps directly from the Post Office. They do charge $1 for shipping/handling your order.

Another option (which helps support this site) is to sign up for an account at You can get a special postage offer with a $100 value by using code COUPON1.

 You can also buy stamps from (which helps support this site). The Post Office is actually one of the stamp sellers at If you buy stamps at you will likely pay a little bit more than if you bought them directly from the post office, but if you are a member of Amazon Prime (free trial available), you won’t have to pay the $1 shipping and handling fee that the Post Office charges if you order directly from the USPS.

Be careful buying stamps from other sources (especially eBay). You might end up with counterfeit stamps.

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Should You Stockpile Stamps, Perhaps as a Hedge Against Inflation?

Because the value of a Forever Stamp increases with the rate of inflation (and might even at a higher rate than inflation in the future), the question arises: should you buy more stamps than you will be using to mail letters as an asset diversification strategy and hedge against inflation?

You’re welcome to do so, and there are other online financial resources that discuss doing do so. However, in this space, I want to share a few considerations to keep in mind should you be contemplating such a strategy:

Notification Prior to Any Increases

If a future increase is going to be significant, there will be time to purchase any stamps that you’ll need (even a multi-year supply) before the rates increase. Signing up for my notification list is one way to be notified.

Steady Decrease in First Class Mail Volume

Anytime you are looking to invest into a particular asset, you want to keep in mind the principles of supply and demand. The greater the demand and the lower the supply – the more your asset will increase in value. First Class Mail Volume has been steadily decreasing for years. Think about how many bills you used to pay via mail that are now electronically paid, and how many letters you used to mail to stay in touch with friends or relatives? First Class mail volume has steadily decreased over the past twenty years and will likely continue to do so.

Selling Forever Stamps is Harder Due to Counterfeits

There are currently many counterfeit Forever Stamps readily available at a discount to the full price of genuine stamps. If you invest significant resources into Forever Stamps, while, yes, you “cash out” your investment one stamp at a time when you mail a letter, selling a larger volume of stamps:

  • will require you to prove to the buyer that your stamps are genuine
  • will more than likely require you to sell at a discount to whatever the current rate is (because a buyer could always buy their stamps directly from the Post Office)
  • and, when you sell at at discount, you will be, in a way, “competing” against counterfeit stamps in relation to price (counterfeit stamps are not generally marketed as being counterfeits, but are instead marketed as being genuine)

The Value of Stamps is Tied to the Postal Service

Some who are investing in stamps as a currency hedge are doing so in the event that extreme economic challenges may occur in our society, or that societal disruption or upheaval will some day occur. While no one wants that to occur, there is always the possibility that those events may occur. If the Postal Service and the US Government cease to exist as we know them, I believe the value of Forever Stamps will significantly decrease, perhaps to the point of being worthless. While, yes, delivery services of some sort will always exist, who is to say that they will accept a USPS Forever Stamp as a form of payment. If you are investing in Forever Stamps and are concerned that society, as we know it, may cease to exist, keep in mind that the value of Forever Stamps is primarily contingent on the Postal Service continuing to function.

My Advice

I recommend you buy one year’s worth of stamps before any regular stamp price increase. If a significant stamp price increase is announced my recommendation will be to consider buying multiple years’ worth of stamps at that time/before that increase. You’re welcome to stockpile stamps now, and it may well even prove to be a great inflation “hedge” — just make sure you consider all of the various related factors.