The price of a USPS Forever One Ounce Postage Stamp is now $0.55.
Rates manually verified by site administrator on January 28, 2020.
The rate did not change on January 26, 2020 (details below).
USPS 2020 Price Increase
First Class Forever Stamps stayed at $0.55 and did not increase during the January 26, 2020 rate increase – despite other postage rates (media mail, Priority Mail, etc.) increasing. Additional information.
Previously, in 2019, the Post Office had the largest-ever increase in the price of a stamp (from $0.50 to $0.55). The increase was challenged in the courts as being excessive – and the courts agreed. This is why there will not be an increase in the price of stamps in 2020.
Other Forever Stamp Rates:
Even though the One Ounce First Class Forever Stamp is the most common Forever Stamp, the Post Office offers a variety of Forever Stamps. Here are their current rates:
- Additional Ounce Forever Stamp rate: $0.15
- Two Ounce Forever Stamp: $0.70
- Three Ounce Forever Stamp: $0.85
- Global Forever Stamp: $1.20
- Postcard Forever Stamp: $0.35
- Non-Machineable Surcharge Forever Stamp: $0.70
4 Week Trial: Print Your Own Postage at Discounted Rates
Sign up for a no-cost 4-week trial of Stamps.com (currently with a $100 promotion) Not only can you print your own postage, but First Class stamps are discounted $0.05 so the cost is only $0.50 per stamp. Priority Mail rates are also discounted (up to 39% discounts) – not to mention you get a free 5# digital scale and $45 in free postage.
By clicking my link you’ll the no-cost 4-week trial – you can cancel your account anytime and ongoing accounts are $17.99 per month.
There is a lot more info on this page if you keep scrolling!
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Additional information about the January 27, 2019 Postage Rate Increase
Historically the Post Office has been limited to raising the cost for stamps according to the official inflation rates. 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 2019 price of a stamp to only $0.52, not $0.55. The way the Postal Service was able to get the $0.05 increase approved without special permission was to raise rates for other services less, so that the average, across-the-board increase, was within their approved percentages. However, they ran into legal trouble (next paragraph).
LEGAL CHALLENGE to 2019 rate increase
A non-practicing lawyer (Douglas Carlson), filed a lawsuit against the USPS alleging that the 10% price increase in 2019 was not justified. On September 13, 2019, a federal appeals court sided with the plaintiff and ruled AGAINST the USPS. Meaning, the little guy won. Additional information available here: GovExec.com, Jurist.org and USA Today.
USPS New Rates
I had anticipated the next rate increase would be January 2020 and would be inflation plus 2%. In the fall of 2019 the first rumors of price increases were along those lines. However, following the September 2019 ruling that the 2019 rate increase was unjustified, on October 9, when the USPS filed the proposed new prices for 2020, the proposed new rates keep the price for a First Class Forever Stamp at $0.55.
Three Ways to Save Money on Postage
Looking to spend less on postage? Here are three ways to save money on postage, presented in no particular order:
- The obvious idea is to make a phone call, send a TXT or email instead of sending a letter. Granted, this technically isn’t saving money while sending a letter (it’s avoiding sending a letter), but it’s still a way to save on your postage. Yet, on the other hand, there are times when we need to mail a letter or it simply represents a good value (when was the last time you mailed someone a little note of appreciation?).
- Buy stamps before price increases.
- Print your own postage. The two leading services for small business/home office users are Pitney Bowes Send Pro Online and Stamps.com. Both provide savings of $0.05 for First Class postage, and you can help support this site when you sign up for a no-cost 4-week trial from either service (which can be cancelled at anytime). For an ongoing account, Pitney Bowes is less expensive ($4.99/month for USPS or $14.99 for USPS/UPS/FedEx) whereas Stamps.com is the market leader ($17.99/month for USPS only).
USPS Forever Stamp Historical Prices
|January 26, 2020||$0.55|
|January 27, 2019||$0.55|
|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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Quick Reference: First Class STANDARD SIZE Rates for over One Ounce*
|2 oz.||$0.70||A single "Two Ounce Forever Stamp".|
OR one regular Forever stamp + one Additional Ounce Forever Stamp.
OR one regular Forever Stamp + $0.15 misc. postage. OR two Forever Postcard Stamps (each currently worth $0.35).
|3 oz.||$0.85||A single "Three Ounce Forever Stamp".|
OR one regular Forever stamp + two Additional Ounce Forever Stamps.
OR one regular Forever Stamp + $0.30
Quick Reference: First Class OVERSIZED Letter Rates**
|1 oz.||$1.00||One regular Forever Stamp + three Additional Ounce Forever Stamps.|
OR Two regular Forever Stamps (overpays $0.10).
|2 oz.||$1.15||One regular Forever Stamp + four Additional Ounce Forever Stamps.|
OR Two regular Forever Stamps + $0.05 postage.
|3 oz.||$1.30||One regular Forever Stamp + five Additional Ounce Forever Stamps.|
OR One Global Forever Stamp + one Additional Ounce Forever Stamp.
|4 oz.||$1.45||One regular Forever Stamp + six Additional Ounce Forever Stamps.|
OR One Global Forever Stamp + two Additional Ounce Forever Stamp.
OR Three regular Forever Stamps (overpays $0.20).
Additional Questions and Answers about Postage Stamps and Rates
How much do additional ounces cost when mailing a letter?
In 2019 the cost for each additional ounce of postage is 15 cents ($0.15). The USPS offers an “Additional Ounce” type of Forever Stamp.
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 (click for current value). 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 $0.55 (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?
How much does it cost to mail a postcard?
In 2020 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. The United States Postal Service offers “Postcard Forever Stamps”. An oversized postcard (no larger than 11.5×6.125 is $0.55
Do Forever Stamps Expire?
Forever Stamps never expire and will always be the equivalent value of whatever the corresponding postal rate is – for example, a one-ounce First Class stamp for a regular Forever Stamp (that’s why I created this site: to keep track of the current postage rate which regular changes).
The Post Office offers a variety of Forever Stamps: Regular (one ounce), Additional Ounce Forever Stamp, Two Ounce Forever Stamp, Three Ounce Forever Stamp, Non-Machinable Surcharge Forever Stamp (would be used for odd sized letters), Postcard Forever Stamp, and the Global Forever Stamp.
Was the United States the first to issue Forever Stamps?
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 the largest ever 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 a free trial account at Stamps.com. This allows you to print your own postage (at discounted rates). Trial accounts can be cancelled anytime; ongoing accounts cost $17.99/month.
You can also buy stamps from Amazon.com (which helps support this site). The Post Office is actually one of the stamp sellers at Amazon.com. If you buy stamps at Amazon.com 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.
Helpful? the best way to support this site is sign up for a free Stamps.com trial account. The trial can be cancelled anytime and you can print postage at discounted rates.
Or, you can help out by clicking an Amazon product link below (don’t worry, you don’t have to actually buy something):
How does clicking an Amazon link help this site?
By clicking any Amazon link above (a new window will open), any product you order from Amazon within 24 hours (doesn't matter what the product is) will generate a small referral credit back to my site. You may not think simply clicking a link helps, but it does. Thank you for your support.
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
Steady Decrease in First Class Mail Volume
Selling Forever Stamps is Harder Due to Counterfeits
- 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
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.