May 19th, 2008

U.S. Postal Service Increases Rates

You may already know this, but just in case you missed the announcement, here’s the bad news.

The United States Post Office raised the price of first class postage one penny to forty-two cents ($0.42), effective May 12th. The USPS is now allowed to adjust stamp prices independently, based on inflation. Under new rules, the Postal Service can increase the price of a stamp by a penny without any oversight as long as it gives 45 days notice. You may recall that the USPS already increased the price of a first-class stamp to 41 cents in 2007, a two-cent hike at the time.

Other USPS Price Hikes, effective May 12:

Postcard rate is up 1 cent to 27 cents
Large Envelope rate is up 3 cents to $1.00
Certified Mail is up 5 cents to $2.70

Penny Wise Advice:
With postal rates going up a couple times a year, and stagflation looming on the horizon for the U.S. economy, it may be wise to buy a bunch of “Forever Stamps” next time you’re at the Post Office. These special non-denominated stamps, now priced at $0.42 each, are “immune” to price hikes. “The stamp will be good for mailing one-ounce First-Class letters anytime in the future — regardless of price changes,” the USPS has promised.

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