Postage prices increasing again: here's how much it will cost

putting stamps on letters
Photo credit Getty Images

The price of sending mail is about to go up.

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The United States Postal Service is increasing the cost of postage on January 22, to cope with the rising cost of operations.

The cost of a Forever stamp will go up three cents, from 60 cents to 63 cents.

Similar hikes are also planned for metered mail, postcards and international mail. The increase averages to 4.2%, which generally amounts to a few cents per item.

"These proposed prices were approved by the Postal Service governors," USPS said in announcing the changes last year. "The Postal Service governors evaluate shipping rates and fees and adjust them when needed as part of Postal Service's 10-year Delivering For America plan which is designed to reverse a projected $160 billion in operating losses over the next 10 years."

Overall, Priority Mail service prices will increase by 5.5%, Priority Mail Express service prices will increase by 6.6%, First-Class Package Service prices will increase by 7.8%, and Priority Mail commercial rates will increase by 3.6%.

While the USPS is increasing the cost of postage, the cost of some shipping materials including flat-rate envelopes and boxes will go down.

The price changes include:

• Forever stamp
Currently: 60 cents
Price after Jan. 22: 63 cents

• Small flat-rate box
Currently: $10.40
Price after Jan. 22: $10.20

• Medium flat-rate box
Currently: $17.05
Price after Jan. 22: $17.10

• Large flat-rate box
Currently: $22.45
Price after Jan. 22: $22.80

• APO/FPO large flat-rate box
Currently: $20.95
Price after Jan. 22: $21.20

• Regular flat-rate envelope
Currently: $9.90
Price after Jan. 22: $9.65

• Legal flat-rate envelope
Currently: $10.20
Price after Jan. 22: $ 9.95

• Padded flat-rate envelope
Currently: $10.60
Price after Jan. 22: $10.40

This is the third postage price hike in about a year.

"The Postal Service has some of the lowest letter mail postage rates in the industrialized world and also continues to offer a great value in shipping," the USPS said. "Unlike some other shippers, the Postal Service has upfront pricing and does not add surcharges for residential delivery or regular Saturday delivery."

The agency added that it generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images