Postal Rates Increase: Stamps Will Cost One Cent More Next Year

The United States Postal Service announced on Thursday that first-class postal rates will be increasing by one cent starting January 27, 2013.

The postal rate increase will mean that a first-class stamp will cost someone 46 cents next year, according to The Examiner. Along with the rate increase, the Postal Service will also be adding a new version of the “forever” stamp, which will be used for global purposes.

The new forever stamp will allow a first-class letter to be mailed anywhere in the world for $1.10. At the time, prices for these services vary between countries, through letters to Canada and Mexico only cost 85 cents.

Post cards will also see a rate increase to 33 cents per card and Priority Mail will increase to $5.80 for a small box, $12.35 for a medium, and $16.85 for a large box. Regular envelopes for priority mail will increase to $5.60, with a legal-sized envelope costing $5.75. Finally, a padded envelope will cost $5.95.

The New York Times notes that the shipping service increase rate is an average of four percent for each service, something that could help the USPS, which is set to lose a record $15 billion this year.

The postal rate increases are not set in stone, however, because by law Congress must approve any increase that is higher than the inflation rate of 2.6 percent. Along with the rate increases, the US Postal Service has also continually asked Congress to change the number of delivery days from six to five in order to save money.

The Post Office has increased the rates of first-class postage by seven cents over the last six years, but the government-run mail service is still in extreme debt, partially because competitive private businesses like FedEx and UPS can change their rates regularly without congressional approval.