USPS Just Announced Its Next Price Hike, and It's Happening Soon
The agency is planning to raise costs for customers for the fifth time since 2021.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is in the midst of a major overhaul—and it's not a short one. When Postmaster General Louis DeJoy took over three years ago, he vowed to pull the agency out of financial ruin and make it profitable again. In order to do so, DeJoy kickstarted his 10-year transformation plan called Delivering for America (DFA) in 2021, and has been steadily making regular changes to the USPS as part of the initiative. For customers, one of the most noticeable has been rising costs, and unfortunately, there's another update on the horizon. Read on to discover more about the next USPS price hike.
The USPS has raised prices several times over the last few years.
Since the introduction of DFA, the USPS has continued to ramp up costs for customers. The price changes began in Aug. 2021, when the agency first raised the price of a Forever stamp from 55 to 58 cents. The cost then went up to 60 cents in July 2022, and then to 63 cents at the beginning of this year.
The most recent price hike hit over the summer: On July 9, the Postal Service increased the cost of the Forever stamp from 63 cents to 66 cents. And now, the USPS is preparing to raise that number again.
The agency is increasing the cost of stamps once more.
The Postal Service is looking to push up mail costs again, in the fifth rate increase since the start of DFA. In an Oct. 6 press release, the agency announced that it had filed notice with the Postage Regulatory Commission (PRC) of its next proposed price hike. According to the release, the USPS is planning to raise mailing service product prices by approximately 2 percent.
"As inflationary pressures on operating expenses continue and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan," the agency stated. "The prices of the Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world."
It's set to take effect in January.
The USPS wants to implement its new price hike at the beginning of next year. If favorably approved by the PRC—as the agency's last four increases were—the higher costs for customers would take effect starting Jan. 21, 2024.
"The new rates include a 2-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, from 66 cents to 68 cents," the Postal Service said in its release.
A stamp won't be the only thing you'll have to pay more for, however. The price changes also include the increase of metered 1-ounce letters from 63 cents to 64 cents; domestic postcards from 51 cents to 53 cents; international postcards from $1.50 to $1.55; and 1-ounce international letters from $1.50 to $1.55.
"There will be no change to the additional-ounce price, which remains at 24 cents," the USPS stated in its release. "The Postal Service is also seeking price adjustments for Special Services products including Certified Mail, Post Office Box rental fees, money order fees and the cost to purchase insurance when mailing an item."
The Postal Service will likely continue raising prices.
Don't expect this to be the last time the cost of your mail goes up in the next few years. The USPS said it has been working to take a "more rational pricing approach" since the introduction of its DFA plan in order to correct "16 years of pricing policies misaligned with organizational needs."
During a 2022 meeting with the USPS Board of Governors, DeJoy told members that customers should be prepared for the Postal Service to keep raising prices "at an uncomfortable rate" until the agency reaches a point where it is on track to be self-sufficient in the long term, Federal News Network reported at the time.
"I believe we have been severely damaged by at least 10 years of a defective pricing model, which cannot be satisfied by one or two annual price increases, especially in this inflationary environment," the Postmaster General said.
According to the agency's website, you should expect rate adjustments twice every year—once in January and again in July.
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2021/0528-usps-proceeds-with-request-for-postal-rate-change.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/0410-usps-files-notice-with-prc-for-new-mailing-services-pricing.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/1006-usps-proposes-new-prices-for-2024.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/statements/091521-new-market-dominant-price-adjustment-schedule.htm