How Much Does a Postage Stamp Cost?

The dawn of digital age made it easier for us to do long distance communications. You can get your message across by sending a text, a chat, or an e-mail. Or you can choose to be more interactive through video calls.

But, did you know that sending letters (yes, the physical ones) is still far from obsolete despite the said technologies? In fact, data from USPS shows that they’ve processed and delivered 154.2 billion mail pieces in 2015. That, amid the expenses associated with sending them.

Speaking of expenses, how much does a stamp cost in the US?

stamps in postal cards

Average Rate Of Stamps

Aside from the postal service fees itself, it is equally important to know the cost of stamps. Why? Well, a letter with a proper postage has a higher probability of reaching its destination on time.

The stamp price will depend on factors such as the size, weight, and destination of your mail package.

As for the current rate of stamps in the US, here is a list from the United States Postal Service:

  • First-class mail stamp: $0.49 up (up to 1 oz.)
  • Forever stamp: $0.49 (up to 1 oz.)
  • Postcard stamp: $0.34
  • International stamp: $1.15

The above stamp price applies to standard-sized, rectangular envelopes. Note that you have to pay an additional $0.21 if you need to add another ounce.

The price for non-standard-sized envelopes, on the other hand, starts at $0.70. These include square, oversized, or unusual envelopes.

a group of postal cards

Price Calculator

What if you have a different package or you just want to know exactly how much does a stamp cost? Well, you can use the online price calculator provided by USPS. You can use the web page to calculate the following:

  • Postcard price
  • Flat rate envelope price
  • Flat rate box price
  • Price based on shape and size

The online calculator will ask you to provide your letter’s destination and its ZIP code, your location’s ZIP code, mailing date and time, and the type of package.

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Forever Stamps

The USPS sells “Forever” stamps. In case you don’t know, the postal service produced the said postage stamps for the convenience of its consumers. They gave it its name because once you purchase it, the stamp will never expire or decline in value. Basically, you can use it whenever you want.

The Forever stamps is a convenient alternative to the old practice of adding stamp additions when there’s a change in postage.

There was quite a stir when USPS changed the “Forever” stamp price from $47 to $49. Well, the clamor had something to do with the stamp’s name. However, you should know that the word “forever” does not mean the stamp’s cost is unchanging.

Other Stamps

There are also other types of stamps available. Some of them include:

Makeup stamps

  • As its name implies, this stamp makes up the difference between the old price of a mail stamp and the new rate.
  • Makeup stamps could cost as low as one cent.
  • These stamps are popular when there are changes in postage prices.

Stamps with value above the first-class rate

  • Obviously, these stamps are costlier than the price of first-class mail stamps.
  • These stamps include those you should use for heavier or non-standard-sized envelopes. Their price already includes the additional $0.12 per ounce.

Semipostal stamps

  • These stamps are released to raise funds for a particular cause.
  • Typically, semipostal stamps are costlier than the ones consumers use for first-class mail. However, the former has less value.

Stamp Prices From Online Postage Service

Most of us tend to buy our stamps from USPS. However, there is a postage service provider available on the internet called Stamps.com. The company is an approved vendor of USPS. Through them, small businesses, enterprises, and online retailers are able to print postage from their home or office.

Aside from the said convenience, Stamps.com offers a discount for some of its stamps. Below is a complete list of the company’s postage prices for 2017:

  • First-class mail (1 oz.): $0.49 ($0.46 for metered mail/Stamps.com rate)
  • Additional ounce for first-class: $0.21
  • Postcard: $0.34
  • First-class mail flat: $0.98 ($0.21 for each additional ounce)
  • First-class mail international letter: $1.15
  • Priority mail express (05.5 lb. for zones 1 and 2): $21.18+
  • Priority mail (1 lb. for zones 1 and 2): $5.95+
  • First-class package service (1-6 oz.): $2.61+
  • Parcel select ground (1 lb. for zones 1 and 2): $5.95+
  • Retail ground (1 lb. for zones 1 and 2): $6.65+
  • Media mail (1 lb. for zones 1 and 2): $2.63
  • Priority mail express international (0.5 lb. for Zone 1): $38.90+
  • Priority mail international (1 lb. for Canada): $30.16+
  • Priority mail international (1 lb. for other countries): $36.81+
  • First class package international service (1 oz. for group 1): $14.73+

Other online postage vendors approved by the USPS include Endicia, eBay, and QBSmart Postage.

Collecting Stamps

You might also want to know the price of stamps if you’re a philatelist (or stamp collector). Well, USPS has a good news for you as they have a mobile application called the StampApp. This app allows users to browse the postal service’s library.

Aside from that, collectors can share their collections with others. Using the app is also convenient if they’re looking to sell (or show off) some of their stamps as they can show it using only their phones.

Collecting stamps is a fun and educational hobby. It will never go old as long as there are still people who practice the conventional method of correspondence.

Similarly, the cost of postage stamps will continue to fluctuate. Who knows, it may cost lower again next year.