How Much Are Stamps Now? Postage Rate Increase!

In the past, people used to pay pennies to send a letter or even a parcel from one end of the country to another. But at the moment, things have changed a lot and the cost of a stamp has skyrocketed to almost half a dollar. We understand that many factors have led to this rise in price over the years. If you want to have a rough history of how the prices have changed over the years, read on further as we’ve compiled a detailed article for you on the prices of stamps.

With a variety of stamps being offered by United States Postal Service, it is important to know what the different costs of stamps are. Stamps are priced according to weight, type and shape. Also, international stamps are priced differently with local stamps. First class stamps are as well priced differently with priority stamps. As we shall learn later in this article, there have been several price changes over the years which have been caused by different factors. We’ve included all the prices and how they have been changing since March 1863 to date. View the table below to know what the stamps cost was at a particular stage over the years.

Date

Introduced

Rate for first

Ounce (letter)

Rate for first ounce (package) Additional ounces Postcard rate
March 3, 1863 .06 (.03 per half ounce) .06 .06 .06
October 1, 1883 .04 (.02 per half ounce) .04 .04 .04
July 1, 1885 .02 .02 .02 .02
July 1, 1898 .02 .02 .02 .01
November 2, 1917 .03 .03 .03 .02
July 1, 1919 .02 .02 .02 .01
July 1, 1928 .02 .02 .02 .01
July 6, 1932 .03 .03 .03 .01
January 1, 1952 .02 .02 .02 .02
August 1, 1958 .04 .04 .04 .03
January 7, 1963 .05 .05 .05 .04
January 7, 1968 .06 .06 .06 .05
May 16, 1971 .08 .08 .08 .06
March 2, 1974 .10 .10 .10 .08
September 14, 1975 .10 .10 .09 .07
December 31, 1975 .13 .13 .11 .09
May 29, 1978 .15 .15 .13 .10
March 22, 1981 .18 .18 .17 .12
November 1, 1981 .20 .20 .17 .13
February 17, 1985 .22 .22 .17 .14
April 3, 1988 .25 .25 .20 .15
February 3, 1991 .29 .29 .23 .19
January 1, 1995 .32 .32 .23 .20
January 10, 1999 .33 .33 .22 .20
January 7, 2001 .34 .34 .21 .20
July 1, 2001 .34 .34 .23 .21
June 30, 2002 .37 .37 .23 .23
January 8, 2006 .39 .39 .24 .24
May 14, 2009 .41 1.13 .17 .26
May 12, 2008 .42 1.17 .17 .27
May 11, 2009 .44 1.22 .17 .28
April 17, 2011 .44 1.71 (3 oz) .20 (letters)

.17 (packages)

.29
January 22, 2012 .45 1.95 (3 oz) .20 (letters)

.17 (packages)

.32
January 27, 2013 .46 2.07 (3 oz) .20 (letters)

.17 (packages)

.33
January 26, 2014 .49 2.32 (3 oz) .21 (letters)

.17 (packages)

.34
May 31, 2015 .49 2.54 (3 oz) .22 (letters)

.20 (packages)

.35
April 10, 2016 .47 2.54 (3 oz) .21 (letters)

.20 (packages)

.34
January 22, 2017 .49 2.67 (3 oz) .21 (letters)

.18 (letters)

.34

From the above table, it is very clear that even though there have been price changes in the cost of the stamp over the years, the price of stamps have remained stable. The biggest jumps in the early 1900s are as a result of a change by a single penny was very large when compared to the cost of the stamp. For instance, the price rise from $0.02 to $0.03 on July 6, 1932 was a 50% rise in cost. Furthermore, while the cost of the stamp itself stayed constant, the adjusted price in 2016 dollars was not constant over time which added to bigger jumps in adjusted prices. Recently in 2016, the price fell by 0.02 cents before rising again in 2017 by 0.02 cents to return to its former price.

In addition, you can note in the table above that there are sudden jumps up and down in the table that can be explained by some of the earliest stamp price changes. Also, when the price was low, a rise of just a cent implies a relative rise of 50% or more. The changes in prices over the years had nothing to do with irrational inflation or pricing, but a lot to do with relative adjustments in price. Others prices that we haven’t mentioned above include first class mail prices, priority mail prices, priority mail prices for packages, priority mail international prices, and many others. These have been discussed below.

Current postage prices in the country

Types of mail service Postage Rates
First class mail letter (1 oz.) – Retail/Post office rate $0.49
First class mail letter (1 oz.) – Metered mail/stamps.com rate $0.46
First class mail letter – each additional ounce $0.21
Postcard $0.34
First class mail flat (1 oz.) $0.98
First class mail flat – each additional ounce $0.21
First class mail international letter $1.15
Priority mail express (0.5 lb., zones 1&2) $21.18 and up
Priority mail (1 lb.,zones 1&2) $5.95 and up
First class package service (1-6 oz.) $2.61 and up
Parcel select ground (1 lb., zones 1&2) $5.95 and up
Retail ground (1 lb., zones 1&2) – Retail/Post office $6.65 and up
Media mail (1 lb., zones 1&2) $2.63
Priority mail express international (0.5 lb., zone 1) $38.90 and up
Priority mail international (1lb.) – Canada $30.16 and up
Priority mail international (1lb.) – other countries $36.81 and up
First class package international service (1oz., Group 1) $14.73 and up
Certificate of mailing $1.35
Certified mail $3.35
Collect on delivery (COD) $7.15 and up
Registered mailing $11.70 and up
Restricted delivery $4.95
Return receipt $2.75
Signature confirmation $2.45
Stamps.com insurance $1.89 and up

The above table has all the current prices of the different mailing services being offered by USPS. Whether it is local, express or international mail, all the prices have been included above. The United States Postal Service comes up with its rates by using a combination of weight, shape and mail class. For particular services, discounted pricing is present for clients who buy from online PC postage services like stamps.com. Normal mails cost less and urgent or priority mails cost more. Also, from the above table, you can see that international mails are more costly than local mails. The greater a letter, parcel or postcard weighs the greater its mailing price.

First class mails have classifications which make them to cost differently. Furthermore, flat rate envelopes are more costly to send when compared to letters. Packages are charged differently with the least being Media mail at $2.63. International mails are the most costly to send and can be sent by use of mail, rail or air.

In general, there are different prices for different types of stamps. First class mail letters which are the most common ones cost $0.49. The price might change depending on the weight of the letter. Therefore, before you buy a stamp or book of stamps, you should know the weight and shape of your letter or package. This will help you know how much the stamps will cost. And if you want your letter to reach its destination faster, you can categorize it as priority, though it will cost you more.