USPS Forever Stamp Value | Tips + Full Guide Inside
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If you have tried to mail a letter lately, you have probably heard of a forever stamp. These stamps were introduced in 2007 so that people would not have to buy new stamps each time there are price increases in postage. In fact, these are the standard first-class stamps that you purchase from the post office. So, what exactly is a forever stamp and how do they work? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about forever stamps and the postal service.
Value Of A First-Class Forever Stamp
So, how much is a forever stamp worth? A forever stamp is non-denominational, which means that it does not have a set value. A forever stamp is valued at the current price of regular first-class postage. Before forever stamps were introduced in 2007, postage stamps had a set value. That value was printed on the stamp itself. For example, if postage for first-class mail weighing less than one ounce was $0.45, then the stamp would have $0.45 printed onto it. Forever stamps do not have a monetary value printed on them. The U.S. Postal Service introduced forever stamps that would always have the value of the current first-class postage rate regardless of when they were purchased.
How Forever Stamps Work
When it comes to mailing a letter, a forever stamp works just like any other postage stamp. Simply affix it to your first-class letter to cover the postage rate for that letter. Forever stamps allow you to mail a one-ounce letter with a single stamp regardless of the current postal rate. Their ability to cover the postage is not affected by rate changes or rate hikes. They will always allow you to mail that letter regardless of when you purchased the stamps or how much you paid for them. The Postal Regulatory Commission sets the postage rates based on inflation with approval from Congress, and they typically rise every couple of years.
Here is an example to illustrate how forever stamps work and why they are unaffected by a rate increase. Suppose the current stamp rate is $0.55 as it is in 2021. This means that the forever stamp price will be $0.55. Now imagine that the price changes to $0.60. Perhaps you had already purchased several forever stamps at the lower rate. No worries! Even though the current price for postage might be higher, your forever stamps will cover the cost of postage for your one ounce letter at the new rate. In fact, they will cover that same postage 5 years from now, 10 years from now, and so on regardless of how high the pricing goes! Simply write and address your letter, place it into the envelope, add your stamp, and drop it in the mail!
Where To Buy Forever Stamps
The first place that often comes to mind when someone mentions buying stamps is your local post office. You can buy forever stamps at the post office in a variety of styles and themes. They carry seasonal holiday stamps, special edition stamps, and traditional stamps with the American flag. You can also purchase these stamps from the United States Postal Service online at usps.com. In addition to the postal service, you can also buy stamps from online postage providers like stamps.com.
Stamps are also available at many brick and mortar retailers that you may not traditionally think of. You can purchase stamps at large retailers like Wal-Mart. Many grocery stores and pharmacies also sell stamps. This allows you to easily purchase a book of stamps while doing your regular shopping. In some rural communities, you can leave money in your mailbox and purchase stamps from your mail carrier.
How To Determine How Many Stamps You Need
One of the most common questions that arises when mailing a letter is, “How many stamps do I need?” Luckily this question can be answered pretty easily. If using a standard sized envelope like a #10 and your letter weighs less than one ounce, then you only need one forever stamp. It does not matter what the current postage rate is, the forever stamp will cover the cost of mailing your letter.
If your letter weighs more than one ounce, then you will need to include an additional $0.20 per ounce. So, for a two ounce letter, it would cost you $0.75 to mail that letter in 2021. You could affix two forever stamps to cover the postage, but you would be wasting postage in that case. It is possible to buy postage in smaller increments, so simply head to the post office and purchase an additional ounce stamp. This will cost you $0.20, and you can affix the precise amount of postage that you need onto the letter.
If sending international mail, you are going to need additional postage. Again, you can use forever stamps to cover the postage on international letters, but you need to know how much postage to affix. On the contrary, domestic postcards require less postage than a letter. Again, you can use a forever stamp to cover postage for a postcard, but you are overspending on postage since a postcard does not need as much as a letter.
The Bottom Line
Forever stamps are usually a good investment as they can offset the rising cost of postage rates. Forever stamps purchased at current rates will cover the cost of sending a first-class letter at any time in the future, regardless of how much the postage rates increase. These stamps are available at many stores as well as several places online.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use 2 forever stamps for extra postage?
Yes, you can absolutely use 2 forever stamps to cover extra postage. You should know that each additional ounce will only cost you $0.20 though. Since a forever stamp is worth the current postage rate for a letter, attaching two of them might be using more postage than is necessary.
How many stamps are in a book?
There are 20 stamps in a book. You might also choose to purchase a roll which includes 100 stamps. If you do not need an entire book of stamps, you can purchase stamps individually at your local post office.
How many forever stamps do I need?
If you are using a standard sized envelope and your letter weighs less than one ounce, then you only need 1 forever stamp. If the envelope is larger or your letter weighs more, then you can attach additional stamps as necessary to cover the additional postage.
What are the dimensions of a forever stamp?
A forever stamp commonly measures 0.87 inches by 0.979 inches. However, there is no standard size for these stamps. The stamps may have different measurements depending on the style of the stamp. Some may be bigger or smaller than the most common size. When you visit your local post office, you can usually see the available stamps on display. This allows you to see both the design of the stamp as well as the size.