Stamp Price Increases 2021: USPS Stamp, Mail Rates Going Up in January?

To answer the question posed in the headline of this article: Yes. Yes, the price of stamps and mail rates will go up in January. But the good news is you still have time to stock up on Forever Stamps, which will not see a price change.

The United States Postal Service has announced that while most prices will see a slight increase in the new year, the cost of a First-Class Forever Stamp for a letter of 1-ounce or less will stay at 55 cents. Forever Stamps aren't the only postage keeping the same price in 2021, as the single-piece, 1-ounce flat rate will also stay at its current price of $1.

U.S. Postal Service delivery truck, California, 2017
A USPS delivery truck in San Ramon, California, in 2017. After January 24, make sure you have current postage on your mail before it boards one of these trucks. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Another important detail to take note of is that you don't have to make it to the post office before the stroke of midnight on December 31 to duck the new rates. The price changes don't take effect until January 24, 2021. (You also don't have to go to the post office at all to buy stamps; you can always get them on the USPS website.)

As for what will change next year, it's pretty much everything else. Each additional ounce of a single-piece letter will increase in cost from 15 cents to 20 cents, while the current prepaid, "metered mail" 1-ounce price will go up from 50 cents to 51 cents. Domestic postcards will also run you a penny more, from the current 35 cents to 36 cents.

In a statement announcing the price changes, the USPS noted that it receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. The Postal Service also stated it still has some of the lowest letter-mail postage rates in the industrialized world, and unlike some other shippers, the USPS does not add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery or regular Saturday delivery.

Below is a full summary of the changes.

Domestic Mailing:

  • The First Class Mail letter (1 oz.) rate for postage purchased at the Post Office will remain at $0.55 (no change from 2020).
  • Each additional ounce for a First Class Mail letter will cost $0.20, a five-cent increase from 2020.
  • "Metered Mail" rates for First Class Mail letters (1 oz.), which includes online postage and postage meters, will increase one cent to $0.51. This four-cent discount compared to Post Office rates for a First Class Mail letter represents a savings of 7 percent.
  • First Class Mail Flats/Large Envelopes (1 oz.) rates will not increase and will remain at $1.00 (no change from 2020). Each additional ounce will cost $0.20 (no change from 2020).

Domestic Shipping:

  • Priority Mail Express will see an overall rate increase of 2.5 percent in 2021. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $22.75 (no change from 2020).
  • Priority Mail will receive an average rate increase of 3.6 percent in 2021. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $7.16 (previously $7.02).
  • First Class Package Service will increase 6.5 percent in 2021 on its average rate. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $3.01 (previously at $2.74).
  • Parcel Select Ground will get an average rate increase of 1.3 percent in 2021. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $7.01 (previously $6.92).
  • Media Mail rates will raise by 3.57 percent in 2021. Rates will start at $2.89 (previously $2.80).
  • NEW: An overweight/oversize surcharge of $100 will be added for packages that exceed the 70-lb. maximum weight limitation or the 130-inch length plus girth maximum dimensional size limit.

International Shipping:

  • Priority Mail Express International will see an average rate increase of 3.6 percent in 2021. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $42.85 (no change from 2020).
  • Priority Mail International will have an average rate increase of 5.1 percent in 2021. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $35.72 (previously $34.53).
  • First Class Package International Service will increase its average rate by 4.8 percent in 2021. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $13.54 (previously $11.64).
  • NEW: The number of country groups has increased for international shipping services. Priority Mail Express International goes from 17 to 20 country groups; Priority Mail International goes from 17 to 20 country groups; and First Class Package International Service goes from 9 to 20 country groups.