Reminder: New U.S. Postal Service rates go into effect Jan. 21

Written on Jan 03, 2018

The United States Postal Service’s new rates, which include a one cent increase in the price of a first-class mail Forever stamp from 49 cents to 50 cents, goes into effect Jan. 21.

Postcard stamps and metered letters also have a one cent increase.

The prices raise mailing services product prices approximately 1.9%, and most shipping services products will average a 3.9% price increase. While mailing services price increases are limited based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), shipping services prices are adjusted strategically, according to market conditions and the need to maintain affordable services for customers.

Changes to first-class mail:

  • First-class mail letters up to 1 ounce: price increases from $0.49 to $0.50
  • First-class metered mail: price increases from $0.46 to $0.47. Metered mail discount remains 3 cents when compared to stamped letters.
  • First-class mail flats up to 1 ounce: price increases from $0.98 to $1.00
  • First-class mail parcels (retail): pay one price up to 4 ounces: $3.50, an increase of $0.50.
  • Marketing mail prices (formerly known as standard mail), increase 1.9% on average, as do prices for bound printed matter, media mail and library mail.
Changes to presorted mail:

Presorting first-class mail allows mailers to cut down on postage costs by taking advantage of USPS workshare discounts. The Jan. 2018 rate change will maintain many of those discounts.

  • Overall prices for presort letter/postcards increased by 1.591%, but presorting to the five-digit ZIP code level remains 3 cents cheaper than sorting to the AADC level.
  • Meanwhile, the difference in price between mixed AADC (MAADC) automation letters and AADC automation letters was reduced from 2 cents to 1.6 cents.
  • Rates for automated presort flats decreased by 1.6 cents, except for flats sorted to the five-digit level. In that case, the discount was reduced in order to meet statutory requirements.
  • The USPS is also continuing an incentive that allows first-class mailers that presort their mail to send letters weighing up to 3.5 ounces for the same price as a 1-ounce letter. In other words, you can send more mail for the price of just 1 ounce.
  • Additionally, using the full service intelligent mail barcode (FS IMb) on first-class and marketing mail will continue to provide a .003 cent and .001 cent discount respectively.

Select rates for First-class mail®

Expiring 2017

New Prices

Single-piece Letter – First ounce



Single-piece Metered – First ounce



Single-piece Flat – First ounce



Each additional ounce(letters and flats)



Parcels - Retail

$3.00 (up to 4 oz.)

$3.50 (up to 4 oz.)




Presorted letter – (now same price up to 3.5 oz.)



Surcharge for non-machinable letters



Presorted flat - First ounce



Each additional ounce (presorted flats)



Automation letters - 5-digit - First ounce



Automation Postcards - 5-digit - First ounce



Automation flat - 5-digit - First ounce









Select rates for USPS Marketing Mail® (previously Standard Mail®)



Letter 3.5 ounces or less – AADC (Non-automation)



Flat 4 ounces or less – ADC (Non-automation)









Select rates for Other Services



Certified Mail*



Media Mail – 1 lb. single-piece



Library Mail – 1 lb. single-piece



Return receipt - retail



Return receipt - electronic



*The USPS will also offer a combo price for Certified Mail with Restricted Delivery for $8.55.


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