After two-and-a-half years of steady prices, the cost of mailing a letter first class is now 45 cents, effective today.
Forever stamps purchased before the 1-cent rate hike will still be valid after this weekend. If you have leftover 44-cent stamps, you can purchase a book of 1-cent stamps to make up the difference.
Other mail rates are rising as well.
Postcard stamps will jump in price from 29 cents to 32 cents.
Mail to Mexico and Canada will cost 85 cents per stamp, up five cents. Other international mail will see the biggest hike: It will now cost $1.05 to send letters abroad, up from 98 cents.
It may be hard to believe, but the price of mailing a letter was only 10 cents in September 1975. The price has steadily increased since.
The price increase comes as the U.S. Postal Service sees financial troubles as the volume of mail decreases due to e-mail.
“The overall average price increase is small and is needed to help address our current financial crisis,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in a statement. “We continue to take actions within our control to increase revenue in other ways and to aggressively cut costs.”
The Postal Service ended its fiscal year 2011 with a $5.1 billion loss. It delivered 3 billion fewer pieces of mail in 2011 than in 2010.