2022 USPS Postage Rate Increase | [Complete Guide]
The cost of goods and services continues to rise, so it only makes sense that postage rates are also increasing. Maybe you have noticed shipping charges increasing when you order items from eCommerce businesses. Or perhaps you noticed the increase the last time you went to the post office to buy a book of stamps. So, just how much of a price increase can you expect to see in 2022? It depends on the type of shipping service that you are using. Keep reading to find out all the details about the 2022 postage rate increases.
2022 USPS Postage Rate Increases
Although the postal service is part of the Federal government, they do not receive funding from tax dollars like most government agencies. The U.S. postal service funds itself through the sale of postage and other services and supplies. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) provides oversight, transparency, and accountability for the post office. Postage rates must be raised from time to time for the post office to remain financially viable. Here are the details about all the 2022 increases that you can expect.
— First-Class Mail
The cost of a first-class stamp did not increase in January 2022. So, how much is a stamp? Stamps were $0.58 in 2021, and they continued at that same price in January 2022. Similarly, additional-ounce stamps will remain at $0.20. This is the same price that these stamps were in 2021. There was also no Forever stamp price increase as they continue to be the same price as a regular first-class stamp. However, remember that Forever stamps can always be used to send a first-class mail letter regardless of future postage rate increases. This is because the value of a Forever stamp is always the current first-class stamp rate. Metered mail will continue to see the same $0.05 discount as it has in the past when using postage meters.
First-class package service did see a price increase in January 2022. On average, the cost to send a first-class package increased just over 7%. Price increases were larger for lower-weight packages. The cost to send a lightweight package increased by 11%, while the cost to send heavier packages only increased by 5%. These postal rate changes are likely to continue at least every year going forward.
— Domestic Shipping
There are several different mailing services available when it comes to domestic mailing. Let’s first take a look at one of the most common — USPS Priority Mail. The cost to send a package using Priority Mail service will increase by about 3% in 2022. The heavier the package and the farther it travels, the more the increase will be. In some cases, you could see an increase of more than $6 to send some packages.
When it comes to USPS Priority Mail Express, the commercial base prices will increase just over 4% on average. In addition, some extra fees might be applied to your package beginning in April 2022. Priority Mail Express packages that exceed certain dimensions or weight must be sorted manually and will encounter surcharges.
Media mail rates have traditionally been some of the cheapest rates available at the post office. However, the items that you are shipping must meet the eligibility requirements for media mail. In 2022, prices to send items through media mail will increase quite substantially. On average, the postage prices for media mail will rise by over 12%. This is one of the largest increases for any service that the postal service offers.
Finally, Parcel Select Ground service will see a decrease in prices in 2022. That’s right — prices to send a package using this service will go down. On average, these prices will drop by approximately 12%.
— International Shipping
Just like domestic shipping, international services will also see price changes in 2022. Here is how much more you can expect to pay for international shipping in 2022. First, Priority Mail International will increase by nearly 4%. Commercial base rates for this service will start at $46.36 instead of the $44.60 price that was seen in 2021.
Priority Mail Express International will see rate increases of 3.2% in 2022. Online postage rates for this service will start at $44.95. These rates were $42.85 in 2021. First-Class package international service will also see price increases in 2022. These prices will increase by over 4% in 2022. The rates will now start at $14.11 instead of the $13.54 price seen in 2021.
— Flat Rate Increases
As you probably know, the United States Postal Service offers many different Priority Mail flat-rate shipping options. Most flat-rate boxes will increase in price in 2022; however, flat-rate shipping will see some price decreases as well. We will highlight the changes associated with each box size and type.
For small flat-rate boxes, the price increase in 2022 will be $1. In 2022, the price will increase to $9.45 from the 2021 price of $8.45. Medium flat-rate boxes will also see a price increase in 2022. The price will jump from $15.50 to $16.10. Large flat-rate boxes will actually go down in price in 2022. The 2021 price of a large flat-rate box was $21.90, but it will drop to $21.50 in 2022. Finally, APO/FPO large flat-rate boxes will also see a price decrease. The 2021 price was $20.40, and that price will decrease to $20.00 in 2022.
In addition to flat-rate boxes, the USPS also offers many different flat-rate envelope mailers. On average, the flat-rate envelopes will increase by about $1. Regular flat-rate envelopes will increase from $7.95 to $8.95, while the legal size will increase from $8.25 to a new price of $9.25. Finally, the padded envelope will increase from $8.55 to $9.65.
Future Postage Rate Increases
So, can you expect additional postage rate increases in the future? Yes! In fact, the postal service has developed a 10-year plan to help reduce operating losses. This plan encompasses both postage rate increases and process efficiencies. According to the plan, postage rates will see a market-dominant increase twice each year beginning in 2023. Postage rates will increase in January and July of each year.
New rates will appear in July 2022, and then you will see new rates in January and July each year going forward. While there is no way to know exactly how much the increases will be, you will be able to know when the increases will occur. The USPS price changes will be evaluated and assessed depending on the current needs and financial situation of the postal service.
The Bottom Line
If you run a small business or frequently ship packages through USPS, then you have likely noticed the 2022 postage increases already. While the price of first-class stamps did not change in January 2022, the cost of shipping packages increased almost completely across the board. Most services, including Priority Mail, Media Mail, and flat-rate shipping, saw increases in their prices. Previously, postage increases did not occur on a regular basis. However, beginning in January 2023, these price adjustments will be made every six months — in January and again in July. This is one step in the plan to help get the post office back on secure financial footing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will stamp prices increase in 2022?
The price of stamps did not increase in January 2022, although stamps are scheduled for a price increase in July 2022. The number of stamps you need also stayed the same because the weight tables did not change. Because of the current rate of inflation, the July 2022 increase is likely to be a significant one. Stamp prices may increase as much as 10%. If this happens, it will push the price of a first-class stamp above 60 cents. In the future, there will be regular increases twice per year. The increases will occur in January and July every year.
When will the Post Office increase postage rates?
The next first-class postage rate increase is scheduled for July 2022. Beyond that, increases will occur twice each year. Regular increases will occur in both January and July, beginning in 2023. While the exact amount of the increases is not yet known, the schedule for the increases is already set.
What are the new rates for stamps?
So, how much are stamps, and how much does it cost to mail a letter? Stamp rates did not change in January 2022. The current rate for a first-class stamp or Forever stamp is $0.58. This is the same rate as 2021 stamp prices. Additional-ounce stamps also stayed the same price. Those stamps are currently $0.20 each — the same as the 2021 price.
Are USPS shipping rates going up?
Yes, USPS shipping rates saw increases in January 2022. While stamp prices did not increase at this time, shipping rates for nearly all USPS services saw increases. Some services may see additional increases in July 2022. Starting in January 2023, we will see a stamp price increase in January and July of every year.