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Stamp Price Guide for 2021

November 04, 2019

Stamp Price Guide

The United States Postal Service has announced a change in prices coming in 2021. In this article we will take a look at the upcoming cost changes, what those changes mean, check out all postage options provided by the United States Postal Service, and learn how to calculate all your shipping prices.


USPS Postage Rates in 2021

The upcoming postage rate changes will take effect on January 24, 2021 and will bring an increase in some postage rates, but not all. Shipping costs that will change include flat-rate shipping on boxes and envelopes as well as shipping for international outbound letters. Rates that will stay the same include per ounce letter prices.


Letter Mailing Cost Changes:


Current Price

New Price

Letters - additional ounces




While outbound international letter cost is changing, the new price is still sure to be reasonable as the USPS First-Class International Service is the most affordable way to send letters internationally. 


Flat-Rate Priority Mail Shipping Cost Changes:

All USPS flat-rate shipping costs will be increasing in 2021. This change is one that will potentially affect online stores and ecommerce merchants the most. This is because flat rate shipping is usually the most cost-effective shipping option for small businesses.



Current Price

New Price

Small Flat-Rate Box



Medium Flat-Rate Box



Large Flat-Rate Box



APO/FPO Large Flat-Rate Box



Regular Flat-Rate Envelope



Legal Flat-Rate Envelope



Padded Flat-Rate Envelope



Letters (metered 1 oz.)



Domestic Postcards




Additional Shipping Cost Changes:

The USPS also announced changes in other non-letter Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express shipping options. Each price increase will vary by shipping option including a 3.5% increase for Priority Mail and 1.2% for Priority Mail Express. 

More in-depth information on the January 2021 price changes for the USPS are available at


Rates That Will Not Change: 

Not all postage rates are changing. The most popular postage rates, primarily the Forever stamp, will remain the same. This is good news following the increase in 1 oz. letters from 50 to 55 cents that occurred in January of last year.  



Current Price

Price Unchanged

Letters (1 oz.)

55 cents

55 cents

Flats (1 oz.) $1 $1
Flats - additional ounces $0.20 $0.20
International Letters - 1 oz. $1.15  $1.15
International postcards $1.15 $1.15



Why Increase Rates?

This year, shipping rates at UPS increased and FedEx has scheduled planned increases in 2021. Since the two services deal primarily in larger packages, the increase in Flat-Rate shipping and non-letter Priority mail with USPS makes sense. 

While increasing rates may be an inconvenience to some, the rise in prices is being done as a way for the United States Postal Service to keep up with other competition in the mailing industry and provide the agency with a substantial income.



USPS Shipping Options

It can become confusing to sort out all of the shipping options with USPS because there are so many  of them. Here’s a quick guide to help you keep them straight.

  • Letters, Postcards, and Flats  – These smaller items use stamps and are payed for by ounce. The USPS generally doesn’t provide envelopes, but Blue Summit Supplies has a wide selection of envelopesfor a variety of uses and needs!
  • Priority Mail Flat-Rate – When sending small boxes or packages within the United States, it can be cost effective to ship using a flat-rate box or envelope. Whatever you can fit in these packages (up to 70 lbs) will ship for one flat-rate price depending on the box or envelope size you choose.
  • Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express – When using your own boxes, shipping prices become weight- and zone-dependent. If your flat-rate box is over 70 lbs or traveling internationally, it’s sent by weight and the flat-rate price becomes invalid.
  • USPS Retail Ground – This option is primarily used for oversize packages that are too large for Priority Mail.



Understanding Postage Values

Postage rates vary and are calculated depending on a variety of factors including weight, shape, mail class, and destination. 

The best option for smaller mail items like letters, flats, and postcards is stamps. The most popular stamp is the Forever stamp, which is a first-class stamp whose value will not change even as stamp prices increase.

For example, in 2018 it cost 50 cents to buy a single Forever stamp. Then, in 2019 the price to buy the same stamp increased to 55 cents. Despite the increase in price, the value of a 2018 Forever stamp did not decrease. The Forever stamp bought in 2018 is now worth 55 cents. 

The current US postage stamp value for a Forever stamp is 55 cents and a single stamp can send a letter of one ounce. 

You can read more about where to buy stamps in our article about the USPS.



Stamp Price Guide

stamp icon

Stamps are used to send letters, postcards, and flats. A traditional letter with just a few sheets of paper will weigh about an ounce and will cost only 55 cents to send. Heavier letters or flats will increase in price with additional ounces.


How It Works:

For a letter that weighs 1 oz., it costs only one Forever stamp to send that letter. Any additional weight to your letter will increase the number of stamps (or type of stamp) needed to ship your letter. If that happens, you just need to add an additional ounce stampor use a two or three ounce stamp. The current postage stamp rates for the Forever stamp are not changing in 2020. 

Sending a letter, postcard, or flat internationally costs more than the price of a regular Forever stamp. If you are sending a 1 oz. letter, postcard, or flat internationally, you can simply use a Global Forever stamp. With a Global forever stamp, the price increases but the weight limit (one ounce) remains the same. To send an envelope heavier than an ounce internationally, the postage will depend on the destination country’s price group and weight limits.


Letter Postage Rates Per Ounce

Sending a letter, postcard, or flat is very simple: it’s all about the ounce.

Here is a handy guide of stamp types and their corresponding prices:

Forever Stamp (1 oz.)


Additional Ounce – Forever Stamp


Two Ounce Forever Stamp


Three Ounce Forever Stamp


Global Forever Stamp


Postcard Forever Stamp


Non-Machineable Surcharge Forever Stamp





How to Calculate Shipping Costs 

To calculate the price of shipping, you’ll need to know a few details about your package and where you’re sending to and from.

  • Weight
  • Dimensions (length, width, and height)
  • Destination address
  • Your shipping address
  • When you’d like your package to arrive

These details should be enough to provide you with an accurate price estimate. Once you know the what, where, and when of your shipping needs, input the information into a postage rate calculator and you’ll find your estimated cost of shipping.


Reliable Postage Calculators 

Here are a few reliable postage calculators that will help you as you plan out your shipping needs and requirements.


usps shipping calculator


USPS shipping rates calculator:

If you are shipping through the United States Postal Service, the most reliable postage rate calculator is the one provided by the USPS at their website, The page asks for all important information needed to ship your mail including destination country and zip code as well as when and where you are shipping from. If you are using a flat-rate box, the price will be predetermined depending on the box size you choose. This calculator will provide an accurate shipping price based on how you are shipping your package.


DBS calculator


DBS Business Price Calculator:

The Domestic Business Services calculator at dbcalc.usps.comis a great calculator for businesses. The calculator provides prices for bulk shipping of postcards, letters, flats, and parcels. Simply select your package type and amount and the calculator will provide the price of shipping and postage.


online shipping calculator


Online Shipping Calculator:

The website is a great resource for comparing shipping rates between services. This calculator compares US postal service rates with other carriers like UPS and FedEx. The website provides an easy to use quote generator that asks for the location you are shipping from, the shipping destination, and package dimensions. In return, the site will provide shipping prices for several carriers, services, and speed of delivery. 



Whether you’re shipping for yourself or your business, the upcoming postage changes are sure to impact you financially. Thankfully, the USPS provides many different ways to ship your packages no matter the weight, size, or destination. We hope this guide on postage rates will help you determine the best way to send off your mail! 

For more helpful envelope-related tips, check out our blog. Or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. And, as always, if you have any questions, send us an email! Larry loves to hear from you.



Sam is a Boston-based writer and blogger. She can usually be found writing on the road while road tripping around the country. In her free time, she loves watching sci-fi films and working on her first novel.

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