08 April 2019
The 'Forever' stamp issued by the United States Postal Service (USPS) now costs 55 cents, although once purchased the stamp will remain valid for the posting of a normal-sized one-ounce letter.
The USPS introduced the 'Forever' stamp in April 2007 (at that time the cost was $0.41), allowing the stamp to be used for the current postal rate no matter what the price of the stamp was at the time of purchase.
This type of stamp is known as a non-value indicator (NVI) postage stamp and is a system used by countries around the world, including Great Britain, where '1st class' and '2nd class' values have been used since 1989. The non-denominated stamps save the post office money, as they no longer need to issue low value stamps to make up the rising cost of posting a letter.
The USA first issued a non-denominated postage stamp in 1975 with a value of 10 cents, to cover 'Christmas postage'.
The $0.55 value stamp is the most common, but there are actually a number of different Forever Stamps for different weights, as follows:
- Additional Ounce Forever Stamp rate: $0.15
- Two Ounce Forever Stamp: $0.70
- Three Ounce Forever Stamp: $0.85
- Global Forever Stamp: $1.15
- Postcard Forever Stamp: $0.35
- Non-Machineable Surcharge Forever Stamp: $0.70
The 55 cents rate was introduced on 27 January 2019 and is rumoured to be increasing again in January 2020, in line with inflation.
The large majority of the USA's commemorative stamps are issued with the 'Forever' value, meaning they will cover the rate for a normal-sized one-ounce letter into the future.