USPS postage hike is in effect

Forever Stamp (USPS)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Get ready to pay a little more if you go to buy stamps today. Prices rose from 46 to 49 cents on Sunday.

The three-cent increase is the largest in consumer postage prices in more than a decade for the{} U.S. Postal Service.

According to USPS officials, the The U.S. Postal Service ended the 2013 fiscal year with a net loss of $5 billion marking the seventh year in a row they incurred losses.

It will affect millions of people even though fewer Americans use the USPS to pay bills and keep in touch.

Highlights of the new single-piece First-Class Mail pricing, effective Jan. 26, include:

  • Letters (1 oz.) 3-cent increase to 49 cents
  • Letters additional ounces {} 1-cent increase to 21 cents
  • Letters to all international destinations (1 oz.) $1.15
  • Postcards 1-cent increase to 34 cents

"Of the options currently available to the Postal Service to align costs and revenues, increasing postage prices is a last resort that reflects extreme financial challenges," said Board of Governors Chairman Mickey Barnett in a letter sent to customer in September. "However, if these financial challenges were alleviated by the timely enactment of laws that close a $20 billion budget gap, the Postal Service would reconsider its pricing strategy. We are encouraged by the recent introduction of comprehensive postal reform legislation in Congress, and despite an uncertain legislative process, we are hopeful that legislation can be enacted this year."

    If you want to avoid paying more in the future, consider buying Forever Stamps. They're always valid, no matter what you paid for them even if prices go up later.