If you’ve got a book of 44-cent stamps, you’ll want to use them today.
After two-and-a-half years of steady prices, the cost of mailing a letter first class is set to increase Sunday to 45 cents.
Forever stamps purchased before the 1-cent rate hike will still be valid after the 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 to 32 cents from 29 cents.
Mail to Mexico and Canada will cost 85 cents per stamp, up 5 cents. Other international mail will see the biggest hike: It will now cost $1.05 to send letters abroad, up from 98 cents.
The price increase comes in the midst of significant financial troubles for the U.S. Postal Service as the volume of mail decreases.
“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 at a $5.1 billion loss. It delivered 3 billion fewer pieces of mail in 2011 than in 2010.
The Postal Service agreed Dec. 13, 2011, to put on hold plans to shutter any post offices until May 15. During that time, it will continue to review sites for possible closure.
is located at 26 S Madison St.