Stamps have come a long way in terms of design and value over the last few years! Along with a multitude of types of stamps in many denominations, the United States Postal Service offers a large, colorful range of designs, pictures, and charities to support. I’ll take a closer look at these charities a little later…
But before that, do you remember that roll of stamps you’ve got tucked away somewhere… Yes, the ones you’ve had forever. You might be wondering if they are still ok to use. You can’t remember when you bought them, but does it matter?
Do USPS stamps expire? Let’s find out…
- Is There An Expiry Date For USPS Forever Stamps?
- The Different Types Of Stamps
- The Condition Of The Stamp
- Does The Value Of USPS Stamps Change?
- Inflation Of Postage Stamps In The US
- Where Is The Best Place To Buy USPS Stamps?
- What Kind Of Stamps Does USPS Offer?
- What Are First Class Semi Postal Stamps?
- Save Vanishing Species
- Sending A Parcel Off With USPS
- Final Thoughts
Is There An Expiry Date For USPS Forever Stamps?
Thankfully, the answer is no, USPS Forever Stamps do not expire, ever! With the most regularly used “Forever Stamp” (there’s definitely a hint in their name), they can be used, well, forever!
These are most commonly used for domestic and business-sized mail across the US. So no matter how long ago you bought any US Postal Forever stamps, they will always be valid. But what about all the other types of USPS stamps? Let’s take a look…
Read more: What Are Non-Machinable Stamps?
The Different Types Of Stamps
Did you know that USPS has many different types of stamps? Well, we just covered the validity of Forever Stamps, but what about the other kinds? I can happily report that all other stamps are also valid forever. It doesn’t matter when they were purchased; they are still able to be used.
- Postcard Stamps
- Additional Ounce/Two Ounce/Three Ounce Stamps
- International Stamps
- First-Class Semi-Postal Stamps
- Priority Mail Stamps
- Priority Mail Express Stamps
- Definitive Stamps
- Nonmachinable Stamps
- Additional Postage Stamps
- New Release
- Stamp Subscriptions
But, even though each type of stamp never expires, there are a few things to be aware of…
The Condition Of The Stamp
Now, your stamps might never expire. However, they do need to be in good condition to be accepted as payment for your post. This makes sense because if something is damaged, it loses its value. Well, it’s the same for stamps.
For example, if the border is damaged or a corner has been ripped off, then I’m afraid it is no good. Conversely, if the stamp is faded or watermarked, or the value is unreadable, then again, it’s not going to be accepted. Another no-go is if the glue of the stamp is no longer sticky. If you have to use tape to stick the stamp to the letter, it will most likely be rejected.
Does The Value Of USPS Stamps Change?
This is where it can get a bit tricky. Let’s take a looks at Forever Stamps. They are considered to be “non-denominated” postage. What does this mean, you ask? It simply means there is no price written on the stamp. Instead, you will find the words “USA FOREVER” printed somewhere within the stamp design.
Forever or First Class Stamps first became a thing in 2007 and were released with a patriotic Liberty Bell design. They will always be able to mail a 1 Oz letter regardless of when the stamp was purchased or future price increases. The current price for this type of stamp is 60¢.
Inflation Of Postage Stamps In The US
In 2005 the price of a postal stamp was 37¢. This increased to 39¢ just one year later. In 2008 they increased to 42¢ and jumped to 44¢ in 2009. They stayed at this price for a few years and then increased by 1¢ for two years until January 26, 2014, when they surged by a huge 3¢ to 49¢.
Interestingly, and for the first time, (since July of 1919 when the price dropped from 3¢ to 2¢). The price for a US First Class Postage Stamp dropped down 2¢ to 47¢ after two years on April 10, 2016. It remained at this value for a mere nine months before increasing back to 49¢ and up again to 50¢ the following January.
A rollercoaster ride in prices…
The biggest price hike of all came about in January of 2019 when a 5¢ increase saw the price of the forever stamp rise to 55¢. Which, with the pandemic on the horizon, hit individuals and businesses alike. August 29, 2021, sees the price increase again, bringing it to 58¢, while the last and most current bout of inflation came in July of 2023, raising the cost by 2¢ to 60¢.
What Happens To My USPS Stamps When The Price Inflates?
Well, as previously mentioned, the stamps you have already purchased do not lose their value or have a price increase. So any stamps previously purchased will remain at their face value. However, as you can see, the price of stamps and the cost of postage increases regularly.
Therefore, I recommend constantly stocking up on forever stamps, as the price will most probably increase again in the new year and most years thereafter.
Where Is The Best Place To Buy USPS Stamps?
The most obvious place to buy U.S. Postal Service stamps is….
Yup, you guessed it, the United States Post Office! They have been in business since 1775, servicing over 163 million home and business addresses in the US since. You can find locations in almost every single town and village, with multiple locations in larger towns and cities. You can search online for a store using the USPS Store Locator Tool.
There are automated kiosks in most USPS stores these days; these are stamp vending (instead of cash vending) ATM machines that will keep you out of the long lunchtime lines!
Online for your convenience…
You also have the option of buying stamps online from the USPS online shop from the comfort of your own home. You can buy stamps in rolls, sheets, and booklets. This is a great option, as you’ll be able to select from the 50 Forever Stamp designs and themes!
Where Else Can I Find Stamps to Purchase?
Your local post office isn’t the only place! You can purchase stamps from places like the local convenience store, pharmacy, and office supply store, as well as grocery stores and big box retailers like Target and Walmart.
You might be surprised to know that some select banking institutions sell stamps, and you can even get them at some of these banks’ ATMs! These usually include Wells Fargo, the U.S. Bank, and Fifth Third Bank. It’s possible that not all locations will have them, but if this is your go-to bank, then you might be in luck! Always be on the lookout for the “Buy Stamps Here” symbol.
What Kind Of Stamps Does USPS Offer?
You can get all kinds of stamps for your mail. Check out the list below for the types, denominations, and current prices available at the USPS online store. I highly recommend double-checking the weight of your domestic and business mail. This is because the Forever Stamp used to pay for these is only valid on posts up to 1 oz.
If it exceeds, you can go out and purchase additional ounce stamps or a stamp to a certain monetary value. Add these, and it will bump up the postage. If it is inconvenient to go out and get one, you can add another forever stamp to cover the costs. This will cost you more, but at least you know you are covered.
Stamps USPS offers include:
- Forever Stamps – 60¢
- Postcard Stamps – 44¢
- Additional Ounce Stamps – 24¢
- Two Ounce Stamps – 84¢
- Three Ounce Stamps – $1.08
- International Stamps – $1.40¢
- First Class Semi Postal Stamps – 75¢
- Priority Mail Stamps – $8.95
- Priority Mail Express Stamps – $26.95
- Definitive Stamps – $1, $2, $5, $10
- Nonmachineable Stamps – 99¢
- Additional Postage Stamps – 1¢, 2¢, 3¢, 5¢, 10¢
- Stamp Subscriptions – $12.00
What Are First Class Semi Postal Stamps?
Ah well, I’m glad you asked, as these stamps are pretty special! They work exactly like a Forever Stamp in that there is no monetary value written on the stamp, and are used for regular mail. However, they cost a little extra, which goes toward supporting great causes.
Currently, USPS has four different charity stamps available, these include:
Raising funds since 2019 to support the tens of millions of Americans currently suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Destroying the minds of the people affected by this disease, it is ranked as one of the top ten leading causes of death for Americans. The USPS has been supporting the fight against Alzheimer’s since 2017.
Breast Cancer Research
These are the postal service’s first, and therefore oldest, supported charity through stamps. They are also the only Semi-Postal Stamp that has been issued twice!
The first was in 1988, and the second issuance came about in 2014. Supporting medical research at the National Institute of Health and the Department of Defense, the USPS has raised an incredible $92.7 million to fight this disease since its inception.
Save Vanishing Species
Since 2011, the USPS has raised more than $6.4 million for the world’s endangered species. These funds have been put towards saving African and Asian Elephants, Great Apes, Marine Turtles, and the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation funds.
Read more: How Old Do You Have To Be To Work at Forever 21?
Sending A Parcel Off With USPS
You might be wondering about a few things before posting your parcel, such as Does USPS Print Labels, What Is A USPS Parcel Locker, Can I Drop A Package In A USPS Mailbox, and What Does Delivered To An Agent Mean USPS?
Next, you might want to know the Departed USPS Destination Facility Meaning, How Long Does USPS Hold Packages, as well as Does USPS Have First Class Tracking, and Can You Track A USPS Package Without A Tracking Number in 2023.
Finally, for that anticipated delivery, check out Does USPS Deliver At Night, or perhaps Does USPS Deliver On Sunday, if it’s weekend, and if need be, How To Refuse A Package USPS, along with what to do when USPS Says Delivered But No Package?
As long as the stamp is undamaged and in good condition, USPS stamps will never expire. You can use any stamp issued since 1860 to pay for posting your mail across America, and, indeed, anywhere they operate. If you are lucky enough to have one from that era and are crazy enough to use it!
So, either start collecting or do some posting!