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Forever Stamp Dilemmas: Does It Make Sense To Buy Forever Stamps For First-Class Postage?

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By Andrea

Forever Stamps are U.S. postage stamps that have no price printed on them.

The value of a Forever Stamp is whatever it costs at the moment to send a letter first class, regardless of when you bought that Forever Postage Stamp.

forever stamps u.s. postage rate

Thus, a Forever Stamp never declines in value.

In fact, it actually increases in value as the cost of postage increases. It’s kind of like ‘rent control for stamps‘.

Here’s what you need to know about Forever Stamps

See the current postage rate for first class mail and other items mailed through the USPS.


U.S. Postage Before Forever Stamps

Forever Postage Stamps were introduced in 2007.

Before then, any time stamp prices went up you had to purchase additional 1- or 2-cent stamps to affix next to your “old” stamps on a letter. Combined, they would equal the cost of a new first class stamp.

As a result, many U.S. postage stamps were wasted any time there was a postage rate hike. Some people simply put 2 first class stamps on a letter, rather than purchasing additional 1- or 2-cent stamps to make up the difference.

Others failed to use up their supply of  “old” stamps, due to the inconvenience of having to buy additional postage to go with them.


Pros & Cons Of Buying Forever Stamps

If you use a lot of stamps and mail out a bunch of letters, then buying Forever Stamps can save you quite a bit of money… at a few cents a stamp.  Every penny helps, right?

there are different sizes of forever postage stamps

In effect, you will have stocked up on U.S. postage stamps, and you won’t have to run out and get stamps at an inconvenient time (or at the last minute, should postage rates increase again).

Not only is the Forever Stamp a bright light in a tough economy, it’s also providing a whole lot of pleasure for the postal service. The agency’s chief seemed to relish his chance to introduce it, saying “Who said nothing lasts forever? Source

On the other hand, if you don’t use a lot of stamps, buying Forever Postage Stamps can be wasteful because they will likely become lost or misplaced.


Can You Use 2 Forever Stamps To Cover Extra Postage?

According to my local post office, you can use as many Forever Stamps as you would like on first-class letters and packages. Each Forever Postage Stamp is worth the actual first-class postage rate on that date.

forever postage stamps cover the current postage rate

However, you’d be wasting postage if you used an additional Forever Stamp to cover the few extra cents needed for a slightly heavier, 2 oz letter today.

Remember most letter mail falls under the 1 oz standard weight that a first class postage stamp (or Forever Stamp) automatically covers.

The rate for 1 additional ounce is just under half the price of a Forever Stamp. So, if you used 2 Forever Stamps to mail a 2-ounce envelope, then you’d be wasting almost half the value of your second Forever Stamp!

For that reason, it’s best to know how much over-weight your letter is first — then use this first-class postage rate chart to see if it makes sense for you to use an additional postage stamp or not.


How Many Forever Stamps Should You Purchase?

I suggest that you get 3 to 6 months of worth of Forever Stamps — based on your personal stamp usage. But not everyone agrees with me.

forever postage stamps on envelopes

And if a major holiday or special event is happening in the next few months, then you should purchase enough Forever Postage Stamps to cover your mailing needs during those times, as well.

Buying a bunch of stamps just before a rate increase is a very effective way to save money. You can easily outpace inflation with this “investment” and even outpace a lot of other investments, including money market accounts. Of course, over a longer period of time (a period of 2 stamp rate increases or more), the price increases begin to match inflation, and that’s not a good investment. Source

Then again, some think that stocking up on Forever Stamps is a lousy investment.

For example, Saving Advice brings up the following points:

  • You can make more money by putting the money for your stamp budget in the bank instead of buying Forever Stamps.
  • Forever Stamps can’t be resold for a profit.
  • The post office plans to put limits on hoarding Forever Stamps.


Where To Buy Forever Stamps

Here’s a list of some of the most popular places to buy Forever Postage Stamps:

  • The best place to buy Forever Stamps is at your local post office.
  • Many grocery stores and warehouse clubs (like Costco and Sams) also sell Forever Stamps at face value — so that’s a convenient option for many.
  • Retail mailing stores (like the UPS Store and FedEx Office stores) also sell Forever Stamps.
  • Heck, my bank’s drive-up ATM even sells Forever Stamps these days!
  • You can also Forever stamps on Amazon — and there are no shipping fees for Amazon Prime members.

More About U.S. Postage Stamps

In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some frequently asked questions and information about Forever Postage Stamps: