April 15, 2011 in Business

Postal rate hikes won’t alter regular stamp cost

Randolph E. Schmid Associated Press
Key changes

• The unchanged 44-cent rate covers the first ounce of a letter, but each additional ounce will cost 20 cents, up from 17 cents currently.

• Post cards will go up a penny to 29 cents.

WASHINGTON Postage rates are going up starting Sunday, but the changes mostly affect businesses. Mailing that recipe to Aunt Mary or birthday card to Uncle Joe won’t cost any extra.

Among the changes, it will cost advertisers more to flood your mailbox with sales offers and publishers will face higher charges to send you their magazines.

But the basic 44-cent first-class letter rate will stay the same, even though postage overall goes up about 1.7 percent as the price of many other mailings rises.

The agency lost $8.5 billion last year and the rate increases – estimated to bring in an added $340 million this fiscal year – won’t make much of a dent in that. The Postal Service is limited to increases at or below the rate of inflation.

With the change in rates, letters to Canada or Mexico increase to 80 cents, up from 75 cents to Canada and 79 cents to Mexico.

There will be various price changes for other mailing services, including advertising mail, periodicals and packages, which have complex sets of charges based on size, weight, distance, what percentage of a magazine is advertising and what percentage is editorial matter, and how much of the sorting is done in advance.

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