In 2009, you could send an envelope that weighed less than 1 ounce for 44 cents. As of August 29, 2021, that same envelope would cost you 58 cents to send. For those who buy stamps in commercial quantities or who don't mail items very often, they would be stuck with unused books of stamps. They would have to buy a new book of stamps to continue to efficiently send mail. To solve this problem, the U.S. Postal Service invented the Forever Stamp.
What Are Forever Stamps?
According to the Postal Service, the first Forever Stamp was issued in 2007 and featured a picture of the Liberty Bell. By 2011, almost all stamps sold by the post office were Forever Stamps. A Forever Stamp can be purchased for the current first-class postal rate price. In 2007, the price was 41 cents. If you happen to have a roll of forever stamps purchased in 2007 sitting around, each stamp now has a face value of 58 cents.
Do Forever Postage Stamps Expire?
The Postal Service states that Forever Stamps can be used to mail a 1-ounce letter regardless of when the stamps were purchased. Even if prices change in the future, a Forever Stamp can still be used to mail a standard letter. The price to purchase a Forever Stamp goes up and is always the same price as a regular first-class mail stamp.
Even though postal rates go up, the value of the Forever Stamp tracks the price, but you do not have to pay extra. The current Forever Stamp value is at 58 cents, and a roll of 500 stamps would cost $290. If the postal rates go up to 65 cents, the same roll of 500 stamps will cost $325 dollars. In 2007, the roll of 500 stamps you paid $205 for can still be used currently and in the future, which means you'd automatically save money.
Forever Stamps for International Packages
Forever Stamps can be used to mail international packages, but the process is a little different than first-class mail. International postage rates continually fluctuate. To use a Forever Stamp, you need to calculate the total rate of your international letter or packages.
Then, you divide it by the current value of first-class mail, and this will give you the number of Forever Stamps you need to put on the package or letter. For instance, if you wanted to mail an international package that would normally cost $18, you would divide it by the current first-class mail price as of 2021, which is 58 cents. It would take 31.03 Forever Stamps to mail, but you would have to round up to 32 stamps.
Using Previous Year Forever Stamps
One misconception that people have is that old stamps expire when the postal rates increase, except for Forever Stamps. Old stamps are still good and can be used at face value. The only caveat is that you might have to affix more stamps to the envelope until you reach or exceed the current postal rates. This is inconvenient, which is one of the reasons why the Forever Stamp was invented.
If you go to the Postal Service website, you might notice that the word “Forever” is crossed out. The stamps you receive will not have this word crossed out. The Postal Service did this to prevent people from copying the stamp and producing fake ones. Always buy your postage stamps from the Postal Service to make sure they are not fake.
Forever Stamps are an excellent solution to the problem of having to use multiple stamps to mail a first-class letter. The concept is a little difficult to grasp because it is so different from any other product. With any other product, as the price goes up, you expect to make pay more for it, but the value of the product itself does not increase. This is where Forever Stamps are different.
Read More: Can You Resell Postage Stamps?
Adam Luehrs is a writer during the day and a voracious reader at night. He focuses mostly on finance writing and has a passion for real estate, credit card deals, and investing.