New postage rates in effect

May 11, 2009 at 7:52 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 11 (UPI) -- Two cents may not buy much nowadays, but it will help a first-class letter mailed Monday reach its destination under new U.S. Postal Service postage rates.

The cost of mailing a letter rose from 42 cents to 44 cents for the first ounce -- about five sheets of paper -- a move necessitated by rising production costs, the USPS said in announcing the hike in February. Postcards now cost 28 cents while large envelopes cost 88 cents for the first ounce to mail, rates on the USPS Web site show.

One way consumers can hedge against the rising costs of snail mail is by using so-called "Forever Stamps," postage without a cent designation that can be used any time for a 1-ounce letter. Forever stamps sell at the going postage stamp price, but can be used when the rate is increased without additional postage.

USPS on its Web site promotes Forever Stamps by urging visitors to "Buy them now, use them forever."

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