Postal Service's 'Forever' Stamp to Debut in May; First-Class Stamp Price to Rise to 41 Cents

Beginning in May, U.S. consumers will be able to buy a "forever" stamp for 41 cents that remains valid regardless of a future increase, and the price of a first-class stamp will rise to 41 cents from 39 cents, the board of the U.S. Postal Service decided on Monday.

The "forever" stamp is designed as a convenience for consumers, said Board of Governors Chairman James Miller, because they will not have to buy additional stamps on the next price increase.

The changes take effect on May 14.

In addition to the first-class increase, postcard stamps will increase by two pennies to 26 cents in May. Those sending a one-pound package will have to pay $4.50, compared to $3.95 currently.

However, the board put off a decision until July on raising the mailing costs of periodicals.

The nine governors are appointed by the president and charged with setting prices for the federal agency, which delivers nearly half of the world's mail.

The Postal Service has lost business in recent years to commercial rivals such as FedEx Corp. (FDX) and United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS), and because of increasing use of the Internet.