May 31, 2015 USPS® Rate Increase – See How It Will Impact Your Budget

On May 31, 2015 the USPS has increased their rates on many of the most common mail classes.  For the past 17 years, I have been creating comparison charts for my clients that go over the changes in rates to show how it will affect their budgets.  The reason that I do this is that when the USPS talks about a 2% increase, this is overall.  Based on the type of mail you do, the increase could be higher or lower.  You need to look at the class, weight, zone, density and special services required to see the true impact.  Also, when you look at the new rate charts provided by the USPS, they typically will not show the level of detail needed (Previous and new rates, side-by-side) to see these differences.

The remainder of this article will look at the main classes of mail and will break down the specific increases.  Hopefully this will help you budget for these changes by seeing how it will impact your mail.

First-Class Mail®


Increase – 0-10.2%

First Class Mail Retail 2

Metered Letters

The price of a First-Class Mail® stamp stays the same at $.49 but the issue is most business mailersare not paying this rate.  They are using postage meters or pc postage services (Metered Letters category) where the rate increased by 1%.  The biggest impact for First-Class Mail® is in 2 areas:

  1. Additional Ounce Rates – These increased from $.21 to $22 per ounce for letters and flats.  If you are sending a 6 ounce flat, your rate goes up by 2.5% and the heavier the item, the higher percentage increase.
  2. First Class Parcels – The base rate increased from $2.32 to $2.54 and the additional ounce price has gone up from $.18 to $.20.  This makes these light weight parcels 9-10% more expensive.  My guess is this change is so high because this service is still a bargain compared to the private carriers.


Increase – 0.9-4.2%

Commercial First Class


What is interesting about the increase is that it affects the mail with the deepest sort levels.  If you are using a presort service, this may affect the rates they are charging so pay close attention to your invoices.

Standard Mail®

Increase – 1.4-5.1%

Standard and Non-Profit


The biggest increase in this category will impact Non-Profit customers.  5 Digit letter rates went up 2.8% compared to 1.9% for Commercial customers and Flats are going up between 4-5.1% (vs. 1.5-2.9%).

Special Services

Increase – 0-56.5%

Special Services


One item that I wanted to specifically point out is the cost of sending Certified Mail with Return Receipt.  The price will now be $6.74 (Compared to $6.49) for a one ounce letter.  At that price, it may be a good idea to check your 2-3 day rates with your private carriers to see if they are less money.  Also, consider switching to the Electronic Return Receipt (ERR) which saves $1.40 each.


It is impossible to compare every rate but these are the most common mail classes used by business mailers throughout the United States.  I hope this type of comparison is helpful and we will continue to post upcoming rate changes on our website at


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