Do stamps expire?

How long can you keep stamps and will their value hold indefinitely?

In short, stamps don’t expire.

However, if rates go up, the stamps you have may not cover the new postage cost, so it’s essential to keep up with rate changes. Additionally, stamps can become damaged or otherwise unrecognizable, making them ineligible for use.

So while mail stamps can’t technically expire, there are two caveats:

  1. postage rates tend to increase year by year;
  2. UPS will not validate damaged stamps.

If you have bought a pair or stacked a pack of stamps several years ago and want to use them don’t be sure to check the new postage rates (see below).

Do forever stamps expire?

No. As the name suggests, forever stamps are intended to be used indefinitely.

If you buy a forever stamp today, you can use it to mail a one-ounce letter next week or after 10 – 50 years.

Although the price of a forever stamp equals a standard First-Class stamp price, both of them tend to increase year by year. For folks who intend to send many letters in the future, buying forever stamps is a great way to hedge against inflation.

Do Global Forever stamps expire?

No! Global Forever stamps do not expire.

If you plan to send 1-ounce outside the U.S. in the future, stacking Global Forever stamps could be your thing.

Global Forever stamps are currently accepted in over 180 countries, including Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

The Current Value of Stamps

Check the current value of stamps or forever stamps and find out how much postage you will need to send a letter or a package to your loved ones, colleagues or business partners. Current price of stamps:

  • Metered mail One Ounce: $0.57
  • Additional Ounces: $0.24
  • Postcard stamp: $0.44
  • Forever Stamp One Ounce:  $0.63
  • A one-ounce letter mailed to other countries $1.40.

What if postage rates go up?

Recently, prices have been increasing for almost all goods. So it seems very likely that the postage price could increase as well.

If you purchased first-class stamps and postage for a one-ounce letter became more expensive, you will have to buy additional stamps to cover the gap. The difference could be less than 5 ¢ or much more, but no worries in the local post office, it is possible to buy even stamps in denominations of 1 ¢.

Another option would be to use Forever stamps, which have no denominal value. Each of these stamps has the title “Forever,” which means that in the U.S., they can be used indefinitely.  The same forever stamps bought in 2007 for 41 ¢ can be used in 2022, although their new price has risen to 60 ¢.

Sounds too good to be true? If you buy Forever stamps now, you can use them even when first-class postage costs 2 dollars or more.

Of course, you can’t become rich by hoarding Forever stamps (can you?), but it’s a great way to save money when UPS announces a price increase.

How do I know if a stamp will be rejected?

If your stamps are damaged or otherwise unrecognizable, they will most likely be rejected.

To avoid having your stamps rejected, make sure that they are:

  1. In good condition.
  2. Have not been mutilated, altered, or canceled.
  3. Free of any extraneous material such as staples, paperclips, or tape. (UPS calls stamp taping one of the most often reasons for rejecting them.)
  4. Corresponding to the value of the letter (or shipment).

If the edge of the stamp has broken or missing pieces it will most likely be rejected. In case of doubt, visit your local post office and chat with a mail clerk.