While there are many ways to communicate these days, however, for those who still value handwritten letters and cards, knowing the postal service is still vital.
A term that comes up a lot in conversations about postage is “additional ounce stamp.” But what exactly are these stamps? Why are they so important?
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into additional ounce stamps, clarify their purpose, and provide clarity to anyone looking to navigate the complexities of mailing heavier items.
What Are Additional Ounce Stamps?
USPS issues Additional Ounce stamps to cover postage above one ounce (up to 3.5 ounces maximum) as of 2023. You can combine Additional Ounce stamps with Forever or Denominational stamps. Like Forever stamps, the value of Additional Ounce stamps are stable and will always cover the cost of postage for one additional ounce.
If you need to mail a card, document, or letter weighing more than one ounce, additional ounce stamps are available to accommodate the extra weight.
Effective July 9, 2023, there will be an average cost of $0.24 per letter for an additional one ounce.
It’s important to note that if the card you are sending weighs one ounce or less, an additional ounce stamp is not required.
However, if your item exceeds one ounce, you will need to use an additional ounce stamp to cover the extra weight.
This may apply, for instance, when sending a lengthy work-related letter weighing 2 ounces due to embellishments or self-packaging.
The postage cost for one ounce will be covered by your Forever Stamp, but you must affix an additional ounce stamp to account for the additional ounce.
The role of Forever stamps:
If you purchase a Forever stamp for a certain price, you can use it to mail a one-ounce letter without adding additional postage, regardless of future rate increases. The Forever stamp remains valid and can be used indefinitely as long as it covers the cost of sending a one-ounce letter.
What’s The Benefit Of Additional Ounce Stamps?
If you’re sending multiple items, postage can become prohibitive. To combat this, you can use the “Additional Ounce” stamp to reduce postage costs on multiple items.
Let me give you an example:
You want to mail a holiday card that weighs 2.0 oz. The usual price per ounce of Forever stamps is $0.66, with additional stamps priced at $0.24 per ounce.
That means if you want to mail a birthday card using two Forever stamps, it costs $1.32, and if you use an additional one-ounce stamp, the additional ounce costs $0.90.
You’ll find you save $0.42 by using the additional-ounce stamp.
Can I Use Two Additional Ounce Stamps for a 2.0-Ounce Holiday Card?
Understanding the mechanics of additional ounce stamps is important, and here are a couple of key points to keep in mind to avoid redundancy:
Firstly, additional ounce stamps serve as an initial payment method for mailing various items.
You have the option to begin with a Foever stamp alone, or you can utilize additional ounce stamps if the weight of your card, letter, or document exceeds one ounce.
Secondly, suppose you are sending a letter weighing around 3 ounces.
In this case, you can optimize your postage by using one Forever stamp along with two additional two-ounce stamps. This combination will effectively cover the required postage, providing a cost-saving alternative to using three Forever stamps.
Can I Use A Forever Stamp And An Additional Ounce Stamp?
As we mentioned above, if you’re sending a letter that weighs about 3 ounces, you can optimize the postage by using one Forever stamp and two additional 2-ounce stamps.
As long as the item is less than 2 ounces, you cannot send more than one Forever stamp and one Additional Ounce stamp.
Can I Mail Holiday Cards Using Only the Additional Ounce Stamp?
Yes, you can decide not to use Forever Stamps at all when mailing.
However. There is a big difference between the two when used.If you decide to mail it with just the additional ounce stamp, you could end up paying more. This point, I believe, you have already felt from the above content.If you need to mail a letter weighing more than 2 ounces, the best way is to use a Forever stamp to mail a letter weighing one ounce, then you can introduce the additional ounces, especially if the weight is not a whole number.
Is It Beneficial to Utilize Multiple Additional Ounce Stamps for Mailing?
It is always recommended to ensure the appropriate number of stamps is used to ensure successful delivery of your postage.
However, if you choose to use additional stamps, you have the flexibility to do so.
It is important to understand that no refunds will be issued for postage exceeding the required amount.
For example, if your card or letter weighs 1.5 ounces, you will need to use one Forever stamp and one additional ounce stamp.
Alternatively, using one Forever stamp and two additional ounce stamps is also acceptable.
It is important to note that any additional stamps used will not be refunded upon reaching the destination.
Can I Use the Additional Ounce Stamp on International Mails?
When dealing with international postage, the regulations vary from domestic mail.
It is important to note that using an additional ounce stamp meant for domestic use is not applicable when mailing items outside of the United States.
Instead, you must utilize the specific additional ounce stamp designated for the country you are sending the mail to.
Look for stamps that display the corresponding country’s indication to ensure proper usage.
Stamps featuring the USA sign are exclusively intended for domestic mailing within the United States and should not be used for international postage.
Are Additional Ounce Stamps Worth Forever?
While certain USPS stamps remain functional despite increased postage costs, it’s crucial to differentiate them from Forever stamps.
Stamps categorized as additional ounce stamps do not fall under the Forever stamp classification.
Additionally, it’s important to understand that attaching a single ounce stamp alone does not suffice for sending a standard letter.
When combining stamps of different denominations, it’s crucial to ensure their cumulative value meets the required postage.
Although using stamps with varying values is theoretically possible, it’s worth noting that during the cancellation process, the stamps will be cancelled.
How Much Is an Additional Ounce Stamp in 2023?
There are several ways you can purchase additional-ounce stamps with the USPS.
You can always decide to buy this stamp individually or in a collection. You can purchase an additional ounce stamp (a pack of 20 stamps) for $4.80. You may also decide to purchase a roll of 100 stamps for $66.
Beginning July 9, 2023, stamp rates will rise again. First Class Mail letters remain $0.24 per additional ounce
|Latest Stamp Rates (Effective July 9, 2023)|
|STANDARD ENVELOPE||63 Cents||66 Cents|
|Less Than 1 Ounce|
|Each additional ounce||24 Cents||24 Cents|
|Nonmachinable Surcharge||40 Cents||40 Cents|
|POSTCARD||48 Cents||51 Cents|
|Less Than 1 Ounce|
|Each additional ounce||24 Cents||24 Cents|
How to Identify the Additional Ounce Stamp?
Each stamp possesses unique characteristics that aid in their identification.
Similar to other stamps, additional ounce stamps feature a central image displaying inscriptions such as “Additional ounce,” “USA,” and the year of release. The USPS offers two distinct designs for additional ounce stamps.
The first design, introduced in 2017, showcases a creative depiction of eight top hats in the iconic “Uncle Sam style,” with an oval-shaped face positioned below each hat. These faces are intentionally depicted in varying shades to celebrate the ethnic and racial diversity found within the United States.
In contrast, the second design, unveiled in 2021, adopts a simpler approach. It features an adorable cottontail rabbit, specifically a brush rabbit indigenous to the west coast of the United States.
FAQ about Additional Ounce Stamp
Q: What is an additional ounce stamp?
A: An additional ounce stamp is a postage stamp used to cover the cost of mailing items that exceed one ounce in weight. It is designed to supplement the value of a standard first-class letter stamp when sending heavier letters, documents, or cards.
Q: How does an additional ounce stamp work?
A: When mailing an item that weighs more than one ounce, you affix a standard first-class letter stamp for the initial one ounce, and then attach additional ounce stamps to cover the extra weight. Each additional ounce stamp is designed to add the necessary postage for each additional ounce or fraction thereof.
Q: Can I use multiple additional ounce stamps for heavier items?
A: Yes, you can use multiple additional ounce stamps to account for the weight of your item. For example, if you are mailing a letter weighing 2.5 ounces, you would affix a standard first-class letter stamp for the initial ounce and then attach two additional ounce stamps to cover the additional 1.5 ounces.
Q: Are additional ounce stamps “Forever” stamps?
A: No, additional ounce stamps are not considered “Forever” stamps. They have a specific denomination tied to the additional postage required for each ounce or fraction thereof. While Forever stamps retain their value regardless of future rate increases, additional ounce stamps do not hold this same guarantee.
Q: Do I need to use an additional ounce stamp if my item weighs exactly one ounce?
A: No, an additional ounce stamp is not required for items that weigh exactly one ounce. A standard first-class letter stamp covers the postage for a one-ounce letter. Additional ounce stamps are only necessary for items exceeding one ounce in weight.
In conclusion, additional ounce stamps play a crucial role in ensuring that your mail reaches its destination smoothly when dealing with items that exceed one ounce in weight.
These stamps provide a flexible solution for covering the additional postage required, allowing you to send cards, letters, and documents without any complications.
It is important to accurately assess the weight of your item and affix the appropriate number of additional ounce stamps to meet the postage requirements.
While additional ounce stamps are not considered “Forever” stamps and do not offer refunds for unused postage, they serve as a valuable resource for efficiently mailing heavier items.
By understanding the purpose and usage of additional ounce stamps, you can navigate the postage system with confidence and ensure the successful delivery of your mail.