Have you ever bought a wild birthday card for a friend or family member? You know the kind—multiple pages, pop-ups, they may even come with trinkets. There’s no denying that cards like this are awesome, but there’s one downside.
Due to their weight, a Forever stamp often doesn’t provide adequate postage for such cards. So what do you do? Enter the Additional Ounce stamp, USPS’ money-saving answer to mail that’s just slightly too heavy. If you want to know more, check out my research on the matter!
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 still have questions about using Additional Ounce stamps, then stay right where you are; I’ve got all the answers!
What Are Additional Ounce Stamps Used For?
Additional Ounce stamps are used when you’re mailing a card or letter that weighs more than one ounce.
Currently, USPS charges $0.20 for each extra ounce a letter weighs up to 3.5 ounces.
That said, Forever stamps will cover the cost of postage for the first ounce, but if your item is heavier, you’ll need to make up the difference.
Say, for example, you write a long letter or send a birthday card containing some fancy decorations, causing the letter to weigh 1.5 ounces.
Your Forever stamp covers one ounce, but you still owe USPS for the additional half-ounce of postage, which is where Additional Ounce stamps come in handy!
What’s The Benefit Of Additional Ounce Stamps?
Aside from covering extra postage fees and ensuring your item gets to its destination (both of which are important!) Additional Ounce stamps can save you money.
Let’s take the example of the 1.5-ounce birthday card from before to see how this works.
Again, your Forever stamp will cover one ounce of postage, but what do you do about the remaining half ounce?
One option is to use two Forever stamps, which currently cost $0.58 each, meaning your 1.5-ounce letter will cost you $1.16 to mail.
Alternatively, you could use one Forever stamp and one Additional Ounce stamp.
Again, a Forever Stamp costs $0.58, while an Additional Ounce stamp costs $0.20. In this scenario, your 1.5-ounce letter will cost $0.78 to mail.
Also, using an Additional Ounce stamp is $0.38 cheaper than using two Forever stamps.
Can I Use A Forever Stamp And An Additional Ounce Stamp?
Yes, you can combine a Forever stamp with an Additional Ounce stamp to ensure your item has enough postage.
Are Additional Ounce Stamps Good Forever?
All USPS stamps, except those with a dollar value printed on them, remain valid for their stated purpose even if the cost of postage increases.
In this way, Additional Ounce stamps are like Forever stamps. However, they aren’t referred to as Forever stamps to avoid confusion.
Also, it’s important to note that an Additional Ounce stamp alone isn’t sufficient for mailing a standard letter.
That said, you need to combine it with a Forever stamp or a Denominational stamp. Hypothetically, you could use multiple Additional Ounce stamps as well.
How Much Do Additional Ounce Stamps Cost?
USPS sells individual Additional Ounce stamps for $0.20. However, you can buy a sheet of 20 Additional Ounce stamps for $4 or a roll of 100 for $20.
Still, be aware that these are the rates for Additional Ounce stamps right now and that the price may change in the future if USPS increases the cost of postage.
Where Can I Buy Additional Ounce Stamps?
You can buy Additional Ounce stamps online on the USPS website, at your local Post Office, or over the phone by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 (1-800-782-6724).
Further, USPS representatives can take your order over the phone Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET and Saturday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM ET.
Can You Use Additional Ounce Stamps Alone?
Yes, you can use Additional Ounce stamps alone to mail letters; however, you’ll have to use enough to cover the postage rate.
For example, you could use three additional ounce stamps ($0.20*3 = $0.60) to cover the postage for a one-ounce letter.
That said, using a Forever stamp is slightly cheaper and much easier.
What Do Additional Ounce Stamps Look Like?
Like other USPS stamps, Additional Ounce stamps have an image in the center of the stamp and include the inscriptions “USA,” “Additional Ounce,” and the release year.
Currently, USPS has two Additional Ounce stamp designs that you can choose.
One design, released in 2017, features eight graphic top hats in the Uncle Sam Style. Also, beneath each hat is an oval shape representing a face.
Each face is a different shade, presumably to celebrate the racial and ethnic diversity of the United States.
Additionally, USPS released a second design in 2021 featuring a brush rabbit, a small cottontail rabbit native to the US West Coast.
To find out more about USPS stamps, you can also see our posts on USPS stamp types, if USPS stamps expire, and what are Forever stamps.
One of USPS’ lesser-known stamps, the Additional Ounce stamp, is a handy way to pay for small postage overages when mailing letters and cards.
Not only that, but they’ll also save you money when used for their intended purpose.
Even better, Additional Ounce stamps have a stable value, meaning you’re able to stock up now and use them as needed without fear of them expiring or losing value.