Stamp Increase Adds to Bills

All of your mail is about to become more expensive. At the end of this month, the Post Office is raising the price of a stamp from 34 to 37 cents. The Postal Service says more price hikes may be needed soon. But, instead of increasing revenues, the 3 cent rise may cost the Postal Service many of its regular customers.

It's not going to cost Nathan Hughes any more in July to pay his June bills. He pays them online, avoiding the more expensive stamps all together. "I probably pay fifty bills a month. And I can do it very quickly, efficiently, and best of all, I don't have to buy any stamps."

Dr. Hughes uses Southside banks' "Bill Pay". Southside V.P. Brian McCabe says he's just one of hundreds to sign up for the electronic service this year. And McCabe expects more to come in part because of the stamp price increase. "The ability to go in there at night, pay it, not have to worry about going to the Post Office, not having to find the checkbook, writing the checks. And then economics as well."

Most banks charge around five dollars for fifteen online checks. That's about 33 cents per bill. But if you count the 37 cent stamp and the price for pre-printed checks, that can be as much as 45 cents per bill.

Hughes says he understands why the Post Office need to raise its prices. He's just glad he's not the one who has to pay them.

By the way, the price for a standard letter stamp fifty year ago... Just 3 cents.