Postal service rate increases go into effect

WASHINGTON (AP) - The cost of mailing a card or letter goes up two cents today to 41 cents.

The new "forever" stamp is also available. It will remain valid regardless of any future rate increase.

There is a break on the cost of mailing a letter that weighs more than one once. The cost for each additional ounce drops to 17 cents, so heavier letters such as wedding invitations will cost less to mail. The rate had been 24 cents per extra ounce.

Because most post offices were closed Sunday, officials say items that were dropped in a box that will not be collected until today should have the higher postage on them. However, the post office does not plan a rash of returns for insufficient postage.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)