Friday 24 February 2017

Massive Increase in Basic Airmail Rates Will Hit PostCrossers

Royal Mail have announced the 2017 round of price changes, effective 27 March.  There are minor increases to basic inland letter rates, with no changes to the Signed For premium, or to Special Delivery Rates.  Airmail changes are a mix of up and down, but the major increase is in the basic letter rate for Europe up to 20g, Worldwide up to 10g, and postcards which rises 11.4% from £1.05 to £1.17. (corrected)

The announcement can be read here, and new rate tables for non-business use downloaded here.  For people sending parcels with postage paid through Royal Mail Click and Drop, Royal Mail Online postage and online channels such as eBay, Amazon and PayPal postage rates are often lower but as that does not affect the price of stamps, or of postage from most stamp dealers, I will leave readers to find these out if they are interested.

The changes which affect the price of stamp issues are as follows:

Inland 1st and 2nd class 100g rates up 1p to 65p and 56p.
Inland 1st Large 100g letter rates up 2p to 98p and 2nd Large up 1p to 76p. (corrected)
    Rates for all other Large Letters increase, Small Parcels of 1kg, and 2kg 2nd class also increase but Medium Parcel and 2kg 1st class Small Parcel rates remain unchanged.

The Royal Mail Signed For premium of £1.10 remains on Letters and Large Letters.  Rates for Signed For Small and Medium Parcels are all reduced by 10p.

New stamps will be required for all standard Letters.

Europe 20g, Worldwide 10g and Postcard rate rises from £1.05 to £1.17, up 12p
Worldwide 20g rate rises from £1.33 to £1.40
Europe 100g rate rises from £1.52 to £1.57
Worldwide 100g rate rises from £2.25 to £2.27

For Large Letters the Europe 100g rate rises from £2.45 - £2.55 which will mean a new stamp, while the 250g rate rises from £3.70 to £3.80 (there is no stamp for this rate).  All other European and ALL Worldwide Large Letter rates remain unchanged so the £3.15 and £3.30 stamps should remain in use and we may see new M17L printings.

Most of the Airmail Small Parcel rates will rise.

Airmail premium services.
The rates for International Tracked and Signed, International Tracked and International Signed Letters remain unchanged despite some increases in the standard rates.

Rates for some Large Letter services are reduced while others remain unchanged.   The changes to Small Parcels are a fine-tuning mix of increases, reductions and unchanged.

International Surface or Economy
Royal Mail no longer issues stamps for economy rates.  Letters are increased by 12p from 90p to £1.02 up to 20g (a saving of 15p on a letter), and by 10p from £1.37 to £1.47 for up to 100g.  Most rates for Large Letters and Small Parcels are increased although a few are unchanged.

New stamps should be issued on 21 March at the following rates:

£1.17 - Letter: Europe 20g, Worldwide 10g and Postcard.

£1.40  - Worldwide letter up to 20g

£1.57 - Europe letter up to 100g

£2.27 - Worldwide letter up to 100g.

£2.55 - Europe Large Letter to 100g. 

There will also be 8 new Country Definitives, being £1.17 and £1.40 for each country. 

The cost of the new definitives if bought direct will be £19.24 plus Royal Mail handling charge.  A cylinder block (6) of each will cost £115.44!

The Post and Go Collectors strip of 6 will rise from £7.75 to £8.04, with the 2nd class pair rising from £1.30 to £1.32.

Sets of special stamps will increase accordingly, with the 10 x 1st Songbirds, for example, costing £6.50 instead of £6.40.


  1. They are producing stamps for services that will never get used. Most people go to the post office to send international mail or use a mixture of 1st and 2nd class stamps.
    The stamps we do need are make up stamps 9p, 21p, 33p instead of having to have a multitude of low denomination stamps on you.

    1. I agree, and so do many post office people. 9p was in use and I still use it to make up 2nd class to 1st. And I generally use 2 x 1st for the £1.27 >250g rate: it's just easier.

      Still, if you want lower value definitives there are plenty available through discount postage sellers, often at stamp fairs. At York they were selling defins and specials at 80% face for even small quantities: that used to be trade rates for over £50.

  2. Assume 77p for 2nd class Large 100g is a typo - although you have the 2nd class P&G pair at £1.33, so maybe 2 typos. Royal Mail show an increase of 1p to 76p for the said stamp.

  3. I'm {not suitable for this lovely blog... word} fuming. Most of my mail is upto 20g airmail (to Europe and beyond), with a few domestic letters added to the mix each month. The £1.33 to £1.40 isn't too bad, but 12p on the first bands of airmail and surface mail is a joke that isn't funny.

  4. My maths isn't brilliant but I would say that the increase in the Europe 20g rate is closer to 11.5% (17% in two years!)

    1. Yes, don't know what I plugged into the calculator there! I'll correct it when I get bac to the computer. Thanks

  5. At least Post & Go machines mean there's effectively an NVI stamp for some of the international values, so savvy Postcrossers can stock up at the current rate.

    1. Good point, and if they are lucky they can find the Mail by Rail pictorial ones.


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