First-class postage stamp rises to 49 cents

      WASHINGTON (AP) - It's going to cost you a few pennies more to mail a letter.

      The cost of a first-class postage stamp is now 49 cents - 3 cents more than before.

      Regulators approved the price hike in December, and it went into effect on Sunday.

      Many people won't feel the increase right away: Forever stamps are good for first-class postage at whatever the future rate.

      The last increase for stamps was a year ago, when the cost of sending a letter rose by a penny to 46 cents.

      The Postal Service lost $5 billion last year and has been trying to get Congress to let it end Saturday delivery and reduce payments on retiree health benefits.