An Audible membership is a must for audiobook fans, and an Audible free trial is the starting point for many new audiobook listeners. These days, Audible offers much more than just 1 free audiobook per month.
Find out below how to get the most out of your Audible free trial and Audible membership!
This blog post is a starting point for anyone wanting to understand this audiobook service and learn all the little tricks that let you get more out of your subscription. That’s why you can find links to more in-depth blog posts throughout this article.
If you still have questions after reading, though, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
**The marked links and book covers on this page are affiliate links. If you use them to purchase something, I earn a fee at no additional cost for you. Disclosure**
How does an Audible Membership work?
An Audible membership is a monthly subscription service that provides access to audiobooks and other audio content. The service is available through a dedicated app, which you can download for free from the Apple Store or Google Play.
In the standard plan, in return for a flat monthly fee of $14.95, you receive one token, an Audible credit, that you can exchange for any audiobook from the entire catalog.
You have the option to buy more credits in bundles of 3, but you can also buy audiobooks for money. Members also get a baseline discount of 30% on all audiobooks in the store and access to members-only sales events.
In addition to the audiobooks you buy, you can also borrow an unlimited number of titles from a special catalog called Audible Plus. This works like Netflix or your local library. The Plus catalog includes only a fraction of the entire Audible catalog, though.
How does an Audible Free Trial work?
During the 30-day Audible free trial, you get exactly the same perks as subscribers on a paid plan.
As described above, you receive one credit that you can exchange for any audiobook you want. And you get unlimited access to the Audible Plus catalog.
If you choose to cancel your free trial so you won’t get billed, you get to keep the audiobook you bought with your credit. You keep access to your Audible library and can listen to this one title whenever and as often as you want.
However, once your Audible free trial ends, you will no longer have access to the Plus books. They will disappear from your library immediately, including any that you might have downloaded already.
Just as with Netflix, you can only access this content while you have an active subscription.
You can cancel anytime, even right after signing up, if you want to make sure that you don’t forget. You will still have access to those Plus books for the entire 30 days, and you get to buy and keep a premium audiobook in exchange for that free Audible credit.
If you love the audiobooks and want to keep using the app, you don’t have to do anything, as the subscription renews automatically.
By the way, as an Amazon customer, you won’t need to create a new account on Audible. You can log in with the same email and password that you use for Amazon.
Is it possible to get a second Audible Free Trial?
If you signed up for a free Audible test month before, it’s possible that you will be eligible again about a year after you canceled.
It’s worth keeping an eye on any emails from Audible as this is where they make you the best promotional offers, like a 4 months subscription for $5.95 per month, or, indeed, another free trial.
If your household has more than one Amazon account, each one is eligible for an Audible trial, as long as each account uses different payment information.
Which Audible Plan has the most bang for the buck?
Audible Membership Cost
Audible US offers five membership plans. Other international marketplaces have fewer options.
The Plus plan is the cheapest option at $7.95 per month. It gives you access to the Plus catalog of around 10,000 titles, and you can borrow as many audiobooks from it as you like.
The Premium Plus plan is $14.95 per month or $149.50 per year. It includes unlimited access to the Plus catalog and one credit per month (or 12 per year upfront) for an audiobook of your choice from the entire premium catalog.
While you can only listen to Plus books while your Audible membership is active, any books you buy for a credit are yours to keep, and you can listen to them whenever you like, even after canceling or pausing your subscription.
The Premium Plus 2 credits plan is $22.95 per month or $229.50 per year. In addition to Plus access, you get two credits per month (or 24 per year) to buy any books you want from the entire catalog.
A bit of napkin math shows that the Premium Plus 2 credits annual plan is a really, really good deal for anyone who can afford the steep upfront price. In the end, you only pay $9.56 per credit instead of the standard $14.95!
If you find you regularly buy additional credit bundles, you might want to consider switching to that plan!
Read more in my blog post comparing Audible Plus vs Premium Plus
Can you get Audible Membership Deals?
Apart from the 4 months deal that is restricted to new subscribers, Audible US very rarely offers discounts on their standard membership plans. Audible UK and other international marketplaces usually have a special offer for Black Friday, and you can sign up for these from anywhere.
Becoming an international listener can be a pretty smart choice if you are looking for an Audible membership discount.
They offer mostly the same audiobooks worldwide, apart from any books that have a regional restriction. These are based on your location, though, not on the Audible marketplace (meaning: a listener from the UK will see UK audiobook versions on the Audible US website and vice versa).
A popular strategy to get an Audible membership deal is canceling your subscription. When you click through the cancelation process, you are asked several times if you are sure and why you want to cancel.
If you choose “it’s too expensive” (and you haven’t used this offer recently), you will likely be offered a 50% discount for 3 months of a Premium Plus subscription. You can still cancel anytime if you change your mind during the first or second month and won’t be billed again.
The Ins and Outs of Audible Credits
Do Audible Credits expire?
Yes, beware of this! Every credit is worth a lot of money (usually $14.95), so take good care of them! When you cancel your Audible membership, any unused credits will disappear.
Generally, unused credits roll over to the next month. However, Audible credits expire after 1 year! You will get a notification via email when credits are about to expire so you can still spend them.
Also, a little tip, if you didn’t use your credits because you couldn’t find anything interesting, just use them for a pre-order.
Audible credits work for pre-orders like for any other book, and the title will be delivered to your Audible library once the book has been released.
This even works when you cancel your membership. (As in: buy pre-orders for left-over credits, cancel membership, get audiobooks delivered once they are released, and download them as usual even though you don’t have an active subscription anymore).
Can you Pause an Audible Membership?
If you have more credits than audiobook listening time (who are you, though?!?!? haha), you can choose to pause your Audible membership.
This works once per year for up to 3 months. During this time, you won’t be billed and won’t receive additional Audible credits. You also won’t have access to the Audible Plus catalog!!
But you keep full access to your library of Audible books you own, and you can spend your remaining Audible credits and listen to those books.
Pausing basically works as if you had canceled, with the difference that you don’t lose your credits. And, of course, you will be billed again once your pause ends.
Check out my guide on How to Pause an Audible Membership
Can you Cancel Audible anytime?
Yes, you absolutely, truly can cancel whenever you want. And you can use this in different ways!
For example, you can cancel right after starting a free trial, so you won’t forget to cancel it later on. You have full access to Plus audiobooks for the remainder of the billing period, and you have time to spend your credit(s).
Or, if you find you need another credit quickly but have run out, you can cancel your subscription and sign up again right away. You will be billed again right away, too, but you will also get a fresh credit!
You can also, as I mentioned earlier, use the cancelation process to snatch up a discounted membership.
Find my guide here on How to Cancel Audible
How often can you exchange an Audiobook?
A very popular strategy to get more out of your Audible membership used to be exchanging books over and over as often as possible to get many extra hours of listening out of one credit.
I will be the party pooper now and tell you, please don’t do that!
For two reasons: Firstly, Audible is quick these days with blocking this membership benefit entirely for your account. They monitor refunds more closely now, and if they view behavior as “unusual”, they will limit your account.
Secondly, when you exchange an audiobook, you are not cheating Amazon out of that money, but the audiobook creators.
Say what?? Yep, this feature that is promoted absolutely everywhere (“just return it for a full refund”) doesn’t cost them anything. They simply don’t pay the publishers, authors, and narrators!
After a huge outcry among audiobook creators, this policy has been slightly adjusted to that, if you return an audiobook in the first 7 days after purchase, Amazon assumes it’s a quality issue and will not pay the audiobook publisher.
If you return an audiobook later than 1 week after purchase, the author will receive full royalty payments.
But you might see where I’m going here. Obviously, Audible doesn’t like paying for things. Amazon is a huge company. You don’t become a huge company by paying people more than they earned you.
So, again, they are very serious these days with taking the refund feature away from customers!
Of course, you can and should absolutely return audiobooks that you can’t finish because you don’t enjoy them or because the quality is bad.
It’s great that the returns policy makes it so much easier for us customers to take chances on new authors and narrators.
But if you finished an audiobook and had a halfway decent time with it, do think carefully whether or not you want to return it, both for the sake of your account as well as the audiobook creators who deserve to be paid.
Read more about How to return an Audible book
Not every Audiobook is worth a credit!
This sounds harsh. But what I mean is that a credit has a specific value ($14.95), and often, you can buy audiobooks cheaper with Amazon Whispersync.
When an audiobook is Whispersynced, you can seamlessly switch between the Kindle ebook and the Audible book. However, these deals are so good that, oftentimes, it costs you less than the value of a credit to buy the ebook and the audiobook in a bundle, even when you only want the audiobook!
Whispersync also works for $0.00 ebooks as well as ebooks borrowed through Kindle Unlimited.
If a book is Whispersynced, the Whispersync price will be displayed on the audiobook’s page together with a link to click through to Amazon, where you can buy the package deal.
When they are $7.49 or even only $1.99, it’s usually worth it to buy the Whispersync deal with the ebook instead of spending an Audible credit.
If you own many Kindle ebooks, you can use the Amazon Audible Matchmaker** to check for Whispersync deals to add the narration for a low price.
Audible Membership Perks
The Plus Catalog
The most important benefit you get as a subscriber is unlimited access to the Plus catalog.
With an Audible membership, you can really listen to as many audiobooks as you want, not only to the one you buy for your monthly credit.
Read on about Audible Plus!
Sales and Deals Events
Most sales events are members-only, and they are a really nice perk. You have the Daily Deal with a new audiobook being offered for just a few dollars every day.
You can also find $5 sales regularly, as well as 2-for-1 sales during which you can buy 2 audiobooks from a special catalog for 1 Audible credit. These events are always worth a look!
They also make the wishlist a worthwhile feature. Whenever you see a book you find interesting but don’t want to buy right away, add it to your wishlist.
When that book is available in a sales event, you will receive an email, and you can grab it for a steal.
Check out my summary of all Audible Sales and Deals events.
Exclusive and Original Audiobooks
Audible is not only an audiobook store but also a pretty big audiobook publisher!
Audible Originals are exclusive audiobooks that are created by the company’s own publishing branch. The scripts for these stories are often written specifically for Audible’s production, and the title will be released as “audio-first” or even exclusively in audio.
They can be anything from fiction to nonfiction, biographies to business books. You won’t find these audiobooks anywhere else.
And often, they are either included in the Plus catalog or have a Whispersync deal for $1.99.
These are always outstanding productions with good stories narrated by well-known voice actors. This company simply knows what audiobook listeners like.
They will often use a full cast of famous actors or make it a special listening experience in other ways.
You can start with my Top 10 of the Best Audible Originals!
Get the Most out of your Audible Free Trial or your Audible Membership!
Use your credits wisely! Use them for long and expensive audiobooks or maybe even audiobook box sets.
Double-check that the audiobook you want doesn’t have a cheap Whispersync deal!
Use the Audible Plus catalog! Some people, especially former Audible Escape subscribers, have been skeptical about it. But there are many great titles in there, and, hey, if it’s not good, just stop listening and start something else.
After all, Plus books are free to listen to. You can use this to try out different genres, mix things up with short audios, or even podcasts. It’s really a great service, and new releases are added regularly.
Between unlimited listening to Plus books and all the many deals and sales, in addition, of course, to the credits, Audible makes it very comfortable for audiobook fans to use their service exclusively.
All in all, you can really make this subscription worth it and listen to books every day without paying much more than $14.95 per month.
You can read more in my blog post on the question: Is Audible worth it?
If you aren’t a member yet, try it out now with a 30 day free trial**. You get all the perks, and you can keep the audiobook you buy with your free credit, even if you cancel right away!
FAQ and Summary
What is the Cost per Audible credit?
The baseline value of a credit is $14.95. This is the monthly fee for a Premium Plus subscription. If you sign up for an annual plan or get a discount offer, the value might be lower.
How to upgrade an Audible Membership
1. Go to the official website in a browser
2. Click on “Hi, (your name)” in the upper right corner
3. On the Membership details page, click on the “Switch Membership” button
4. On the following screen, choose the plan that fits you the best
How often do you get Audible credits?
That depends on which subscription you have. If you have the standard plan, you get your credit once a month. If you have an annual subscription, you get all credits immediately (once a year) after signing up or renewing your membership.
How to get more Audible credits?
If you are currently subscribed to Premium Plus 1 credit, you can switch to the Premium Plus 2 credits plan. But you also have the option to buy bundles of 3 credits whenever you have 1 credit or less in your account. If you go to the official website in a browser, you can see “Buy 3 extra credits” in the upper right corner if you are eligible.
How to get more Books on Audible?
There are several options! You can switch to a plan that offers more credits per month, you can buy a 3 credit bundle, you can download Plus books, or you can buy audiobooks with money, especially during sales events.
Why does Audible limit credits?
That’s a good question! It’s not very customer-friendly that credits expire after a year. However, you are not limited to just 1 or 2 credits per month. You can buy bundles of 3 as often as you want, or you can switch to an annual plan that gives you 12 or 24 all at once. You can also, at any point, cancel your subscription and sign up again. You will get billed and will instantly receive new credits as well.
Eline Blackman (pronouns: she/they) fell in love with books as a child – with being read to and reading herself. 10 years ago, she bought her first Audible book. It was love at first listen! An average of 250 audiobooks per year has become the new normal and you will rarely see Eline without a wireless earbud. Romance and Fantasy are the go-to genres for this audiobook fan.