How to Pause Your Audible Membership (and why it sucks!)

If you’re like me, you probably love Audible. I mean, who doesn’t love listening to books while working out, cooking, or driving? It’s the best way to enjoy books when we’re too busy to sit down to read. And Audible is a great service with many perks!

However, there may come a time when you need to pause your Audible membership – whether it’s because you want to catch up on your unlistened Audible books or just don’t have the money for it right now.

Below, I will show you exactly how to pause a membership step by step, discuss with you the pros and cons of pausing vs canceling an Audible account, and I will point you toward a few alternative options.

**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**

Audible Pause vs Cancel: Pros and Cons

Before I show you how to pause an Audible Premium Plus membership, I want to quickly say a few things about canceling vs pausing Audible. Both are ways to stop payments immediately, and both have their pros and cons that I want you to be aware of.

How often can you pause Audible?

You can cancel and restart your Audible membership at any time. But you can only pause your subscription for 3 months every 12 months. These 12 months only start once your membership is active again, so you can’t actually pause your membership every year, but at most every 15 months.

If you have ended up here because you were asking yourself: “How many times can I pause an Audible membership?”, the answer is for 3 months out of every 15 months!

In most situations, canceling is simply less hassle because you can do it at any time, and you can also re-activate at any time.

However, if you have a bunch of Audible credits saved up and need to quickly stop the next payment, pausing Audible might be preferable. It will stop any payments for three months, and you don’t need to spend your unused credits right away but can take your time choosing worthy books.

What can you still listen to while on hold?

When our subscription is paused, we lose access to the Audible Plus catalog. But we can still listen to any Audible books we have bought and, of course, we can spend any Audible credits that we have saved up.

So, if you’re wondering: “If I pause my Audible membership, can I still listen to my books?” The answer is yes, you can still listen to anything in your Audible library, with the exception of borrowed Audible Plus titles.

Those will be automatically returned when you put your subscription on hold.

Audible Pause or Cancel?

Overall, pausing your subscription doesn’t have any advantages compared to canceling, with the one exception that, when you cancel, you have to spend all your Audible credits first.

What I have done in the past was to pause my membership for three months, so I’d have more time to find audiobooks I would want to spend my credits on. And then, I’d put a reminder in my calendar to cancel the membership at the end of the pause.

Otherwise, the paid membership will simply continue once it is not on hold anymore.

Personally, I prefer canceling because I feel I have more control over when my membership continues. I won’t have to remember to check in again. I feel it’s less pressure.

But I can also appreciate the option of pausing and being able to stop payments while still having time to spend my credits. I actually did that recently with one of my Audible accounts.

Yep, I have several in different marketplaces because I can never pass up on a good discounted membership. And since I still have a credit there I want to hold onto, I decided to pause my subscription. When we will get close-ish to the time when it runs out, I will see if I can get another discounted offer during the cancelation process.

One thing you should be aware of in the case that you are undecided whether to cancel or pause Audible is that you can spend your unused Audible credits on pre-orders before you cancel your subscription.

It’s often easier to buy pre-orders from authors you know and love, than to find something new that looks “credit-worthy”.

Your pre-orders will be delivered once the audiobooks are released, even if you don’t have an active Audible membership at that time. You have bought them with an Audible credit, so they are yours to keep.

If you have decided you rather want to end your membership for the time being, please check out my guide on how to cancel an Audible membership.

How to Pause an Audible Membership

It’s actually really easy to put a pause on an Audible account, and it doesn’t even send you through quite as long a dialogue as when you try to cancel. Here’s how you do it:

First, go to or your local Audible marketplace in a desktop or phone browser (not in the Audible app) and log into your account.

Image from the Audible dashboard with an arrow pointing to the dropdown menu point "Account Details" and to "Pause membership" at the bottom of the membership details screen

Navigate to the menu in the top right with “Hi, <your name>” and click on Account Details.

The Membership details screen should be open on your screen now. Next to the “Switch Membership” button, you will see “Pause membership” in a simple blue font, as well as “Cancel membership”.

You will be asked to confirm that you want to place your membership on hold for up to three months. Once you confirm this by clicking “Continue,” your Audible subscription will be paused.

If you want to reactivate your subscription early, simply go to the same screen to end the pause. Otherwise, your subscription will automatically activate, and you will be billed again after three months.

If you get an error notice, you can contact Audible customer service. But chances are you had put your membership on hold in the past 15 months and aren’t eligible again yet.

Why I think Audible should change the Pause Membership option

I believe that the Pause Audible membership option isn’t particularly attractive to customers.

I said a few times before that it’s great if you want more time to spend saved-up credits. But that is the only thing pausing offers.

Yes, a casual listener who has a lot of Audible credits might appreciate it. But honestly, you can also just take the plunge, buy a couple of books and pre-orders for the credits you have saved up, and then cancel.

That way, you can take all the time you need to catch up on the books in your Audible app, without finding an unexpected Audible charge a couple of months later because you forgot that your account would reactivate. (This has happened to me too many times. I’m speaking from experience here.)

Of course, that’s exactly what Audible has in mind with this. Every company loves to keep subscribers!

So, I think as an incentive for us to keep and pause our Audible memberships, we should be able to access Audible Plus while our subscription is on hold.

Three months of free Audible Plus access every 15 months really doesn’t seem like that big a deal for a company that constantly offers free trial months or significantly discounted subscriptions.

And without that, I strongly feel that in most cases, pausing doesn’t offer enough benefits compared to outright ending your membership.

But that’s just my opinion. If you have had good experiences with pausing Audible subscriptions, I’d love to read your thoughts in the comment section!

If you want to know how to get the most out of your subscription, check out my ultimate guide on Audible Membership and Free Trials!

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