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 they’re working out, cooking, or driving? It’s the best way to enjoy books when you’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 show you a few alternative options.

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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 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.

What can you still listen to while on hold?

While your subscription is paused, you lose access to the Audible Plus catalog. But you can still listen to any Audible books you have bought and, of course, spend any Audible credits you might 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.

But I can also appreciate the option of pausing and being able to stop payments while still having time to spend my credits.

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.

Now that we’ve gone over the pros and cons of canceling vs. pausing your account, let’s get into how you can pause your Audible membership.

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.

And that’s all it takes to pause an Audible membership!

Like I said, this is a solid option if you want to keep your credits but don’t want to continue paying for the time being.

Just make sure you remember to cancel your Audible membership before the three months are up unless you want to use your paid plan again by then.

Alternatives to Pausing Audible Membership

If you’re still unsure whether you want to pause, cancel, or keep an Audible membership, I have a few alternatives for you that you might want to consider.

The first option is to cancel and sign up for a free trial with another audiobook service, such as Scribd or This way, you can try out a different platform and see if it has anything to offer that Audible doesn’t.

Plus, you can do more audiobook listening without having to spend any money! And if you find that you miss Audible, you can always go back and reactivate your membership.

The second recommendation I have is to switch your Audible subscription either to the Audible Plus plan or Audible Premium Plus – 1 credit every other month.

The Audible Plus plan is the cheapest option the company offers. It doesn’t give you any monthly credits, but you have full access to the Audible Plus catalog for unlimited listening.

This is a very budget-friendly subscription for avid listeners who want a lot of audiobooks but find the Premium Plus plan too expensive.

The other option is Audible Premium Plus – 1 credit every other month. That’s the one I currently have.

This is a hidden plan that you can only get as a special offer during the cancelation dialogue or by contacting customer support and asking for it directly.

This plan is actually really sweet because you get full access to Audible Plus, a credit every other month, and access to sales events, but you only pay 50 cents more per month than for the pure Audible Plus plan that doesn’t have any credits or access to the great Audible deals events.

You are billed $17 every other month, which might seem expensive for a credit. But it’s a fantastic deal if you like the Audible Plus catalog because you pay only a little more and still get Audible credits that you can spend on Premium titles.

Why Audible should change the Pause Membership option

We’ve talked about the pros and cons of cancel vs pause Audible, and we’ve looked at different audiobook plans. And what I think really stands out here is 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 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 Audible books in your library that you haven’t listened to, without finding an unexpected Audible charge a couple of months later because you forgot that your account would reactivate.

Audible, as a company, greatly benefits from you pausing vs canceling your membership. Because when you pause, your subscription will automatically activate again unless you remember to cancel it in 3 months (and let’s face it, most of us would forget that, I know I have).

Every company loves to keep subscribers! So, I think as an incentive for us to use pause instead of cancel, we should be able to keep access to 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 canceling Audible.

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!

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