Is an Audible Membership Worth the Price?

Many people have a passion for reading, but they lack time to dedicate to getting into their favorite books. If you love diving deep into a mystery, or letting your imagination run wild in a fantasy novel, or simply want to learn new skills from a non-fiction genre, audiobooks can help you do so in record time. 

Audible is the most popular audiobook platform out there. Owned by Amazon, it gives you access to tons of great content for a low monthly price. The program has gone through many changes over the year as Amazon played with different price structures and tiers of service. The current plan has simplified things and made it very easy to select the right membership for you. 

What are the Costs and Benefits of Being an Audible Member?

Early on, Audible was partially included under an Amazon Prime membership. The two memberships are now totally separate. So, even if you have a Prime membership, you will need to sign up and pay for an Audible membership as well. 

Before you sign up, you’ll get a free trial membership for 30 days. Your free trial comes with access to the Plus Catalog and one free credit to download any audiobook you choose. If you are also a Prime member, you will get a bonus credit (two credits total) during the trial period. 

Plus ($7.95 a month)Premium Plus ($14.95 a month)
Listen to anything from the Plus Catalog – Unlimited.
1 credit per month to download a premium audiobook of your choice
Exclusive discounts of up to 30% and other promotions

The Audible Plus membership is basically the Netflix of audiobooks. Amazon has a collection of thousands of audio titles (originals, classics, exclusives, and podcasts) that you can listen to as much as you want for $7.95 a month. You can purchase any additional audiobooks you want to hear that are not included in the Plus Catalog. 

The Audible Premium Plus membership gives you one free audiobook a month of your choice. If you plan to listen to bestsellers or new releases, then this is the plan for you. You can also buy additional audiobooks each month at heavily discounted rates. Podcasts with no commercials can also be listened to with both plans. 

The Pros and Cons of a Paid Audible Membership

If you’re a fanatic reader who has limited time, then Audible can be a real blessing. While nobody loves to pay for a subscription, there are multiple ways you can benefit from a paid membership. 

Pros of Audible:

  • Audible is a great benefit for people who love to read but have a shortage of time on their hands. You can listen to audiobooks while you drive to work, walk on the treadmill, or in the background while you work, or even clean the house. 
  • There are tons of great titles available in the unlimited listing Plus Catalog. The selection has 180,000 titles and growing. Audiobooks are a great way to relive the classics. 
  • You can return audiobooks! Many people are afraid to try audiobooks because they fear you won’t be able to return them. Digital products have a reputation for not being able to be returned but not with Audible. Use the “Great Listen Guarantee” to return any audiobook you didn’t like within one year of purchase. Right now, there are no limits on the number of returns, and you get the credit added back to your Audible account. 
  • Audible is compatible with smartphones (both iOS and Android), laptops, Macs, tablets, and computers. You can even use Whispersync to pick up on your phone where you left off on your laptop. The Audible app makes it easy to listen to audiobooks and podcasts on the go.
  • Audible books are often read by well-known actors and public figures. 
  • Many books come with a summary, so you don’t have to listen to the full text if you were only looking for a little information.
  • Audible allows you to roll over unused credits, so if you have a busy month and didn’t get to download a book, you can get two the next month. You can also pause your membership temporarily if you know you’ll be busy or on vacation. 

The Audible membership won’t be best for everyone. If you find that you don’t like audiobooks or aren’t fully using the membership, then the cost won’t be justified for you. 

Cons of Audible:

  • Audiobooks range in price and length, so you have to be careful about which titles you choose to use your credit on. Especially in the non-fiction section, there are many lower-quality and shorter books that only cost between $1-$3. You’ll want to be careful not to select any of these books to use your credit on because you can save money by purchasing them separately. Use your credit to buy full-length books, hot titles, and new releases that are closer to $14. 
  • Credits expire immediately when you cancel your membership. Be careful not to cancel your subscription when you have credits in the bank, or you will lose them. 
  • Prime members don’t get any additional benefits. You do not get a free or reduced rate on Audible for being a prime member. You do, however, get an extra free book credit during your 30-day free trial if you have a Prime account. 

Audible Membership FAQs

Can I gift someone an Audible Membership?

Do you know a book lover that would benefit from an Audible membership? You can visit the Audible Gift Center to purchase an account for a friend or family member. You can pay for one month, three months, six months, or even a full year.

How can I save money on an Audible Membership?

If you’re ready to take the plunge and commit to a year of Premium Plus membership, you can pay annually instead of monthly for a small discount. The cost of the annual Premium Plus plan works out to be around $12.50 a month rather than $14.95.

How do I cancel my Audible Membership?

You can cancel your plan or pause it at any time by visiting your member settings on the Audible website. You can also choose to downgrade from the Premium Plus to the Plus plan at any time.  Here are more detailed instructions on canceling your Audible account.

What happens if I don’t use my credits?

Don’t worry if you forget to purchase a title each month. Your credits do not expire and will roll over if you don’t get a chance to use them. Your credits will remain in your account until you cancel the account. The books you purchase with credits will always be yours, even after you cancel your membership. If you have any credits outstanding when you cancel, however, you will lose them. It is suggested that you redeem all your credits before withdrawing.

How do I refund a book on Audible?

If you don’t like a book, you can return it with no questions asked. Audible makes it easy to return or exchange books. You can use the desktop website or the Audible app to request refunds. View your purchase history and click on “exchange book.” Your credit will be returned to your account, and you will be free to download a different title.

Does Audible come free with a Prime membership?

Unfortunately, Amazon decided not to include Audible in the Prime membership. Brand new Audible users can get an extra credit during their free trial period. If you are looking for a discount, Amazon often runs specials. Recently, they offered the Premium Plus membership at just $9.99 for the first six months as part of their President’s Day sale.

Wrapping Things Up; Is An Audible Membership Worth It?

If you aren’t a book lover, then you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. Assuming that you enjoy reading and want to speed through more books by throwing audiobooks into your mix, then this membership is totally worth it.

You can binge as many older and original titles in the Plus Catalog as you want and be able to apply your free book credit to one newer full-priced title per month.

If you want even more books, you can get insanely good discounts on purchasing additional titles each month. 

If you want to try things out, you could take it in stages. First, try the 30-day free trial. If you like that, check out the Plus plan. If you find that you crave newer or bestselling titles, treat yourself to the Premium Plus membership.

Deanna Balestra is a freelance writer and a contributor from St. Louis, MO who enjoys writing about a variety of topics including small business, marketing, education, and health. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading both fiction and non-fiction books, watching movies, playing with her kids, and volunteering with animals.

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