Is a Barnes and Noble Membership Worth The $25 Yearly Fee?

As a lifelong avid book reader, I can tell you there are tons of ways to make sure your “to be read” pile stays fully stocked. You can purchase books brand new from a realtor like Barnes and Noble, buy them online, both new and used, and check them out for free from your local library.

You can also trade books with friends, buy e-books, or even listen to them being read for you with an audiobook. The choices are endless, so why would anyone want to spend $25 a year for a B&N membership program? 

Let’s take a look at everything a Barnes And Noble membership brings to the table. With all the facts in hand, you’ll be able to tell if a paid membership to this book store is a good fit for you.

What Benefits Come With A Barnes And Noble Membership?

Every time you check out at a B&N store, you’ll be asked if you are a member. If you aren’t, the cashier will offer the membership to you. Due to the instant savings the card can give you; the membership might just pay for itself on the spot if you happen to be making a large purchase. At only $25 a year, it’s hard for any book-loving fan to pass up. 

If you love not only to read books but to own them, then you probably find yourself frequenting bookshops quite often. Having access to books for free at the library is a fantastic offering, but some people just prefer to purchase the books and build their own at-home libraries. 

With any membership card that comes with a fee, figuring out if the cost is worth the benefits will have a lot to do with how often you shop at that particular store. With in-store savings on books, magazines, and cafe items, just a few visits per year can easily earn you the $25 back and more. 

Barnes And Noble Membership Benefits:

  • Receive 10% off the lowest price of most store items, including books, magazines, and cafe items.
  • Get 40% off hardcover bestsellers in-stores.
  • Use your discount online and get free shipping on all orders.
  • Get early access to events and sales.
  • Get exclusive in-store and online offers (often 20% off an item coupons are available) 
  • Birthday offers exclusively for members.
  • Get 10% off a NOOK e-reader. 

Many people are jumping on the e-reader bandwagon because it saves physical space and is easy to carry with you or purchase books at a moment’s notice. However, for true book lovers, nothing will ever replace holding a book in your hand and flipping through its paper pages. While the number of different book retailers has faded, there will always be the need for at least one or two significant booksellers in the marketplace. 

Barnes and Noble beat out Borders for market control a few years ago. In different regions of the US, you can find a few remaining book store chains such as Books-A-Million; there aren’t many left. This makes B&N one of the few book-focused chain stores left in America. That makes it more likely that book-buyers be visiting a B&N location a few times a year, at least. 

What are the Pros and Cons of a B&N Membership?

Even if you enjoy reading, deciding to add another membership to your budget can be a hard decision. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of a B&N membership.

Pros Of A Barnes And Noble Membership:

  • If you shop at Barnes and Noble three or more times per year, then the $25 membership will easily pay for itself. 
  • Besides the discounted books, another pro to being a B&N member is all the extra coupons and invites to special events. 
  • You’ll also get to use your 10% discount at the cafe so you can sip your favorite caffeinated beverage while you browse through your new books. 

Cons Of A Barnes And Noble Membership:

  • On the con side, this is a paid membership, so if you don’t shop at Barnes And Noble very often, you could be wasting money. 
  • The membership discounts are also not good at any on-campus stores. 
  • A few other restrictions do apply. Make sure to read your terms of service for any new membership.
  • A club membership can only benefit you if you use it often enough to make the benefits outweigh the cost.

FAQs About The Barnes And Noble Membership

How much does a Barnes And Noble membership cost?

The membership cost is $25 per year. For this annual fee, you get discounts and other perks at the store and online.

How do I cancel my Barnes And Noble membership?

You can click on “manage my account” when you are logged into the B&N website to cancel your membership. You can also call their customer service line at 1-866-238-READ. If you forget to cancel, you can get a refund, but it must be within 30 days of the start of the membership, and you cannot have used it.

Do I have to renew my Barnes And Noble membership?

Your membership will automatically be renewed for you so that you don’t forget. If you want to be asked about renewing, go into your settings on the website and opt-out of automatic renewal.

What is my Barnes And Noble membership number?

You can find all details of your membership, including your account number, on the website. The membership number can be helpful to have on hand when placing an online order.

Does Barnes And Noble support educators?

B&N is a champion of childhood reading and has a great program for teachers. Register for free to get 20% of all purchases made for classroom use. You can also get 25% off your purchases on educator appreciation days.

How do I use my B&N membership online?

To use your membership at the Barnes And Noble website, connect your membership to your online account or simply enter your member number at checkout. You can shop on their website or shop using their app.

Does Barnes And Noble Have A Smartphone App?

Yes, B&N has its own app. You can browse books, find stores, and make purchases right on the app. You can also get a NOOK mobile app for free and use it to read ebooks.

What Is A NOOK device, and can I use my membership to buy one?

When e-readers first hit the market, Barnes and Noble quickly launched their own proprietary version. You can purchase a NOOK at 10% off with your membership. You cannot use your membership to get discounts on ebooks or digital audiobooks at this time.

More Ways To Save Money At Barnes And Noble

Regardless if you’ve decided the membership is for you or not, there are a few other ways you can always save money on your book purchases at B&N. If you like to load up on reading material then you know it can be quite expensive. Here are my personal top three tips for getting great deals at this book shop.

  1. Always use online coupon codes. Never checkout online without checking for Barnes and Noble coupon codes from Koopy first. You’ll find incredible savings you didn’t even know about. In fact, never shop anywhere online without checking for online code because you can almost always find an active offer.
  1. Take advantage of the free kid’s membership. Parents or grandparents can sign up and list their children’s ages and birthdates. The kid’s membership is entirely free, and you get 30% off one children’s book or toy immediately and then a $5 reward for every $100 spent after that. You’ll also get special deals, promotions, and birthday treats. 
  1. Apply for a credit card with Barnes And Noble rewards. The B&N Mastercard will give you 5% back on all B&N purchases, plus points for purchases at other stores. You get a $25 B&N gift card for every 2,500 points earned. 
  1. Enjoy membership perks at the B&N Cafe. If you’ve been skipping the cafe experience at Barnes And Noble, then you need to pop in for a bite and a cup of coffee. The cafe has fantastic coffee drinks and delicious snacks. Some of my favorite treats there are the soft pretzels, muffins, and peanut butter cup cookies. You can use your membership to get 10% off on all cafe purchases. You’ll also get special coupons in your inbox for more savings. 

Wrapping It Up and An Honest Opinion About Paying For a B&N Membership

A voracious reader that can’t resist a brand new book will find plenty of ways to save money with their Barnes And Noble membership. If you love all kinds of fiction and non-fiction, manga, comics, magazines, and sipping lattes surrounded by stories, then this membership is clearly worth having. 

If you find yourself rarely shopping at the same bookstore twice, you will probably be better off saving your $25. However, just a few trips a year could make the entire membership worth its weight in gold. 

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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