Save money on Audible: how to listen for less

The best ways for both new and existing members to save money on Audible audiobooks

Audible is a favourite of mine – whether you want to listen to a book on a long drive, like to listen while you cook or enjoy a listen in the bath, audiobooks are a great way to enjoy the latest releases. 

However, it can be expensive, especially if you listen to more than your allotted one book per month. We’ve rounded up some of the best ways to save money on Audible. 

What is Audible?

Audible is an audiobook service by Amazon. You pay a set amount per month to get one or two credits, or an annual price for 12 or 24 credits. Credits can be redeemed for audiobooks, which you can download and listen to. The audiobooks are yours to keep, even if you cancel. 

In addition, you get access to its “Plus” catalogue, which is a collection of audiobooks that you can listen to for free for as long as your membership is active. 

You can also purchase individual audiobooks. These are £7.99 each if you’re an Audible member but can cost significantly more if you’re not.

An Audible account can be shared among friends or family, as long as you’re careful not to listen to a book someone else is halfway through.

How much is Audible?

The main subscription is £7.99 per month to get one free credit. If you’re an avid bookworm, you can get two credits per month for £14.99 per month. 

You can also get an annual membership for £69.99 per year for 12 credits or £109.99 per year for 24 credits. This works out cheaper per book, but you have to pay for the year upfront. 

Credits each monthMonthlyPrice per bookAnnualPrice per book

Is Audible free with Amazon Prime?

Despite being an Amazon company, you don’t get Audible as part of Amazon Prime. The only real benefit to having Amazon Prime with Audible is that you get two books in the free trial, rather than just the one.

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Existing Audible customers 

If you already use Audible, there are plenty of ways to get access to free or cheap Audible audiobooks. Here are some of the best methods.

Use your credits

There’s no point paying for the membership if you forget to redeem your book credits. These do roll over, however you can only hold six rolled over ones at a time with the standard account, going up to 36 if you have the annual subscription with two credits per month. 

Credits expire after 12 months, so you’ll lose them if you don’t use them.

Credits that you get in the Apple Store app and Google Play app don’t expire. 

In addition, if you cancel your subscription using another service, like your bank account, then you might lose credits that you’ve not used. Make sure to make use of the ones you’ve paid for.  

Make the most of the Plus catalogue 

The best way to get free Audible books with an existing subscription is to make the most of the Plus catalogue. This is a huge selection of books that you can listen to for free. Unlike the ones that you get with credits, they disappear from your collection when you cancel. 

These books aren’t typically the latest releases, but there’s a great selection available, especially for an avid user. 

You can listen to as many as you want, too.

Audible flash sales and 2 for 1 deals

Audible runs a lot of flash sales, sometimes they’re 2 for 1 offers, other times they knock down the price of audiobooks that you get outside of your credit allowance.

The 2 for 1 deals for Audible members run every few months.

When these occur, you can add two eligible books to your cart and either pay for them with one credit or for the cost of the more expensive of the two. 

Sometimes you can get discounted audiobooks outside of your credits, these are typically £1.99 or £2.99. I’ve picked up some popular books with this before, usually a few months after they hit all the book charts. 

Audible Daily Deal

Audible has a daily deal every single day. This is always my go-to in searching when I finish a book, regardless of if I have credits remaining. Sometimes you can get a decent new listen, especially if you keep an open mind. 

Daily deal books are usually £1.99. Make sure you don’t use your credits on these.

Get an annual subscription to save per book

If you go for the annual subscription, you pay less per book. You can choose either 12 credits for £69.99 per year (£5.83 per book) or 24 credits for £109.99 per year (£4.58 per book). 

With books costing you £7.50-£7.99 each with the monthly subscriptions, this can save you a fair amount if you’d get them anyway.

Return books you’re not enjoying

Life’s too short to finish a book you’re not enjoying, and one of my favourite things about Audible is that if you’re not getting on with a book, you can return it. It offers all sorts of reasons, from not enjoying the title to not liking the presenter — this can make a huge difference when you’re trying to choose a book. 

However, don’t go mad! A friend of mine got booted off Audible for too many refunds. This isn’t an issue if you’re refunding the odd one. 

Don’t buy more books than you need

This sounds obvious, but Audiobooks aren’t like books – your digital bookshelf isn’t displayed in your home like a trophy. Save yourself some cash and only buy an audiobook you want to hear, and don’t build up a collection unless you’re certain you’ll listen to them. 

Cancel routinely

You don’t really ever have to pay full price for Audible. You just need to go through the process of cancelling, then within a few weeks, you’ll likely find that you’ll have an email that offers you something like three months at half price. You can still listen to any books you’ve already purchased, so you can listen to one while you’re waiting to get the offer in. 

However, be careful! If you cancel, you lose credits you haven’t spent, so make sure you use up your credits first.

You’ll also still be able to take advantage of some new customer deals that come along, as long as you don’t have a membership active at the time. You can’t get another free trial, though.

New Audible customers 

If you’ve not tried out Audible yet, or if you don’t currently have a membership then there are some offers available, including ones that’ll give you free Audible books. 

Get your first (and maybe second) book free

If you’ve not tried out Audible yet, you can get a free month trial, which gets you one free audiobook. The book is yours even if you don’t continue, so it’s worth doing. And sometimes, such as during promotional periods like Prime Week, you can get a longer trial.

If you have Amazon Prime, you can get two free books. This is the only benefit of having Amazon Prime with Audible. 

Get Audible as a benefit with O2

You can get three or six months of Audible for free when you take out a contract with O2. The number of months you get will depend on the value of the contract. You could also choose other things too, like Disney+, Amazon Prime and Amazon Music Unlimited. 

You can do this even if you already have an Audible membership, but you need to use up your credits and cancel before you redeem it. 

To redeem the Extra, you need to log into your O2 account and go to “Extras”. There you’ll be able to see if you get any for free.

Make sure you’ve used your free trial with Audible first. Then, after your free period from O2 is up, you’re probably best cancelling and taking up another new offer directly with Audible. Otherwise it’ll renew and the additional cost will be added to your mobile bill, which is fine if you were planning on continuing the subscription anyway. 

Audible alternatives

Audible isn’t the only place you can listen to audiobooks. Here are some alternatives to Audible to consider. 

Use your library

If you sign up for your library for free, then you can often access audiobooks using another service like BorrowBox or Libby by Overdrive. This is completely free, but, like getting books out of the library, you might have to wait for other people to be finished with them. This means that you’re unlikely to get access to the new releases right away. 

We have more here about the benefits of your local library. 

Have Spotify Premium? Listen for free

If you’ve got Spotify Premium then you can listen to 10 hours each month for free. There are drawbacks — you never actually own the books, you might not have enough hours to finish a book within a month and you can’t take advantage if you’re on a Duo or Family Plan, unless you’re the plan manager. We have a full analysis and comparison between Spotify Audiobooks and Audible here. 

Borrow audiobooks with Kindle Unlimited

If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can get some books with free narration, which means you can listen to the audiobook alongside reading the book. These have whispersync too, which means that it syncs up where you are in the books as long as you’re connected to the internet. 

Get the Kindle edition first

In some cases, if you have the Kindle edition, you can get the audiobook at a discount. This could work out cheaper than the cost of the Audiobook alone, especially if you don’t have an Audible membership to make the most of member pricing. For Kindle books you already own, you can find out how much it costs to get the audiobooks for each of your Kindle books using the Amazon Matchmaker service. 

Amazingly, when I tried this, I could get the Audible equivalent for no additional cost on some of my books. 


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