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The Ultimate Guide to Audible Savings: 26 Tips For Saving Money on Audiobooks

By / February 28, 2016 / no comments

Read this article to learn exactly how you can (legally) gain steep discounts on Audible audiobooks by working the Amazon ecosystem to maximize your free Audiobooks and gain the best Audible discounts.

I’ve been listening to audiobooks for at least a decade and I’ve seen the format grow from a niche product to mainstream. I love audiobooks so much that I’m a bit of an audiobook evangelist. It’s THE WAY you should read books in my opinion. A good book in the hand of a talented narrator can transform a good book to something grand. Audiobooks can be far more immersive than simply reading a book.

So in my opinion, audiobooks are just about the best thing since sliced bread — they’ve changed the way I read books completely (check out our Top 25 Best Fantasy Audiobooks list). Audible is by far the best audiobook service / platform to experience audiobooks with.

The only thing is that Audible Audiobooks are a lot more expensive than sliced bread. If you outright buy an audible audiook, you may pay up to $40 USD!!

Yikes.

The good new is that with a few tricks, you may just be able to buy a wanted audiobook for the price of a loaf of bread.

Yes…that brand newly release book you’ve been desperate to listen to in audiobook format might be available for $5 to $10 dollars. Or, with the right audible offer, FREE even.

If you know how, you can get Audible audiobooks for FREE or if not free, then steeply discounted. You can, if you know how, easily save between 30 to 90 percent off the audible list price if you know how. And if you read this article and follow the tips, you will know how too.

If you are an avid audiobook fan and you want to save money on audiobooks or you simply want to get some for free, here’s how you can save a lot of money.

This is by far the most comprehensive article on how to save money on Audible audiobooks online. At over 5000 words , it covers pretty much every strategy to get cheap, free, and discounted books via Audible and Amazon.

Milking the Intro Offers for Free Books and Steep Discounts

The best audible discounts come from the intro offers — the free audiobook trial offers (2 free books and sometimes the 3 free book offer) and the reduced monthly pricing plan. These intro offers are how you get a pile of free audible audiobooks without paying a dime.

If you do it right, you can pay nothing and get up to 4 free audiobooks.

I recommend you do keep the audible membership because it’s the overall cheapest way to get a consistent steam of brand new release audiobooks, but if you just want to hit it and quit it for the deals, by all means join, download, return, and cancel.

Here’s what you can do to maximize your free audiobooks with Audible.

1.  The 2 Free Book Audible Trial Offer

Free-Audible-Audiobooks

This is a NO brainer way to get 2 free books (worth between $30 to $50 USD if you were to outright buy the two books on Audible or Amazon).

Even if you have no intention of continuing on with the Audible membership, you absolutely should sign up and get your 2 free book credits, then download two audiobooks you would like to try out.

This offer is a great way to get those audiobooks you’ve been wanting or simply a good free method to try out audiobooks and see what all the fuss is about.

This offer applies to NEW audible members only — if you have used the 2 free audiobook deal in the past before, this offer won’t work for you.

There are no strings attached with this offer.

You will need to sign up with a valid credit card to get your 2 books, but your card is NOT charged the first month. If you cancel within a month, your card won’t be charged and your membership cancelled. Any books you download will STAY in your account, even if you cancel your membership.

You can cancel your account with the click of a button at any time, so there is nothing dodgy going on with this trial (it’s offered by Amazon.com and Audible is an Amazon company, so fear not).

Disclaimer: just make sure you USE your two credits to download your audiobooks before cancelling otherwise you lose those credits. If you buy books with those credits, then cancel, you keep the books forever in your audible cloud library, regardless of your membership being cancelled or not.

Tip 1: you can create a new account with a NEW credit card you have not used with audible in the past and create a new Audible/Amazon account to get this deal again. But you must create a new account and use a new credit card. Yes, this is milking it, but as long as you have legal credit cards and you create a new account, it’s legal. As for the morality of it, well, I leave that to you.

Tip 2: occasionally, Audible throws a Three Free Audiobook trial offer. This is better than the 2 Free Trial, obviously, since you get another free audiobook. However, I have not seen the 3 book offer in a while, so it may or may not reappear. It’s worth searching for though as by the time you read this article, the 3 Free Trial Offer may be active.

2. 4 Free Audible Audiobooks for the Price of FREE Loophole

If you really want to work the system, you can abuse extend the Audible 2 Free Trial system to get 4 free audible credits for the price of FREE.

As in #1, you need to first sign up for the 2 free audiobook trial.

Again, this offer only works with a unique credit card and only activate for NEW members to Audible.

If you’ve already taken advantage of the 2 free book trial in the past with the same credit card, this won’t work. So either use a NEW credit card you haven’t used with audible before with a new account name created on Amazon, or well, be a brand new member.

Turning 2 Free Audiobooks into 4 Free Audiobooks

Audible offers what they call a Great Listen Guarantee.

This is an awesome feature which basically guarantees, within reason, you the ability to return any audiobook in your audible library.

The way it works is that Audible will refund your audiobook credit which you can then use right away to buy another audiobook with.

Note that you get refunded the type of payment used. If you used your credit card for a direct purchase, you get your cash refunded. If you used an audiobook credit, you get your credit back in your account to be used again for another book.

How to Return an Audiobook to Get Your Credit Back

1. Go to the Account Details area over at the Audible website (on the desktop version).

2. Click the Make returns and view past orders located near the bottom of the page.

Image

3. Find your order that contains the Audiobook you want to get a refund for

4. Click Return.

Image

Tip: Click View Details to view the titles you purchased and how they were purchased (either by Credit or Cash).

5. Select a reason for the return in the dropdown menu.

6. Click Return this title.

Image

How the Great Listen Guarantee works with the 2 Free Trial

The cool thing is that the Great Listen Guarantee ALSO applies to your 2 Free Book Trial.

Technically, you are being a bit of a cheap charlie doing this. And full disclaimer, I am not telling you that you should, but it’s part of the Audible ecosystem, it’s allowed (for now), and it works, so I leave it up to you whether you want to do it or not.

This comes out to 4 free audiobooks for the price of FREE. You won’t get a better deal than that, even if it is, well, a bit slimy and taking advantage of the system.

Regardless, it IS audible’s system and they allow it so…

Note, this only works TWO times with the free audiobook trial. You can’t download and return an unlimited amount of books. So, don’t think you can sign up for an account and use this to keep downloading books for free. I tested it myself and it worked only twice with the trial, giving 4 free audiobooks before they stopped allowing that feature.

However, if you have an account where you are actually getting the  two monthly credits that you paid for, Audible allows more leeway and you can make more than 2 returns, but for the trial deal, it only works 2 times. I actually did test this and I bought 2 audiobooks and was able to make 7 or 8 returns. I stopped after this, but from what I’ve heard, Audible will disable this feature if you abuse it or if you have returned too many books, so I don’t recommend you abuse this unless you actually don’t like the book.

Tip: if Audible disable this feature because of your abuse, you can always call the audible number and talk to their customer report. Make an issue of it and they WILL allow you to return the book or offer you free credit. Audible has the policy where the customer is always right, even if you are clearly in the wrong.

So yes, if you want to be ‘that sort of person’, you can:

  1. sign up and get the 2 free audiobook credits
  2. use the 2 credits right away or within a month period
  3. download the audiobooks to your device,
  4. then RETURN the audiobooks to get your two credits back
  5. then download 2 more books with those returned credits.
  6. At this point, Audible will probably disable the RETURN feature since you haven’t paid them an actual dime yet and you’ve downloaded 4 books. You may or may not be able to return one or two more, bringing your ‘free trial’ to 5 or 6 audiobook downloads, but I doubt Audible will let you.
  7. If you really want to squeeze the system, you can call the customer service or open a chat and demand they let you refund the last one or two books. If you say the audiobooks were so crappy that you hated them, the customer support will budge and refund the credits, allowing you to download 2 more, brining your trial to 5 or 6 free audiobooks. And, shame on you for this.

But Doesn’t Returning the Audiobook Mean It’s Deleted Off My Device?

No.

Once you return an audiobook, it’s removed FROM your audible cloud library. This means you can’t re-download/download it once you return the audiobook.

But if you’ve already downloaded it to your device and it’s stored there, you can still listen to it even if you’ve refunded the book. So the audiobook won’t be removed from your local audible library, just your online cloud one.

So to recap: if you have downloaded the audiobook already to your local device’s audible app (i.e. audible app for smartphone, the kindle / kindle fire, or your PC), the audiobook will STILL stay in your local library even if you’ve returned it and you can still listen to it. You just can’t download it from your library, but it’s still on your device and you can still listen to it.

3. Cancel Your Membership to Get the ‘Save 50% for 3 Months’ Offer

cancel_offer

If you click the Cancel Membership button on your audible account, Audible will offer you variation of the Introductory Offer to keep you a member, but unlike the Intro Offer, this is eligible if you’ve already used the 2 free audiobook trial offer.

This offer saves you 50% off the Gold Membership plan of 1 credit per month, so you pay just $7.49 per mo for your first 3 months instead of $14.95. If you break this down, it means you are getting an audiobook credit for $7.49.

Here’s what the 2016 Audible Credit Cost is:

* Introductory Offer Deal: —$7.49 per credit for 3 months

*Platinum Annual: 24 credits at once — $9.56 per credit

*Platinum: 2 credits/month —$11.48/credit

*Gold Annual: 12 credits at once — $12.46 per credit

*Gold: 1 credit/month — $14.95 per credit

As you can see, this offer is the cheapest price possible you be able to get for a audible credit via the monthly plan.

So IF you intend to keep your membership, go for this deal as you will save $22. 

And if you really, really want to milk the system for all it’s worth (I don’t recommend you do this, but it works…) read #4.

4. Stack the 2 Free Audiobook Offer + Return 2 Audiobooks + Cancellation Offer to get 7 Audiobooks for $22

stacking

You can stack the intro offers (2 Free Trial + 3 months for 7.49 per month + Great Listen Guarantee Audiobook return) for maximum discount.

The beauty is that the #3 deal stacks with the #1 free audible credit trial, meaning you can do this AFTER you download your 2 free audiobooks, to save even more. So this comes out to 5 audiobooks for only $22.

Or if you are a cheap bastard, work the loophole with the 2 returns as in to get 4 free audiobooks (the #3 trick), and THEN take this offer to save on the first 3 months so you get 3 audiobooks for 22 buck only. That’s basically 7 audiobooks for the price of $22.

You can, at your own risk, milk this even more by attempting to refund the 3 books you get from the Cancellation. This would bring your total to 10 audiobooks for the price of $22. 

You can cancel at this point and walk away or keep your membership.

So Is it OK to Do This?

Legal, yes. Moral, definitely not.

The bottom line is that it works. For now anyways.

But I leave it up to you whether you want to return audiobooks you actually like just so you can get your credit back to download more audiobooks. This system and all the flaws is part of the audible / amazon ecosystem, so it’s legal, but you still are working the system a bit and you may be depriving the authors of money and still getting their product for free. So it’s probably not the moral thing to do.  So look, I don’t recommend you abuse this. It’s really really working the system and likely the ones who pay the price are the authors you are ripping off. I doubt Amazon gives them the money when you refund a book. So don’t be THAT person and only return audiobooks you actually don’t like, rather than like to double or quintuple on the free audiobooks you can get.

5. Cancel Your Account Twice for the $20 Audible Credit + 90 Day Membership Pause Trick 

Another trick you can do IF you have one or more credits on your audible account (say you’ve used 1 of your 2 free audiobook credits from the free 2 book trial offer) is that you can attempt to cancel your account and audible will offer you a $20 coupon if you remain a member.

You must have at least one audible credit.

Step 1: Got to your account settings and click on the Cancel Membership

cancel_1

Step 2: Once you click on the cancel membership, you are prompted with another screen to give a reason why you want to cancel.

For example, you’ll see a screen like this, provided you have one or more credits:

cancel2

On the same page, below on the list of reasons audible requests for cancelling, make sure you choose ‘I get more credits than I can use’ option then submit

cancel3

 

Step 3: You’ll be asked if you will accept a $20 coupon to stay an audible member. Accept this offer.

Note, if you are a platinum member, you’ll be offered to downgrade to the gold membership and the 20 dollar coupon:

account 2

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4: Now that you’ve accepted the $20 offer to stay a member, you should see a $20 credit in your audible account. Now go cancel your account again: repeat steps 1 & 2 exactly

Step 5: This time, instead of the $20 coupon, you’ll be offered to pause your membership for 30, 60, or 90 days.

You’ll see a screen like this (it could look a bit different now)

audible 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose 90 days and your membership will be paused (you’ll be billed in 3 months). However, you will still keep all your audible credits at this time and can still access all the audible deals and sales. And you’ll have the $20 credit.

This works as of May 2016.

Look at my account:

pasued
 

 

 

Because I did this, I have my five credits, I have an extra $20, and I won’t be billed again for 90 days (you won’t get any new credits from your membership until then either though)

You can stack this with the other offer above to get

  • 2 Free Audiobooks (2 free trial offer) – 2 books
  • Return of 2 books (refund of 2 credits which gives you 2 credits again) – 2 books
  • Cancellation Offer with ‘I get more credits than I can use’ – $20 credit
  • 2nd Cancellation Offer with ‘I get more credits than I can use’ – membership pause for 90 days.

So this can give you 4 audiobooks reads, a $20 credit, and 90 days membership pause to use those credits.

6. Amazon Prime Audible 3 Month Free Trial Offer (expired for now)

Another trial offer I’ve seen is the PRIME trial. You can sign up for 30 Days for Free.

You get all the benefits of a PRIME membership and if this special audible offer is running, 3 Free Months of Audible to boot.

If you have Amazon Prime or you sign up for Amazon Prime, you can get 3 months of Audible for free. This equates to 3 free audiobooks over 3 months. It’s the best current Free Audiobook trial offering out there, even better than the 2 Free Trial.

You can stack it with the Cancellation Offer + Great Listen Guarantee + Cancellation offer to get up to 6 FREE Audiobooks (if you return all 3) then 3 months for 7.49.

Note that this offer is not available as of Feb 2016. It was available last year and I suspect Amazon will occasionally offer it. So keep an eye out for it.

screenshot-2016-02-13-11-13-19

Buying Audiobooks for Cheaper (sometimes a lot) Than the Audible List Price

Outside of the trial intro offer discounts, you use the absurdity of the Amazon pricing ecosystem to capitalize on some sharp discounts and in some cases, pick up that audible audiobook version much cheaper than you can buy having a membership or buying directly via Audible as a member.

7. Buy the Kindle Book + Whispersync Version for a Steep Discounts

The Whispersync program can save  you a lot of money if you already own the Kindle version of an audible book. Having both the audible version and the book version of the same book let you switch back and forth between the two versions at will, with your progress location saved between each switch so you can continue seamlessly no matter what format.

If you buy a Whispersync for Voice enabled kindle book, you can often get the Audible version as well for a huge discount at the same time — sometimes only a couple dollars.

It doesn’t work for every book out there though — not all kindle books have a) an audiobook version and b) a Whispersync supported version. Usually brand new kindle book releases don’t have a Whispersync version to upgrade to even if there is an audible audiobook version you can buy. 

This is one of the best ‘tricks’ you can use to save big on audible books.

Here’s a picture of how to tell if a kindle book has Whispersync version available for purchase

whispersync

Here’s another picture, showing how much you can save IF you manage to find the kindle book on sale and the audiobook upgrade happens to be cheap (it’s sometimes not cheap).

 

example_cheaP_upgrade

In the example above, the kindle book is FREE and the upgrade to the Audible version is only 2.99. That means you can buy the book + audible version at the same time for $2.99. If you were to buy this directly on Audible, you’d pay $34.99 if you are not a member, or if you are a member like I am, 24.99 with the discounted price. Or if you use your CREDIT you get each month, that credit costs you between $9 and $14, depending if you are a Gold or Platinum Member, and if you’ve paid for 1 year up front for the bulk discount or not.

The bottom line is that this strategy can get you that book for $2.99 instead of $9, $14, $24, or $34.

Yea, pretty good deal. And if you are smart about looking around and buying kindle books that are sometimes on sale, you can take advantage of this strategy to get deep savings on audiobooks.

Keep the three points in mind:

  1. There must be a Whispersync for Voice kindle version
  2. You must first buy (or buy at the same time) the Whispersync for Voice kindle book
  3. The audiobook may be $12.99 and / or the kindle book version may be too expensive

So the following rule applies: Buy the Kindle book + Whispersync upgrade if the price is cheaper than the Audible Credit Price Alone

Note that sometimes this is NOT cheaper, so you will have to check. You can really save on the audiobook sometimes if you find a steeply discounted kindle version for .99,1.99, or 2.99.

Keep this in mind: the Whispersync audio version + the kindle book price must be at least cheaper than the default Audible Membership plan ($14.95) for the audiobook.

So you want the kindle ebook + narrated edition upgrade total cost to be LESS than what you would pay as an audible member otherwise you are better off using a single audible membership credit.

How Much Will Getting the Whispersync Narrated Version Cost?

Now I’ve seen a wide range of prices for the Narrated Version ranging from .99 to 12.99.  It’s not uncommon though to find the audible version offered with the ebook purchase (or if you own the ebook already) for 3.99, 4.49, or 7.99 — Cheaper than the best deal on audible credit if you are a member.

In some cases, you can take advantage of a firesale on the ebook version to really save. You might be able to pick up the audible upgrade for $1, $2, $3 or $5 bucks.  Sometimes it may be $12 for the upgrade, making it more expensive than just using audible membership credits. You have to factor in buying the kindle book version too, which may range from .99 to $15.

I’ve seen some cases where a brand new kindle book is $15 and the audible upgrade deal is $12, making this ‘deal’ cost more expensive than the list price you  you’d pay on Audible.

So you just have to CHECK to see if this is the best deal, keeping in mind you have to figure in the ebook cost and the narrated version upgrade cost.

So CHECK. You can get a spectacular deal or a horrible deal. Typically though, if you already bought the ebook in the past, you can pick up the audiobook version for much cheaper than you would otherwise be able to with an Audible membership.

Here are a few rounds I check out just to give you a look at how much it costs to upgrade to the audible version once you buy the kindle version (kindle book cost not included)

  • A Darker Shade of Magic ($4.49)
  • A Game of Thrones ($12.99)
  • Uprooted ($12.99)
  • Ready Player One ($7.49)
  • Red Rising ($4.49)
  • Way of Kings ($12.99)
  • Prince of Thorns ($3.99)
  • Blood Song ($12.99)
  • The Warded Man ($12.99)
  • Assassin’s Apprentice ($4.95) 
  • The Emperor’s Blades ($4.49)
  • The Martian ($2.99)

As you can see, it can be a very good deal or very bad deal, depending.

8. Scan Your Existing Kindle Library for Eligible Whispersync Audible Upgrades

If you already own some kindle books, you can directly check which ones offer the Whispersync Audible upgrade deal with the click of a button, rather than manually check each book page on Amazon.

This is a great way to get the audiobook version cheap for books you already own and see which ones you can upgrade at a glance.

Or you have a habit of picking up steeply discounted or free kindle books, you can easily use this feature to check to see if the cheap audiobook upgrade is available.

Simply go here https://www.amazon.com/gp/audible/matchmaker, sign into your Amazon account, and Amazon will scan your current kindle library and notify you if there are any audiobook upgrades available (i.e. the audible version you can buy for cheap).

9.  Borrow Kindle Book (via OverDrive) Then Buy Whispersync Edition

One trick you can use to BUY the Whispersync audiobook version without having to ‘buy’ or even own the kindle book version first is to use OverDrive with your library card to ‘borrow’ a kindle book. Once you ‘borrow’ that book, it will be added to your kindle library for that duration of time you have borrowed it.

So you can basically buy the Whispersync audiobook version for the discounted price offered without having to buy the kindle book first.

A big WIN for savings.

Some points to note first:

1 .This only works in the United States where overdrive allows you to borrow KINDLE BOOKS not other formats. In Canada and Australia, Overdrive does not seem to offer Kindle Book versions

2. Your library needs to support overdrive (most do in North America) and you need to be able to borrow that book.

3. You need a library card with your local library

4. You need to be able to borrow the kindle book. Libraries being what they are, the book you want, if it is supported, may either not be in your library or be loaned out to someone else.

How to Borrow Free Kindle Books to Buy the Whispersync Edition

1. Sign up for Overdrive

2. Make sure you have a library card with your local library so you can borrow kindle books from Overdrive

3. Use Overdrive to find the kindle book you want to borrow, select the Kindle borrow option. You will be taken to Amazon where you download the book to your device (Kindle, Kindle Fire, or kindle app enabled device (android phone kindle app,  iphone kindle app, PC kindle app)

4. Once the kindle book is downloaded via overdrive-amazon to your kindle or device with kinde app, the Whispersync price will show up on Audible when you go to the audible page. You can then buy it via Audible.

10. Kindle Unlimited Narrated Versions

Amazon has a program where you pay 9.99 a month and can download unlimited kindle ebooks. A sort of NetFlix for kindle books.

This is called Kindle Unlimited (you can sign up here).

You can see the Kindle Unlimited Book Page here.

For a select number of the Kindle Unlimited, you can also get a narrated version for free. This means you can basically do a NetFlix for audiobooks using the kindle unlimited program.

However, the selection of ebooks by top authors is pretty thin. While there are over 100,000 books available in Kindle Unlimited SF&F section, most seem to be self pub book or unknown authors — there is very little in the way of well known authors, popular authors, or new books.

Still,  since you can download FREE audible versions for some of those Kindle Unlimited books, it’s worth looking into. Perhaps in the future Amazon will beef up their Kindle Unlimited program with better, newer, more popular books.

How to Find Free Narrated Books for Kindle Unlimited.

  1. Go to the  Books with Narration in Kindle Unlimited page
  2. Search for books on this page or in the search bar — all books you see on the page are FREE audiobooks if you have the Kindle Unlimited program

How Does This Compare

I have seen some popular books such as The Hunger Games available for free here.

  • If you buy The Hunger Games via Audible Membership: $14.95
  • If you buy The Hunger Games audiobook via Kindle Book   +  Whispersync with Voice Narrated Version: 6.74 (ebook) + 3.95 (narrated version offer) = $10.69
  • If you buy Kindle Unlimited package and download the free audiobook version: $9.99

I think you can see then this can be a really damn good deal IF the program has the audiobook in the books with narration in Kindle Unlimited. The only issue is that there are relatively few new books and books by well known authors, especially for Fantasy and Science Fiction. You won’t be finding George Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Mark Lawrence, Joe Abercrombie, or the hundreds best fantasy / science fiction authors here.

11. Buy Discounted Kindle Books for Access to the Whispersync Upgrade

If you buy a deeply discounted kindle book, you can often purchase the Whispersync audio version for around 5 bucks — cheaper than you’d pay with audible membership credit! This is probably the best way to get an audiobook for a book you really want to read.

There’s a lot of steeply discounted Kindle books sales every day. Sometimes, you can get a book that normally goes for 7 or 10 dollars for under 2 bucks and if you luck out, it may only be a couple bucks to upgrade to the audible version of the book.

Here are some ways to find these discounts:

1. Go to our Forum Daily Discount Thread to get updates on fantasy books that are currently on sale.

2. Look at the Kindle Books for $2 Amazon Page, then check how much it costs to upgrade to the Whispersync version — you can often upgrade for under $5.

3. Check the Daily Kindle Book Deals Amazon Page, then look at the Whispersync upgrade cost — you can often upgrade to the audiobook for 2-7 dollars.

4. Check the Countdown Deals Amazon Page, then check the Whispersync upgrade cost for a book you are interested in

5. Check the Monthly Kindle Deals Page

12.  Get FREE Kindle Books to Access the Whispersync Upgrade

It’s not uncommon to see FREE versions of kindle books offered by Amazon. You can often find older books, newer books, first in the series given away for FREE for a limited time. Take advantage of this deal and you can buy the Whispersync Audible version for a steep discount either right away or in the future.

For example, you might get a fantasy novel for FREE, find there is no Whispersync version available, wait a few months, then go back and see you can buy a Whispersync Audible version for a few dollars. This is how you can get an audiobook for only a couple dollars.

13.  Don’t Use Audible Credits If Audible Book is $11 or less

Buying the kindle book + Whispersync upgrade often can get you the audiobook version for LESS than $11.

(may allow you to find an audiobook version for less than this cost. If you use a credit for a book that’s less than $11, you are not maximizing your value because you probably paid MORE than 11 dollars per credit via your membership or buying credits directly.

On that note, see the point below when you should use a Credit vs Buying Direct.

14. Use Audible Credits for Audiobooks that Cost More than $11

This means use your audiobook credit only if:

  1. Kindle Book + Whispersync audio version upgrade is more than $11
  2. You can’t buy the book directly on Audible for a discounted deal (Daily Deal, Special Sale, or Member Discounted Price) that’s less than $12

Typically, you are going to pay at cheapest between 9.50 and $14.95 per audible credit via the membership, depending on your monthly credit plan (see chart above).

If you buy audiobooks that will cost you more than $12 dollars direct, then use your audible credit for maximum value.

15. Get Classic Books in Audiobook format for .99 cents

If you have an eye for some of the classics, you can often get a FREE kindle book version and the Whispersync audiobook version for .99c. Sometimes you can even find the audiobook offered for free even.

Just poke around.

16. Get 30 percent off list price as an Regular Audible Member member

ADBLCRE-4260_ContentFirst_HowWorks_180K._CB316087670_

If you are a member, you can buy any audiobook with a 30 percent discount.

This is still more expensive than the membership plans, since even with a 3o percent discount of thirty percent, you are going to pay anywhere from 18 to 25 dollars or more.

For example: Red Rising 3: Morning Star is $31.49 on Audible. You will still pay $22.04 — MORE expensive than if you buy it with the default $14.95/mo Gold plan or other methods.

This is the last method and one I don’t recommend as you will overpay and all the other methods above will give a BETTER price. I mention it for the sake of completion.

Note that there are sometimes even better deals for direct purchase on audible.com with special sales — I’ve seen Audiobooks offered directly for over 90 percent discounts if you buy directly.

How to Use Your Audible Membership for More Books and Maximum Value

If you become an Audible Member (you should, it’s free for at least the first month, then depending on the plan you get, can be maintained for up to 3 months without you having to pay any money), there are some things you can do to squeeze more free books out of your membership or at least save some money.

17. Make Sure Your First 2 Audiobooks are Free

(Free AudioBooks)

audible

I’ve talked about this already. A lot. But your first 2 audiobooks should be free. If you want to keep your membership or not, at least get the 2 free books. If you keep it, you are ahead by 2. If you don’t, you are still ahead.

18. Return Unwanted Audio Books

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(Free AudioBooks)

We’ve talked about how to extend your 2 Free Audiobook trail to 4 free books if you return your books in #2.

But if you keep your membership, you can use this regularly.

The Great Listen Guarantee allows you to returned any audible audiobook you don’t like — no questions ask — with the click of a link.

You have 1 year from purchase of the book to RETURN IT.

You can get your credits / money back at will using this. Note that if you abuse this, you won’t be able to return books, so I recommend you only return the audiobooks you don’t like rather than just return everything to be a cheap ass. If you return too many audiobooks, this feature is disabled until you meet some criteria that enables it again.

I do use this feature a lot, especially for audiobooks I don’t like. So don’t be afraid to use it, just don’t abuse it.

Tip: If you want to return a book, return as soon as possible. It that there seems to be LESS of a penalty for returning recently purchased audiobooks rather than older books you bought. This means you are less likely to have this privilege revoked if you return a book quickly after you buy it. So if you listen to a book and you did not like it or you start an audiobook and you don’t like it, return it right away rather than leave it sitting in your library for months.

19. Don’t Max Your Credit Limit Or You Lose Money

(Save Money)

If you don’t use your audible credits, they can roll over so you can save them for later use.

But there is a limit, depending on your membership. If you have a max limit stored up, your older credits will be erased which is throwing money away.

Membership PlanRollover Limit
Gold Monthly6 Credits
Gold Annual18 Credits
Platinum Monthly12 Credits
Platinum Annual36 Credits

20. Buy Extra Audible Credits for Discounted Price

(Save Money)

extra-audible-credits

If you go here, you can buy 3 credits for a discounted price of 11.96 per credit. You have to buy 3 at once, however.

Here is the price.

Membership PlanExtra Credit Price
Gold Monthly$35.88
Gold Annual$29.90
Platinum Monthly$34.41
Platinum Annual$28.68

The is only applicable if you run out of credits for your month, assuming you have the monthly membership, and need to grab a few more to make a purchase.

Buying these discounted credits is often cheaper than buying the book directly with the -30 percent membership discount, and it may be cheaper than buying the Kindle book + Whispersync upgrade if it costs more than $12 for the combined total.

21. Get the Secret Silver Audible Membership Plan

(Save Money)

audible silver membership

You won’t see this plan on their membership page, but if you open up a chat with support, you can request it. This is also called the ‘Limited Plan.”

The Silver Plan is basically where your membership is put on hold for 3 months — you don’t get charged each month for 3 months.

But during this time, you can still take advantage of the Audible Listener Month deals, the Extra Credit Deal, 2 for 1 deals, free whisper sync audiobooks, etc.

22. Use 4 Audible Credits at once to get a $10 credit

screen-shot-2015-01-26-at-11-50-14-am

(Free Audiobooks)

Audible has a deal where if you spend 4 credits in one go, you get $10 of credit. So it makes sense to save up your audiobook credit then go on a 4 credit buying spree (4 audible audiobooks) to get this discount. This deal worked in the past, but I’m not sure if it works as of 2016 — but it’s worth trying.

Audible Special Deal Offers

Audible often throws some pretty good special deals on audiobooks. There are a number of ways you can get access to these deals, some which can net you an audiobook for $2 bucks that would normally cost around $30 or 1 credit.

23. Sign up for Audible’s Daily Deal

You can often see Audible selling a steeply discounted audiobook each day — with the price sometimes 80 or 90 percent off. Usually this audiobook is between 2 and 6 dollars. Even better, it appears the daily deal is related somewhat to genre of books you prefer (that you browse, have downloaded from, etc).

  1. Go to your Account Details page on the Audible desktop site.
  2. Click Manage Daily Deal Email Subscription under Preferences.
  3. Click Subscribe.

This offers some huge discounts with a daily email notifying you.

You can also go to the Daily Deal download page to check.

I’ve bought quite a few fantasy audiobooks in the past and I’ve also always browsing the fantasy & science fiction sections to check for new audiobooks released.

Here is a daily deal I see right now: Nightwise by R.S. Belcher (we reviewed this book a few months ago).

daily_deal

As you see, this book is normally $24.95 as the list price.

Even with the BEST audiobook membership price of  $9.56 per credit, this deal offers the audiobook for only $1.95.

24. Check The Audible Homepage for Flash Deals

Check the Audible homepage each day or sign up to get their newsletter, in which you’ll get email notification. You may find something once every month or two that you might be interested in. There are many, many deals offered every month by Audible — too many to directly list.

25. Create an Audible Wishlist to Get Deals Emailed to You

wishlist

If you create an Audible wishlist with books you want to read, you will be notified by email when that audible book is discounted. So put books you have an eye to buy the audiobook version for just to get notified of a sale on those books, when and if those deals happen.

26. Take Advantage of the Listener Rewards Month Deal

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Audible sometimes throws a ‘reward month’ deal — historically April and November months every year.

If you buy 4 audiobooks during this month that are regularly price at $14.95, you’ll get a $10 credit. If you are a member with credits, using your credits will count for this too — you’ll just need to have 4 credits and make sure the regular price is at least 14.95 for each. Use those 4 credits on 4 regularly priced audiobooks to get that $10 credit.

Note, the timing and exact details of this deal may change, so keep this in mind. 

27. Get the First in Series Flash Deals

Sometimes audible offers a steep discount for the first in a series. The idea is that you get the first book in a series for a bargain deal then like the series so much you will pony out for the rest of the books in the series. Amazon.com often offers these sort of deals on the kindle book version. I’ve seen it also offered on Audible.

Note, the timing and exact details of this deal may change, so keep this in mind. 

28. Use Your Credits for Special 2 for 1 Deals

Sometimes Audible offers 2 for 1 audiobook book deals. I.e. you buy two audiobooks and you get a third free or sometimes they offer you a 2 books for 1 credit. Note you will need to be signed up to their newsletter to see this offer.

Note, the timing and exact details of this deal may change, so keep this in mind. 

29. Editor’s Picks for 4.95 (offer expired for now)

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One sale I’ve seen is the editor’s picks where the editors pick out 100 top books with each book discounted to 4.95. At 4.95, it’s much cheaper to directly buy these books rather than use a credit, which is valued at about 11-14 USD. Outside of the Daily Deal discount or finding a steal on the Kindle Book + Whispersync upgrade, if you see this deal live, go all in and stock up on audiobooks if you see any of interest.

30. Check for Extra Discounted Audible Intro Offers

Ok, here’s my last tip for saving. Call it a bonus one.

You can sometimes find special deals on the Audible Intro Offer  where you pay a couple dollars per month for three months. You can’t stack this with the 2 Free Audiobook trial, but it may work out that you can get 3 credits for 3 dollars.

For example, Groupon is holding an Audible sale right now where you can get your first three months membership for $1.95 a month. This means you basically pay $6 for 3 credits, rather than the usual $44.85 that would cost at normal price. And it’s cheaper than the standard intro offer which gives you 3 months for 7.45 per month which comes out to be $22.35/

Note, I still think it’s a better deal to go with the 2 Free Audiobooks + Cancellation Offer as in #2 or #3.

I’ve seen variations of this these intro offers, from .99, to $2 to 7.45. So if you are considering this offer, do a search online to see if there are any such special sales.

About the author

Ben

Blog editor, admin and founder of BestFantasyBooks.comYou'll find me on the BestFantasyBook forums and spending my spare time reading fantasy books and writing lists for this site. In fact, I have no spare time -- running this site IS my spare time!

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