How can I get free Audible credits

How to save money on audiobooks

Audible is by far the largest audiobook marketplace, but it's also quite expensive. The following steps can help you reduce the cost of expanding your audiobook collection.

At $ 14.95 per month, a standard Audible subscription with credit is more than a ton of unlimited media options (like Netflix or Amazon's own Kindle Unlimited) for just hours of content. You can cut the cost per item by buying a more expensive plan or by paying annually. Even so, for Audible's vast array of choices, there isn't nearly everything you can eat. And buying audiobooks outside of the monthly token system is expensive. Most professionally published audiobooks cost $ 20-30. It adds up quickly.

Some alternatives are significantly cheaper or even free, such as Scribd or digital borrowing from your local library. But nothing beats choosing Audible. That's probably why it's so expensive. Here are some ways you can reduce these costs.

Take advantage of Audible's free trials

New Audible users get access to the standard “30-day free trial.” In Audible terms, this means free credit that you can exchange for almost any audiobook on the site. You will need to provide your credit card details (or refer to your Amazon account) to receive the free credit. However, if you cancel a month ago, you will not be charged. Audible credits and the books you exchange them for stay linked to your account even if you don't have an active subscription.

You should cancel your trial account before the deadline, even if you still want to buy books. Why? Well…

Terminate (or at least pretend) your account from time to time

With Audible, as with other services, the company wants you to pay regularly. As an incentive to keep your account active, they often offer you a discount if you try to cancel at the end of the month. After canceling a monthly subscription several times, Audible gave me a 50% discount on the next three credits. That's three audiobooks - typically $ 20 to $ 30 when purchased individually - for less than $ 8 each.

Not only can you threaten to cancel your account every three months and get a half price subscription forever. Unlike the first free trial (which doesn't work more than once for the same account), Audible's loyalty system seems to be resetting regularly. You can certainly do this step once or twice a year to get some cheap credits, especially if you haven't had an active subscription in a while. And don't worry: even if you are not offered a discount, there is no penalty for canceling and re-subscribing immediately.

Watch out for sales with Audible Credits

In addition to the standard free trial version, Audible will often offer a reduced, limited subscription to "new" subscribers. This "new one" is in quotation marks because, despite a year-long on-and-off subscription, I have managed to subscribe to these discounts multiple times for an inactive subscription.

These discounted first-time subscriptions are often $ 5 for three months, 66% off. Sometimes you need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber, sometimes you don't. Or, you can combine it with the “threaten to cancel” technique described above to get half a dozen audiobooks for just over $ 35 (up from $ 75 for six standard audiobooks, or $ 100-180 for the Buying large audiobooks at standard prices).

Shopping blogs and discount sites like Slickdeals and Groupon are places that generally offer these discounted, limited subscriptions. Check them in regularly or follow them on social media. Prime Day typically offers Amazon Prime subscribers at least one major discount, and sometimes Audible may offer currently subscribed members one to three additional credits at an instant discounted price.

Keep Audible's emails checked

Yes, spam emails are annoying. However, if you're looking for discounts on Audible audiobooks, you may want to let them through anyway. The reason for this is that in addition to selling standard credits, Audible also sells standard audiobooks at regular prices that you can buy whether or not you have a monthly credit subscription.

And just like any other traditional retailer, Audible often makes sales at standard prices that are not credits. You get regular discounts for individual books. What you're really looking for, however, are big sales events where hundreds of books are getting dramatic discounts at once. So make sure that there are at least a few that match your listening interests. Often times, these titles are discounted by up to 75% from their regular prices, and are even well below the approximate $ 15 prices per book that a monthly credit will spend on you.

Above is an order I made in July: four books totaling around $ 28 that were paid for on one of Audible's standard instant debit sales in lieu of Audible monthly credits. If you check the regular prices today, those four books combined would cost about $ 91. Not bad.

In addition to individual discounts and large sales, Audible often offers discounts via email or credit for promotions such as pre-ordering or writing reviews. The website also tells you if a book you might be interested in is part of a promotion such as the daily discount. It pays to make a mess in your inbox every now and then.

Check your Kindle books for discounts

People who generally like digital audiobooks also enjoy ebooks. If you have a book in your Amazon Kindle library that is also sold as an Audible audiobook, you can often upgrade with an additional Audible purchase that offers a significant discount on the price of the audiobook alone. To find these deals, check your Kindle app under the More section on your phone.

The combined price for the e-book and audiobook is, which is usually about the same. Therefore, buying an e-book for a discount usually doesn't make sense. However, if you've bought the Kindle book that is on sale, or just want to read an older book that you haven't read in audio form in a while, it's well worth a look. Independent writers who publish their books digitally (and usually very cheaply) often offer audiobook upgrades for just a few dollars. This has the advantage that you can switch between the e-book and the spoken audiobook at any time while your progress is synchronized.