Money at 30: Audible Premium Plus Review

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Money at 30: Audible Premium Plus Review

About one year or so, after hearing commercials for the service for years, I finally decided to try out an Audible subscription. Granted, I had purchased individual audiobooks from the platform over the years, but hadn’t considered the membership. Cut to today and I’ve used Audible Premium Plus to download more than a dozen titles — including several that I’ve reviewed for this site.

So, as an Audible Premium Plus customer, do I think that the service is worth it? And what are the pros and cons to consider? Let’s take a look at what Premium Plus has to offer.

Is Audible Premium Plus Worth It? My Experience

Using Audible

Before we look specifically at the details of Audible’s Premium Plus membership, let’s first talk about the platform in general. Audible offers thousands of audiobooks that can be listened to on their website, via a mobile device, and more. Plus, as an Audible user, you’ll be able to sync your audiobook library across all of your devices.

One of my favorite features of Audible is the ability to adjust the playback speed. In most cases, I find myself cranking up the speed to 1.3x or 1.4x — although I’ve gone as high as 1.9x for some (apparently slowly read) titles. While listening at enhanced speeds may take a couple of moments of acclimation, I find that this technique allows me to consume the content more quickly without the reading sounding unnatural.

As you can imagine, there are many benefits to listening to audiobooks versus reading physical books. For one, this medium is perfect for commutes and travels. Additionally, while I wouldn’t say that I’m a slow reader, I feel like can I get through a book much faster if someone else is reading.

Turning to downsides, while some books may include images or illustrations, these obviously can’t be included in audio form. However, some titles do include PDFs with such supplemental elements, which can be accessed via Audible. Another potential downside is some audiobooks are abridged from the text version. Luckily, you can identify whether or not a book has been abridged by looking at the info in the listing.

Free trial and download

With that primer out of the way, what exactly is Audible Premium Plus? Simply put, it’s a subscription service that allows you to download one audiobook per month for a flat fee. Specifically, with your $14.95 a month membership, you’ll earn one credit good for any audiobook Audible sells.

As you probably already know if you’ve ever watched a YouTube video or listened to a podcast, Audible Premium Plus also offers a free trial. Not only can you try out the service for 30 days but you can also download any free audiobook of your choice. Of course, after this 30 days, your card will be charged unless you cancel before the trial is up (Audible will also email you before you trial expires). However, you will get to keep the audiobook regardless of whether or not you retain your membership.

Notably, at the time I’m writing this, Audible is actually offering a special Prime Day trial for Amazon Prime customers. For a limited time, Prime Members can get 53% off their first four months of Audible Premium Plus. Additionally, Prime Members can get two free downloads as part of their free trial.

Finding titles and using your credits

Discovering books to download on Audible is easy, as you can search for specific titles, browse best sellers in various categories, and more. This can be done via Audible’s website or mobile app. That said, one small quirk of the mobile app is that, since cash sales aren’t allowed in the application, prices for titles aren’t displayed. This is notable because, in some cases, audiobooks may be priced below the $14.95 price tag you’re paying for membership. For that reason, although I will often search and browse for books on the app, I’ll look up their retail price on Amazon or the Audible site before cashing in my credit.

Speaking of credits, redeeming them is simple regardless of whether you’re on a computer or your phone. Audible will make it clear that you have a credit to use, then, with just a couple of taps/clicks, your “purchase” will be complete. After using your credit, your selected title will appear in your library and become available to download on your device.

Keep in mind that your monthly credit will arrive on the day that you first joined. For example, my credits post on the 27th of each month since that’s the date I first signed up.

Banking credits

One of my favorite things about Audible Premium Plus is that the credits you earn are not “use or lose.” Instead, unused credits will rollover to the next month. That way, if there’s a month where you forget to use your credit or just can’t find an appealing title, you can hold onto it for the future.

Personally, the ability to bank credits has been a lifesaver — and played a major role in my decision to sign up for Audible in the first place. While there are plenty of months where I’m anxiously awaiting my next credit, there have been a couple of instances where we’re happy to let our credits accrue. Thus, I view this is a big benefit to the program.

Bonus content and sales

Are you curious what the “Plus” in “Audible Premium Plus” is for? Well, not too long ago, Audible added podcasts and other originals to their platform. What’s great is that this content comes included with your subscription — and the cost of the service hasn’t increased since these features were added. Personally, I haven’t had a chance to consume any of these podcasts just yet, but there are definitely some intriguing options.

In addition to the podcast, there are also a number of free audiobooks available to members. Again, these come at no additional cost. You can even add these titles to your library and download them on your device.

Finally, on a similar note, Audible occasionally has two-for-one specials on select titles. Just as the name implies, these promotions allow you to choose two audiobooks from a collection of options and spend just one monthly credit in order to claim them. My wife took advantage of one such offer a few months ago and was very pleased with both of her selections — and I was pleased with how we managed to maximize our monthly expense.

Buying extra credits

Should you wish to download additional titles before your next credit arrives, you are able to purchase books at regular price (but, as mentioned, you can’t make cash purchases in the app). Alternatively, however, Audible allows you purchase additional credits. What’s more, these come at an enticing price.

Currently, Audible Premium Plus members can purchases a three pack of extra credits for $35.88. As they note, this works out to $11.96 per credit. Honestly, having not done this myself, I’m not sure that this is an option that’s always available — but it’s one I might consider in the future.

Final Thoughts on Audible Premium Plus

As you can probably tell, I’ve been a big fan of my Audible Premium Plus membership since I started it nearly one year ago. Not only has the service made it easier for me to discover, download, “read,” and review a number of personal finance books but has also allowed us to explore books we otherwise wouldn’t purchase or have time to read. I also truly appreciate the ability to roll over credits from month to month as this relieves much of the stress that can sometimes come with recurring subscriptions.

I’ll add that our Audible subscription has also been great for road trips. Most recently, we listened to the very interesting Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight while driving to Nashville and back. Elsewhere, I’m enjoying subbing out my typical podcast time for audiobook consumption when I’m looking to change things up just a bit.

Ultimately, while you’ve surely heard a lot of ads and sponsored promotions for Audible, I can tell you as someone with no affiliation other than being a paying customer that I think that the Premium Plus subscription is worth it — and it seems as though Prime Day may be the perfect time to get started.


Also published on Medium.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and has recently starting publsihing his own personal finance blog at https://moneyat30.com/

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