How to transfer airtime on Airtel

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Most people know about the airtime transfer feature that allows users to share their mobile credit with others on the same network. After all, it’s offered by many mobile network providers, including Airtel. However, not many know that they can loan airtime credits. So if you’re wondering how to borrow airtime from Airtel, you’ve come to the right place.

Airtel lets its customers borrow airtime, which is useful whenever people run out of credits and have no funds to replenish. For example, someone stranded in the middle of nowhere can still use their phone to make an urgent call or send a message, thanks to this feature. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to transfer airtime on Airtel – and the best way to recharge Airtel from the USA.

How to recharge Airtel from the US

BOSS Revolution is a recharge service that supports Airtel recharge for many countries, including Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Shri Lanka, and DR of Congo, to name a few. And the entire process is easy and safe. 

Here’s how to recharge or send Airtel top-ups through the BOSS Revolution app.

  • Download the free BOSS Revolution app for Android or iOS and install it. Then open the app and follow the simple instructions to create your account.
  • Select the recipient or enter their cell phone number. BOSS Revolution should automatically identify the country.
  • Choose the recipient’s carrier from the list. BOSS Revolution has partnerships with more than 270 mobile carriers across 100 countries.
  • Select the top-up amount. You can also repeat a previous transaction if you’ve used BOSS Revolution services before.
  • Send the transfer or top-up. 

Here’s how to recharge Airtel through the BOSS Revolution website.

  • Visit the website and select “Log In / Join Us” from the top right to create your account. 
  • Enter your mobile phone number when prompted, and the system will send you a confirmation code. Once received, enter the code on the site to confirm.
  • Enter the number you want to recharge. 
  • Choose the mobile carrier from the dropdown list (Airtel, 9Mobile, MTN, Glo, etc.) if the system doesn't detect it automatically. 
  • Pick the amount you want to send or plan that suits your needs. 
  • Choose your payment method. You can pay with a debit/credit card.
  • Send the top-up, and your recipient will receive the transfer within minutes.

How to borrow airtime from Airtel

If learning how to transfer airtime from airtel to airtel is your goal – note that you'll need an Airtel SIM card and a plan that includes international roaming. Otherwise, the best way to recharge Airtel from the USA is through a recharge service like BOSS Revolution, as noted earlier.

But sometimes, you may not be able to reach your loved ones if they run out of airtime and you’re unable to assist or the person has no way to recharge. This is where the Extra Credit (also called XtraTime) service by Airtel, which allows customers to borrow airtime or credits, comes into play. 

All you need is the corresponding code to transfer airtime on airtel using this feature. And many countries where Airtel operates will share the same general code. 

But before diving into how you or your loved ones can access this service, note that Airtel customers must meet the following eligibility requirements. 

  • The account holder must have a registered Airtel SIM card.
  • The SIM card must be active for three months or more before requesting a loan.
  • The user’s minimum recharge must be N250 per month (or equivalent in currency). This also varies by country.
  • The user must not have a pending talk time loan or outstanding balance.

Airtel extra credit

The standard service charge to borrow airtime is 15 percent of the amount borrowed, except for N25 (more on this shortly) loans, which is 20 percent. In addition, Extra Time is not limited to voice calls because you can use borrowed airtime for data.

Here are the codes to transfer airtime on airtel, starting with the general process or steps for most countries. 

  • Dial *500* (the Airtel borrow code), the amount of airtime you want, and then hit #. So, for example, you would dial *500*50# to borrow N50 worth of Airtel credits. As an alternative, you can dial *500# to bring up a prompt or instructions to follow.
  • You should receive a message telling you your request is in progress. However, you won't see that message if the account is not eligible for Extra Time. Instead, you'll get a message explaining what to do to qualify. 
  • Once processing is complete, your account will receive the loaned credit minus the service fee, which is typically between 15 to 20 percent. But for some countries, the service charge is 10 percent.

Some places require different airtel recharge codes, so those are next.

Borrowing airtime if you or your loved one is in Ghana (AirtelTigo)

In Ghana, Airtel and Tigo merged to become ArtelTigo, the second-largest telecommunications network provider in the country.

  • Borrow airtime by dialing *588# for Tigo or *130# for Airtel.
  • Wait for a pop-up menu to appear, and follow the instructions to select the amount you want to borrow.
  • Confirm the amount when prompted (usually by pressing 1).

The process for all subsequent countries will be practically the same except for the shortcodes. 

Borrowing airtime from Airtel in Kenya

Dial the USSD short code, *310#, to borrow airtime. The service fee for Kenya is 10 percent.

Borrow airtime from Airtel in Uganda

The company operates under Airtel Beerako in Uganda. 

You can dial *155# for airtime credit, and the service fee is 10 percent.

Borrowing airtime from Airtel India

Dial the Airtel USSD code *144*10# or *14/#. You can call 52141 to borrow airtime instead if it's a prepaid SIM.

Also, the terms of eligibility are slightly different for India. Mainly, your Airtel account balance must be below INR 5 to loan anything.

Borrowing airtime from Airtel in Malawi

Dial *533#. The service charge for this region is 10 percent of the borrowed amount.

Borrowing airtime from Airtel Rwanda

Dial *151#. The service charge here is between 10 and 20 percent of what you borrow.

Borrow airtime from Airtel in Seychelles

Over in Seychelles, the Extra Time service is called Air Kredi. Dial the USSD short code *301# to access the loan service.

Borrow airtime from Airtel in Tanzania

In Tanzania, Extra Time is referred to as Timiza Loans, and there are two ways to take advantage. 

  1. Dial *150*60. 
  2. Select option 6 (Financial Services).
  3. Choose Option 1 (Timiza).
  4. Select option 1 (Loans).
  5. Then enter your PIN number to gain access.

You may also use the following steps.

  1. Dial *150*60.
  2. Select O (Get Money)
  3. Choose Option 3 (Timiza Loans)
  4. Enter your PIN number

Borrowing airtime from airtel in Zambia

Extra Time is called the Siliza service here.

You can dial the short code *458# to access the service. Choose the denomination or amount to borrow, and you're all set. 

Airtel bands and frequencies explained

All mobile devices use cellular frequencies or bands. These frequencies allow cell phones to access mobile networks to make calls, send texts, browse the web, etc. Carriers typically have several frequencies that are compatible with their networks.

So if you or your loved one ever want to buy a new phone, you may need to check with Airtel to ensure it will work with their network. You can do that with a simple phone call to customer support typically.

Also, while the concept of bands or frequencies sounds complex, as a user, you only need to know that they determine if your phone will work on the carrier's network. However, modern cell phones come with a broader range of frequency compatibility.

The available airtime bands or network frequency for mobile airtel recharge via the Extra

Time feature include: 

  • N25
  • N50
  • N100
  • N200
  • N400
  • N500
  • N750
  • N1000
  • N1500
  • N2000
  • N3000
  • N5000

Wrapping up

Airtel topup and borrowing airtime from Airtel are quick and easy things you can do from anywhere, anytime. The Extra Time feature is useful for ensuring you can still make important calls or stay in touch with loved ones even if they run out of airtime and can’t recharge. 

Additionally, you can use BOSS Revolution to send mobile Airtel recharge if you live in the USA and have family back home. You can send Airtel top-ups to just about any major country.

Sources: all third party information obtained from applicable website as of Jan 30, 2023

This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to address every aspect of the matters discussed herein. The information in this article is not intended as specific personal advice. The information in this article does not constitute legal, tax, regulatory or other professional advice from IDT Payment Services, Inc. and its affiliates (collectively, “IDT”), and should not be taken or used as such by any individual. IDT makes no representation, warranty or guaranty, whether express or implied, that the content in this article is current, accurate, or complete. You should obtain professional or other substantive advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the information in this article.

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