How to buy Safaricom SMS bundles

Awhile ago I wrote a post on how to buy SMS bundles for another Safaricom number.

Today, I am going to show you how to buy Safaricom SMS bundles for your line via the *188# USSD shortcode (and other methods I’ll outline below).

So, what’s on the *188# SMS Bundles menu?

The current items listed in the menu are:

  1. Daily SMS Bundle
  2. Buy 7 day SMS Bundle
  3. Buy 30 day SMS Bundle
  4. Buy for Other Number
  5. Check SMS Balance
  6. Unsubscribe

What SMS bundles can you buy on a Safaricom line

You can buy daily, weekly and monthly SMS bundles.

I’ll tell you more about all the bundles under each category, then give you examples – showing you how to buy a bundle from each of the categories.

The USSD shortcode I am going to use in the examples is *188#.

Later on I am also going to show you other methods you can use to access the Safaricom SMS Bundles menu.

Daily: 1 day Safaricom SMS bundles + How to buy

Under this category, you can buy the following bundles:

  • 20 SMS daily at KSh 5
  • 200 SMS daily at KSh 10
  • 500 SMS daily at KSh 20

How to buy a daily SMS bundle

  • Dial *188# on your feature phone, smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer (if using a modem or router)
  • Select option 1: Daily SMS Bundle
  • Reply with the number 2 to purchase the 200 SMS at KSh 10 for example (to buy the other bundles, reply with 1 for the 20 SMS at KSh 5 bundle OR reply with 3 for the daily 500 SMS at KSh 20 SMS bundle)
  • You’ll see the following: ‘Get 200 SMS at 10/- valid for 24 hours’
  • Reply with 1 to Buy Once (if you choose this option, you’ll only be billed once. Safaricom will deduct Kenya Shillings 10 from your airtime balance. You’ll get 200 SMS to use within 24 hours. After that, all remaining text messages will expire and you’ll have to dial *188# if you want to buy another SMS bundle)
  • Or reply with 2 to enable AutoRenew (if you select this option, you’ll be billed every 24 hours / receive a fresh bundle of 200 text messages every day)
  • Please confirm purchase of 200 SMS at 10/-
  • Select 1: Accept (or 2: Decline – if you change your mind and don’t want to buy the bundle).
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Note that you can unsubscribe from a daily bundle by:

  • Going to your phone and dialing *188#
  • Selecting option 1: Daily SMS Bundle
  • Selecting option 4: Unsubscribe

Weekly: 7 day Safaricom SMS bundles + How to buy

The bundles under this category include:

  • 400 SMS at KSh 30
  • 700 SMS at KSh 50

How to buy a weekly SMS bundle

To buy the 400 SMS bundle for example, here are the steps to follow:

  • Dial *188#
  • Select option 2: Buy 7 day SMS Bundle
  • Select option 1: 400 SMS at 30 KSh
  • Please confirm purchase of 400 SMS at 30/-
  • Reply with 1 to Accept or Cancel the transaction by replying with the number 2.

How do you unsubscribe from 7 day SMS bundles? I’ll show you below.

Monthly: 30 day Safaricom SMS bundles + How to buy

The bundles in this category include:

  • 1500 SMS at KSh 100
  • 3500 SMS at KSh 200

How to buy a monthly SMS bundle

To buy the 1500 SMS bundle for example, here are the steps to follow:

  • Dial *188#
  • Select option 3: Buy 30 day SMS Bundle
  • Select option 1: 1500 SMS at 100 KSh
  • Please confirm purchase of 1500 SMS at 100/-
  • Reply with 1 to Accept or Cancel the transaction by replying with the number 2.
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How do you unsubscribe from monthly SMS bundles? I’ll show you in a minute.

Other ways to access the Safaricom SMS Bundles menu

  • Dial *456#
  • Select option 1: Buy
  • Select option 6: SMS Bundles

OR

  • Go to your device’s main menu and locate the Safaricom SIM toolkit
  • Select Safaricom+
  • Select Messaging services
  • Select Go SMS crazy

Other items on the *188# SMS menu on Safaricom

Buy for other number

What if you want to purchase SMS bundles for other Safaricom numbers?

  • Dial *188#
  • Select option 4: Buy for Other Number
  • Select a weekly or monthly bundle you want to buy the other number (this article I published awhile ago goes into detail)
  • Enter the phone number of the recipient
  • Select 1: Accept to confirm the purchase

Check balance

To check your SMS balance, use this option.

  • Dial *188#
  • Select option 5: Check SMS Balance
  • Wait for an SMS with your balance details

Unsubscribe

If you are looking for a way to unsubscribe from a Safaricom SMS bundle, use this option.

If you selected AutoRenew when purchasing a bundle, use this option to stop auto-renewal.

It works for all daily, weekly and monthly SMS bundles.

So, if you want to unsubscribe from a 1, 7 or 30 day bundle, just:

  • Dial *188#
  • Select option 6: Unsubscribe
  • Select option 2: Unsubscribe from all
    If your money is getting deducted daily, weekly or monthly and you want to check which active SMS bundle you have, select option 1: Check Active SMS Bundles.

If you don’t have an active bundle, you’ll see the following: You do not have an active SMS Bundle. Dial *188# to subscribe to an SMS bundle.

Why buy text messages in bulk? It is cheaper. Usually sending one text message costs 1 Shilling. Buying SMS in bulk means that you can enjoy rates as low as 5 cents per SMS – for example if you buy the daily 200 SMS at KSh 10 bundle. I talk a bit about this in this article.

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I hope this post covers everything you ever wanted to know about Safaricom daily, weekly and monthly SMS bundles.

Before I end the post, let’s do a quick recap:

  • If you want to know how to buy SMS bundles on your Safaricom line, just follow the steps above. Access the bundles menu via the *188# USSD code or by using any of the methods outlined in the article.
  • If you want to know how to buy SMS bundles for another Safaricom number, follow the steps outlined above (or the post I’ve linked to). You can also access this option by dialing *188*4#.
  • If you want to learn how to unsubscribe from Safaricom SMS bundles, follow the steps above or just dial *188*6#.
  • If you want to learn how to check Safaricom SMS bundle balance, follow the steps above or just dial *188*5#.

Read other Safaricom posts here.

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