How to top up Airtel Kenya line: airtime for own vs another number

Recently I started writing a series of articles related to products and services Airtel offers to its customers in Kenya. In the first post I wrote about Kopa Credo. In the second post I wrote about how to check Airtel airtime balance. In the third post I wrote an article showing subscribers how to check their phone numbers.

In this post I am going to show you different ways to top up your Airtel Kenya line. I am going to show you different places you can buy Airtel Kenya airtime too.

In the end, you’ll know how to easily load airtime to your line using scratch cards, M-PESA, Kopa, online (via debit & credit cards), Equitel, and Airtel Money.

First, I have to show you how to top up your number vs. another number via the *100# menu.

How to top up your Airtel Kenya line

The fastest way top up your line, if not scanning airtime scratch cards using an app such as JazaCredo, is by entering *130*SCRATCHCARDPIN# and pressing the call button.

However, if you want to top up your line using the *100# USSD shortcode, do the following:

  • Dial *100# on your phone, smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer
  • Select option 3. Manage My Account
  • Select option 4. Top Up
  • Select option 1. Own number
  • Then enter the PIN from the recharge voucher you bought from a retail shop, supermarket etc.
  • Press Send

How to top up another Airtel Kenya line

If you have purchased a scratch card and want to load the airtime directly to another line, here’s what you need to do:

  • Dial *100#
  • Select option 3. Manage My Account
  • Select option 4. Top Up
  • Select option 2. Other number
  • Then enter the PIN from the voucher you bought
  • Enter the Airtel mobile number to top-up
  • Press Send

Dial *130*PIN# to load airtime on your Airtel Kenya line from a scratch card

If you want a fast and easy way to load airtime into your Airtel Kenya line

  • Buy a scratch card from any retail outlet, eatery, cafe etc. You can get Airtel Kenya scratch cards from as low as Kenya Shillings 10.
  • Scratch the card to reveal the PIN
  • Enter *130* followed by the PIN, followed by #. Note that there are no spaces. Here’s an example: *130*543212908756#
  • Press the Call / OK button
    Your account will then be credited with airtime value commensurate to the amount you spent to purchase the Airtel recharge voucher.
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Dial *100# to top up Airtel Kenya number

  • Dial *100#
  • Select option 3. Manage My Account
  • Select option 4. Top Up
  • Select option 1. Own number OR option 2. Other number
  • Then enter the PIN from the voucher you bought
  • If you selected option 2. Other Number, enter the mobile number to top-up
  • Press Send

How to top up / buy Airtel Kenya airtime from Safaricom M-PESA

Did you know you could just purchase airtime for your Airtel line directly from MPESA? Yes, it is possible, simple and can save save you a lot of trouble especially when it is late and you want to credit your Airtel prepaid line with airtime right away.

This has been made possible by the guys over at Pesapal (with some help from Airtel of course).

So, let’s say you want to buy Kenya Shillings 100 airtime from MPESA for your Airtel Kenya line, what steps should you follow?

  • Go to your phone’s main menu
  • Select Safaricom option
  • Select M-PESA
  • Select Lipa na M-PESA
  • Select Pay Bill
  • Enter business number: 220220
  • Select Account number – enter your Airtel Kenya phone number e.g. 0736123456
  • Enter amount – 100
  • Enter M-PESA PIN and press OK
  • Confirm the details you’ve entered are correct and press OK once more
  • Wait for reply

In essence, you’ll be paying Pesapal money from your MPESA account so they can send you airtime to your Airtel line.

Are there any charges involved? Yes. For example, when you purchase KSh 100, you’ll be charged a service fee of 2 Shillings.

Here’s an example of the reply you’ll get on your Safaricom line (the one used for the transaction)

NH84TRQRJW Confirmed. Ksh 100.00 sent to Pesapal for account 0736123456 on 3/9/19 at 1:00 PM New M-PESA balance is Ksh 8.00. Transaction cost, Ksh 2.00.

Here’s an example of the reply you’ll get on your Airtel Kenya line (the one you are buying airtime for):

Msg:207: Transaction ID R190808.0101.220006. You have received KSH. 100 Airtime from 739999383. Your new balance is KSH 100.03. Dial *131# to confirm balance.

I made a similar transaction like the one above, so I could purchase the daily 2 GB data bundle at 99 Shillings.

The last time I bought airtime via MPESA for my Airtel Kenya line I wanted to purchase the 1.5 GB monthly bundle which costs KSh 300. That is how much airtime I purchased from my Safaricom M-PESA account. The transaction cost was 23 Shillings.

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Top up / buy Airtel Kenya airtime online

Again, with the help of Pesapal, you can buy Airtel Kenya airtime online – and use the service to top-up not only your line but other lines as well.

The website you need to visit to get started is: AirtelAirtime.com.

You can also find the website by going to Google, Duckduckgo or Bing and searching for ‘buy Airtel Kenya airtime online’.

When on the website, make sure you click on the tab that reads ‘Buy Airtime’ before you start entering you details.

The beauty of topping up using this method is that you can top up just one Airtel line, or 2, or 3 or 4 or even upload a list of numbers from an Excel sheet with the amount you want to purchase for each line,

The minimum amount you can purchase is KSh 10.

The details you’ll need to enter include: your name, email address, your phone number, number(s) you want to top up, airtime value you want to purchase, your address/P.O. Box and during checkout details of the payment method you choose (e.g credit/debit card details for VISA or MasterCard, details of your Pesapal account, details of your KCB Mobi account, details of your Equity Eazzy 247 account etc.)

Buy airtime and top up your line using Airtel Money

You can buy airtime from your Airtel Money account – for your number or other phone number.

To access the Airtel Money menu, go to your device’s main menu and look for the icon with Airtel under it.

Select the option that reads airtel money then continue by tapping on the option one that reads buy airtime.

You’ll see three options:

  1. own number: use this to buy airtime for your line
  2. phone number: use this to buy airtime for another number. Enter the number manually
  3. phonebook: use this option to search your phonebook for the Airtel number you want to buy airtime for

Another way to access the Airtel Money menu is by

  • dialing *222#
  • selecting option 3. Buy Airtime
  • selecting the option for My phone OR Other phone OR Favorites

Buy Airtel Kenya airtime and top up your account using Equitel

To purchase airtime for your Airtel Kenya line from Equitel / Equity Bank Kenya Eazzy 247 account, do the following:

  • Go to your phone’s main menu and look for the Equitel icon / or dial *247# to access your Eazzy 247 account menu
  • Select My Money in the Equitel main menu
  • Select Buy Airtime/Bundles
  • Select the account you want to buy airtime from (the Equity Bank Kenya account connected to your Equitel line) e.g. 7771604814367
  • Select Buy Airtime
  • Select other number
  • Select Airtel from the menu (you’ll see a list with Equitel, Airtel, Safaricom, Telkom and Yu)
  • Enter your Airtel Kenya phone number e.g. 0736123456
  • Enter amount e.g. 100
  • When asked ‘Do you want to buy Kshs 100 of airtime for line 0736123456-Airtel?‘ press OK
  • Enter your Equitel / account PIN
  • Press OK

Top up your Airtel Kenya line with Kopa Credo and repay the airtime advance later

Airtel Kenya has an advance airtime service you can use to borrow airtime and data bundles during emergencies, when you can’t get to a shop or when you are just broke.

READ  How to check if Airtel Kenya SIM card is 4G enabled

I wrote a post about Airtel Kopa Credo, Kopa Data and Kopa Cash which you can read here if you want to learn more about the service.

It is similar to Safaricom Okoa Jahazi.

All you need to do to access the service is to dial *100# or *544# and then selecting the option that reads Kopa Services.

Check out the post I’ve linked to above for step-by-step instructions on how to use the service to get airtime.

Redeem your Airtel Kenya Zawadi points for airtime

Assuming you’ve accumulated enough points, enough to get airtime, you can use the Airtel Kenya Zawadi Points menu to load your account with airtime.

You can redeem your points for free airtime, data, phones and accessories.

To access the Airtel Zawadi menu, assuming you’ve already enrolled:

  • Dial *100#
  • Select option 6. Kopa & Other Services
  • Select option 3. Airtel Zawadi
  • Select option 2. Redeem points (or start with option 1 to check how many Zawadi points you have)
  • Select what you want to redeem. Enter 1 for free airtime, 2 for free internet and 3 for free phones & accessories

With option 1, you can redeem:

  • KSh 2 airtime for 10 points
  • KSh 5 airtime for 25 points
  • KSh 10 airtime for 50 points
  • KSh 25 airtime for 125 points
  • KSh 50 airtime for 250 points
  • KSh 125 airtime for 625 points
  • KSh 250 airtime for 1250 points
  • KSh 500 airtime for 2500 points

With option 2, you can redeem data bundles in the following sizes: 6MB, 15MB, 20MB, 50MB, 125MB, 350MB AND 1.5GB.

Dial *544*PIN# to top up & buy Airtel Kenya data bundles directly from a scratch card

When you buy an Airtel scratch card, normally you top up (using the format *130*SCRATCHCARDPIN#) first then decide whether you want to use your airtime for calls, SMS bundles or to purchase data bundles.

But you can also top up and directly buy a data bundle when you load airtime from a scratch card you’ve purchased.

The amount you get is usually listed on the scratch card.

To buy bundles this way, the format you’ll use looks like this: *544*543212908756#.

Here are examples of bundle sizes you get when you top your line with 10, 20 and 50 Shillings scratch cards using the 544 shortcode.

  • 50 Shs voucher gets you UnlimiNet 50 bundle valid for 1 day (100MB + 20 MINUTES + 100 SMS)
  • 20 Shs voucher gets you UnlimiNet 20 bundle valid for 1 day (20MB + 8 MINUTES + 20 SMS)
  • 10 Shs voucher gets you DAILY 10 bundle valid for 1 day (20MB + 10 SMS)

Other methods to top up your Airtel line

There are still other methods you can use to top up your Airtel line.

I’d like to know the ones you use that I haven’t mentioned in this article.

Some services I have seen offering top up services for Airtel Kenya subscribers include:

  • Chura. Just search for ‘top up Safaricom buy Airtel Kenya airtime online Chura’
  • WorldRemit. Search for ‘buy airtime online for Safaricom or Telkom Kenya WorldRemit’

Have anything you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments section below. Or go to the homepage to check all the recent articles I’ve published on Niabusiness KE.

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