How to: Recharge with Vodacom Airtime Advance

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Vodacom’s Airtime Advance service is a relatively cheap way to recharge airtime or data on the Vodacom network. As a qualifying Vodacom subscriber using the Vodacom Airtime Advance you may request to recharge your account with an amount of airtime or data and pay it back the next time you recharge your airtime.

How do you qualify for Airtime Advance?

Not all Vodacom subscribers qualify to take advantage of the Airtime Advance service, and those who qualify, their account will have to show that they are active Vodacom subscribers who regularly recharge their account with airtime.

These eligible packages may qualify based on the following criteria:

  • Vodacom TopUp. You may qualify if your account’s monthly repayments are up to date. More qualifications may be required.
  • Vodacom Prepaid and Vodacom uChoose. You may qualify if your account recharge activity shows you’ve recharged with R29 or more for 3 consecutive months or more, and your SIM card has been active for 3 months or more. More qualifications may be required.

How to recharge your airtime using Airtime Advance

A subscriber can take advances up to the maximum allowed amount without having to pay back the amounts already taken. If you are allowed a total of R100 and you recharge with a R10 airtime advance, you may take an amount of R10 again before having to pay back the R10 you already took.

We were offered Airtime advance for either R10, R5, or R3 at a time:

Screenshot: Vodacom Airtime Advance.
Screenshot: Vodacom Airtime Advance. Source: Vodacom app.

Apply for Airtime and Data advance by dialing the USSD *135*082# and following the prompts, going online on vodacom.co.za, or on the Vodacom app.

How to recharge your data using Data Advance

You can recharge your data with the following prepackaged Data Advance amounts:

  • 10MB valued at R3.00
  • 25MB valued at R6.00
  • 70MB valued at R11.00
  • 125MB valued at R18.00

The stated amounts show the Data Advance pricing only, and you will still owe an extra R1 when you recharge, meaning you will pay a total of R4 if you recharge 10MB/R3 using a data advance.

These data bundles are valid until 12am on the day they were taken. It might be cheaper to rather take an Airtime Advance and then purchase some of the data bundle deals from Vodacom.

How do you cancel Airtime Advance?

It may not be possible to completely block Airtime Advance, but you may stop it for 3 months at a time. To cancel or deactivate Airtime Advance:

  • Call 135 to speak to Vodacom customer care.
  • Send an email to Vodacom customer care on customercare@vodacom.co.za and request that your Airtime Advance be cancelled.
  • Contact the Vodacom robot TOBi (on WhatsApp or the Vodacom app) and send a message saying “Airtime Advance” and it will give you an option to “Cancel/Deactivate Airtime Advance”. Tap on the button and it will take you through steps to cancel your Airtime Advance service.
Screenshot: Stopping Vodacom's Airtime Advance with TOBi.
Screenshot: Stopping Vodacom’s Airtime Advance with TOBi. Source: Vodacom app.

Repayment of Airtime Advance

You will pay back R1.10 on top of each Airtime Advance you take. If you take Airtime Advance of R3 you will pay R4.10 in order to pay back all you owe.

This raises an issue, since we were offered a R10 airtime advance it means we potentially will pay a minimum of 11% every time when we recharge with Vodacom’s Airtime Advance as the repayment for each advance is R1.10. In terms of percentages then the R3 airtime advance is the most expensive.

Repayment of Vodacom airtime advance has now been increased to R1.10 as of July 2022:

Vodacom airtime advance repayment is R1.10 in 2022.
Vodacom airtime advance repayment is R1.10 in 2022.

MTN’s version of airtime advance is called MTN XtraTime, and it’s much cheaper to loan airtime from them because you pay a flat fee of R1.10 instead of an interest-like version on the Vodacom network.

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