The old days of scratch cards is long gone. At least for techies like us. I can’t remember the last time I used a scratch card to top up my airtime. Imagine running out of airtime at the worst possible time (11pm comes to mind). At such an hour, you wouldn’t expect any vendor to be selling scratch cards outside would you?


A lot of solutions exits now: purchasing using apps, using your mobile money wallet, etc. But what if you don’t have internet bundle to use at that moment? Most apps that allow you to purchase airtime will need to have internet access in order to work. Also, what if you want to purchase the airtime for your Vodafone line, while you have some cash in your MTN mobile money? Everyone is on the Vodafone X frenzy now. And yes MTN bundles are still expensive (ahem).

The two solutions proposed above are great. Only problem is the first one will require you to have internet access on your device. Also, if you happen to use a different network aside MTN, you’ll have to find a way to get the airtime transferred from your mobile money wallet to your preferred network. If only there was a better way that wouldn’t require us to have internet connection to purchase internet bundle: in comes USSD codes.

USSD codes work regardless of whether or not you have internet access. Heck it even works on “yam devices”. There are apps available now that allows you to purchase airtime, make payments, and even transfer money from one network to another. Here are a few examples and ones I use mostly: Expresspay, Mazumma, Slydepay, Flexipay, and my personal favourite, Hubtel. I’ll get into detail as to why Hubtel is my favourite.

How It Works

Amongst all the listed apps above, Hubtel has a unique feature the rest lack: the use of USSD code. By utilizing this feature, you could make purchase of airtime, internet bundle etc using a simple USSD code. What this means is that you are not limited to using only the app but also you get another option that works regardless.

To make a purchase, simply dial the Hubtel USSD code: *711#. You will have to already have a Hubtel account before you can use this code. If you happen to not have one, you’ll be prompted to create one.

The Process

Assuming you already have a Hubtel account, you can proceed with the process. (Use this link to create a free Hubtel account: Sign Up)

First, dial *711# on your phone.


Dial code: *711#

Next, select an option. In this case, I’ll choose the Airtime Topup option.


Welcome Screen: Select an option

On the next screen you’ll have the option to select which number to receive the Airtime topup on. You can either choose the first option, which is your Hubtel number on your account, or use a different phone number.


Select a number to receive the Topup



Enter amount to purchase

Now here’s another interesting part. With Hubtel, the more you make purchases the more you are rewarded points. These points can be used to purchase items on the Hubtel platform. Awesome huh? In this case, let’s go with MTN (Mobile money wallet).

Select your payment option

On the next screen, you enter your Hubtel account PIN to initiate the payment process.

Enter your Hubtel account PIN


The last step is to confirm the payment on your mobile money account when prompted.

Confirm payment on your Mobile money wallet


And that is it. I have just made a payment from my MTN mobile money wallet to my Vodafone account without the need for an internet connection. Now that’s awesome! This works for any other network as well. Give it a try and let me know how it goes, in the comment section below.





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