May 30, 2024

MTN, short for Mobile Telecommunications Network, has emerged as a leading name in the telecommunications industry, particularly renowned in Africa and the Middle East. Known for its vast network coverage and state-of-the-art services, MTN has become a pivotal player in the telecom sector. Offering a wide range of services such as voice calls, SMS, mobile data, and innovative digital solutions, MTN caters to a diverse customer base, providing both postpaid and prepaid options tailored to different needs and financial backgrounds.

In a bid to enhance customer experiences, MTN has rolled out a variety of digital products and initiatives. This includes user-friendly mobile applications for efficient account and service management, advanced mobile money platforms for secure financial transactions, and exclusive content platforms offering music, videos, and news.

MTN’s commitment to delivering exceptional service is evident in its customer-centric approach, making it a trusted and reliable telecommunication provider in the regions it operates.

Understanding MTN Xtratime

MTN Xtratime stands as a testament to MTN’s commitment to customer convenience and innovation. This service is a lifeline for those moments when you unexpectedly run out of airtime. It allows prepaid customers across most MTN markets to borrow airtime and repay it upon their next recharge. This feature underscores MTN’s dedication to providing flexible and user-centric solutions to its subscribers.

To access MTN Xtratime, you can simply dial 606# from your MTN handset or use the MTN mobile application. The process is straightforward: select the desired airtime amount, enter your MTN PIN, and receive instant confirmation from MTN with the airtime credited to your account. This hassle-free process ensures that you remain connected even when your airtime balance runs low.

Eligibility Criteria for MTN Xtratime

Becoming eligible for MTN’s Xtratime service involves meeting certain criteria, designed to ensure fair and responsible access to this advanced service. To qualify, you need to:

  • Ensure your MTN number is duly registered.
  • Have a usage history on the MTN network for at least three months.
  • Maintain a minimum monthly spend of N200 over the past three months.
  • Have a main account balance ranging between N0 and N75.
  • Settle any outstanding XtraTime loans to qualify for new ones.

These criteria are in place to maintain a responsible borrowing system, ensuring that the service is available to dedicated MTN users who have demonstrated consistent network usage.

How to Borrow Airtime from MTN With USSD Code

Borrowing airtime from MTN is made effortless with the user-friendly USSD code system. To use the XtraTime service via USSD:

  1. Simply dial *303# from your MTN phone.
  2. Select “XtraTime” from the displayed menu options.
  3. A list of airtime amounts available for borrowing will appear. Choose your preferred amount.
  4. After selection, a confirmation message will display the amount you are set to borrow.
  5. Follow the message instructions to confirm the transaction.
  6. Upon confirmation, the borrowed airtime amount, minus the service fee, will be credited to your XtraTime account.
  7. You will then receive a notification confirming the successful transaction.

This simple and quick method ensures that you can access airtime in urgent situations without any inconvenience.

Borrowing Airtime via Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

MTN also offers an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system for borrowing airtime, which is equally straightforward:

  1. Dial 303 on your MTN phone to access the service.
  2. The system will prompt you to select your preferred language (English, Igbo, Hausa, or Yoruba).
  3. After language selection, choose between XtraTime or XtraByte. For airtime, select XtraTime.
  4. Listen to the list of available airtime amounts and select your preferred amount to borrow.
  5. The system will announce the amount you’ve chosen to borrow along with the applicable service fee.
  6. Review the details, and if they are correct, follow the instructions to confirm the transaction.
  7. Upon confirmation, your XtraTime account will be credited with the airtime, and you will receive a success notification.

The IVR system adds a layer of convenience for those who prefer auditory guidance or are unable to use the USSD code service.

Checking Your Eligibility for MTN Xtratime

To determine if you are eligible for the Xtratime service, MTN provides several convenient methods:

  1. Using USSD Code:
    • Dial *303# on your phone.
    • From the menu, select “My Account” and then choose the option to check eligibility.
    • The system will process your request and inform you of your eligibility status.
  2. Via SMS:
    • Create a new message with the keyword “STATUS”.
    • Send this message to the number 303.
    • You will receive a response indicating your eligibility for the Xtratime service.
  3. Through IVR:
    • Dial 303 and follow the voice prompt.
    • The system will guide you and confirm your eligibility for the Xtratime service.

These methods ensure that customers can easily check their eligibility for the service at any time.

How to Check Your MTN Xtratime Account Balance

MTN provides multiple ways to check your Xtratime account balance:

  1. Using the *303# Menu:
    • Dial *303# on your phone.
    • Select “My Account” and then choose the option to view your account balance.
    • Your account balance will be displayed on your screen.
  2. Through the 303 IVR Menu:
    • Call 303 from your MTN phone.
    • Follow the voice prompts and press the appropriate number to check your balance.
    • Your balance will be communicated to you via an SMS message.
  3. Via SMS:
    • Compose a new text message with the keyword “Balance”.
    • Send this message to 303.
    • You will receive an SMS with your account balance.

These convenient and accessible methods ensure that customers can effortlessly keep track of their Xtratime account balances

Fees for Using MTN XtraTime

Utilizing MTN’s XtraTime service involves a service fee, which is a small percentage of the borrowed amount. This fee is deducted before the airtime is credited to your account. Understanding these charges is crucial for informed borrowing:

  • MTN applies a standard service fee of 15% across all lending bands.
  • This fee is subtracted from the borrowed airtime amount before crediting your XtraTime account.
  • The full borrowed amount, however, is debited from your main account, requiring repayment on your next recharge.

Let’s look at a few examples to understand these charges better:

  1. Example 1: Borrowing N50 incurs a service fee of N7.5 (15% of N50). You receive N42.5 in your XtraTime account but owe the full N50.
  2. Example 2: For a N200 loan, the service fee is N30 (15% of N200), leaving you with N170 in your account, but a repayment of N200 is due.
  3. Example 3: If you borrow N1000, the service fee is N150 (15% of N1000), giving you N850 in credit, but N1000 needs to be repaid.
  4. Example 4: For a larger amount, like N5000, the fee is N750 (15% of N5000), resulting in N4250 credit, but a repayment of the full N5000 is necessary.

These examples highlight the transparency and predictability of the fee structure for MTN’s XtraTime service.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is MTN’s Borrow Service Charge?MTN charges a 15% service fee for borrowing airtime or data. The fee is applied to the borrowed amount, not the total repayment amount.

What are the various airtime amounts I can borrow from MTN?MTN offers various borrowing amounts, including N25, N50, N100, N200, N400, N500, N750, N1000, N1500, N2000, N3000, and N5000.

How many languages are available on MTN’s 303 IVR menu? The 303 IVR menu offers four language options: Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and English.

Is there a limit to how many times I can borrow airtime? Yes, there is a limit on the number of times you can borrow airtime, which depends on various factors like your account status and repayment history.

Can I increase my XtraTime credit limit? Your XtraTime credit limit may increase over time based on factors such as account history, usage patterns, and repayment behavior.


MTN’s Xtratime service offers a practical and convenient solution for customers in urgent need of airtime. Simple and accessible through various methods, it allows customers to stay connected even during times of low balance. With clear eligibility criteria, competitive service fees, and a range of borrowing options, Xtratime is a testament to MTN’s commitment to customer satisfaction and service excellence.

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