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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

*606#: How to Borrow Airtime or Data on MTN XtraTime

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Ever ran out of airtime or data and you needed to borrow from your network provider but didn’t know your way around it? This article is for you.

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We all have found ourselves in such situations when we ran out of airtime making that call or needed to download that album by our favourite artist and ran out of data.

In such cases you either dip into your pocket and purchase a recharge card from a retail shop or perform a VTU Top-up on your phone using your bank’s USSD code, Quickteller or Zoto but what happens when you can’t do either? Borrow!

Nothing to be ashamed of here, we have all done it at one point or the other and that’s why services like the MTN XtraTime and XtraByte exist.

Imagine running out of data in the middle of the night while binge-watching on Netflix with little or nothing in your bank account to even consider making an airtime purchase, you are left with choosing to go to bed and returning to your movie the next day (if you are able to afford a data bundle then) or borrowing from your network provider to pay back with later airtime purchases.

About MTN XtraTime & XtraByte

MTN XtraTime and XtraByte allows MTN subscribers borrow airtime or data as the case may be and repay with subsequent airtime purchases. The service is available to all MTN users although terms and conditions apply.

*606#: How to borrow airtime or data

Running low on airtime or data on your MTN line and need to make a call real quick or stream an event online, dial *606# on your line and select the Request XtraTime or Request XtraByte option as the case may be provided you are eligible to borrow airtime or data.

Afterwards, enter how much airtime or data you need and your line will be credited ASAP. When you dial *606#, you should see something like these:

Eligibility Status

Your MTN XtraTime eligibility status tells if you can borrow airtime or data at the time. If you have borrowed up to your borrow limit, it usually says that you are not eligible until you have repaid all or a chunk of what you borrowed.


New customers are usually not eligible to borrow credit until they have become regular users of their line and are known to recharge very well.

Picture it like a bank willing to give you a loan because you are a customer with a record of good credit i.e the more you recharge your MTN line, the higher your chances of becoming eligible to borrow credit when you run out of data or airtime.

Also, your borrow limit increases the higher the amount you recharge on your phone.

Check XtraTime Balance

To check your MTN XtraTime and XtraByte balance, dial *606# and enter “5” to select the XtraTime Balance option to view your XtraTime balance and XtraByte balance, also your main account balance will be displayed.

You should see something like this;

XtraTime Transaction History

This shows your XtraTime history up to your last three transactions. To check your transactions, dial *606# and enter “9” to access the next list of options then input “6” to select the XtraTime history option. You will receive an SMS showing your XtraTime  history as requested.

How do I pay back borrowed airtime or data?

Your XtraTime credit will be deducted from your next recharge till you have paid in full that is, you can pay back in bits or all at once.

You can pay in bits to allow you borrow more and you can pay in full to allow you borrow up to your borrow limt again and it works same way for both XtraTime and XtraByte.


  • Service fee of 15% of value of whatever you borrow, airtime or data applies. For example, to borrow N500 airtime, a service fee of 15% (N75) will be charged meaning your MTN line will be credited with N425.00.
  • It is not possible to borrow airtime and data at the same time.
  • Your chances of borrowing again decrease the more time you spend without paying back borrowed airtime.
  • Your account balance needs to be as low as N12 or lower to be eligible to borrow airtime or data.
  • You cannot share borrowed airtime.
  • Calls and SMS with borrowed airtime are still charged at the same rate as your tariff plans.
  • XtraByte usage is also charged at the same rate as normal data bundle rates.
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