USSD Codes Cheatsheet

The list below isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list of every available USSD code – it simply covers the most commonly used codes on the South African mobile networks. More information about USSD codes and related topics can be found at the end, and for those interested in learning more, a good starting point is this Wikipedia USSD Article


USSD codes (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data)
Network Use USSD Code Additional Notes
MTN Change Price plan and/or tariff *141*4# key in “2” (migrate), then key in a that corresponds with the price plan you’d like to migrate to.
MTN Airtime transfer *141*6328* recipient’s cell phone number* rand amount# For example: *141*6328*0731234567*30#).
MTN Request airtime *141*6328*number of the person sending you airtime# Two requests are permitted per day.
MTN Balance Enquiry *141# Your airtime, SMSs and your MTN internet bundle balance will be displayed.
MTN Airtime recharge *141* recharge voucher pin #
MTN Data bundle purchase *141*6# Key in “1” (purchase bundles and services) > key in “1” (internet bundles) > key in “1 – 3” (the 3 options are for Volume bundles, duration bundles, and uncapped bundles respectively)
MTN Deactivate an uncapped data bundle *141*5# key in “2”.
MTN Loyalty points program * 141 * 9 * your ID number# A program where MTN rewards its customers with points to buy airtime, bundles, enter competitions etc.
MTN Call charges *111*2# key in “1 – 2” (the two options are for number and country respectively)
MTN Callback *121* recipient’s number # You are permitted five callbacks a day on the MTN network.
MTN Check your own number – MSISDN query *123*888# This will display the number from where this USSD code is dialed.
MTN MMS OTA settings request *123*12# You will receive a configuration message to install the settings, if asked for a pin, enter 1234.
MTN WAP/GPRS/Internet OTA settings request *123*12# You will receive a configuration message to install the settings, if asked for a pin, enter 1234.
MTN Easy recharge *141*10#
MTN Point of interest request *120*555# An MTN service to find useful points of interest (POI) located closest to you like an ATM, fast food outlets, movie theatres etc.
MTN Registering/Opening a Mobile Money account *120*668# You have to be at least 16 years to qualify for this service.
MTN Cancelling a Recurring Bundle *141*5# key in “1”.
Telkom Mobile Airtime transfer *180# Option 2 (transfer airtime) > choose the amount > enter an 8ta cell number > confirm and you’re done.
Vodacom Airtime transfer *111# Option 4 (bundle or airtime transfer) > option 1 (airtime) > choose an amount from R29 to R2000 > enter a Vodacom number > Confirm and you’re done.
Vodacom My Vodacom USSD services menu *111# this menu includes popular services
Vodacom Balance Enquiry *100# your balance is displayed on handset (Prepaid Only)
Vodacom Check your own number – MSISDN query *111*501# This will display the number from where this USSD code is dialed.
Vodacom Airtime recharge *100*01*Recharge PIN# Account top up with voucher value (Prepaid Only)
Vodacom Time Window Enquiry *100*02# Time Window Expiry date displayed on handset (Prepaid Only)
Vodacom Vodata Service Setup *141*777# Vodata Service Setup menu will be installed or removed (Contract & Prepaid)
Vodacom Please CallMe Service *140*MSISDN# Sending a text message which includes the sender’s number to another cell phone number requesting the receiver to call the sender (Contract & Prepaid)
Vodacom Please Recharge Me *140*02*MSISDN# Request airtime from your phone to any Vodacom customer
Vodacom Airtime transfer *102*02*airtime value*MSISDN# Send airtime from your cellphone to any other Vodacom Prepaid phone
Vodacom Vodacom Paypoint *120*1234# Enables Vodacom merchants to accept credit card payments using a mobile phone without requiring a fixed line point of sale terminal
Cell C Cell C USSD services menu *147# Launches the USSD menu with various account management and inquiry options.
Cell C Balance Enquiry *101# Displays the remaining balance on your handset
Cell C Airtime recharge *102*<voucher># Account top up with voucher value
Cell C Please CallMe Service *111*<mobile number># Sending a text message which includes the sender’s number to another cell phone number requesting the receiver to call the sender (Contract & Prepaid)
Cell C Check your own number – MSISDN query *147*100# (retrieve own number)
Cell C Manage subscription services *133*1#
Virgin Mobile Virgin Mobile menu *100# Launches the USSD menu with various account management and inquiry options.
Virgin Mobile Get phone settings *103*1#
Virgin Mobile Check your own number – MSISDN query *103*2# (retrieve own number)
Virgin Mobile Change Virgin Mobile PIN *103*3#
Virgin Mobile Balance info after calls *103*4#
Virgin Mobile SIM Swap *103*5#
Virgin Mobile Manage airtime *104#
Virgin Mobile Check balance *101#
Virgin Mobile Airtime recharge *102* PIN # Account top up with voucher value
Virgin Mobile Credit card recharge *104*3# You need to register for this service by dialing 123 from your Virgin Mobile device
Virgin Mobile Transfer airtime *106# You can only transfer airtime to other Virgin Mobile users.
Virgin Mobile Please CallMe Service *125*MSISDN# Sending a text message which includes the sender’s number to another cell phone number requesting the receiver to call the sender (Contract & Prepaid)
Virgin Mobile Voice Mail *109#
Virgin Mobile RICA check *124#
Virgin Mobile Bundles *110# Sms, data and Blackberry bundles
Virgin Mobile Transfer airtime *106#
Virgin Mobile Recharge me *104*5#
Virgin Mobile Call handling *107#
Virgin Mobile Airtime advance activation *121*4# (Prepaid only)
Virgin Mobile Roaming call *108*MSISDN#

WTF are USSD codes?

USSD codes are a type of MMI code. So, what is an MMI code? MMI stands for Man-Machine-Interface, and it is used to describe any code entered into a device that contains the familiar asterisk (*) and hash (#) symbols as well as a bunch of numbers. There are a few kinds of MMI code (USSD being one of them) and they’re grouped into the following categories based their action. Some MMI codes act locally on the device itself, some are sent to the SIM card, and others are sent to the network operator. The official 3GPP specification for supplementary service codes can be downloaded from 3GPP Technical Spec page

Supplementary Service (SS) codes

These are network-level codes that interact with the GSM network infrastructure. They’re hardcoded into each device and cannot be changed by the network operators. An example of this type of code is #31# which can be added before the phone number you’re calling to prevent the presentation of your number to that device. By keying in #31#0821234567 and then pressing the CALL button, your phone will recognize that an SS code is being used, and will then construct the appropriate ASN.1-coded request to the network to ensure that number presentation is disabled for that call.

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes

These codes are network-specific and it is up to each network operator to choose USSD codes and to provide the relevant services that the USSD code interacts with. They end with a hash (#) symbol and will only take effect once the SEND or CALL button is pressed. USSD codes are most commonly used to check airtime balances or to load prepaid airtime.

Manufacturer-defined MMI codes

These are codes that are specific to your phone model or are universally used by the GSM network and are hardcoded into the operating system of each device. They’re used to activate service menus, to reset the device, to display diagnostic or status information. Since these codes are not being sent to the network, it isn’t necessary to press the SEND or CALL key – they’re executed as soon as the last character has been entered. The best example of this type of MMI code is *#06# which can be used on all GSM devices to display that device’s IMEI number on screen.

SIM control codes

Similar to manufacturer-defined MMI codes, SIM control codes are also executed immediately the last character is entered. These codes are used to interact with the SIM card in a device, and are coded into each SIM (Subscriber Identity Module). You might use a SIM control code to change your PIN code or to unlock your SIM with its PUK number if you’ve entered the PIN incorrectly too many times. This example will change your PIN number from 1111 to 9876: **04*1111*9876*9876#

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