How to Buy Airtel Airtime Using M-PESA for Free

Did you know that its actually possible to buy Airtel credit using Safaricom's M-PESA service? This is a lifesaver in situations where you don't have Airtel Money or if you can't find Airtel credit in the shops.

This service has been there for quite a long time and it's provided by Pesapal's Pay Bill (Lipa na M-PSEA). Consequently, you will incur some transactional charges from M-PESA when buying credit but if you buy credit below or equal to Ksh.100 you won't be charged anything thanks to M-PESA kadogo. Therefore, if you need anything higher than Ksh.100 just do multiple transactions though their may be a limit on how many times you can transact to the same number in an hour. Don't underestimate that because adding a mere shilling to this KSh.100 ceiling goes from charging you nothing to KSh.22. If you were wondering where's the catch to M-PESA Kadogo, I think you can see it now clearly.


1. Go to the M-PESA Menu on your Phone

2. Select the Lipa na M-PESA option then choose the first option Pay Bill
lipa na mpesa
Lipa na M-PESA

3. Select Enter business no. then enter 220220 and press OK when done
business no.
Business Number

4. In the next menu select then enter your Airtel number and press OK when done e.g. 0733333333
airtel no.
Phone Number

5. Under Enter Amount enter the amount of credit you want to purchase e.g. 50 and press OK when done
Airtime Amount

6. Enter your M-PESA Pin

7. Confirm the transaction by pressing the OK button

8. Make sure to confirm the transaction details. Should the details be wrong enter any number or letter to cancel the transaction before the 25 seconds lapse.

9. Now just wait for the M-PESA transaction SMS on your Safaricom line to confirm the Pay Bill. As soon as it arrives you should also receive a top up SMS on your Airtel line from CHAPCHAP.
mpesa sms
M-PESA Transaction SMS
chapchap sms
Pesapal Transaction SMS

10. To confirm the top up dial *133# or *131# to check your balance.

11. Should the top up take too long to arrive, you can reach Airtel customer care by calling 100 and they should help you out.


  • To check the M-PESA transcation charges for free, dial *234# >> My Mpesa Infromation >> Tariff Query >> Lipa na M-PESA then enter the above paybill followed by the amount you wish to buy.
  • Tired of buying airtime using Paybill numbers? Give Mula a try. It's free for all airtime amounts and supports buying airtime across all networks using M-PESA, Airtel Money, MasterCard/Visa e.t.c.
  • If you get lost in the steps below, you can refer to this video explanation instead.

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