How to Skip the Monthly Minimum Recharge for Airtel, Idea and Vodafone

To reduce the loss due to the non-recharge of the subscribers, telecom companies such as Airtel, Idea and Vodafone introduced the mandatory minimum recharge system for their customers. However, as a result, every customer needs to recharge regularly with any plan voucher to keep their number active.

With the entry of Jio, all other operators are facing big loss. Almost all the users are now keeping their main mobile number which mostly belongs to Airtel, Idea, or Vodafone, in an inactive mode. Those who used to recharge regularly on Jio number are keeping other network SIM cards only to receive incoming calls.

This act doesn’t provide any revenue to the telecom companies, and finally, they decided to introduce the compulsory recharge plan, so that one who wishes to use their service, either to make or to receive calls have to do regular recharge. Failing will block outgoing service first, later the incoming service, and finally the deactivation of the number.

Read: Airtel, Vodafone Idea to Implement Minimum Recharge Mandatory, Will reduce the Customer Base

Many people are disturbed by the new rule and looking to skip the recharge. Some other planning to port to another network such as BSNL, so that, user can avoid regular recharges.

Here, we will check, it is possible to skip the monthly minimum recharges. Please note that in 2021 we saw that all the telecom operators, including Jio, Airtel, Idea (Vi), BSNL, are changing the recharge packs too frequently. Due to the uncertainty in the telecom field, each operator is doing these all the time, and the monthly minimum pack too got changing all the time.

So, we are just listing the cheapest minimum recharge plan for Airtel, Idea (Vi), here.

Airtel Minimum Recharge For Incoming Calls

The minimum recharge pack from Airtel, which is called Smart Pack, is priced at Rs. 79. Until last month (July 2021), Plan 49 was available, and users were able to extend the validity; thus, activating incoming was possible. But Airtel discontinued the pack, and the cheapest pack now is Plan 79. With this plan, users will get the following benefits.

  • Talktime: Rs. 64
  • All Calls: 1ps per second
  • Validity: 28 Days
  • Data: 200MB
  • SMS: No SMS

Idea Minimum Recharge Pack For Incoming Calls

Vodafone Idea is also offering the same Plan 79 with the same benefits as Airtel. However, they are still offering Plan 49 too. Plan 49 From Idea includes the benefits such as

  • Talktime: Rs. 38
  • All Calls: 2.5ps per second
  • Validity: 28 Days
  • Data: 100MB
  • SMS: No SMS

Note: If you are recharging your number for the purpose of mobile number portability, please note that you should recharge with any unlimited plan. Since the outgoing SMS feature is not available in this pack, users can’t send PORT messages with this plan.

Firstly, we have to understand that there are no tricks to cheat them to avoid that. So we don’t want to share that type of trick. But here, we are looking for simple logic to extend the regular recharge with the least available amount.

If you regularly use and recharge to make and receive calls, you don’t have to think of this because it will also add validity to your every recharge. But, of course, this logic works only for those who wish to keep their number active to receive incoming calls only.

Step 1: Once the validity ends, or just before the current validity ends, do a recharge of Rs. 49/-. You will be getting validity for 28 days. Also, you will be getting Rs. 38 talk time.

Read: Rs. 49 Minimum Recharge And Mobile Number Portability – Things to Know

Step 2: When the 28 days finishes, do not recharge again, also consider the Rs. 38 talk time received in the earlier recharge is still there.
Then once the 28 days finish. Rs. 35 will be automatically deducted from your existing Talktime (Rs. 38), and the validity will be further extended to 28 days.

Step 3: Now, the validity will be extended to another 28 days. Once the 28 days validity is over, it will not be further extended because your main balance now has only Rs. 3 remaining. (Rs.35 minimum needed for automatically extended)

Step 4: Now also, do not recharge instantly. At this point, your outgoing service will be stopped, and you still have the incoming facility. This will be available for the next 15 days.

Step 5: Once the 15 days are over or just before it happens, Do again recharge of Rs. 49 as like in step 1 and repeat the process.

Read: Best Minimum Value Recharge For Outgoing Validity in Airtel Vodafone and Idea

So, with a single Rs. 49 recharge, you will be getting a validity of 28+28+15 = 71 days. This logic is only useful for those who keep the number for incoming calls only. Suppose you are using outgoing services such as call, SMS, and data. This logic will not work.

Since the telecom operator was aware that many users are doing this method to extend the validity, they discontinued the least plan of 49 and forced customers to recharge with a higher plan. So, currently, Plan 79 is the cheapest available for airtel, and the above trick is not applicable now. But regarding the idea, it is possible since Plan 49 still active. However, the trend shows that Idea will also cancel Plan 49 soon.

34 thoughts on “How to Skip the Monthly Minimum Recharge for Airtel, Idea and Vodafone”

  1. I think the logic will still work for Airtel say the least(as of 26th Feb 21).
    Recharding with ₹49 gives ₹38.52 Talktime and 100MB data. So just follow the same advice as Vipin wrote(for Airtel alone, not sure for other operators)

  2. Hi Vipin….I’m abroad/outside of India for more than 6 months usually….and I want to keep my Vi number active…note that I’m not using the sim/number during these period

    Could you please update/advise what is to be done or what amount to recharge so that i can keep my Sim Active and hope it will not be cancelled

    thank you

  3. Instead do Rs.10 talktime recharge separately and they cannot close your number. Its there with unlimited incoming. I did it for whole year, every month Vi give me 1 GB data free for a week to keep me active

  4. Can any1 confirm if min Rs. 20 is in sim the number cannot be cancelled by Airtel??? Please advise if otherwise to keep sim active.

    • You need to do recharge with any smart pack and also need to make at least one call (incoming/outgoing) in 90 days to keep the number active. Keeping the number with Talktime balance won’t work these days.

  5. How can I keep my prepaid vodaphone idea mobile sim card active when I am out of India for 1 year. Don’t want roaming.

  6. Hi Vipin,

    I have an Airtel number. Currently there’s only one smart recharge for Airtel i.e. Rs 99. As you mentioned in the previous comment, my number will remain active even if I recharge it ONCE in 3 months??

    Can you confirm?? I have been recharging with Rs 99 every month just to keep the number active.

  7. Dear vipin..Firstly hats off to u for such explanation, but can u please help me according to today’s packs etc. RN my VI pack is over from 7 days incoming is still on…and I just need incoming on my number.. what’s the least I can spend and on which operator, I’m also ready to port if it helps and if it does then which recharge should i do in vi to send a msg for porting…please help

    • Suppose you need only incoming SMS and incoming service with minimum recharge. It would be better if you could port to Jio. Currently, Vi needs a minimum recharge of 98 every 28 days.

  8. Is it compulsory to get I international roaming pack while going to Australia for VI, airtel and jio, even if I want only incoming SMS and OTPS and internate without any outgoing facilities.

    • To receive SMS only, normally on Airtel, it will work without the International Roaming pack, but with Jio, you need to do the initial IR recharge to keep your number active.

  9. Thanx Vipin ji. Airtel does not require International roaming. And what about Vodafone. Is international roaming required in Australia for Vodafone only for incoming SMS and OTPS.

    • You don’t have to recharge with a costly IR pack for incoming SMS, it will be available for free. But make sure that, IR is activated on your Vi Number.

      • Sirjee need your assistance, after 4 day validity(out of 7days) of my prepaid airtel will finish in Egypt. Inorder to be live my airtel prepaid number for 1 year what i have to pay or recharge with minimum amount. And what happen if i will not call any one for 90 days. And need only sms incoming during these period.

  10. This is from Vi website:
    As per govt. regulations w.e.f 22nd March ’13, for connections without any usage (voice/video calls, Outgoing SMS, internet usage, VAS purchases with balance) for 90 days, fullowing actions are liable to be performed by Vi™.
    For subscribers with less than Rs. 20 balance, all services will be deactivated pending payment of Reactivation Fee for a period of 15 days. Number will be disconnected on non-payment of said Fee within this period.
    For subscribers with more than Rs. 20 balance, Automatic Number Retention Scheme will be put into effect – Rs.20 will be deducted and services will continue for 30 days. If there is no usage till the end of this period,, i) or ii) may come into effect, depending on balance.

  11. I see that Airtel has increased the prices to Rs 155 for minimum recharge. I recharged my Airtel number last month for Rs 99 when that pack existed and just after 30 days, I am not receiving any SMSs (Note: I DO NOT make or receive calls, only keep this number for OTPs)

    Is that happening with all or its just my phone’s settings, just want to make sure.


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