I was looking for a online site that offered discounted airtime for my prepaid cell phone.
I previously used Discovery Vitality's Airtime that offered 10% discount (now discontinued and handed over to GotPrepaid).
I now purchase from Pick 'n Pay stores or Clicks.
I was looking for an online alternative - and here are my findings...
Buying airtime for your pre-paid cell phone is easy - go to any shop and they'll gladly sell you the airtime 'virtual' voucher that you can enter into your phone.
Online purchasing of airtime is also easy - if you have a credit card
HandyTechTipper (HTT) did a search for airtime vendors
Discounted airtime is also a bonus for the end user i.e. buy R29 worth of airtime for R27.
HandyTechTipper's ideal place to purchase airtime would be one that offered all of the following:
i) online vendor; ii) accept credit cards; iii) offered discounted airtime; iv) automated airtime credits.
Click here to download: BuyingAirtimeCalculatorFeb2009.xls
Note: not all vendors have been verified - use at your own risk!
Using the spreadsheet:
In worksheet "AirTimeOutlets":
Use worksheet "AirTimeOutlets" to see a summarised view of what's out there
Look through the offers and use the "ShortList" column to filter the offer that you are interested in and so home in on the offer best suited to your needs
In worksheet "DiscountedAirtime":
Use worksheet "DiscountedAirtime" to see what %age discounts are given.
Look through the offers and use the "ShortList" column to filter the offer that you are interested in and so home in on the offer best suited to your needs.
It seems that the following services come up tops for me:
http://www.airtimeforfree.co.za/ due to the highest discount and 26th voucher free offer [buy 25 of R12 vouchers for R287.50 and get airtime to the value of R312.00 [= 7.85% discount]].
http://www.vtime.co.za/ due to the random discounts and specials offered eg: R1,100 for R1,000
Pick 'n Pay and Clicks give small discounts (or ClubPoints), allow credit card purchases - but don't sell airtime online :(
Banks like FNB, ABSA are very convenient (no registration forms), online, 24x7, and transfer airtime immediately.
eBucks: gr8 to use up those bucks for airtime too.
Watch out for those "services" that require registration fee and transactional fees.
So, either go through the pains of registering and paying using EFT (and wait for your topup) to get your discounted airtime,
OR purchase online via your bank for immediate topups (but no discounted airtime).
Update on 7th April 2009:
I would love to be able to verify all the vendors listed but I do not have such funds (and time) at my disposal – for a proper verification of all services I would need to purchase at least 30 vouchers from each vendor and then calculate what the overall costs and savings were. This would (sort-of) then take into account the varying/random discounts and come up with a better comparison. But, even then, random prizes (eg: free cell phones, etc.) could not be taken into account…. I’d say that was an extra bonus that the end user shouldn’t bank on.
I have also noticed that http://www.vtime.co.za/Tips.asp have an ongoing offer of R1,100 airtime for R1,000.
Updated on 14July2009:
MTN users can now buy prepaid on credit (directly from MTN).
See here for more details: ITweb article
Update on 7th September2009:
Another service that accepts credit cards online is: BigTimeAirtime
There's also a small discount of R1 or R2 on amounts over R100 or so.
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