Are you interested in checking your SIM card plan account balance but don’t know how? You’re in the right place. We’ll go over nearly all methods of examining account balances, showing you what mobile network providers offer their users. You may be surprised by the number, but you must consider several things. First, carriers must consider that not all their users have a smartphone; some have decades-old devices, and others feature phones. Additionally, some users may be differently-abled, socially anxious, or without an Internet connection. Thus, it would be wrong to assume that everyone can pick an avenue on a whim. Let’s dive straight into how to check SIM card account balance.
1. Check SIM card balance using a USSD code
This is a method most mobile network carriers offer to customers thanks to how straightforward it is. Plus, it’s efficient in terms of time and resources. Carriers design a short code, called USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), that any customer can dial on their phone, which can look like 1234, *2345*, or #1256. The key benefit is that the system is adequate for old phones, feature phones, and smartphones alike.
The carrier determines the response, which consists of the main menu with multiple options. Pressing or typing the number in front of the option can let you reach the “check balance” one, and you’ll see a new window showing the current state. Many carriers also provide a USSD shortcut to save time, such as 1234*5*3*. Numbers correspond to the options users would have to pick.
2. Calling IVR to check account balance
Another well-known method of seeing your SIM card balance involves IVR (Interactive voice response). This is a phone system where you call a number the carrier designated, identically to USSD. A computer-powered voice picks up and offers instructions. After pressing or entering the numbers or speaking phrases, the voice will read your account balance aloud. In most cases, there’s a failsafe, meaning if you cannot get it working, the system will redirect you to Customer Care (method 5).
3. Get an SMS response the with current balance
Though not all carriers have this system in place, some, like when we studied Ncell balance checking, have an SMS response service configured. When you send an SMS from the number you want to see the balances for, in that case, a blank message to 90011, you’ll shortly receive an SMS containing the requested information.
4. Viewing account balances in the user account on the carrier’s website
With the popularity of the Internet and the ever-increasing access through computers and mobile devices, it’s unsurprising mobile network providers implemented user accounts. They quickly added the ability to perform online balance recharge/top-up on their website for prepaid SIM and pay as you go SIM cards. With that, the capability to see the current balance was next.
Therefore, you can sign in with your e-mail address and password created at the time you signed up for their service. If that isn’t standard practice, you can also register an account and use your mobile phone number to authenticate it. After logging in, users would see plan information and current balance in the account dashboard.
5. Use the provider’s mobile app to check the balance of a SIM card
You must’ve seen this coming. SIM cards are tied to a smartphone or tablet in most cases. That, combined with the popularity of Android and iOS and Internet access via cellular or Wi-Fi services, led carriers to design mobile applications for their users. You can download these applications on Google Play Store, Apple App Store, or Huawei AppGallery, or, in rare cases, exclusively on the mobile network provider’s website. After opening the app and confirming your identity with or without an account (many carriers use phone numbers and SMS forwarding confirmation as authentication), you can check your SIM card balance on the account page.
6. Using WhatsApp Self-Service for balance checks
When we demonstrated checking balance in a Jazz SIM card, we showed an unusual method (number 3) that involves self-service through WhatsApp. After sending a message to the designated number, WhatsApp will authenticate the user and provide balance information through encrypted chat.
7. Calling Customer Service to check SIM card balance
Providers don’t encourage users to call Customer Support over “trivial” issues such as balance checking, but it’s an option. Though many carriers offer phone availability for at least 12 to 16 hours per day, and some even 24/7, the problem is waiting in a queue. Therefore, this option is mainly viable for the elderly who lack other means or experience. It can also be useful for users who aren’t impatient, have lost Internet access, and have trouble getting other methods to work.
8. Accessing Live Chat for a balance check-up
Differently abled, socially anxious, and users who can’t access their device or account (or cannot access the dashboard) should use live chat. This is usually a floating chat icon on all pages of the official website. In many cases, it’s in the bottom right corner. If that is not the case, visiting the Contact Us page should produce the desired results. That page will also specify the availability of live chat. However, you have to prove your identity before the agent provides the requested personal information such as balance.
9. Look up how much you owe on the postpaid SIM card bill
This method is exclusive to postpaid SIM users, but we mentioned it while showing how the balance check-up for Maxis works. Though there are easier options, such as websites and mobile apps, inspecting the physical bill you got from the carrier is an alternative for the elderly or non-tech-savvy users.
10. Visiting the carrier’s store to view balances
Unsurprisingly, swinging by the nearest official store is a great way to check the balance of your SIM card. After providing an ID or authenticating in other ways, the store clerk can provide that bit of information. The problem is that many carriers are wireless MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) that don’t have physical locations. If so, you’ll have to rely on other methods.