Minimum Recharge to Keep Number Active 2022: Jio, Airtel, Vi & BSNL

Minimum Recharge to Keep Number Active

Those days are gone when we used to have lifetime validity on our SIM cards. Now it is necessary to do a minimum recharge to keep the number active, every month. Till a couple of months back, our sim cards were showing the validity of up to 2037 and now, out of a sudden, we are asked to do monthly recharges to extend sim validity. There is no lifetime validity recharges available anymore, and it’s mandatory to recharge every month to make outgoing calls or even incoming calls.

If we don’t maintain the minimum balance (For a long time), we will lose our number. It applies to all operators, Airtel, Vi (Vodafone & Idea), BSNL & Jio. In this post, we will see what are the lowest-priced options we have to keep our number active & if we can get a free validity extension without any recharge.

What You Have To Do To Keep Number Active

Since introducing this monthly recharge policy, it’s mandatory to have a recharge plan. In simple words, we need to do a recharge every month to keep the number active. You need to recharge with Rs.99 every month, it will give you 28-day outgoing call validity and some talk time balance (₹79-99) with the same validity. And if you don’t do the minimum recharge, your sim’s outgoing services will be immediately barred.

Moreover, after 7 days of non-recharge, your incoming call services will also be barred. And after a few days grace period, 60 days usually, the number will be deactivated. So the thing is that you need to do minimum recharge to keep number active even for incoming calls. Plans vary operator wise.

Moreover, there’s no outgoing SMS service in the basic minimum recharge plans of Airtel & Vi. Same in Jio which doesn’t have a basic plan and you can’t do outgoing calls and SMS without a plan which costs ₹155 per month.

TRAI Rules On SIM Deactivation

After getting lots of complaints from users, TRAI directed mobile operators. TRAI has said that companies can’t disconnect the number until the user has a sufficient balance in the account.

This is what these guidelines mean:

  • If your sim has a balance equal to the minimum recharge amount (Usually Rs.79-99), your number won’t be disconnected. You will continue to receive calls and SMS without any further recharge. But, the sim card operator will deduct balance equal to the minimum monthly recharge pack from your main balance.

  • You can also make calls from your existing balance and it’s valid as long as your sim is active. But, the minimum recharge plan comes with limited validity talk-time. It will lapse once the plan’s validity is over.

  • The minimum recharge amount is around Rs.79-99 and can be activated from the existing prepaid balance but it will only give you the validity of 28 days, with limited validity talk time benefits. (And no outgoing SMS Validity).

  • Incoming calls will be active for another 7 days once your outgoing validity plan has expired.

  • If you don’t recharge after these 7 days and don’t have sufficient balance, incoming calls will also stop, and the number can be disconnected. Vi & Airtel follow a 60 Days grace period. Jio has a 90 days grace period in place. BSNL has a much longer 180 days Grace period.

What If Your SIM Card Has Enough Balance?

If you have a large amount balance like Rs.500 in your prepaid account and don’t do any calls using that number for a long time, the service provider will deduct an amount equal to the minimum recharge pack every 30 days.

The minimum pack starts from Rs.99 which means your sim will be active for the next 5 months without any recharge. Your service provider will keep deducting the minimum balance from your account & for example, an Rs.500 balance will be enough for up to 10 months.

Minimum Recharge to Keep Number Active 2022

Jio₹155Unlimited Calls + 300 SMS + 1GB Data For 28 Days
BSNL₹49100 Minutes + 100 SMS + 1 GB Data & 20 Days Validity
Airtel₹99₹99 Talktime + 200 MB Data For 28 Days, No OG SMS
Vi₹99₹99 Talktime + 200 MB Data For 28 Days, No OG SMS

There are two kinds of plans, some allow only outgoing calls and incoming calls & SMS only. While other priced plans allow you to do outgoing calls and SMS both. There are unlimited plans as well, with unlimited calls, 100 SMS per day and data as per your plan value.

If you need only incoming/outgoing calls & IC SMS and no outgoing SMS then you can recharge with the minimum plan available. But you will not be able to send any SMS. This also means you will not be able to send PORT SMS or UPI SMS, those are required when you re-register for UPI.

I have seen people complaining about why their UPI registration is failing even after doing the minimum required recharge. The reason is that you might have recharged with a plan which doesn’t come with outgoing SMS validity. Below we will see the minimum recharge value for all the operators.

Airtel Minimum Recharge to Keep Number Active 2022

In Airtel, You need to recharge with a minimum of ₹99 every 28 days to keep your number active with outgoing calls. If incoming calls are all you need, you can wait for another 7 days before the next recharge, after that even incoming calls will be barred.

₹99 Plan is the Airtel minimum recharge for incoming calls 2022. But Airtel’s ₹99 plan doesn’t have outgoing SMS validity. Airtel minimum recharge with outgoing SMS service starts from ₹179 which comes with Unlimited calls, 300 SMS, 1 GB Data and 28 days service validity.

₹99₹99 Balance, 28 Days Validity, No OG SMS.
₹155Unlimited Calls, 300 SMS, 1GB Data – 24 Days
₹179Unlimited Calls, 300 SMS, 2GB Data – 28 Days
₹265Unlimited Calls, 100 SMS/Day, 1GB/Day Data – 28 Days
₹299Unlimited Calls, 100 SMS/Day, 1.5GB/Day Data – 28 Days

Jio Minimum Recharge Plans to Keep Number Active

In Jio, the Minimum recharge to keep the number active starts from ₹119 which has 14 days validity, 1.5GB of Data per day and no outgoing SMS. You can recharge this once every 14 Days + 90 Days (Grace period) if you want your number active for the cheapest price. Another plan is ₹155 which has 28 Days validity, 1GB of Data & 300 SMS. The best option, if you don’t need daily data, is the ₹395 plan which has 84 days validity with unlimited calls, 6 GB data and 1000 outgoing SMS.

₹114Unlimited Calls, No SMS, 1.5GB/Day – 14 Days
₹155Unlimited Calls, 300 SMS, 1GB Data – 28 Days
₹149Unlimited Calls, 100 SMS/Day, 1GB/Day – 20 Days
₹239Unlimited Calls, 100 SMS/Day, 1.5GB/Day – 28 Days
₹395Unlimited Calls, 1000 SMS, 6GB Data – 84 Days

Vi Minimum Recharge Plans to Keep Number Active:

In Vi, minimum monthly recharge plans start at ₹99 which has 28 days service validity but no outgoing SMS service. The best plan for non-data users is ₹179 which has Unlimited calls and 300 SMS for 28 days. So, if you use the internet using Vi sim, I suggest, recharging with ₹666 plan which has 1.5 GB Data/Day, Weekend Data Rollover, Unlimited Night Data benefits For 77 Days.

₹79₹64 Balance, 21 Days Validity, No OG SMS.
₹99₹99 Balance, 28 Days Validity, No OG SMS.
₹155Unlimited Calls, 24 Days OG Calls & SMS Validity
₹179Unlimited Calls, 300 SMS, 2GB Data – 28 Days
₹299Unlimited Calls, 100 SMS/Day, 1.5GB/Day Data – 28 Days

BSNL Minimum Recharge Plans to Keep Number Active:

Currently, BSNL is the cheapest option you have got if you need outgoing calls and SMS both. You can recharge with the ₹397 plan which has 200 Days outgoing validity. You also get 2GB/Day and Unlimited calls for the first 60 days. There are plenty of plans in BSNL starting at ₹49. However, that also hiked their plans recently but they are still considerably cheaper compared to Vi & Airtel.

There’s no Outgoing SMS Restriction in BSNL.

₹49100 Minutes (₹0.45/Min.) + 100 SMS + 1GB DATA – 20 Days
₹75200 Minutes (₹0.30/Min.) + 100 SMS + 2GB DATA – 30 Days
₹106200 Minutes (1 Paisa/Sec.) + 100 SMS + 3GB DATA – 50 Days
₹397200 Days Validity | 2GB/Day + 100 SMS Per Day For First 60 Days

How to Extend SIM Validity Without Monthly Recharge:

Minimum Recharge to keep number active 2022

Now many users are asking if there is any way to extend sim validity without doing recharge every month. Here are possible ways to do so.

1. Send a PORT Message and Ask Customer Executive For Validity Extention

Some users have reported that when they sent a message to port out and got a call from the service provider, they asked to extend sim validity. Some of the users said that it worked for them and their validity was extended for a few days without doing any recharge.

You simply have to send an SMS to 1900 in the following format: PORT<space>NUMBER

You need to send the SMS before your existing plan expires as later you won’t be able to send any messages.

2. Port Out to BSNL or Jio For A Longer Validity

As a new customer, you get a lot of benefits. If you don’t want to recharge with a minimum amount every month, you should port out to any other operator.

BSNL & Jio can be the best option for such users as users have no such condition. You still have to do recharges but not every month. Jio and BSNL have a longer grace period than Airtel and Vi. You can keep getting incoming calls and SMS in your Jio sim without recharge.

Also, BSNL has a lot of Validity plans to start with. Initially, when you get your new sim card you don’t have to do recharge with anything extra as it already comes with 6-12 month validity for new users.

Once 6 months are over you can do a validity recharge on your BSNL Number. You can do a validity recharge from your prepaid balance as well.

BSNL has very cheap plans to extend sim validity. For example, Rs.397 validity pack gives you 200 days validity, 2 GB/Day data and unlimited calls for 60 Days. So considering this BSNL seems to be the best choice for most of the users as Jio is 4G only network so Jio is not gonna work for those users whose phone doesn’t support 4G.

If you are a smartphone user, you can keep one primary sim of any operator that you will recharge every month. And you can use BSNL or Jio as a secondary sim card for emergency purposes.

Keep in note that, some smartphones don’t support dual 4G standby. So make sure if you get a Jio sim, you have to use it as a primary sim (for internet access) or otherwise it won’t get any signals.

You can get any sim if you are sure that your phone supports dual 4G standby.

3. Activate Validity Extension Pack From Your Prepaid Balance

You can also activate the validity extension pack from your existing prepaid balance. Current plans start from 99 INR and give you the validity of 28 days. You can keep activating these packs from your balance and can continue to use your SIM.

You can do this for as long as you have enough balance in your prepaid account balance. But when you have no balance in your account, you will have to do recharges.

If you don’t activate any validity pack despite having sufficient balance, your service provider can deduct the required balance and start a minimum pack on your behalf.

This way you will still keep paying monthly but the frequency to do recharge manually can be decreased.

Also Check- Stop Data Usage From Main Balance In Airtel, Vi, BSNL & Jio »

FAQs On Jio, Airtel, Vi & BSNL SIM Validity:

What is Jio SIM Incoming Validity Without Recharge?

Jio Incoming validity without a recharge is 90 days after that, you need to do the minimum recharge to keep the sim active. Officially, the Jio SIM grace period is 90 days without a recharge but it works for a lot longer time than that. Just make sure that you get a few incoming calls on this number, every once in a while.

What is the minimum recharge in Jio to keep the number active?

Jio’s minimum monthly pack starts at ₹155. You can do unlimited calls for 28 days with this pack. You also get 2GB of data in this pack which is valid for 28 days. JioPhone users can get a similar plan for ₹91 only.

What is Grace Period In Airtel, Jio, Vi & BSNL SIM?

Vi & Airtel SIM’s grace period is 60 days. Jio follows a 90 days grace period. BSNL has 7 days Grace 1 period with all services active & another 6 months Grace 2 period before your sim card is deactivated. You can contact customer care on 198 for more clarity.

Which is the Best SIM For Incoming Calls & SMS Only?

Jio is the best option if you want a SIM for incoming calls and SMS only. It works for 90 days without recharge & does not stop incoming calls and SMS services. But for outgoing service, you need to recharge with a minimum of ₹155 every 28 days.

After How Many Days Airtel SIM Gets Deactivated Without Recharge?

Airtel sim will be deactivated after 60 days of non-recharge. Outgoing calls stop immediately after your pack expires but you will continue to get incoming calls for the next 7 days. After this grace period, now if you don’t recharge for another 60 days, your airtel sim will be deactivated.

Is Incoming Free In Jio Without Recharge?

Yes, incoming is free in Jio & you don’t have to recharge just to keep incoming calls & SMS active. It works for as long as your number is active. It’s better compared to other operators where you have to pay for incoming calls as well.

So these were the cheapest plans to keep number active at minimum cost. Do let me know if you have a better option or suggestion to keep SIM active for the maximum time while paying the minimum amount possible.

Photo of author
Hitesh Rawat
Blogger. Content Marketer. Freelancer. Prefers shopping online, always looking to find and share amazing deals. Interested In credit cards & rewards.


  1. Dear Hitesh,
    I am using Airtel sim. Now I am in USA. I am regularly recharging once in every 28 days and receiving incoming sms/ OTPs here in usa. Now my query is I want to change my phone. If sim is taken out from old phone and insert into new iPhone, will it work in usa.

  2. What will you do if they all are going from free (Jio initially) to 49 to 79 to 99 to 155 (Jio currently) to their fancy number every few months ? Who’s earnings are increasing that fast ?

  3. Hello,
    Your article is very informative but I do have a question.
    I will be moving to Canada for a very long time. I want to keep my indian number active as I want to receive Bank OTP SMS on my indian sim.

    I am currently using Vi but I was thinking to port out to Airtel. Since both of them have minimum recharge of 99 Rs. But, here is the catch, I spoke to Vi and they said IR package is pre-activated for sim card circle in Mumbai whereas Airtel I will have to make an IR recharge before leaving India. Im confused to choose between the two network providers.

    Which is the best network provider Vi or Airtel in terms of network signal coverage in other countries?
    Please suggest me the best.

  4. hello your article is really nice. i have a bsnl sim , its working in every other mobile phone but not in my samsung galaxy a51, i have tried every method, even formatted my phone but still bsnl sim isn’t working

  5. Can you update the article? I have a VI sim. Incoming and outgoing calls on the sim got suspended within a week of not recharging, Effectively making the grace period close to zero.

  6. IAm using Vi simcard my incoming validity expired last week
    How I activate my sim card or what type of recharge helps to activate my vi sim

      • Nice about India SIM law. But, in the begining it say if you do not recharge ever 30 days SIM will be deactivated. Later on it says until minimumn balance is
        $99 SIM will stay active. What if I have recharg of Rs. 3000 banalce? Will I still be required to add money every 30 days?

  7. I am in US and donot know when I may be going to India. I have AIRTEL prepaid sim.
    I am using Rs. 99 plan to keep it activated for 28 days at present. i hve balance of Rs. 300 in my account as well
    Please advise me for the following.
    I dont want the no. to be deactivated and I dont want outgoing and incoming calls but would like to use SMS usage. how to do that with minimum activation?
    are incoming SMS free on Airtel in US?
    If donot activate minimum Rs. 99 next time will they charge Rs. 99 every month or Rs. 20 every month for retention of no.


    • you can do minimum recharge of Rs.99 or try the below if want just want not miss the number with no incoming/outgoing of calls/sms.

  8. Hello,
    First of all, thank you so much for in detailed explanation of every telecom operator, it literally saved me hell lot of time.
    Right now I am using Jio and BSNL, I use BSNL for my bank accounts as sometimes to set up UPI I could just recharge for 10Rs and finish the work but my doubt here is, my BSNL 365days validity is about to end in two more days, after that grace period1, that is for next 7days it will be for incoming calls n sms, right? after that I won’t be receiving any calls or text?? Can I reactivate outgoing calls and SMS by recharging Rs. 10 or so, just when required or should I opt for bigger plan?

    • BSNL has a far more extended Grace Period. No matter what, you’ll keep getting Incoming calls and SMS and when you need outgoing, you can recharge with a minimum validity pack (₹49 as of now). In fact, you can recharge once every 180 days with a minimum pack and it’ll keep your sim active with the incoming facility. 🙂

  9. Hi,

    A very informative post indeed and well compiled too. A big thank you.

    I have one query to ask, I’m a Vi user and currently live in Germany for studies. I want my Indian sim only for incoming messages. I ported from Airtel to Vi and did the initial recharge and the incoming messages are active.

    I still wish to continue receiving messages from banks, etc. and keep my sim active. What could be the best way to do this? Getting a minimum recharge pack or talk-time balance recharge.

    • You need to recharge with ₹99 every 28 days to keep your SIM Card active. Apart from this, you can also keep some Talktime balance so they can deduct if they had to for the Automatic number retention plan (₹20 per 30 days).

  10. I am UAE now .I have BSNL sim card with me here and I am not getting network .So what should I do to activate international roaming in my bsnl sim.

  11. VI has a plan for 1,799 for 365 days validity. If I recharge my phone with this before leaving India and go abroad.

    Will my phone number and SIM card remain active for 1 year, even if I don’t make any calls or SMS , while I am abroad?

    After 1 year I will be coming back to India. When. Land will my SIM and phone number be still active?

    • It should stay active but they require usage as well along with recharge. But you can have some Talktime balance as well so if required they can deduct ₹20 every 30 days under the Automatic Number Retention scheme.

    • 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, following 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.

  12. i was using prepaid mobile sim having airtel connection & i have no dues pending with this operator & they never demanded any pending dues or charges from me .then i gave application for porting of my airtel number to jio on 28-03-2022,still jio don’t ask me for any pending bills & i take postpaid plan of Rs.599 rental from jio in which i also added second sum on 06-04-2022 as per scheme & also paid jio postpaid bill of Rs.273.59 on Dt.23-04-2022 but still no information given to me about any pending bill & pending bill details .I got first message from JIO ON 22-04-2022 for pending bill of airtel of Rs.270.21 & they also called me but i told them that i had a prepaid number of airtel & i was not using any paid service ,caller tune etc. from airtel & i hav nothing pending with airtel then why i should pay this bill & i also requested them to provide me my pending bills detail if any such dues pending but they didn’t accept my request any told me to just pay the pending bill of airtel otherwise they will stop my number & today on 07-05-2022 they hae stop services of my postpaid jio numbe.This is very disappointing attitude from both the operators .Can u please guide me

    • You should have contacted Airtel when Jio informed you about the pending bill. Now ask Jio & Airtel customer care and see what can be done. This is the first time I have heard of such an issue so not sure what needs to be done next.

      You can also visit Jio & Airtel’s official store and ask them. What does it says when you try to call on sim that from a different number??

  13. Very helpful and informative post but i have a query regarding this that why TRAI has launched such a policy of keep recharging every month it’s like “they are just taking the money” if you could provide the reason behind it then it would be fabulous! Thanks

    • Telecom Operators did this not TRAI. TRAI just directed these companies to keep an automatic number retention policy in place. With this, your number will be active as long as it has sufficient Talktime balance and they will keep deducting ₹20 every month for number retention.

        • Without this, your number can be disconnected by telecom operators even if you have hundreds on Talktime balance. But with this, if you have like ₹240 Talktime balance, your sim will be active for the next 24 months without any recharge, they will keep on deducting ₹20 for automatic number retention.

  14. Great Post! very informative and easy to understand!

    However, I have a couple queries just to make sure I understand this completely, it would be super helpful if you could iron these out-

    1) Will simply recharging with the minimum validity plan keep the sim card active or it has to be used as well for either incoming/outgoing services? (I live abroad and visit India once, hence i don’t require any service, as such if i simply only recharge, will it be sufficient?).

    2) Another query, Jio doesn’t work in Ireland. I couldn’t get any service as such no incoming SMS as well. Hence I am planning to buy a new sim when in India next time either Airtel or VI, preferably VI as we have Vodafone established here, so i can receive incoming SMS atleast. It will be nice to have incoming SMS for online transactions for Banks. Which of the above 2 would you recommend (I am not very familiar with customer service in MH, so your recommendation in terms of this will be helpful if you are aware?)

    Thanks again, appreciate your time and knowledge on this.

    • Hi Shubham,

      1) They used to deactivate sim cards if there was no usage for 90 days (incoming/outgoing call, outgoing SMS or Data usage or any Value Added Service will be counted as usage). But Now with the monthly recharge requirement, I haven’t seen any sim getting disconnected due to non-usage if recharges are being done timely.

      But to be on the safer side, I suggest keeping some topup balance as well so they can deduct from it. They have an Automatic Number Retention Policy for which they deduct ₹20 from topup for customers with non-usage every 30 days so keep ₹100 something and see. Or another option is subscribing to a cheap Value Added Service such as Callertune, there must be some very low priced VAS as well. VAS Services are counted as usage so it will work.

      Just one incoming/outgoing call or an outgoing SMS will also do the job but that might be not possible without a very expensive pack. 🙂

      2) As per, Jio does work in Ireland via Meteor/Eir. If it doesn’t work you can port it to Airtel or Vi any as per your preference, both are better outside India compared to Jio.


      • Thank you Hitesh, really appreciate your swift response!
        I suppose going forward as per your suggestion I will get a VI SIM card and keep Rs. 100 min talktime balance (un-restricted validity) and recharge the minimum plan available to extend the service validity every 28 days or so.

        Again for VI SIM, If I do need to use the incoming SMS service? Am I correct in saying that I will have to pay- Rs.99 for international roaming service charge + Rs.XYZ for whatever plan I subscribe?

        Thanks again,

        • Yes, keep ₹100 Talktime and recharge with the cheapest monthly plan available.

          Second, as per what I have read is that you will only be charged ₹99 as International Roaming Service Charge if you use your sim card for Incoming/Outgoing Calls, Outgoing SMS & Data Usage. Incoming SMS aren’t counted as usage. So no monthly charges if you use the sim for incoming SMS only.

          Also, this IR Service Charge seems to be in Vi only, you can consider Airtel as well.

          Thanks 🙂

      • Hitesh
        SO in my case I am in Australia and don’t need to use my AIRTEL sim at all…. but do want to keep my Airtel SIM active for future. You mention this 20 rps per month thing (which is what I previously understood years back as the way to go)… But how do I provide this “TOPUP” in my account without it being taken as a monthly recharge or some other recharge deal? Does my question make sense? Right now I have 3 days left on my last 99 rp monthly recharge… and I have just 39 rps balance. Do I simply just keep the balance up to but not at 99 rps (so let’s say 98) in order to have TOPUP available for Airtel to take 20 rps per month out and therefore keep my SIM active??? IS that the way? Sorry if this is very basic…. Thanks … Paul

        • You can have any keep of balance just ask customer care to disable automatic balance deduction, you can do this via Email.

          Your number will be free in the grace period of 60 days with IC/OG service and post that this number retention scheme will kick in.

  15. With rs 10 or rs 20 recharge in my prepaid airtel how long the sim will be active. Only for bank otp we use this phone.

  16. I am in canada. I want my bsnl no. activated for bank purposes to receive OTP’S outside india. Which plan of bsnl is best in this case

  17. Hi! I have a bsnl sim. I don’t remember when it’s validity ended. While I’m still using that as my WhatsApp number, people are telling me that my calls are being connected to someone else. What should I do about it??

    • Check if your sim is active or not by inserting it into your phone, if it’s deactivated and reallocated to someone else then you can’t get it back. In that case, change the number from WhatsApp settings, that way you can preserve old WhatsApp chats and groups. I suggest doing it ASAP as the new owner can register WhatsApp using your number and you’ll immediately lose access to WhatsApp chats as well.


  19. How can I keep my vodaphone idea prepaid number active if I am going to be out of country for 1 year- suggest most inexpensive way

  20. What do I have to do to keep my vodaphoneidea prepaid sim card active when I am going to be out of India for 1 year?Dont want international roaming.

  21. Hi Hitesh,
    Kindly enlighten me , if I carry my Jio sim to China and want to use it only to receive bank OTP from time to time , do I need to buy IR or it can work without IR? If I need to buy IR, for example 1101 rs plan, which has validity of 28 days, do I need to pay 1101 every month or just one time and subsequently I can re charge with ordinary plan just to keep my sim active for receiving sms , and OTP .I intend to stay in China for few years.

  22. I am in US right now since Nove 2021 and have prepaid mobile Vodaphone idea. I will be here 7-8 months. What do I have to do to keep my number active without taking international roaming. They are taking out money from my account for something or the other without my using the mobile and without my permission.

  23. Hi Hitesh

    I have a JIO and VI SIM card’s and want to use that in USA only for OTP’s and will be staying long here for 2 years.

    Can you please suggest best plans to get incoming SMS for free, am also hearing for VI we need active roaming pack also for 249/-

    • For VI , you do not need international roaming pack activated on prepaid to get OTP while in US. All you need to do is to keep the sim alive by recharging with minimum amount Rs 99 to extend VI prepaid sim validity extended by 28 days.

  24. Hi brother im going to uae for work and won’t be back to india for atleast 2 years. I have a Vi sim card which recharge should i make? ( i need msg to be sent and receive)

    • I want to go to USA for 7 months or so leaving my mobile here in india closed in Almora. I have balance of Rs 1100/ in mobile. On my return will my Airtel sim work and not deactivated. Will I able to retain my number in the SIM.

  25. Hi i only want to use my sim in wifi dongle, i have vi sim and i will recharge every 2 months as there is pack of 350 which gives 50 gb data. Do i need to rechage my number with other plans to keep it active?

  26. Hi Hitesh,

    Thanks for the article. It’s very informative

    Can you suggest a minimum recharge value to keep Airtel SIM active while living abroad ? (must receive incoming SMS). I have Airtel SIM in TN Circle.

    Thanks in Advance,

  27. Hi hitesh , good article ,

    I have just ported my airtel no. In jio network ,
    Service provider told me that I have no worry to recharge for 1 year . As he will recharge my no. By ₹49 .Is it right information?

  28. You have answered to Sneha on 21st that all incoming is blocked whereas she was asking whether incoming sms is blocked within grace period,obviously you have not answered her question

        • See, for the first 7 days, incoming calls and SMS both are allowed. After that, there’s 60 days grace period, no incoming call or sms allowed & after 60 days, they can deactivate your number.

      • Incoming calls and sms are coming and they will come for a week that’s why it’s called grace period.As to number getting cancelled the period is tentatively 2 months but a friend of mine has not recharged for 5 months and he has still retained the number.

  29. Hi brother I am using jio sim right now I am in dubai I want get otp and sms with less amount every month I am recharged 149 so I want less amount for keeping sim to active always then again one doubt how much for deta pack

    • No need to recharge for Incoming SMS, just recharge once in a while with a ₹129 pack (One every 80 Days). If you are there for a long time, get a local sim and use that for data usage.

  30. On Airtel SIM, immediately after my pack expires, I continue to get incoming calls for the next 7 days, after the 7-day period, if I don’t recharge for another 60 days (within the grace period), I will not get any incoming call but my query is whether I will get ‘incoming SMS’ on Airtel (within the grace period) or not?

  31. I am going to UAE. I want to keep my Airtel sim active, atleast to receive incoming SMS. What is the minimum recharge to keep it active? Also, should I recharge the minimum amount from India?

  32. Hi Hitesh,
    I will be going to Oman for 2 years and want to retain my Indian Sim to get bank OTPs and regular service whenever I visit India for 5-6 days in a year.
    My present sim is Jio
    Pls suggest which network and recharge plan will be best to receive sms at Lowest price

    • Dear Bharat ,
      Use Airtel Sim , always keep it recharged and keep it in the mobile device which is turned on. Hope this helps Airtel is the only networks which connected in all the gulf countries good luck .

  33. Hi @Hitesh,

    I just converted from Vi postpaid to prepaid. I use that want that SIM active & use only in case of if first SIM is not working / having network issue.

    It is just idle sim which will not be used much. Can you please suggest best option plan & operator for this use case. If I can port out to any other one.

    • BSNL’s ₹397 plan with 300 days validity would be better for you. You can also port to Jio but you’ll have to recharge with a minimum of ₹129 before you can make any outgoing call.

  34. Hey, Great article!

    I am planning to port my Sim to JIO. Just wanted to check – during the grace period of 90 days when there is no pack active – do we get Incoming messages and calls or is it blocked?

    also, is there any way to automate recharge every 90 days or so?

  35. For Airtel user who wants data only in my uttarakhand circle only option is 401 recharge.
    Previously 98 recharge used to give 12 GB data and 28 days validity, but now no service validity with this plan.Idea is still offering 12 GB with 28 days validity.
    Thus Airtel is looting its customer by forcing to do 149 recharge first with only 2 gb data and unlimited calling then do Rs 98 recharge for 12 GB data.
    Thus shell out Rs 247 for Data usage.
    I don’t need unlimited calling as I have other number for this.
    Thinking of Porting to BSNL which has lowest data tariff in the telecom industry.

    • For Data usage check Vi, their ₹449 plan gives 4GB/Day with weekend data rollover and unlimited night data. Also, check Jio ₹151 plan has 30 GB of Data but no calling benefits. Check BSNL’s speed in your area before you port to it, I’m yet to see 4G networks in BSNL, clearly not a good option if internet access is the main use case.

  36. Hi Hitesh,
    Very nice and useful article. I am an NRI and need my sims active for Bank SMS.
    For Jio, I follow your advice ( recharge of Rs 129). But Vi, Rs 49 recharge has only 14 days service validity. I tried Rs 100 top up and got 28 days validity and 81.75 talk time with no validity. So Rs 100 recharge is a better option than Rs 95. Please advise.

  37. Hi really nice article, but 1 doubt I still have
    – I have a jio sim and I am going to Germany for my further study but can’t loose this number as it is provided for all banks and official places. My requirement is like I should receive SMS from bank for OTPs and nothing else. What should I do? I am planning to port it into Airtel as I have heard JIO does not work properly outside. Can you guide me?
    – It is ok to switch to Airtel or VI? Dont want to go for BSNL.

    • Yes, you can port to Airtel. You’ll have to recharge with ₹79 every month to keep incoming active. If Jio doesn’t work properly, Airtel is the best option.

      • Thank you so much, brother.
        Also, I should activate the international roaming right?
        One guy from airtel told me to activate it and do some recharge of 400rs, which I thought useless, but what you told me is affordable as a student and I will do the same.

        • Not necessary if you don’t want to use this sim for Outgoing or Data, Which I assume you won’t, considering how expensive it would be. I suggest once you confirm with customer care if you would be able to get incoming SMS or not, with a basic plan.

  38. Hi
    I am settled in Nigeria and now facing issues with my Jio sim which I had lately ported . Actually, I had ported my Idea sim to Jio sim as the net connection for jio was best at my place. But now when i reached Nigeria I noticed that no SMS can be received., inspite I had recharged Rs. 129 to keep my sim active when abroad. Can you please suggest any good and cheap option to keep my jio sim active for 10 months like I used to do for idea sim when i used be abroad. Thankyou.

    • It seems your only requirement is number retention. You can recharge with the ₹129 plan once every 28+90 Days (28 Days is Plan validity & a 90 Days grace period in Jio).

  39. Hi Hitesh,

    Very good and useful information, and impressive writing. Its cover almost all the queries, and most importantly relating to people like us for using while in foreign countries. No confusion at all now.

  40. Hello Hitesh, It’s a very good article. I am located in Canada. I have a Vodafone SIM that I use when I visit India. So, I don’t need any services other than I just want the SIM to remain active. I’ll need the SIM as soon as I land in any airport in India. What is my option to keep the Vodafone SIM active? (Rs. 49/- every month?) If the best option comes from a different service provider, can I port the SIM while I’m abroad?

    • You need to be here to port SIM to any other operator or you can share UPC Code with a family member and they can get sim ported on their documents & you can collect it from them on your next visit. Or keep on recharging with ₹79 (₹49 Plan has 14 days validity now) once every 28+55 Days (28 Days Plan Validity + 60 Days Grace Period). Also, make sure to port it to BSNL (Best for your use case) or Jio on your next visit to India.


      • Yor blog is so informative. Thanks for it. Now I wanted to clear some doubts. I got jio phone in spare and I want my least used vi number to be ported to jio. Is it possible that I recharge for 75 rs for 28 days and thereafter in grace period of 90 days I recharge for 10 rs for outgoing needed in just case of urgency. So is it possible to repeat the above process every three months so that in grace period if I want to make a call, I might be able to.

        • Yes, you can recharge once and later enjoy free incoming calls for 90 days grace period. However, if you need to make a call in grace period, you need to recharge with a minimum of ₹39. It’ll give you unlimited calls for 14 Days & will reset your grace period.

          • Thank you so much for your reply. But still I am not clear that in grace period is it possible to recharge 10rs for outgoing as it has no time limit to spend unlike 39rs where I get outgoing for 14days only. In nutshell, I would like to know what is the cheapest option for outgoing facility in grace period?

            • No, you can’t make calls using topup recharge in Jio. You need to recharge with a valid recharge pack to make outgoing calls. Minimum you need to pay ₹39 for 14 Days or ₹75 for 28 days to make outgoing calls.

    • Just recharge your SIM with 1 yr validity plan using Vi App from Canada. That way your number will be safe for 1 yr. Also keep at least Rs. 500-600 talk time so that Vi can deduct roaming charges from that talk time balance.

      To be on the safe side, make sure to make a call or send SMS to someone in India using your Vi number from Canada once every 2-3 months so as to show ‘usage’ (Vi will deduct roaming call or SMS charges + roaming rental fees from your talk time). Or turn on your phone once every 2 months and leave it on connected to the local network 2-3 days. Vi will deduct monthly roaming rental fees from your talk time (Rs. 100-150/month) and it is counted as ‘usage’ so your number will not be deactivated for non usage.

      If data usage is not that important while you visit India, port your sim to BSNL as suggested by Hitesh. Once in BSNL network, you can keep the number active by charging it with 1 yr validity plan (same as Vi annual plan). However, in Canada you have to recharge with Rs. 57 pack (valid for 30 days) to make roaming calls using your BSNL number. There are no other roaming rental fees charged by BSNL. Incoming SMS are always free on both Vi and BSNL.

    • They don’t provide the same number with a prepaid connection. But you can get the same number if you take a postpaid connection which is a bit expensive compared to prepaid. However, you can switch it to prepaid after few days.

  41. Hello Hitesh,

    First of all great article brother.

    Just a few changes, now in VI the 49 plan offers service validity of 14 days only instead of 28 days so you might need to make some changes in the article.

    Apart from this, I wanted to ask that if my port out my VI number to JIO then do I need to make any initial recharge to start receiving SMS and incoming calls? and second question, how would I know that my SIM is going to be discontinued, is there any validity which could be checked for the SIM on my JIO app if no recharge is done? or will I get the calls from the customer case notifying me that I might lose my number.

    This is because I need to port my Primary number but I just want to receive the incoming calls and SMS, please help.

    • Hi Nilay, ₹49 plan is still giving 28 days validity in some circles and to specific users who haven’t recharged for few days so I haven’t updated it.
      You can port to Jio and they are giving free 2-month recharge for a very minimal price or even free.
      Airtel & Vi send a couple of SMS before actually disconnecting but as Jio is not deactivating numbers even after no recharge for 90 days so no alert apart from calls to remind you to recharge(They don’t tell exact timing).

      For your use case, porting to Jio is the best option as you don’t have to pay for incoming calls and SMS & manually track when you have to recharge with the Calendar/Reminder app on your phone.

      • Nice Article.

        There was an article in TOI few months back where when someone tried to port out of Vi, he didn’t get his number. Vi alloted it to someone else. I want to port out of Vi to jio but holding it back due to this reason only. Pls guide

  42. Nice article! I live in Nepal. I need Indian sim just to receive OTP. So which sim card I should buy for incoming SMS only?

  43. Hi amazing info. Thanks
    Ok I have my official No as Airtel. Since it’s 20 year old no I am unable to let go of it.
    I have Jio as secondary no but the sim is not in my name. There is no option of transfer of ownership. But jio works way cheaper. So I recharge Jio 555.

    I wanted to keep Airtel No alive for atleast incoming calls and SMS. So I used to recharge 49. Buggers have removef this option. Can you suggest what to do. I need this airtel No for sure. Suggest me option to teach Airtel a lesson coz these guys are rude.🤦.

    • First, You can Port Jio to any other operator to transfer it to your name, I did the same. Second, I suggest, port your Airtel number to Jio or BSNL. Incoming calls & SMS are always free in Jio and you can recharge once every 90 days to keep your number active at minimum cost. BSNL also has a 397 rupees plan which has 300 days validity & a 6 month grace period (No IC in Grace Period 2).

      • Hi thanks for your reply. Let me understand what you are saying here.
        1) ur suggesting me to port jio. But won’t they ask verification doc in porting? Since the doc is some one else’s while porting won’t they ask me their document and not mine?

        2) if jio No gets ported and I get ownership, can I get back to jio to enjoy the benefits that I had on the no. Because in my area Jio is the best.

        Kindly advice.

        • 1. You just need your documents, nothing else. Porting doesn’t require documents of the existing owner.
          2. Yes, but you need to wait for 90 days before porting back to Jio. If you port to Vi or Airtel, you’ll be getting 2 months plan for free (Check in your area).
          Thanks :’)

          • Thank you again. I will confirm the details you have given and try the options as well. Hope it works. Will let you know the progess and the process that I was put through for your benefit.


          • Hello,
            Your article is very informative but I do have a question.
            I will be moving to Canada for a very long time. I want to keep my indian number active as I want to receive Bank OTP SMS on my indian sim.

            I am currently using Vi but I was thinking to port out to Airtel. Since both of them have minimum recharge of 99 Rs. But, here is the catch, I spoke to Vi and they said IR package is pre-activated for sim card circle in Mumbai whereas Airtel I will have to make an IR recharge before leaving India. Im confused to choose between the two network providers.

            Which is the best network provider Vi or Airtel in terms of network signal coverage in other countries?
            Please suggest me the best.

        • Can’t confirm. It may work as Jio has mentioned no minimum required recharge. But, you will not be able to make any outgoing calls so they might deactivate your number on non-usages grounds. If the number is important, Personally, I would avoid it.

  44. Hi hitesh thanks for the article, I’m planning to go out of India for work n wish to maintain my number…can u suggest how I can do this o is there any recharge for lifetime validity

  45. Hi great post and tips.
    I’m also looking for a way to keep the Jio Sim outside India for OTP etc. Should a top up of Rs. 500 work without buying the plan?

    Also, why don’t you provide an option for us to follow your nice blog on this site? I searched and didn’t find anywhere the follow option!

    • I suggest, recharge with a minimum of ₹129 every 90 days. Jio doesn’t stop incoming calls and SMS even without a recharge but the recharge will insure that your sim is not deactivated.

      I haven’t seen Jio auto deducting balance to extend grace period like Airtel & Vi so recharging with a plan will be the safest choice. Or maybe you should look at BSNL ₹397 plan.

      – Just began to work on this blog again. Will be adding a subscribe button soon. Thanks.

      – Currently, you can join us on Telegram. 🙂

  46. HI,

    i am planning to go to US, what is the better plan for validity extension ?? i want a plan where in i can receive min Incomming msgs..

  47. I want incoming calls and SMS to remain active while I don’t use my 4G Smartphone. Will jio be the best? I have jio phone too, if that can be used to trick and get smaller recharge after the 90days?

    • Yes, Jio will be best, just recharge once every 90 days and make a call. As you have JioPhone as well, you can recharge with just ₹39 every 90 days (+Plan Validity).

  48. Hey! My jio recharge got expired on April 17 but I still can receive incoming calls even after it has been more than 90 days. So I wanted to know that for how long will my number will be active without recharging? Also which plan should I consider if I only want the sim for receiving incoming calls and messages?

    • You can recharge for ₹129 and use the sim for 28+90 days, without any hassle. Jio is currently not disconnecting inactive numbers, even after 90 days but they can. Or if you can find someone with JioPhone, insert your sim, recharge with ₹39 and get 14+14+90 Days validity, just make a call before taking it out from JioPhone (You will not able to use pack benefits from your smartphone but that 90 days cycle will reset).

      • Arey waah… It’s good idea. At first it came to my mind also but i was unsure whether it will work or not.So i didn’t give it a try but now, I will definitely try this out.

        • Yes, currently the cheapest option with incoming active. If you just want your number to be active without incoming, BSNL is also a good option as they have 6 months Grace 2 period. You can extend the validity for 28+7+180 days for just ₹49 but incoming will only work for the first 35 days.

  49. Hi! The article is very comprehensive and gives a lot of information. I only have one confusion, I want to port from airtel and keep the number active without using it. My phone supports 4G. Which one do you recommend between Jio and BSNL to be the cheapest option?


Leave a Comment