FAQ about recharging and using your Thuraya prepaid SIM

Fiona Adler from Thuraya Recharge uses her Thuraya phone during a mountaineering expedition. The people at Thuraya Recharge know what it's like to rely on your satellite phone.

General Questions

How long will my Thuraya airtime recharge be valid?

When you recharge with Thuraya Recharge, the validity of your entire prepaid airtime balance is extended by 365 days from the date of the recharge (10 units is only 180 days). This differs from prepaid scratch cards which expire after 12-18 months if not used. We do not sell prepaid scratch cards.

How do I keep my Airtime and my Thuraya Prepaid SIM card valid?

This page explains how to keep your SIM card and airtime balance active: All about Thuraya SIM Card Validity

How do I check my Thuraya prepaid balance?

You can check your balance online by visiting services.thuraya.com and clicking on "Online Billing Enquiry". You will need a pin number to access this service. This pin can be obtained by sending a blank SMS (from your Thuraya phone) to 1522 or by asking your Thuraya Service Provider to set one for you. We can't set this pin for you.

You can also check your balance from your Thuraya phone by sending a blank sms to 151 and you will receive an automatic response with the available credit. This costs a standard SMS fee.

What is the cost of a call?

The cost of a call depends on your SIM card. This page has call costs information for common Thuraya SIM cards.

How long does it take to receive my airtime?

Airtime is added to your SIM card instantly when you recharge through Thuraya Recharge.

Why buy Thuraya airtime from Thuraya Recharge?
  1. Fully automatic system means you get your airtime right away
  2. Make a free call to buy airtime directly from your phone. Never be stuck again.
  3. Great prices and fast service from people who are Thuraya users themselves and know what its like to depend on your phone
  4. Airtime instantly added to your phone and available for use - no waiting for pin codes or SMS
Can I add more SIM cards to my Thuraya Recharge account?

Yes, up to 20 phones can be recharged from a standard account. If you want more, please contact us.


Payments & Refunds

How do I verify my credit card?

To minimise credit card fraud we need to verify all credit cards. Your first recharge is charged to your credit card in 2 random payments that total the amount of your purchase. To verify your credit card, you will need to contact your bank or check your credit card statement to find out the amount of each payment, then log back into Thuraya Recharge and enter the amounts. Here is an example of How to Verify your Credit Card.

You will need to verify your card before you can make any further purchases. This is only required once per credit card.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept American Express, Visa and MasterCard.


What is your refund policy?

If the recharge units have already been added to a SIM card we are unable to provide a refund. If the recharge was not able to be added to a SIM card (eg if it has expired or is not a prepaid SIM), then we can provide a refund on request. A $15 fee applies to cover bank charges and credit card processing fees. Alternatively we can put the airtime onto another SIM card.

Recharge by Phone

What is the Toll Free number to dial to Recharge by Phone?

The number is 800 11 800.  You will need to setup a Recharge by Phone pin number first before you can use this service. Do this by logging into your Thuraya Recharge account and going to "My Thuraya Phones".

If I have a problem using the Recharge by Phone service, can I get help?

Yes, Press 0 when our system answers your call, and you will be directed to our 24x7 English speaking support centre. There is no charge for this call.

Are there extra fees to use the Recharge by Phone service?

There are no additional charges and the price of units is the same.

Can I use a non Thuraya phone to access the Recharge by Phone service?

You must use a Thuraya handset with a Thuraya SIM card that has been registered with Thuraya Recharge.

My phone is broken, can I use another Thuraya handset to use the Recharge by Phone service?

You can use another Thuraya handset, but you must use your SIM card in this handset.

The system isn't accepting my pin. What can I do?

Make sure that you have a good satelite signal when calling. Also check that you have DTMF enabled on the phone you are using. If all else fails, dial the toll free number and press 0 and talk to us.


What SIM cards can be used?

All active Thuraya Prepaid SIM cards can be topped-up with Thuraya Recharge including the Thuraya Prepay NOVA SIM and standard Thuraya Prepay SIM.

I have a Thuraya IP Modem. Can I use Thuraya Recharge?

Yes. You can buy recharge units online and you can also use the Recharge by Phone service if you place the SIM card into a Thuraya handset and call our toll free number to access the service. Please use the voice number that has been provided with the SIM Card and not the data number.

SIM cards

Do you sell SIM cards or Thuraya handsets?

We only sell Thuraya airtime. You will need to go to a Thuraya Service Provider or Thuraya retailer to buy a SIM card or handset.

My SIM card has expired. What can I do?

If we have informed you that your SIM card has expired, then you should contact your Thuraya service provider that sold you the SIM card and ask if they can reactivate it for you. There will usually be a small fee for this, but it avoids needing to obtain a new card. More information about SIM card validity is available here: All about Thuraya Sim Card Validity

Using a Thuraya Phone

How do I get a good satellite signal?

Please see this page for information about how to get the best connection with your Thuraya phone: How to get a good connection when using my Thuraya phone.

I am having trouble making a call

Please check the information on this page: How to get a good connection when using my Thuraya phone. If your SIM card hasn't been used for 6 months or more, then please follow the steps here: How to initialize a Thuraya phone and SIM card that you havent used for some time. This solves most problems.

If you are unsure if your SIM card is active or if there is coverage in your area, you may also wish to contact Thuraya or your Thuraya service provider. Thuraya can be reached on customer.care@thuraya.com and they respond to emails promptly 24x7.