Recharging Vodafone CallYa SIM

I’m putting this here simply so that future versions of myself – or other English-speaking travelers in Germany – can refer to it.

So you’ve got yourself a Vodafone CallYa pre-paid SIM card in Germany – easy and cheap to pick up at any Vodafone outlet in the country (when I went looking for one last March they were having a 5-for-1 sale, so I have five German mobile numbers working in rotation for a time). And you need to recharge your account now that you’ve extinguished its initial value. But how?

I tried many times, in vain, to recharge online at – it seems like it’s actually not possible. In theory you can buy a CallNow scratch card from kiosks, but that’s not always convenient or lingually possible.

Fortunately there’s a solution: From that site you can purchase online, in English, a 15 or 30 Euro “top up code” by credit card that gets delivered to you by email and can then be entered on the phone by calling Vodafone’s 22922 line.

I did this today, and it worked as expected, with the following caveats:

  • I appeared to need a German address, at least when paying by credit card: I kept getting an error message about a missing postal code when I used my Canadian address. I ended up using the address of my temporary Berlin apartment and the transaction processed without further problems.
  • It’s possible that when you dial 22922 you’ll get messaging only in German. To switch your Vodafone language to English. press 4 and then 2; all future calls will then be in English.
  • The code took about 3 minutes to arrive by email; be patient.

I still haven’t quite figured out how to tell what CallYa plan I’m signed up for and what the rates are: all I know is that an afternoon of occasional data and SMS use comes out to about 1 EUR of charges, which seems reasonable to me.


Dan Reed's picture
Dan Reed on August 3, 2011 - 17:01 Permalink

Thanks for the information on recharging a Vodaphone Callya account. I got around the problem of having a credit card with a German address by paying through my Paypal account. I used the 22922 number to recharge my account from the U.S. Vodaphone uses the AT&T network in the US. For some time have been trying to figure out how to top my account without having a German friend go into a Vodaphone shop. Thanks!

Bill S's picture
Bill S on August 27, 2011 - 23:32 Permalink

Guys, if you have an Android smartphone, there is an app on the market called “Mein CallYa”. If you go into any dm store (they seem to be everywhere here in Frankfurt) you can purchase a top-up card for Vodaphone which is simply a barcode that they scan at the register. When they scan this code, you will get a top-up number on the receipt from the register and they will keep the barcode to put back on the shelf.

Go into the Mein CallYa app, and there you can find under “Menu” an option that says “Aufladen”. Here there is a field that says “Aufladennummer” and you can simply type in the number from the receipt and click “Senden”. A few seconds later you will get a message that says “Vielen Dank” indicating that you’ve topped up.

Also, the first time you used the phone, it should have given you an option to have either German or English. You can dial 22044 on your mobile with the CallYa SIM installed and you should get some English options for managing it.

Medhat's picture
Medhat on November 16, 2011 - 14:24 Permalink

My name is Medhat Dessouki

I have a Vodafone CallYa prepaid SIM & it was roaming unitl very soon but now it is diconnected & I can not even recharge it by the internet how can I restore the SIM & recharge it from the internet

SIM details:

70 5085 0538229 1 g 0162


expat's picture
expat on January 22, 2012 - 19:03 Permalink

Thanks for this info, you saved me a lengthy drive to the store for minutes.

Denis's picture
Denis on February 15, 2012 - 12:03 Permalink

You have to key in:


then your Aufladenummer (usually 15 numbers)

then #

and hit call. you should instantly receive a message that says your phone has been topped up

andy's picture
andy on February 21, 2012 - 15:32 Permalink

i have a call prepaid sim card, i try to use the function by calling *100#. but it in germany, anyway to change to english version. thanks

djoko's picture
djoko on April 29, 2012 - 10:02 Permalink

I bought top up vodafone call-ya in germany… I used vodafone italy simcard… Until now I try to use code *100*aufladenummer# still can’t to top up… And the respond write internal error…

Can you guy help me how to top up…, I already call service number : 22922 but all is italiano language that I didn’t understand…

Thanks before… :)

Lauren's picture
Lauren on May 10, 2012 - 16:49 Permalink

Ok so I just tried buying credit on but they said my phone number was incorrect. Has anyone had that problem?

Peter's picture
Peter on July 7, 2012 - 14:46 Permalink

For those using (German) and want to change the instructions to English. The new way is:
1. Dial 22044 from your vodafone handy
2. wait a few seconds, press 5
3. wait a few seconds, press 4
4. wait a few seconds, press 2 (by now you should hear an English voice)

For voicemail, you can call the help line, either the one that came with you handy or 017222911, listen and press the correct number for an English speaking representative, it took me less than 3 minutes to connect (Free) and about 24 hours for the Voicemail to change to English.

Thanks to

Micky's picture
Micky on July 26, 2012 - 23:24 Permalink


a few weeks ago I visited Germany and bought 2 VODAFONE SIMS (One is a CallYa the second is a pre-paid but I’m not sure if it is also a CallYa).

Both SIMS still have some € credit on them.

As I’m not going to Germany every year and to recharge the SIMS from where I live costs a lot more than the 5 or 10 Euros (Fees + Exchange rate) my question refers to the Call Numbers of both SIMS.

Is there a limited period where after which I will loose the numbers if I don’t recharge and/or place or receive any calls ?

Is there any written contract or whatever where I can learn about the requirements etc ?

Any reply will be more than appreciated.

Thanks, Micky

mike d's picture
mike d on August 16, 2012 - 22:52 Permalink

OMG this was a Godsend! Thank you!!!! I was on a client conference call when I ran out of euro on the sim card. Mortified!

I did a quick google search and your article was the first to come up. Within 5 minutes I had a number to enter (by following your directions) and voila… I had service again! THANK YOU.

One thing to know… the site is ONLY in German. I know absolutely zero german but by guessing the words by their position on the page, I was able to adequately get through without any mistakes at all. I also used Paypal so I got around the whole german address thing (though I guess I could have used the hotel address).

Either way… I have to say, this info is PRICELESS!

Now… I wonder if it will be as easy in italy! I have my sim for there that is very low and I’m off to Tuscany in a week. If I find out it works I’ll post back.

Thanks again.

Alex's picture
Alex on August 30, 2012 - 09:00 Permalink

Yes you can do this easily online.
Then you dont even need to follow any operator instructions,
when you finish your order the website will give you a code, you
just need to dial


Where the 123… is is the actual charging code.
Be sure to put the # at the end!

Und das ist alles!

Bob Sprague's picture
Bob Sprague on June 24, 2015 - 07:08 Permalink

outstanding! Thank you!!!

Bill's picture
Bill on September 5, 2012 - 05:58 Permalink

The does have a English version — just click on the German flag in the upper right hand of the page and you will be given and English option. Also, when you put in your phone number, you need to have the correct country code.

joe's picture
joe on March 16, 2013 - 19:33 Permalink

Absolute genius……just used it to send credit to a friend…

Evgeniya's picture
Evgeniya on April 17, 2013 - 19:11 Permalink

Thank you so much!! You really helped me!

Jim's picture
Jim on November 23, 2013 - 16:57 Permalink

For anyone trying to change the default language to English, the number and prompts changed once again. I was able to get the new information via a chat session with someone at

1) Dial 22044

2) wait for a bit

3) Choose options 5 then 4 then 2.

You cannot press option 5 right away, I hit 5 a few times before and the recorded message kept going. Eventually I could tell that the first portion of the recorded message was over and I was allowed to choose the first option (5). After than you can immediately go to 4 and 2.

Kamal's picture
Kamal on November 27, 2013 - 14:15 Permalink

I have one of these callya fun sim card which was supposed to have a 15 Euro credit attached to it. I do not know why but I immediately got a message saying that I am down to 1 euro. Am I missing something? furthermore, I have 200mb of data which dropped down to less than 100 mb after 2 days of very light usage…how to I top it up?

Stephen's picture
Stephen on December 18, 2013 - 17:04 Permalink

Thanks guys for having this thread. This thread appeared on top my google search on “how to top-up vodafone prepaid in Germany”. I was able to successfully top-up 25 euros on my SIM after 10 minutes of reading through your insights and comments. Really helpful!

Dan Kohn's picture
Dan Kohn on December 24, 2013 - 23:28 Permalink

The option to deposit directly to my Vodafone prepaid number and to pay via PayPal worked flawlessly and instantly topped me up. Thanks!

Marcy's picture
Marcy on January 7, 2014 - 14:05 Permalink

YAY! This was soooo great! At first, my google search only brought up a bunch of German answers (which I’m sure were wonderful, but I’m still working on my German… and google translate is GREAT but only goes so far). So I was SO thankful to find your nice, concise way of adding minutes. It didn’t take my American CC so I took the paypal route and that worked just fine. I also had it sent directly to the phone (which was an option now for .50 cents more).

Anyway, THANK YOU for taking the time to share this!

Emily's picture
Emily on January 23, 2014 - 22:09 Permalink

So when I top off my phone with a card from a kiosk, does it also go towards data?

Tek's picture
Tek on February 13, 2014 - 15:50 Permalink

After going through all the help notes and comments posted, and trying same, I went to the Vodafone store where I purchased the top up to be told it was not possible to top up a SIM card from uk in Germany. Since they would not issue a refund, they offered another SIM card from them and wanted pieces of ID to register this pay as you go card.lesson is, if you can’t charge your fone in the store, don’t buy a top up there.

Scott Redford's picture
Scott Redford on March 4, 2014 - 21:32 Permalink

Hi I got one of these Callya Smartphone FUN 15 at media mart when I bought a new Nokia Lumia because of its good camera. But its been a pain to set up. First it said I had no money so I topped up at a store they recommend and no when I dial numbers it says I have the wrong number but my friends iPhone with a Blau prepaid was able to call those numbers and overseas too. Mind you the Blau was hard to get right initially. Why can’t Germany get this to simple, it’s not rocket science !!

Bruno's picture
Bruno on September 23, 2014 - 05:21 Permalink

Thank you for your post!, also the comments are very useful!

Scott's picture
Scott on July 3, 2016 - 11:29 Permalink

If anyone is interested, the directions to switch to English have changed slightly. Call the same number with the phone with a CallYa SIM (dial 22044), then press 5, then 1. It was about 10 seconds of silence, and then a message played saying all notifications will now be English.

C Woodward's picture
C Woodward on August 17, 2016 - 18:28 Permalink

Thank you so much for posting this. It has a most frustrating experience using Vodafone CallYa in Germany because I could'nt understand any of the messages! You're a godsend.

Jacob Robinson's picture
Jacob Robinson on April 16, 2017 - 07:57 Permalink

Thank you. I recommend everyone in Germany who speaks English to use this.. It can be very annoying trying to navigate the vodafone calls. Dial 22044, press 5 (after the lady has started speaking) and then 1. After, call 22922 to add the CallYa card credit to your phone.

Jason's picture
Jason on April 14, 2019 - 02:25 Permalink

just an update when recently i used the above trick to change to english menu. after dialing to 22044, you should follow by 5, 4 (ask if you want to change language) then 1, which asking if you want english menu, 2 is to keep the current language

hope it helps.

Katie's picture
Katie on July 11, 2021 - 04:55 Permalink

Update for changing to English:
Press 5, then 4, then 1.
You can press each as soon as she starts talking, but I don’t recommend typing 541 all at once ;)

Tori Madison Whaley's picture
Tori Madison Whaley on October 15, 2021 - 13:44 Permalink

You are f*cking amazing. I was pulling my hair out in Germany trying to figure this out. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Beula N's picture
Beula N on November 7, 2023 - 02:24 Permalink

THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was struggling with the Hotline service trying to figure out what to do.