Why is My MTN Data Bonus Not Working? [How to Activate it in 2023]

How frustrating is it when you look at your phone, expecting to use some sweet MTN data bonuses, only to find out they’re not working?

Trust me, we’ve all been there.

If you’ve been asking yourself, “Why is my MTN data bonus not working?” you’re not alone.

You might even be wondering, “When can I use my MTN data bonus?” or “What is MTN data bonus used for?” Hang tight, because we’re diving deep into this issue today.

So, without any waste of time, let’s get started!

Understanding MTN Data Bonuses

Why is My MTN Data Bonus Not Working

Before we jump into troubleshooting, let’s get back to the basics.


MTN, one of Nigeria’s leading telecom operators, provides data bonuses through various tariff plans like YafunYafun and MTN Pulse.

If you’ve just activated a new SIM, you’re likely familiar with receiving data bonuses that seem too good to be true. But as with all good things, these bonuses have their conditions.

Check Out: How to Use MTN Data Bonus

Common Reasons Why MTN Data Bonuses Fail

So, you’re asking, “Why is my MTN data bonus not working?” We get that it’s annoying, but before you start dialing customer service, let’s explore some of the most frequent reasons behind these bonus issues.

These may include:

1. Your tariff plan doesn’t support it

Let’s start with the basics. You have to be on a tariff plan that actually supports bonuses.

You’d be surprised how many people overlook this. They switch to a tariff plan for one benefit and forget to check if it supports data bonuses.

2. Your bonus has expired.

MTN bonuses often come with an expiration date. If you’re wondering, “Why can’t I use my MTN data bonus?” the culprit might be that it’s expired.

Check the expiration date so you know how long you have to use it up.

3. You’re trying to use the bonus for something it’s not designed for

Got a YouTube-only bonus and trying to browse Facebook? Nope, won’t work. Make sure you’re aware of what your bonus can and can’t be used for.

You’d typically get a message from MTN explaining the conditions.

4. Time Restrictions

Some MTN data bonuses can only be used during specific hours.

If you’re scratching your head, asking, “When can I use my MTN data bonus?”, it could be that you’re trying to use a night-only bonus during the day.

5. You are Using it on Data-Sucking Apps

Believe it or not, some apps can quickly eat up your data, making you think your bonus isn’t working.

If you suspect this might be the case, try disabling data-hungry apps and see if your bonus works then.

See Also: How to Get Double Data on MTN

6. Network Congestion

Though it’s rarer, sometimes the network is just too congested to provide a stable data connection.

During peak times, you might find your MTN data bonus not working as expected.

7. SIM Card Issues

Your SIM card might be damaged or improperly inserted, which can also affect your bonus data.

Reinsert your SIM or try it in a different device to rule out this possibility.

8. Unsettled Bills

Have pending bills or a blocked account? MTN may freeze your bonuses until you pay back the money you borrowed on your account.

So, if you are owing them, clear up any pending bills and your bonuses should start working again.

9. Pending Activation

If you’ve just switched tariff plans or activated a new bonus, sometimes it takes a little time for things to kick in.

Give it a few minutes or even hours before you hit the panic button.

10. Server Issues

Lastly, server issues at MTN’s end can also temporarily disable your bonuses.

While there’s not much you can do in this scenario, knowing that it’s a server issue can be comforting.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty and explore some troubleshooting steps. I mean how to fix the problems.

Related: How to Convert MTN Bonus to Data

Troubleshooting Steps: How to Activate & Fix MTN Data Bonus that is Not Working

1. Check Tariff Plan

The first thing you want to do is check your current tariff plan. Why? Because the kind of data bonus you receive largely depends on it.

To check your tariff plan, simply dial *123*1*1#. If you find out you’re not on a plan that offers good bonuses, consider switching.

Just remember, “My MTN data bonus is not working” can often be resolved by being on the right plan.

2. Verify Bonus Balance

You keep saying, “I can’t use my MTN data bonus,” but have you checked if there’s actually any bonus data to use?

Dial 310# to check your bonus and main data balances. If there’s no bonus, well, that solves the mystery.

Check Out: Code to Share MTN Data

3. Understand Bonus Conditions

“Why can’t I use my MTN data bonus for browsing?” It might be because you have a YouTube bonus or another type that’s app-specific.

To know what type of bonus you have, check the message MTN sent you when you got the bonus. It should state clearly what the bonus can be used for.

4. Check Time Restrictions

Some bonuses are time-bound. You may find that you can only use your YouTube data bonus from 11 PM to 6 AM, for example.

So if you’re wondering why your MTN data bonus is not working during the day, this could be why.

5. Inspect APN Settings

Incorrect APN (Access Point Name) settings could be another reason why your MTN data bonus is not working.

Head over to your phone settings and ensure that the APN is set to ‘web.gprs.mtnnigeria.net.’

6. Consult Customer Service

If you’ve tried all of the above and still find that your MTN data bonus is not working, it might be time to consult the experts.

MTN’s customer service can be reached by dialing 180. They should be able to provide solutions specific to your account.

Read Also: How to Cancel Auto Renewal on MTN

Comparison with Other Networks

Okay, so we’ve gone through troubleshooting why your MTN data bonus may not be working.

But how do other networks like Airtel, Glo, and 9mobile fare? Well, each network has its own sets of bonuses and conditions, so you might experience similar issues across the board.

Data Bonus on MTN Not Working – FAQs

When can I use my MTN data bonus?

This largely depends on the type of bonus you have. Time-bound bonuses will have specific usage periods, so check those details.

Why is my MTN data not working at all?

If not just the bonus, but your main MTN data is not working, this could be an issue with your APN settings or network coverage.


We’ve covered a lot of ground today! If you’ve been losing sleep over questions like, “Why is my MTN data bonus not working?” or “How to activate MTN data,” we hope this guide has been illuminating.

Remember, bonuses come with conditions, and troubleshooting is your best friend in times of digital despair.

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