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British Gas Top Up: Help for Prepayment customers

Updated on
min reading
British Gas top up customer with gas flame, energy bills and savings

If you have a pay-as-you-go tariff with British Gas, you will need to top up your meter credit to ensure your household doesn’t find itself unexpectedly without energy. There are a number of different British Gas top up methods. In this guide, we talk you through them all, including the exclusive British Gas smart meter top up options.

Where can I top up my British Gas key or card?

British Gas pay-as-you-go customers can top up their meters at Payzone outlets, as well as at their local Post Office. For customers with regular prepayment meters (non-smart meters), these are the only ways to complete your British Gas top up. Both methods are simple and straightforward, just taking a couple of minutes to complete.

After you have topped up your British Gas card or key using one of the below methods, you will need to transfer the credit onto your meter. To do this, just put your card or key into your meter. Credit for electricity will transfer automatically. For a gas meter, you will need to press and hold the A button.

Top up at Payzone

red cancellation sign

As of the 1st of January 2020, Payzone Bill Payments Limited will be the exclusive British Gas top up provider network, taking over the reins from the previous provider, PayPoint. This means that customers now need to use Payzone outlets to top up their keys and cards.

In reality, this doesn’t mean much change. Very much like PayPoint services, Payzone outlets can be found in numerous newsagents, supermarkets and petrol stations. Establishments that offer these services will display the Payzone logo, so it’s easy to spot where British Gas top up services are available.

Payzone also has a handy online store locator that allows customers to find their most convenient Payzone outlet. To find a Payzone near you, go to the Payzone website and scroll to the very bottom of the page. Click on where it says Find a store. You will be directed to a new page, where you should enter your postcode in the box that says Enter postcode. Then click Search. All of the Payzone outlets in your area, along with their opening hours, will be listed.

Once in the store, topping up is easy. Simple take your key or card to the cashier, tell him/her how much you want to top up and pay the equivalent amount. The cashier will give you a payment receipt. Make sure you keep this as you will need the featured Vend Code if there are problems with your top-up credit.

With Payzone, the minimum required British Gas top-up amount is £5, and it must be to the nearest pound. For example, you are not able to top up by £7.50, but can top up by £7 or £8.

Why did British Gas stop using PayPoint?

On January 1, 2020, British Gas ditched PayPoint for a new top-up deal with Payzone.

The switch to Payzone was quite a pain for many British Gas customers for the following reasons:

  • With 15,000 fewer locations, Payzone is generally more inconvenient to access.
  • The minimum top-up amount increased from £1 to £5. This left some British Gas customers without the funds to top up. Due to customer backlash, this increase has since been removed.

British Gas has since paid £1.48 million in compensation to its prepayment customers who were negatively affected.

Top up at the Post Office

Your local Post Office also offers British Gas top up services. Just head down to the Post Office and explain at the counter that you want to top up your British Gas meter. Make sure you take your key or card with you as the cashier will need it to complete the top up transaction. When you’ve successfully topped up your card, you will receive a receipt. Keep this safe as you will need it if you have problems with your top up later on.

British Gas smart meter top up

Customers with a Britsh Gas smart meter have a few more options when it comes to topping up their meters. In fact, you can even do so without leaving the comfort of your own home! Below, we break down how to top up your British Gas smart meter.

British Gas top up online

The easiest way to complete a British Gas smart meter top up is online. If you have a smart meter, there are two ways you can top up online:

 Top up online via your online account

For this method, you don’t even need your Smart Card or Smart Card Number (SCN)! Simply log in to your British Gas online account and click the Top Up Online tab. Fill out the required information and you will have topped up in just a few clicks. To make life even easier, you can save your debit card details in your online account so that you don’t have to enter them each time you need to top up.

Struggling to log in to your British Gas account? Don’t have an account but want one? Check out our British Gas login guide for details on how to access your online account and register for one to begin with.

 Top up online as a guest

If you don’t have an online account or are unable to access it, you can still complete the British Gas smart meter top up online. Instead of signing in to your account, you will top up as a guest. You will need your SCN for this top up service.

To top up online as a guest, type British Gas top up into your search engine and select the result that reads Top up a smart meter - British Gas. Enter your SCN and fill in all of the required information. Your smart meter will then be topped up.

Where can I find my Smart Card Number (SCN)? Your SCN can be found on your Smart Card or the smart meter pack the engineer left when he/she installed the meter.

Use the app to top up your smart meter

British Gas smart meter top up can also be completed through the British Gas app. Just download the app from the App Store or Google Play, and you will be able to top up using your phone or tablet.

The British Gas top up app allows you to pay with Apple or Google Pay, meaning you can even top up if you don’t have your card details with you! It allows you to top up at anytime and from anywhere!

Top up by phone

old phone

Another way to complete a British Gas top up is via the good old fashioned method - over the phone. To top up by phone, call 0300 100 0303.

You will listen to an automated recording that asks your reason for calling. To top up by phone, say 'top up'. To confirm you reason for calling, say 'yes'.

You should have your customer reference number to hand when you call. This begins with 85. You will also need your debit or credit card details ready.

Are you topping up with a new key or card?

If you have never used your British Gas top up card or key before, you need to activate it before it will work. Luckily, the activation process is super easy. You just need to pop your card or key into your meter for about a minute. When the minute is up, take it out and you’re done. Your card or key is now activated and you can use your preferred British Gas top up method listed above to get credit on your meter.

Struggling to pay your British Gas bills? You might be eligible for some extra help. Read all about the supplier’s participation in the Warm Home Discount Scheme and its Energy Trust to see if it can help you out.

Do you need to request a new British Gas top up card/key?

If you’ve lost your British Gas top up card or key, or it has broken, you can request a new one for free. There are two ways to do this.

Firstly, you can request a new one to be sent to you by post. To do this, you need to contact the pay-as-you-go team via their live chat or give them a call on the dedicated prepayment number (listed above). You will then be sent a new card or key within three working days.

The second method is to get a new British Gas top up card or key from a Payzone outlet. For a gas card this is really simple. Just go to your closest Payzone store and ask the cashier for a new gas card. He/she should be able to give you a new one there and then.

Getting a new electricity card from a Payzone outlet requires a bit more work. First, you will need to contact the pay-as-you-go team. The call agent will give you a reference number. Wait at least 30 minutes (ideally a bit longer), and go to your local Payzone store with your reference number to pick up a new key.

Don’t forget: you need to activate your new card or key before you can top up!

Is your British Gas top up not working?

Let's have a look at what to do if your top-up is not going on the meter, as well as what you should do if you see an error code.

Is your British Gas top up not showing up on the meter?

A British Gas top-up will generally take one hour to appear on your meter, so don’t expect to see it straight away. If you’ve left it till the last minute and need the credit immediately, or your top-up is not appearing after an hour, you can enter it into the meter manually using the Vend Code. This is the 20, 40 or 60 digit number on your top-up receipt (so don’t throw these in the bin!).

Let’s look at how you enter this Vend Code for a gas meter, electricity meter and a Smart Energy Monitor.

 Top up your gas meter manually

  1. Wake up the screen by pressing A
  2. Press A two more times to get to credit entry option
  3. Press B and then A to enter the Vend Code
  4. Press B to move back
  5. Press and hold B to submit the code

 Top up your electricity meter manually

  1. Press A and B at the same time and hold
  2. Use A to enter the Vend Code and B to move forward
  3. To move back, press and hold B
  4. Press and hold A to submit the code

 Manually top up your smart meter using your Smart Energy Monitor

  1. In the menu, select Gas or Elec Prepay
  2. Select Add vend code
  3. Use - or + to enter the code digits and next/del to move forward
  4. Press and hold next/del to move back
  5. When you’ve entered the code, press next/del to submit it

Do you see an error code?

If your card or key does not appear to be working after your British Gas top up, it could simply be that there is a bit of dust on it. Try to blow on it or wipe it with a clean cloth to remove the dust and put it back in your meter. If it was just a bit of dust, everything should now be working as normal.

If it’s still not working, you will likely see an error code on your meter screen. Error codes for a gas meter and electricity meter are different. Let’s take a look and what these codes mean and what you need to do to fix them.

Electricity meter:

  • If the error code starts with D1 or D5, it can be an indication of dust on the electricity key. Blow on the key or wipe it with a clean cloth and put it in your meter again. If it’s still not working, contact the British Gas prepayment team on the number listed below.
  • If it starts with any of the following letters/numbers, you will need to give the pay-as-you-go-team a ring right away:
  • E
  • D2
  • D3
  • D4
  • D6
  • D7
  • D8
  • D9

Gas meter:

  • If the error code starts with ‘Call help’, ‘Card Pass’, ‘Battery’, ‘Battery Fail?, ‘----’ or ‘M*****’, you need to contact British Gas as it means there is a problem with your meter.

  • If it starts with ‘Invalid Card’, ‘Card not accepted’, ‘Card fail’ and ‘Please wait’, wipe your gas card with a clean cloth and put it back in. If the message goes, it means your card is broken so you will need to request a new one (see how below). If the message does not go away, it means your meter is broken and you will need to contact the pay-as-you-go team.

  • If it’s just showing a blank screen, press the A button. If the screen remains blank, call the prepayment team.

If you need to contact the British Gas pay-as-you-go team, the number to call is 0330 100 0303 (Monday - Friday: 8am - 8pm, Saturday: 8am - 6pm). When you ring, make sure you have your meter serial number to hand. This is the number that starts with S or F located under the screen on your meter.

To find other contact methods, such as the live chat, head to our British Gas contact page. There we have listed all the contact details you could possibly need.

What is the British Gas Top Up Number?

Want to top up by phone using a debit or credit card? The British Gas top-up number is 0330 100 0303. You will listen to an automated recording that will ask for your reason for calling. To top up your meter, say 'top up'. You will need to provide your customer reference number. It begins with 85.

By calling the British Gas top-up contact number, you can get help with the following additional queries:

  • Help topping up
  • Changing from pay as you go to direct debit
  • Using emergency credit

While you can top up with a debit or credit card at any time over the phone, some queries may require actual human assistance. If you need to speak with someone, representatives are available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Want to learn more about British Gas? Check out our dedicated British Gas reviews page to see what its customers are saying. You can also visit our British Gas tariffs page to see what it has to offer and how much its tariffs cost.

The services and products mentioned on this website may only represent a small selection of the options available to you. Selectra encourages you to carry out your own research and seek advice if necessary before making any decisions. We may receive commission from selected partner providers on sales of some products and/or services mentioned within this website. Our website is free to use, and the commission we receive does not affect our opinion or the information we provide.

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