In South Korea, travelers can buy a Single Journey Ticket or a rechargeable card called T-money Card. We advise you to get a T-money Card as it is a magic wand that will make your journey super convenient!
These cards can be used not only for all the buses, subway, and taxis but also as a method of payment at affiliated stores.
1. Where to Buy Your T-money Card
You can easily purchase the basic T-money Card at retail convenience stores, such as CU, GS25, Ministop, and 7-Eleven. The card itself costs KRW 2,500. There is a variety of T-money cards with cute designs of Kakao Friends, BT21, and many more. These special T-money cards can cost extra money.
2. How to Reload or Refund Your T-Money Card
There are 3 ways to recharge your T-money Card.
1) Use a ticket vending machine that is located inside all the subway stations and train stations.
- Select your preferred language on the screen (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese).
- Click the third button with the T-money logo on the far right and touch the “Reloading the transit car” button.
- Place your card on the loading pad and then select the amount of money you want to add.
- Insert coin or cash and wait briefly while your T-money card completes reloading.
- Confirm your T-money card’s balance.
2) Newstands near a bus stop with a display of the T-money sign. You can find them usually next to the subway station exits and entrances.
3) Head over to retail convenience stores. This is the easiest way to recharge your card!
Tip: Some Student IDs offer the T-money card service, but may not be recharged at convenience stores. Therefore, find the closest subway station to reload your card.
Refunds: You can get a refund at all retail locations, however, the card price and service fee of KRW 500 are nonrefundable. Also, the refund process of more than KRW 50,000 can be complicated so it is suggested to charge your T-money card in smaller amounts than KRW 50,000.
3. How to use T-Money Card
First, you should keep in mind that you must tap your card when boarding and getting off buses or entering and exiting subway stations. Transfer discounts are available, but they are limited to four times a day, within a transfer time limit of 30 minutes (up to 1 hour from 9pm to 7am the next day). If you are transferring to the bus with the same numbers or re-entering the same subway station after exiting, the transfer discounts won’t be applied even if you are transferring within 30 minutes.
1) Bus: When you get on the bus, place the card on the sensor. It will tell you how much money has been charged and remained. If an error occurs, give it a second or two, and try again. If this continues, the bus driver will let you know what the issue is. When you exit the bus, tap the sensor one more time to get a discount on the transfer. If you don’t tap your card before getting off the bus, you won’t be able to get the benefit of a transfer discount. You can enjoy 4 discount transfers in a day.
- Tip: Make sure you tap your card again and you hear a beep. If you don’t, you will be charged extra for the distance traveled.
2) Subway: When you enter the subway station, place the card on the sensor until it beeps. It will show the amount charged on the top and the remaining balance at the bottom. If you are transferring, you won’t be charged and the amount that appears on the sensor will be zero. Tap your card again upon arriving at your destination and then you will be able to exit the gate. If an error occurs, press the red “help” button and the staff will come and help you.
3) Taxi: Not all but some taxis do accept T-money as a form of payment. Look out for the signs of the “T money” logo on the taxi and inform the driver that you want to pay with a T-money card. Please be aware that you should have enough balance on your T-money card in advance to pay the full fare.
When you arrive at your destination, simply tap your card on the sensor and the screen above the gray box (see picture below) will let you know your remaining balance.
4. T-Money Cards Only for Foreigners
1) Unlimited Data SIM Card (5~60 Days) + T-money Card: If you need a SIM card along with T-money, get this data only SIM card & T-money combo to stay connected 24/7! You can conveniently pick it up at Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1. You can still use the T-money card even after your SIM card expires. Click here to get 17% OFF on Trazy!
2) Discover Seoul Pass: With this all-in-one pass, you can explore the tourist attractions in Seoul with special discounts! You can gain free admissions to 57 major tourist destinations and take the advantage of the 67 discounted attraction sites from performances to duty-free shops. The pass duration options are 24, 48, and 72 hours. You can pick it up at Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1 & 2, Gimpo Int’l Airport, and Myeongdong Tourist Information Center. T-money card function is optional. Click here to get 10% OFF on Trazy!
3) Korea Tour Card: With this card, you can enjoy various discount benefits of shopping, F&B, culture, tour, and entertainment, such as ski resorts, aquariums, theme parks, and many more! It costs KRW 4,000 (cash only) and you can buy it at convenience stores. Check out more information here.
4) AmazingPay T-money: With this card, you can get a 10% discount when taking an airport limousine! There are also discount benefits for various tourist attractions, F&B, and cultural performances, including Lotte World, Everland, Nanta, and many more. It costs KRW 50,000 (credit KRW 46,000 + card fee KRW 4,000) and it’s cash only as well. You can buy it at the airport bus ticket office (No. 4 & 9 gates at 1F Incheon Airport Passenger Terminal) or CU Incheon International Airport branch. Check out more information here.
5) Alipay T-money: This is a T-money card for Alipay users, the payment app used by most Chinese people. Alipay T-money can be purchased only on the Alipay app. It’s KRW 23,500 (credit KRW 20,000 + card fee KRW 3,500). The price in Yuan is subject to change according to the daily exchange rate. It can be used for shopping at retail brands, including convenience stores, marts, bakeries, cafes, theme parks, cosmetic shops, and many more. Check out more information here.
If you’re looking for a train pass that travels throughout all regions of Korea, we recommend you a KR Pass or an Express Bus! Also, don’t forget to read the blogs below to learn more about the transportation system in Korea for your hassle-free trip.
- A Complete Guide to Public Transportation in Seoul
- Getting Around Seoul: Finding the Right Travel Pass
- How to Travel by Train in South Korea Pain-Free with KR Pass
Don’t forget to visit Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for more tips and advice about new locations and things to do in Korea!
- Newsis.com (https://newsis.com/ar_detail/view.html?ar_id=NISX20160502_0014058544&cID=10401&pID=10400)
- Business Korea (https://trazy.com/things-to-do/korea?ch=0004&label=tmoney card guide&link_id=14786)
- inews24.com (http://www.inews24.com/view/738044)
- News Wire (https://www.newswire.co.kr/newsRead.php?no=306729)
- VisitKorea Official Website
- Korea Smart Card
- T-money Official Website